The Islamic Call


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  • The Islamic Call


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    CHAPTER IV.

    FAITHFUL ADHERENTS

     

    1.- Lady Khadigah

            No preacher of a cause
    however physically and mentally strong, can alone carry the burden without
    staunch adherents to help. His close advisers and helpers must be very well
    chosen or they may do the cause great harm. Muhammad the youth was wise to the
    verge of inspiration when he consented to marry Khadigah, though she had
    married twice before, and was fifteen years his senior. The story of his orphanage
    must have been mutual since their first meeting after his return from Syria
    as the leader of her caravan, though his bashfulness and self-respect would
    have made it very difficult for him to ask for her hand in marriage. She might
    have refused; he could not tell. The question, however, was settled when
    Khadigah suggested the match through Nafisah, daughter of Allayed. They
    married, and their matrimonial life lasted nearly twenty five years full of
    happiness. She died in the tenth year of his Mission.

            A quiet happy matrimonial
    life affords the best possible help that a great man with a great task ahead of
    him, can have. To feel that he is trusted, obeyed and believed in by his wife
    will add to his vigour and courage in his struggle for the triumph of his
    cause. Mutual loyal?y and trust will do away with all distinction between them
    in respect of riches and poverty. He or she may expend but neither can think of
    humiliating the other in return. With mutual love and trust, the rich wife will
    not thinkless of her husband for his poverty, but will feel rather happy and
    proud of his manhood, his protection, and his manly guardianship of her honour.

            Loyalty and love between
    husband and wife are then the holiest of links-the highest blessing that God
    bestows on the elected great, on the Prophets and Messengers He chooses to send
    for guiding humanity to Truth and Right.

            Khadigah never made
    Muhammad feel the stern bond of marriage, or the obligations entailed thereby.
    Their marriage gave him, before his prophethood, the time and opportunity to
    contemplate other creeds, and, after his prophethood, to devote himself to his Mission and the supreme
    good of humanity.

            When he received the first
    revelation in the cave of Hiraa, and felt rather overawed by his tremendous
    mission, he returned to his folk, to Khadigah who noted his new condition and
    the transformation worked on him by his experience with the Angel, and asked
    what the matter was. He told her what he saw and what he feared, and her
    concern changed at once into smiles of encouragement, making her famous remark,
    quoted above, that God will never disappoint or foresake him. She took him to
    her relative Warakah son of Noufal to whom he revealed his secret - the vision
    in the cave and the words he received. Warakah immediately congratulated him on
    these happy tidings - on the Divine Mission
    he received, and the new position to which he would rise. When this was heard
    by Khadigah, she instantly declared. her belief in Muhammad and his mission and
    henceforth lavished on him the wise counsel and encouragement she had given
    before.

            She began her staunch
    support of him and of his Call, challenging his heretic opponents, when the
    time came, with her prestige and means. They were cowed so far, by this and
    other factors, as not to take against him the severe measures they adopted
    against Zaid son of Nofile. They were content for a good while with threatening
    and maltreating his weaker adherents when the time came for the Prophet to
    publicly send forth his Call.

            Khadigah was not an
    ordinary wife, a mere accident in the life of Muhammad. She had a unique role.
    She did the Islamic Call the greatest service, and contributed to its success
    through incessant effective effort.

            She was the first woman
    believer, who devoted life and property to the establishment of the newly begun
    Islamic Call. No wonder, then, that tradition records the great grief of the
    Prophet Muhammad on the occasion of the death of?Khadigah, his wife and
    helpmate. After Khadigah's death, Quraish waged against him unremitting
    struggle, molesting and maltreating him, and almost forcing his expatriation
    from his home town

         No wonder also that he loved her so far as
    not to take to himself any other wife throughout her life. Even after her death
    he kept loving her and cherishing her memory[1]

            If it is true, what Carlyle
    says, that in the life of every great man there is some woman who encourages,
    guides, and inspires him with his classic work, then the nearest to this dictum
    in the life of the noble Apostle Muhammad would be Lady Khadigah.


     
     

     

    2. ABU BAKR EL SEDDIK (The Faithful)


     

            Islamic
    tradition maintains that Abu Bakr was the first of men believers in the Prophet
    Muhammad, upon whom be peace. He supported him from the start and was molested
    and persecuted more perhaps than was the Prophet himself. The reason may be
    that Abu Bakr, though a member of the tribe of Quraish, belonged to the branch
    of Teim who had not the honour, prestige, and power of the branch of Beni
    Hashim, to whom the Prophet, peace be upon him, belonged.

     

           
    Tradition seldom mentions Muhammad without also mentioning Abu Bakr, who
    followed the Prophet as his shadow, and was nearer to his heart than the nearest
    of his kin.

     
            How did this close noble
    friendship begin? They first belonged more or less to one profession - Abu Bakr
    was a merchant, and Muhammad did some trading. This would bring them nearer to
    one another in out look. They were approximately of the same age with a
    difference not more than two years, and were brought up in the same environment
    - even in the same town.

            A careful study of the two
    personalities brings out the striking resemblance between them as if they were
    offshoots of the same branch. Friendship between the two originated therefore
    before the Muhammadan mission, and it is reasonable to suppose that they
    discussed the question of their ancestral religious beliefs. More, they must
    have gone beyond that in their talks. This is natural enough between friends;
    the contrary is rather unnatural.

            This
    must have cemented their friendship beyond disruption. Muhammad the Apostle,
    therefore, must have had Abu Bakr as the first man believer Muhammad the
    persecuted must have had Abu Bakr as his defender; and Muhammad in triumph must
    have had Abu Bakr, the Faithful, the nearest of the near.


            Not only did Abu Bakr believe in
    Muhammad's Divine Mission, but he was very energetic and resourceful in calling
    many into the Faith To him is due the credit of the conversion of a group of
    early, now famous, disciples, such as Osman, son of Affan, Zobair son of Al
    Awam, then still young, Saad son of Abi Wakkas, Abd El Rahman son of Awf, and
    Talha son of Obidallah. Islamic history relates of their respective great
    contributions to the Islamic cause, and how they did their part in finally
    establishing the Faith, sacrificing power, prestige, property and life. They
    materially helped to make it dominant not only in Arabia but also North and
    West, reducing the Persian, and violently shaking the Roman
    Empire. Abu Bakr himself saved Islam from collapse after the death
    of the Prophet by declaring relentless war against apostate tribes till they
    were reduced to acknowledge Islam again.

     

            Those
    tribes, only recently converted, had not yet been touched by the spirit of
    Muhammad's teachings, nor had they grasped the cardinal principles of the
    Islamic creed with the death of their Faithful Shepherd, they were led astray
    into arid heathenism again. No sooner was Abu Bakr proclaimed Calif than he took drastic measures to
    reclaim them back to the Faith, to its green pastures and clear springs. Having
    restored the integrity of Islamic union and knitted the Arab tribes into one
    powerful whole, he sent their echelons into neighbouring countries to carry the
    call of Islam far and wide.

     

            Before
    his Caliphate, Abu Bakr was the exemplary man, living up to his principles in
    the face of persecution. Once when he was preaching the new religion at Mecca, he was fiercely
    attacked by Otba, son of Rabi'a, so fiercely and determinedly, one report says,
    that he fell speechless on the spot. He bought and emancipated some slaves who
    were tortured by their masters, among whom may be mentioned the males: Bilal
    Ibn Rabah, Amer Ibn Fahira, and Abou Fakiha; and the females mother of Gobais,
    the she-slave of Bani Moamel, and Hamama mother of Bilal.

     

            He
    converted his parents to the Islamic Faith. He emigrated with the Prophet in
    person, thereby exposing himself, in case of detection, to all the wrathful
    revenge of the idolaters. For all these considerations and more. He was the
    Prophet's first counsellor amongst the Prophet's disciples.


            There is no doubt whatever that
    the Islamic Call gained immensely through Abu Bakr who from all men was the
    Call's main support and bulwark in peace and war alike. No historical narrative
    of the Islamic Call would be complete without the mention of its second man Abu
    Bakr. This fact had been demonstrated by western historians as well as Muslim
    biographers. The well known historian, H. G. Wells, gives his own
    interpretation of this fact when he writes "The true embodiment of the
    spirit of Islam was not Muhammad, but his close friend and supporter Abu Bakr.
    There can be little doubt that if Muhammad was the mind and imagination of
    primitive Islam, Abu Bakr was its conscience and its will "[2]

     
            It is the eternal honour of
    Muhammad to have carried the burden fully, to have faithfully and ably
    interpreted into practice the Islam Call, the Divine Mission, in all its
    ramifications It is the eternal honour of Abu Bakr to have helped without
    stint, and followed without a swerve - to have so completely identified himself
    with the Great Call from its very start.


     
     

     

    3. - THE DEFENCELESS STRONG

     
            Amongst those who were first to embrace the
    new faith was the class of "slaves" or bondmen, liberated or not,
    known as Mawali, to whom Quraish gave the appellation "the
    fenceless". They had some slight acquaintance with monotheistic religions
    and were brought up in civilizations higher than that of the Arab chiefs in
    whose hands they were destined to fall.

     
            Such persons were undoubtedly
    potential revolutionists who could never acquiesce in the establish?d order of
    master versus slave, and must have welcomed any change which promised to better
    their life, and give them some measure of freedom. Any radical change in the
    then prevailing social order would have been welcome, for it might have
    bettered their condition but could not have made it worse.

     
            Further, such slaves were
    completely disposed to monotheism, and longed for a spiritual life that had
    nothing to do with idolatry, with the disgraceful worship to which the Arabs
    then adhered. This class has been accredited with having prepared the way for
    the Muhammadan mission. No wonder then that they surrounded the Prophet and
    were among the first believers in Islam. Their attachment to the Prophet was so
    strong that they stood firm in their faith despite their long drawn sufferings
    and persecution by ploytheists and masters. History records both their exploits
    and their martyrdom for the Islamic cause. That is why I call them " the
    strong ".

     

            Wanton
    persecution caused their emigration twice to Abyssinia
    along with others. They were subjected to every sort of brutal torment. They
    were whipped, branded, burned maimed and killed to make them recant, but in
    vain. They persisted in their faith in spite of all. Chief among those heroes
    of the Faith is Khabab, son of Al-Arutt, whom his mistress repeatedly branded
    with red hot iron on the head to make him forego his Faith, but he stood firm.
    Chief also are Ammar Ibn Yaser, Abu Fakiha, a serf of Safwan son of Omeyyah,
    Sohaib the Greek, and Amer son of Fahirah.

     
            These, when they got the
    opportunity, used to sit with the Prophet, and when seen thus by the
    Quraishites the latter would redicule them. They could ask how it could be that
    these, from amongst all the people, were alone blessed by God with guidance
    and, the truth, arguing that if there were any good in the Mission of Muhammad
    these would not have been the first to accept it in preference to themselves,
    as if the choice of God would have fallen on such alone. The sitting and the
    scoffing are both depicted in God's address to His prophet concerning the
    demand of the Quraishites that the Prophet should dismiss the bondmen that they
    might themselves sit with him.

    The entire picture found expression in the holy
    text. rendered thus:

         "Repel
    not those who call upon their Lord at noon and evening, seeking His
    countenance. Thou art not accountable for them in aught, nor are they
    accountable for thee in aught, that thou shouldst repel them and be of the
    wrong-doers. And even so do We try some of them by others, that they say:`Are
    these they whom Allah favoureth among us ? Is not Allah best aware of the
    thanksgivers? And when those who believe in Our revelations come unto thee, say
    : Peace be unto you ! Your Lord hath prescribed for Himself mercy, that whoso
    of you doeth evil and repenteth afterward thereof and doeth right,
    (for him) Lo ! Allah is Forgiving,
    Merciful". (Surah Al An'am; verses 52-54).

     
            Those slaves contributed greatly
    to the success of the Muhammadan mission through their extraordinary heroism,
    and their martyrdom, so remarkable and striking in the annals of persecution in
    history. Their persistency, their sufferance, attracted many to Islam and made
    possible their assimilation of the creed.

     
            Most of them participated in
    preaching Islam to others, aiding the Prophet considerably thereby. Many of the
    Prophet's utterances have come to us through some of them, and to some is due
    the credit of lending a hand in social organisation in Medinah.

     
            They proved to be one important
    factor in disseminating the Islamic creed. They were its heroic silent
    preachers, carrying its burden and serving its cause when things looked black.

     

    4- OMAR IBN AL KHATTAB

     

            Islam
    was something in the breasts of its believers, to be discussed in whispers, and
    practised in secret, for fear of persecution. When Omar became a convert, it
    was preached openly and unreservedly. He challenged Quraish, not only, like
    Hamzah before him, by declaring his conversion fearlessly, but also by
    practising it openly. No wonder, then that the Prophet of the Faith had prayed
    God :- "O Allah ! strengthen Islam by the
    conversion of either Omars"

       &nbsp?    Preaching a cause publicly
    by its adherents is the first stage of the struggle. That was the step taken by
    Omar, and by it he inscribed the first line in the history of the open fight
    for the Islamic cause. It is as if he wanted, by such a step, to atone for
    having been tardy in joining it. The prestige of Omar, added to that of Hamzah,
    uncle of the Prophet, sufficed to make the faithful, then about forty, to
    practise the Faith openly. It is to the credit of Omar that he first proposed
    it. It will, then, be no exaggeration to maintain that Omar's conversion was
    the separating line between two stages in the history of the Mission : the
    stage of secretly, and the stage of openly, practising and struggling for the
    Faith by its followers.

            To his influence, moreover,
    were due two things of cardinal importance in the post Apostolic history of
    Islam, the first saving it from collapse, and the second ensuring its lasting
    triumph.

            The first took place with
    the death of the Apostle himself, Peace be upon him, which threatened to revive
    the factious spirit and thus disrupt the unity of the Arabs at Madinah. Omar
    saved the situation by his strong attitude at the Sakifa (or shed) meeting. He
    supported Abu Bakr, and did not hesitate to be the first to swear allegiance to
    him as Caliph, causing the others to do the same, thus avoiding division at
    that critical moment in Islamic history.

         The second is Omar's propagation of the
    Islamic call itself, and the establishment of the Islamic cause beyond any possible
    threat during his long happy reign, remarkable for the series of brilliant
    martial successes of the Arabs, their territorial expansion, and the high
    morale and prestige they enjoyed everywhere.

         His personal character as a ruler, remarkable
    for austerity, asceticism, moderation and justice, afforded an exemplary type
    of refined leadership, and an ideal Islamic type well worth mutation. Not only
    did he preach the rights of man liberty, fraternity and equality but made them
    a realised fact, and enforced them as the working principles of his rule.

            Throughout the then vast
    Islamic Empire, he established justice and fair play, for he maintained
    equality between governor and governed, shepherd and shepherded both getting
    their due, with strict control over local governors lest they should deviate
    from Islamic standards, and abuse the power vested in them, with the result
    that they feared his question, and ruled with right and justice.

            To this great man is due a
    big share of the credit for the later propagation and success of the Muhammadan
    Call. Under the Romans and Persians, the masses suffered from unjust
    irresponsible governors. Islamic rule presented an entirely different picture,
    characterised with justice and exceedingly humanitarian administration, honest
    and pure. That is why multitudes were converted to the?Islamic faith, and were
    ready to sacrifice much for its sake.

         Omar was the embodiment of humility and
    continence, never corrupted by riches or made vainglorious through power. He
    remained throughout. the true spiritual Successor, the Calif true to his Master, the Prophet.

            His asceticism afforded a
    practical example for his local governors to follow. When he travelled to Jerusalem to take over
    the keys of this holy city, he was attended by no train of retainers except his
    henchman. For this tedious journey he was provided only with loaves of barley,
    some dried dates, a skin of water, and a wooden plate. When the Patriarch of Jerusalem saw him, he did
    not recognise him until he was pointed out. Perhaps he had thought of Omar as
    or some Caesar or Khisroe of the day, till the picture of finery and pomp gave
    place to that of humility and asceticism.

            Omar's life was one
    continual chain of unremitting activity. He believed, I think, that governance
    was a holy trust, to be preserved from frivolity and corruption, and
    safeguarded by justice and counsel, if security and satisfaction are to
    prevail.

         To him constant activity was a pleasure. He
    was, in truth, a holy torch that Providence
    raised to illuminate in after years the road of the Islamic Call for every true
    believer in generations to come.

         The Apostle of God, upon whom be peace, gave
    twenty three years of his life to establishing the call of Islam in Arabia,
    addressing it to rulers of neighbouring states and through them to their
    peoples, and to the training of his train of faithful disciples that they might
    maintain and safeguard the Cause against any possible disruption or collapse.
    Then came the first disciple, the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, who cemented it
    beyond division in Arabia, and started sending
    its legions abroad. But it was Omar, the second Caliph, nominated by Abu Bakr,
    who following in Abu Bakr's steps, completed the great work of establishing the
    Call abroad to an extent that still stands without compare; conquering the
    Roman and Persian empires in Africa and Asia, and, through his exemplary
    justice and humility and continence, enlisting in the end their vast
    populations under the banners of Islam. He and Abu Bakr stand, after the
    Prophet, as the deal rulers of Islam, for humanity to look up to and follow. It
    was a bad day for Muslims when their rulers lost this ideal.


     

     

    5 - THE BELIEVING YOUTHS

            By these are meant the body
    of young men under twenty who were converted to the faith in the early stage of
    the Call, and who were numerous enough to constitute a remarkable feature
    worthy of record. They believed in the Prophet, upon whom be peace, at his
    critical moments when he stood almost one, and when the battle between belief
    and disbelief, between truth and falsehood, was pending

         Those young converts were never slighted or
    disregarded by the Prophet. On the contrary he used to welcome them, give them
    room to sit, spiritually dominating and regenerating them, himself being their
    exemplary practical ideal. He educated them and completed their bringing up as
    nobody else could. Muhammad in conformity with the then established Arab
    tradition, honoured and valued youth and assigned for young men the appropriate
    status expressed by the Arab poet in the words:

            "A proper youth copes
    with adversity;

            He is not born for
    endearment by mates".

            In search for a secret
    place for their meetings where they could neither be detected nor suspected,
    one of those young men, Al Arkam by name, offered his house to become the first
    hall for the Islamic Call. This he presented to his brothers in the faith
    willingly, though he knew that the unbelievers would pull it down stone by
    stone if they could detect the purpose for which it was used. No earthly
    menace, however, could have made the young man change his mind, given devotedly
    as he was to the way of God. Yet Al Arkam was then only twelve years of age.

            One of those young was Ali,
    son of Abu Talib, the earliest boy believer, the valiant hero destined to be
    the fourth Calif.
    He was a steadfast warrior when valiant warriors gave way under strain. His
    duel with the veteran Arab knight, the hero of the idolaters Amr Ibn Wud, in
    the battle of the Moat, is famous in Islamic history, and no better example of
    heroism can be cited. He killed the famous knight, though only a youth of
    twenty six. He killed Amre, the experienced, the hero of many battles, and the
    victor of many duels.

            He was the man who forced
    the fort of Naim in the battle of Khaiber, after it had successively resisted
    the efforts of Abu Bakr and Omar. The occasion is famous for, having lost his
    shield, he wielded a door as a buckler and fought on till he forced his way
    into the fortress in the face of the desperate resistance of the Jews. His
    notable physical strength was aided by a spiritual power arising from his deep
    faith.</?pan>

         Like Ali in courage was Zobair Ibn Al Awam
    who highly distinguished himself in the first two battles fought by the
    Prophet, upon whom be peace. He defended the Prophet very heroically in the
    battle of Ohod, where he was commissioned  by the Prophet to lead the
    right wing against the great commander Khalid Ibn El Waild who then led the
    enemy's left. He, much to the satisfaction and encouragement of the Muslims,
    killed in a duel a noted adversary who stood in the lists challenging the whole
    Muslim army.

            Some of these young men
    emigrated to Abyssinia after having been
    subjected to painful persecution and torture in property and limb.

         But the young believers were not all males;
    some were females remarkable for their patience, and fortitude in the struggle
    for the Cause. Amongst these may be mentioned Asma daughter of Abu Bakr,
    Fatimah daughter of Al Khattab, sister of Omar that is, and Asma daughter of
    Omise.

         The teachings of Islam
    could reach and dominate the hearts of those young believers because they had
    not yet imbibed the heathenish spirit, or developed into rigid followers of
    abhorrent custom and wrong tradition. They were tutored by the Prophet himself,
    who instilled into them of his spirit, opened to them his great heart, widened
    their horizon, enlivened their right emotions, moved them to seek godly honour,
    and was to them a teacher and a guide. And what tutor for the young could be
    better than the master teacher, the Apostle o whom God Himself testifies:

    "Thou art surely of great morality and noble
    nature". (Surah Al Qalam, verse 4).

     

            And what
    can we expect of such young men brought up in such a school under such a tutor
    ? Nothing less than the heroism and glory alluded to. From amongst them arose
    such a rightly guided Caliph as Ali Ibn Abi Talib, such distinguished savants
    as Abdullah Ibn Massoud, such eminent commanders as Zobair Ibn Al Awam and
    Saa'd Ibn Abi Wakkas, and such faithful believers as Al Arkam and Taiha Ibn
    Obeidillah.

     

    &nbsp?       Some
    of them were the first to die martyrs for their convictions in the Islamic
    battles, and some worked hard to instil their own true spirit in others who
    were thus spurred on to great efforts under the banner of Islam. To quote in
    effect, a divine verse:

           
    "They were young men who believed in their Lord and We increased them in
    guidance".

    (Surah. Al Kahf, verse 13).

     

    6- Al-Ansar (The Helpers)

            What might have become of
    the Islamic Call had it not been for the Helpers, the Muslims of Madinah, who
    sponsored and gallantly defended it? Careful analysis shows that the Call then
    would have been diverted into different channels of perhaps uncertain or
    unfavourable results, and history would have taken a different aspect.

            During: pilgrimage days,
    the Prophet used to address Arab tribes - particularly Thakif, Kindah, Kalb,
    Bani Hanifah and Bani Amer, telling of his divine mission and asking each in
    turn to accept and defend him. They turned their backs to him, returning rather
    uncivil answers.

            With the death of Khadigah
    and his uncle Abu Talib, the Prophet met with more cruelty and more stubborn
    resistance at Mecca, so much so that it became clear that there was no use in
    his continuing to stay in that city God, however, sent His prophet due help in
    the form of a small group of pilgrims from Yathrib, of the Aus and Khazrag
    tribes, who responded to his teachings, and swore allegiance to him at Al-Aqabah.
    Next pilgrimage season, a larger more representative group met the Prophet at
    the same place, swore allegiance, and undertook to defend him if he would go to
    their city. These are the two famous pacts of Al-Aqabah.

            The researcher would have to
    pause and consider the reasons why the Arabs of Yathrib, contrary to other Arab
    tribes, came to believe so readily in the Prophet's mission.

            One possible reason is that
    Muhammad was not a total stranger to Yathrib and the Arabs there. A noted Yathrib
    family, the family of Banil Naggar, comprised his uncles. His father's grave
    was in Yathrib (Madinah) and his mother, as mentioned before, used to take him
    as a child to visit his uncles and the grave, in memory of the father and
    husband who died in his youthful prime. His mother died while returning to Mecca from one such visit, and was buried at Abwa',
    between Mecca
    and Madinah. These happenings had probably something to do with the mental and
    spiritual approachment which led to the immediate response which the Prophet's
    call met with from those people. In his own words

             
    "Souls are organised into groups, affection developing between the similar,
    disaffection between the dissimilar".

     
            Another probable reason why they
    were so easily converted to Islam was the prominent existence of Judaism at and
    around Yathrib. They had for neighbours the Jews of Khaiber, of Beni Koraizah,
    of Beni Kinakaa and of Banil Nadaer, who
    believed in Monotheism, and decidedly and steadfastly condemned idol worship.
    This undoubtedly familiarised them at least with monotheism, and prepared mind
    and heart to accept a monotheistic call for the worship of the true God, should
    it arise through an Arab and not through a Jew.

     

            There
    was also that relentless internecine war between their principal tribes, the
    Aus and the Khazrag tribes, who were equal in valour, almost equal in strength
    the recurring war between them, therefore indecisive, threatening to bring them
    both ultimately to destruction, leaving their city free to the Jews. Would it
    not be natural for their representatives at Al-Aqabah to think of the benefit
    of accepting such a neutral fair authority as the Prophet himself, who could
    bridge the gap between them and realize their ideal of peace?

     
            Moreover, it is recorded that
    they thought Muhammad to be the prophet expected by the Jews to come and make Israel
    dominant, unifying the world under Judaism. They sought, therefore, to
    forestall the Jews, and believe in him first that they might have the
    precedence over the Jews.

     
         ?nbsp;  It may also be that the incessant
    war between them made them long for a life, for a spiritual life, based on Faith
    and communion with God.

     
            Whatever may have been the
    reason, Muhammad found in them a way out of the narrow circle in which he was
    then labouring, and they found in him the able arbiter and leader who could
    rescue them from the destruction that threatened them, in addition to the
    eternal life that they would secure by believing in, and living up to, his
    divine Mission. The pact entered into, therefore, was a triumph for all.

     
            Furthering the cause of Muhammad
    and protecting him was an act of sheer defiance to the rest of the Arabs, and
    they knew it before taking their oath, as may be evidenced by the speech of
    Saad Ibn Obadah at the second conference before the oath of allegiance was
    sworn at Al Aqabah : ((You people of Khazrag )) - Saad was a Khazragite
    -"Do you know what you are doing when you swear allegiance to this man ?
    you are swearing to defend him against all people, red and black''.[3]

     
            But they knew well what they were
    doing, and all Aus and Khazrag representatives including Saad himself took
    their oath with confidence, to defend the Prophet, come what might. Henceforth
    they were called Al Ansar, the Helpers and defenders of Muhammad, the Apostle
    of God.

     
            The Helpers were throughout loyal
    to the Islamic Call, were the faithful soldiers of the Prophet, ran the risk of
    long wars, and bore large sacrifices in body and property. They fought in fact
    against both Arabs and Jews, but never gave way. They took their oath and stuck
    to it with the undaunted spirit and the readiness expressed by Saad Son of Maaz
    in a speech made on a famous occasion before the battle of Badr "We
    believed in you, and consequently in your word. We gave you our pledges, so
    proceed, O Apostle of God ! to the fulfilment of your heavenly orders. For, by
    Him who has sent you with Truth, should it be your will to wade the sea, we
    shall be ready to wade it with you. Nor do we shun the idea of your sending us
    against the enemy tomorrow. We are patient in war, true in battle; so proceed
    with God's blessing".

           

    This splendid morale was one chief
    factor in securing the victory for the Muslims in the battle of Badr decisive
    for the success and dissemination of the Cause.

     
            But it is no wonder that those
    Helpers should be so, their natural valour having been stirred up, and their
    martial spirit, ever watchful wary and ready, having been marshalled by the
    Prophet into a formidable force with which he struck right and left when
    occasion arose. With it he struck at Quraish, and with it he met the clans of
    the Moat, and with it he reduced the Jewish tribes one by one until God sent
    final victory, and caused the Call to conquer all. The Helpers, then, having
    been through God's mercy brought together into one whole after their
    pre-Islamic wars, became God's instrument for securing the victory for the
    cause of Islam, shielding it from the many dangers that threatened it.

     
            The Prophet, upon whom be peace,
    returned the strong attachment the Helpers felt towards him, and, at the moment
    of his final victory, fulfilled his part of the Aqabah pact. On that famous
    occasion, Abu Al Haitham asked "O Apostle of
    Allah! we shall sever connections existing between us and men
    (the Jews). When this
    is done and Allah gives you triumph, would you go back to your folk and leave
    us?".

           
    "No!"
    answered
    the Prophet
    "Your
    blood is my blood, and your abode is my abode. You are of me and I am of you. I
    fight whom you fight, and make peace with whom you make peace".

            And so
    it was. The Prophet, true to his word, did not move to Mecca after the conquest. He stayed on with
    his faithful Helpers who supported him at the critical time, and aided in
    propagating his Call. He made their city his abode until he was recalled by his
    Lord.

     


    [1] His wife Ayesha once told him, " Khadigah was no more than an old woman in place of whom God gave a better wife". "No"! answered he angrily, (God gave me no better. She believed in me when others disbelieved, had faith in my word when others gave me lie, helped me with her money when others offered none, and through her God gave me children, and not through any other wife."

    [2] "The Outline of history". P. 608

    [3] Hussein Heikal, "Life of Muhammad", P. 201 (in Arabic).

     

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