Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) in Madinah
Compiled by: Ahmad Ahmadi Birjandi
Emigration to Madinah
With the Prophet (S)’s permission, all Muslims went to Medina, except the Prophet (S) himself, ‘Ali (as), and several others who were either ill or in the prisons of the infidels.
When the idolaters found out about the Prophet (S)'s decision to emigrate, they made an arrangement, following meetings and negotiations, to assign forty people from among the tribes in order that on the eve of emigration they invade the Prophet (S)'s house and murder him, so that, in this way, all tribes share a hand in his blood, and consequently, his blood would be trampled on.
The Angel of Revelation, however, informed the Holy Prophet (S) of their ominous plot.
The night, when the Qurayshi murderers intended to carry out their devilish plan, ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (as) slept in the Prophet (S)'s bed and the Prophet (S) secretly left the house. First, he entered in the Thawr Cave (south of Mecca), and from there, he emigrated, accompanied by Abu Bakr, to Yathrib or Madinat al-Nabi, which was later known as Medina.
Arrival in Medina
On Monday 12th of Rabi‘ al-Awwal, the Holy Prophet (S) and his companions reached Quba, at a place about 12 kilometers to Medina. The Prophet (S) remained there till the end of the week (Thursday) for ‘Ali (as) to arrive. The Quba Mosque at this place is a reminder of those days.
After the emigration of Muhammad (S), ‘Ali was appointed to return people's deposits to them, and accompany to Medina the Hashemite women including Fatimah (as), the Prophet (S)’s daughter, Fatimah daughter of Assad, and the Muslims who had not managed to emigrate till that day. ‘Ali and the company began the trip, a hard and hazardous one.
With injured and swollen feet, ‘Ali (as) joined the Prophet (S) after three days, and was favorably and kindly welcomed by him.
The people of Medina, after three years of waiting anxiously, welcomed their Prophet exuberantly and with cries of exaltation.
The Importance of Emigration
The arrival of the Prophet (S) and the Muslims in Medina marked a new era in their life. It was actually like stepping out of a contaminated and suffocating environment, retreating into a fresh and healthy atmosphere. It is on this account that emigration in the way of God and for spreading His religion is considered equal to jihad (holy war) and is equally splendid.
Emigration means abandoning all your existing interests, leaving behind your old habits and customs, and move towards a new life. Moving from ignorance towards light and knowledge is also considered emigration. Moving from impurity towards purity is emigration as well.
The emigration of the Prophet (S) and that of the Muslims from Mecca (an atmosphere of suppression, contamination and hatred) to Medina (a city of purity, assistance, and brotherhood) and towards laying the foundations for an Islamic social life, was the first great step taken towards victory and spread of Islam as well as its being universalized. It was due to the importance of emigration that later on, in time of the second Caliph this year was suggested by ‘Ali (as) as the beginning of the Islamic calendar (Hijra).
The First Step
When the Prophet (S) noticed such warm reception and exultation from the people of Medina, the first thing he did was to propose the construction of a mosque for the Muslims. The mosque was not solely for saying prayers. Rather, all legal and social affairs of Muslims were taken care of there.
The mosque was to be the center for the Islamic education and assemblies. Muslims all together and the Holy Prophet (S) together with the Muslims eagerly and enthusiastically were busy constructing the mosque. The Holy Prophet (S) would personally carry stones on his shoulders and work like a simple laborer. That same mosque is still standing magnificently, only second to Masjid al-Haram, which is the first in the world.
The Prophet (S) made peace between the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj which were in battle for years. He established bonds of brotherhood between the Emigrants and the people of Medina, i.e., the Helpers (Ansar) who hosted the Emigrants (Muhajirun) in their houses.
The Prophet (S) stabilized the Islamic unity, ideological bonds, and brotherhood for tribal relations. By using a charter, he actually devised the constitution of the Islamic community in Medina, and declared the Muslim people equal in rights and limits. He granted quarters to Jewish tribes who were living both inside and outside Medina.
To sum up, the Prophet (S) created a unified, brotherly, high-minded, and self-sacrificing community out of a revengeful and misled people who were ignorant of laws and social systems. From the second year, gradually, defensive military measures were taken against attacks by enemies of Islam.
The Holy Prophet (SAWA)'s Battles
The old revengeful enemies of Islam, namely the infidels of Mecca, planned – in any possible way – to defeat the newly established Islamic community; thus, they waged several wars. Accordingly, the Prophet (S) ordered the Muslims to prepare for defense. So, since the development of Islam in Medina, several battles took place which will be briefly pointed out. It should also be mentioned that the wars in which the Prophet (S) attended in person were called ghazwa (battle), and the other ones taking place in his time were called sariyya (expedition).
Battle of Badr
The battle of Badr occurred in 2/623. In this unbalanced battle the number of enemy's army reached 950, being fully equipped; the number of Muslims, however, was only 313. The Muslims fought with the power of faith and full fidelity, defeating the enemy in a short time. The enemy retreated, leaving behind 70 killed and captives as well as lots of spoils. Abu Jahl, the bitter enemy of Islam, was also killed in this battle. This victory was the opening chapter to the later victories.
Change of the Qibla
In the same year, it was commanded by the Almighty Allah that the Muslims should change the direction of their prayer from Jerusalem towards Ka‘ba. The reason for this was that the Jews regarded the lacking of an independent qibla as a deficiency for Islam, which was known as a perfect religion, and thus they didn't believe in its universality. The Two-Qibla Mosque (Masjid Dhu Qiblatayn) is reminiscent of that significant event.
Battle of Uhud
A year after the battle of Badr, enemies of Islam, equipped three times as much as that of the battle of Badr, set out for Medina with the intention of taking revenge on the Muslims. The Prophet (S.A.W) consulted with his companions upon which it was decided to array the troops along the mountainside of Uhud. At the outset, the Muslims – weak in number but strong in faith – won the battle.
But, since the guards of the valley behind the battlefield left their trenches covetously to get their share of the spoils, the Islamic troops were defeated, and a number of them including Hamza, the Prophet (S)'s brave uncle, were killed. However, as a result of self-sacrifices by ‘Ali (as), who had received many injuries, and other brave combatants, as well as the new technique that the Prophet (S) applied in this battle, once again the Muslims gathered together and chased the despicable enemy, and finally achieved victory.
Battle of Kandaq (or Ahzab Confederates)
A group of Jews, including Bani Nadhir tribe, were living in Medina. At the beginning, the Prophet (S) entered into a friendship and cooperation alliance with them, but they were always, through hypocrisy and deception, attempting to strike Islam. In spite of all his kindness and mercy, the Holy Prophet (S) wouldn't overlook hypocrisy and conspiracy, and would punish the hypocrites and the plotters.
When the Bani Nadhir tribe found their plots brought to naught, they united with the infidels of Mecca and some other tribes and, in the fifth year of Hijra, a huge army consisting of ten thousand swordsmen commanded by Abu Sufyan was formed to invade Medina aiming at uprooting the Islam.
It was a time of trial and self-sacrifice. On the advice of Salman and agreement of the Prophet (S) a ditch was dug around Medina. When the enemy reached Medina, it faced a wide ditch. The Jews of Bani Qurayza, like other Jews, began to practice their hypocrisy and treachery. Severe and critical moments were impending.
With his appealing war plans, the Holy Prophet (S) dispersed the battle front of the enemy. ‘Amr b. ‘Abduwad, the peerless commander of Mecca, was killed by ‘Ali (as) in a person to person fight; the Prophet (S) described ‘Ali (as)'s strike that killed ‘Amr as more valuable than the worship done by jinn and mankind. After ‘Amr was killed, the enemy was struck with terror. Pessimism among the invaders and Jews, shortage of provision, severe night hurricanes, and fatigue, all in all led to the victory of the Islamic army, and made the infidel troops flee back to Mecca.
The 6th Year of Hijra – Hudaybiya Peace
In a dream, the Holy Prophet (S) saw that the Muslims were engaged in performing their Hajj Pilgrimage in Masjid al-Haram. He made the Muslims prepare for an 'Umra pilgrimage in Dhu’l Qa‘da.
Everybody got prepared for the pilgrimage and the caravan departed. Since this trip was being made in a Holy month and the Muslims had nothing with them but a single sword which every traveler carried with him, and on the other hand, since the Quraysh was informed of the Muslims’ intention to set out for the pilgrimage and prevented their entering Mecca, the Prophet (S) made a treaty with Meccans which was renowned as “Hudaybiya Treaty”.
According to this peace treaty, the Prophet (S) and the Muslims dispensed with the ‘Umra. They were supposed to perform ‘Umra the following year. This treaty demonstrated the peaceful spirit of Muslims to all. Accordingly, a ten year truce was agreed upon by the two sides that were also free to visit each other's territories. This peace was indeed a victory for Islam. Thus the Prophet (S) got relieved of the internal menace and found an opportunity to call the rulers of other countries to Islam.
The Holy Prophet (S)'s Letters to the Kings
We know from the Holy verses of the Qur’an that Islam is a universal religion and the Holy Prophet (S) is the last messenger divinely sent to people7. According to this mission, the Holy Prophet (S) sent letters to the eminent heads of states, such as Khusrow Parviz, the king of Iran; Heracles, Roman Emperor; Muquqas, the king of Egypt, and so on, calling them to Islam.
His letters, still extant, were clear, decisive, and brief. These letters were delivered by faithful, devoted, and experienced couriers. The Prophet (S) has, through these letters called them to Islam, word of Truth, brotherhood, and equality and warned them in case of heedlessness, of God's chastisement. It was these messages that paved the way for universal development of Islam.
Battle of Khaibar
Khaibar, or better to say the oasis of Khaibar, consisted of seven citadels in a fertile land 200 kilometers north of Medina, and was a major shelter for the Jews. The Jews became more and more treacherous and bothersome to the Muslims. The Prophet (S) decided to teach these hypocrites their place and repel their evil. To this end, he ordered the Muslims to go to Khaibar to conquer it.
After great endeavor and resistance, their trenches were conquered one after another. Following the conquest of Khaibar citadels, the Jews who lived in the village 'Fadak”, 140 km to Medina surrendered without any fight and resistance, and accepted the leadership of the Holy Prophet (S).
According to the Islamic rules, places which surrender without war belong to the Prophet. The holy messenger granted this village to his daughter Fatimah al-Zahra (as). The story of its usurpation later on is recorded in the history up to the time of ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, which we will talk about in the biography of Fatimah al-Zahra (as).
Conquest of Makkah
In 8/629, something happened that proved the perfidy of Quraysh. Hence, the Holy Prophet (S) decided to take over Mecca and cleanse it of the impurity of the idols and idolaters. Thus, in a quite unprecedented way, and without anybody knowing the time of command for departure and the course of movement and destination, the Prophet (S) ordered ten thousand Muslim troops to move toward Mecca on the tenth of Ramadan.
The city of Mecca surrendered without any resistance. The Prophet (S) accompanied by Muslims entered his hometown. Idols were smashed into pieces and a great victory was achieved for Islam.
In this conquest, the Prophet (S) who had full authority and was able to revenge his old stubborn enemies, granted them amnesty and mercy and showed the whole world that the goal of Islam was to tear away the chains of captivity and slavery from man's hands and feet and to call them toward Allah, and toward goodness, purity, and righteousness. From this year on, non-Muslims embraced Islam by groups and got familiar with its reviving and humanizing decrees.
Upon the conquest of Mecca, battles of Hunayn, Ta’if and Tabuk took place. In the first two, the Muslims defeated the enemy; in the battle of Tabuk, however, although the Prophet did not encounter the enemy and did not wage any war, a series of spiritual gains were attained by the Muslims in this extremely adverse battle. With such tortuous journey, the Prophet (S) paved the way for the conquest of Sham (Syria) and Rome, and taught methods of battle against great powers to his faithful companions.
The Death of the Holy Prophet (S)'s Beloved Son
In the early years the Prophet of Islam suffered the loss of his three sons named Qasim, Tahir and Tayyib as well as his three daughters Zaynab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum and was very impressed by their demise.
But once again the death of his beloved son, Ibrahim, an offspring of Mariya, intensely hurt the Holy Prophet (S)'s sensitive heart. The Prophet (S), while embracing Ibrahim who was as a newly blossomed flower surrendering his soul to God, uttered the following eloquent statements: “My dearest Ibrahim! There is nothing we can do for you. Nor will God's destiny change, your father's eyes are tearful and his heart is mournful for your passing away, but I will never say a word which would outrage God…”
Some companions were surprised by the Prophet (S)’s weeping; the Prophet (S), however, like every time in the past taught the Muslims a great lesson, i.e., the lesson of affection and kindness to one's children.
Love of one's children is among the most sublime and purest manifestations of human soul and an indication of its health and gentleness. The Holy Prophet (S) would always say: “Honor your children and be kind to them.” However, the only child that survived and perpetuated the luminary lineage of Wilayat and Imamate was his daughter Fatimah al-Zahra (as), the wife of ‘Ali (as), i.e., the Prophet (S)'s executor of testament.