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Events after the Battle of Ta'if

By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
The war of Hunayn and Ta'if terminated and, without achieving any final result, the Prophet proceeded to Ji'ranah to distribute the booty of the Battle of Ta'if.
The war booty which fell in the hands of the Muslims in the Battle of Hunayn was the largest of the booties which had so far been acquired by the army of Islam in different battles, because, when the Prophet reached Ji'ranah, 6000 prisoners, 24,000 camels, more than 40,000 sheep and 852 grams of silver were with him[1] and during those days a part of the expenses of the army of Islam was also met from this source.
The Prophet stayed in Ji'ranah for thirteen days. During this period he was engaged in distributing the war booty in a special manner; setting some prisoners free and returned them to their kinsmen; drawing up a plan for the surrender and embracement of Islam by Malik bin Awf (the man who was solely responsible for the battles of Hunayn and Ta'if); manifesting the spirit of appreciation and gratefulness for the services rendered by different persons; attracting, with his wise policies, the hearts of the enemies of Islam to the true religion; and ending, by means of an attractive speech, a dispute which had arisen between him and a group of the Ansar.
Here are the details of the matters mentioned above:
1. One of the distinguished qualities of the Prophet was that he never ignored the services rendered by the people or the rights belonging to them, however insignificant and small they might be. And if any person rendered some service to him, he compensated him for it to a longer extent than that.
The Prophet had spent his childhood amongst the tribe of Bani Sa'd, which was a branch of the tribe of Hawazin, and Halimah Sa'diyah had fostered him and had brought him up in her tribe for five years.
The tribe of Bani Sa'd who had taken part in the Battle of Hunayn against Islam, a number of their women and children as well as property had fallen into the hands of the Muslims, were now regretful for what they had done. However, they had in mind that Muhammad had been brought up in their tribe and had been nurtured by their women, and being a kind, magnanimous and grateful person, he would certainly set their prisoners free if he was reminded of his childhood. Hence, fourteen chiefs of the tribe, all of whom had embraced Islam, came to the Prophet. They were headed by two persons one of whom was Zuhayr bin Sa'd and the other was the foster-uncle of the Prophet and spoke thus: "Among the prisoners are your foster-aunts and foster-sisters as well as those, who served you during your childhood, and kindness and affection demands that, keeping in view the rights, which some of our women have upon you, you should free all our prisoners, including women, men and children. And in case we had made such a request to No'man bin Munzir or Harith bin Abi Shamir, the rulers of Iraq and Syria, we would have hoped for its acceptance by them, not to speak of yourself who are the embodiment of all kindness and love".
In reply to this, the Prophet asked them: "What do you value more; your women and children or your property?" They replied: "We would not exchange our women and children for anything". The Prophet said: "I am prepared to forego my own share as well as that of the descendants of Abdul Muttalib, but the shares of the Muhajirs, the Ansar and other Muslims concern them and it is necessary that they themselves should give up their rights. When I have finished the noon prayers you should stand up between the rows of the Muslims and address them thus: "We make the Prophet our intercessor before the Muslims and make the Muslims our intermediaries before the Prophet so that our women and children may be returned to us". In the meantime I shall stand up and shall return to you my own share as well as that of the descendants of Abdul Muttalib and shall also advise others to do the same".
The representatives of Hawazin addressed the Muslims after the noon prayers as advised by the Prophet and the Prophet gifted away to them his own share as well as that of the descendants of Abdul Muttalib. Imitating him the Muhajirs and the Ansar also agreed to forgo their shares. However, only a very few persons like Aqra' bin Habis and 'Uyainah bin Hisn Fazari declined to surrender their shares. The Prophet said to them: "If you hand over your prisoners, I shall give you, against every one of them, six prisoners, who fall into my hands in the first battle to be fought hereafter''.[2]
The practical steps taken by the Prophet and his impressive words occasioned the release of all the prisoners of the Hawazin tribe except one old woman whom 'Uyainah refused to release. Thus a good and pious action, the foundation of which was laid by Halimah Sa'diyah sixty years ago in the tribe of Bani Sa'd, proved fruitful after a very long time and as a result of it all the prisoners of Bani Hawazin got freedom. Then the Prophet called Shaymah, his foster-sister and having spread his own cloak on the ground made her sit on it and enquired about her own welfare as well as that of her family.[3] By releasing their prisoners the Prophet made the people of Bani Hawazin incline towards Islam. All of them, therefore, embraced Islam whole-heartedly and consequently Ta'if lost its last ally as well.

2. In the meantime the Prophet availed of the opportunity to solve, through the representatives of Bani Sa'd, the problem of Malik, the headstrong chief of Nasr tribe, who had provoked the Battle of Hunayn, and to attract him towards Islam. In this connection he enquired about the state of his affairs and was informed that he (Malik) had taken refuge in Ta'if and was co-operating with Bani Saqif. The Prophet said: "Convey my message to him, that if he embraces Islam and joins us, I shall release his people and shall also give him one hundred camels". The representatives of Hawazin conveyed the Prophet's message to him. Malik had realized that the strength of Bani Saqif had weakened and was also aware of the ever-increasing power of Islam. He, therefore, decided to leave Ta'if and join the Muslims. He was, however, afraid that if Bani Saqif became aware of his decision they would detain him within the fort. He, therefore, chalked out a plan. He directed that a camel-litter might be kept ready for him at a place distant from Ta'if. Reaching that place he came to Ji'ranah immediately and embraced Islam. The Prophet meted out the same treatment to him as he had already promised and later appointed him as the chief of the Muslims belonging to the tribes of Nasr, Thamalah and Salimah. On account of his pride and the honour which he gained from the side of Islam, he made life miserable for the people of Saqif tribe and subjected them to economic distress.
Malik felt ashamed of the kindness shown to him by the Prophet and recited verses in praise of his sublimity: "I have not seen or heard of amongst the entire mankind anyone, who may be like Muhammad''.[4]

3. The companions of the Prophet insisted that the war booty should be distributed as early as possible. The Prophet, in order to prove his disinterestedness, stood by the side of a camel, took some wool from its hump and, while holding it between his fingers, turned to the people and said: "I don't enjoy any right in your booty, even in this wool, except khums and I shall return to you even the khums to which I am entitled. Hence, everyone of you should return all kinds of booty, even though it may be a needle and a thread, so that it may be distributed amongst you equally".
The Prophet distributed the entire contents of the treasury amongst the Muslims and also distributed its khums, which was his own share, amongst the chiefs of Quraysh, who were converted to Islam only recently. He gave one hundred camels to each including Abu Sufyan, his son Mu'awiyah, Hakim bin Hizam, Harith bin Harith, Harith bin Hisham, Suhayl bin Amr Huwaytab bin Abdul 'Uzza, 'Ala' bin Jariyah and others, all of whom had till a few days earlier been the chiefs of blasphemy and polytheism and the sworn enemies of Islam. To persons belonging to another group, whose position was lower as compared with the aforesaid persons, he gave fifty camels per head. On account of these big gifts and special shares these persons began entertaining feelings of love and affection for the Prophet and were, however, drawn to Islam. In Islamic jurisprudence such people are called Mu'allafatul Qulub (those whom it is desired to encourage) and one of the purposes for which zakat can be spent is expenditure on them.[5]
Ibn Sa'd said: "All these gifts were given from khums which was the personal property of the Prophet and not even a Dinar was spent out of the shares of the others for the encouragement of the people belonging to this group."[6]
These gifts and expenditures allowed by the Prophet were strongly resented by a number of the Muslims and especially by some of the Ansar. They, who were not aware of the higher interests kept in view by the Prophet in making these gifts, thought that ties of kinsmanship had prompted him to distribute the khums of the booty among his relatives. A man named Zul Khuwaysirah who belonged to the tribe of Bani Tamim showed so much impudence that he said to the Prophet: "Today I have studied your activities very minutely and have seen that you have not been just in distributing the booty". The Prophet was annoyed on hearing his words. Signs of anger appeared on his face and he said: "Woe be to you! If l don't act according to equity and justice who else will do so?" The Second Caliph requested the Prophet for permission to kill that man but the Prophet said: "Leave him alone. In future he will be the leader of a group who will quit Islam in the same manner in which an arrow quits a bow".[7] As predicted by the Prophet, this man became the leader of the Khawarij (apostates) during the Rulership of Ali and undertook the guidance of that dangerous group. However, as it is opposed to the principles of Islam that punishment be awarded before an offence is committed, the Prophet did not take any action against him.
Representing the Ansar, Sa'd 'Ubadah communicated their grievances to the Prophet, whereupon the Prophet said to him: "Assemble all of them at one place so that I may explain the matter to them". The Prophet arrived in the assembly of the Ansar with great dignity and addressed them thus: "You were a misguided group of people and you received guidance through me. You were poor and you became rich. You were enemies and became friends". All of them said: "O Prophet of Allah! All this is correct". Then the Prophet said; "You can give me a reply in another way as well and as against my services and can mention the rights which you have over me and may say: "O Prophet of Allah! When Quraysh refuted you, we acknowledged you. They didn't help you and we helped you. They made you shelterless and we provided you asylum. There was a time when you were penniless and we helped you". O group of Ansar! Why have you been grieved because I have given some small property to Quraysh so that they may become steadfast in Islam and have given over Islam to you? Are you not satisfied that others should take away the camels and the sheep whereas you should take away the Prophet with you. By Allah! If all other people go one way and the Ansar go the other way, I will choose the way adopted by the Ansar. Thereafter he invoked Allah's blessings for the Ansar and for their children. The words of the Prophet aroused their sentiments so much that all of them began to cry and said: "O Prophet of Allah! We are contented with our share and don't have the least complaint in this behalf".
[1] Tabaqat-i Ibn Sa'd, vol. II, page 152.
[2] Mughazi-i Waqidi, vol. III, pp. 949 - 953.
[3] Tabaqat, vol. II, pp. 153-154 and Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 49.
[4] Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 491.
[5] Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. III, page 493.
[6] Tabaqat, vol. III, page 153.
[7] Mughazi says that the Prophet said about him (i.e. Zul Khuwaysirah): "He will have friends as compared with whose worship your prayers and fasting will be insignificant. They will recite the Qur'an but their recitation will not go beyond their larynx. They will go out of the religion of Islam just as an arrow flings away from the bow". (Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 496.)

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