Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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    Hindering the Path

    That callers to Islam can freely convey
    the message to people, and people can then choose whether or not to embrace
    Islam is an uncompromisable matter.

    People must be given a fair chance to understand what Islam is inviting
    them to. But to have the callers to Islam beheaded and thick walls erected
    against them is what Islam will resist by force.

    Let the different creeds express themselves, to either attract
    people or they turn away. This request of Islam was given an armed reply.

    Al-Harith bin ‘Umair Al-Azdi t was sent with a
    letter from the Messenger r
    to the ruler of Busra. On his way to the village of Mu’tah
    he was intercepted by Sharhabil bin ‘Amr Al-Ghassani, the governor of Al-Balqa’
    under Heraclius. Al-Harith was tied up and beheaded.

    Killing envoys and messengers was regarded as one of the most
    heinous crimes, tantamount to a declaration of war. The Prophet r, greatly distressed by
    the news, prepared a large Muslim army of three thousand men, never before mobilized
    on such a scale except in the Battle
    of Al-Ahzab (Confederates).

    Heraclius, on the other hand, mobilized one hundred thousand
    Roman warriors, who were reinforced by another one hundred thousand men who
    joined the Roman troops from Lakham, Judham, Balqain, Bahra’, and Bala.

    The Messenger of Allah r
    appointed Zaid bin Harith t in command of the
    army, saying: “If Zaid is killed, then Ja‘far (should take over). If Ja‘far
    is killed, then ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha.
    1

    The Messenger of Allah r
    commanded them to go to Mu’tah, where Al-Harith bin ‘Umair t was killed. They should first invite the people
    there to Islam. If they responded, they should accept that from them and should
    refrain from fighting them; but if they refused, they should seek the Help of
    Allah and fight them. He r said to them, “Fight
    in the Name of Allah and in the Cause of Allah, those who disbelieve in Allah,
    but do not betray, do not embezzle (booty), do not kill a child, or a woman, or
    a decrepit old man, or a recluse in a hermitage. Do not cut down a
    palm or a tree. And do not destroy a
    building.

    At Mu’tah the two parties encountered one another and the hard
    battle started. Three thousand men facing the attacks of two hundred thousand
    warriors, far better equipped than them. It was certainly one of the most
    amazing battles ever witnessed; but believers are never granted victory because
    of number, force, or military supplies… only by their power of faith and the
    righteousness of their cause.

    This was how Allah U willed
    the battle to run its course: A large disbelieving party against a small
    believing one, to
    teach the
    difference between two views and assessments of the causes of victory and
    defeat.

    Faith triumphed
    over numbers, equipment, and munitions in order for people to understand that
    victory is granted through the power of true faith, not arms and supplies. The
    holders of true faith must strive and go into the battle without waiting to be
    equal in material visible forces, for at their side stands a superior power
    that far outweighs
    any numbers.2

    Twelve Muslim men were martyred on that day. The casualties
    among the Romans were unknown; details of the battle point to a large number.
    The Muslim army returned with insignificant losses.

    Mu’tah won Muslims a great reputation and had a great impact on
    the Arabs all over Arabia, who were struck
    with amazement. The Romans were the largest and mightiest power on the face of
    the earth; for this small Muslim army to face this huge force and return with
    minimal loss was nothing less than a miracle. It ascertained for the Arabs that
    the Muslims were backed and supported by Allah U,
    and their Companion was truly the Messenger of Allah r.

    After this battle hostile tribes like
    Sulaim, Ashja‘, Ghatfan, Dhubian, and others that had kept revolting against
    Muslims, embraced Islam. It also ushered in the downfall of the Roman Empire,
    the most powerful military force that occupied Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and other
    lands and kept a tight grip over the Arab people for centuries.
    3


    1 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Magazi, Hadith
    no. 3928; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (3927)
    and Ahmad (1659, 2203, 21509, 21523).

    2 Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, interpretation of Surat Al-Anfal [8: 8].

    3 Details of Mu’tah: Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum
    , The Battle of Mu
    tah; Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Fiqh
    As-Sirah
    , Tabuk.

     

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