72 Virgins in Islam Male? or Female?
Some say 70 or 72 virgin girls with large (you know what) waiting in Jennah. Others told we have like boys and girls both. But would like to know what is really being taught about this in Islam, if anything?
As usual, we should begin by understanding the meaning of the words from Arabic to English:
Classical Arabic usage
According to classical Arabic usage in the time when the Qur’an was recited by Muhammad:
Hur حور is one word which is the plural of Hawraa’ حوراء which is a word that describes a woman having eyes with a marked contrast of white and black, also said of the eye intensely white and deep black.
It is also the plural of Huriya حورية
AlEin العين is another word which is the plural of Einaa’ عيناء meaning a woman with beautiful wide eyes.
Hur’in is made of two words Hur as well as In. The word ‘Hur’ is the plural of both Ahwar (Masculine) and Hawra (Feminine) which literally translates as “white-eyed”, or persons distinguished by Hawar, signifying “intense whiteness of the eyeballs and lustrous black of the pupils.” (ref: Qamus ), hence ‘the purity’ (ref: Tafsir al’Tabari, and Tafsir al-Razi in 3:52).
And as for the phrase, “In it is the plural of both ‘Ayan’ (Masculine) and ‘Ainao’ (Feminine)”, it was also used to refer to the beautiful eyes of the wild-cow whose eyes are blond. In general, this word implies ‘most beautiful eye’ irrespective of the person’s gender. Thus, it seems that the most appropriate English rendering of the compound word Hur’In might be: “Companions pure, most beautiful of eye, and it is applicable to both male and female.
First of all, there are a few mistakes in what you said in your question.
There are “males” mentioned to be in the Jennah. These are young males who are always smiling and shy-like and the best of attendants to those who achieve the Paradise. The “huri” are mentioned as “hurlayn” (two females).
One translator has referred to these two (based on other verses and hadeeth) as: two “perpetual” virgins.
Like the males, they are also shy-like and attentive to the people of Paradise. The fact they are perpetual and have never been touched by “jinn or men” in a sexual way, is proof enough this is not all about sexual relations.
Second, the things in Jennah are not like anything here on earth. Whereas, nothing here on earth is perfect, EVERYTHING in Jennah is exactly perfect, and it is perfect for each individual. The food of Paradise is beyond description and the sounds cannot even be imagined. The things of this world would only be thought of as something much less and not comparable to the things of Paradise.
Third, the goal of the Muslims is not to go to jennah (paradise) for girls or sex.
Let’s consider the following -
The houri have variously been described as being “restraining their glances (chaste)”, “modest gaze”, “wide and beautiful/lovely eyes”, “like pearls”, “spouse”, “companions of equal age”, “splendid” and much more besides.Other descriptions: Some descriptions are more superficial than others. For example, “non-menstruating/urinating/defecating and childfree or being able to have a short pregnancy lasting an hour”, “with bodies not affected by pregnancy or breast-feeding”, “60 cubits [27.5 meters] tall”, “7 cubits [3.2 meters] in width”, “transparent to the marrow of their bones”, “eternally young”, “hairless except the eyebrows and the head”, “pure”, “beautiful”, etc.
Now let us come to the subject of the nature of the people of Jennah, inshallah. They are not like here. People of the dunyah are born into this world without being able to choose anything about the whole thing. People of Jennah can even choose which door they would like to enter by, in many cases. In this life we make choices, but don’t always get what we want. Paradise is the place where the inhabitants always get exactly what they want or better.
Each time the people of the Paradise eat, it will be better than anything prior. The food will always be perfect, and the flavor excellent. There will not be any burping or choking, coughing, throwing up or gas problems from food. There will not be any food being digested and moving to the bowels or kidneys to be excerted as here on earth. Food is simple eaten, swallowed and then it comes out of the pores of the skin as a mist and then it returns back to its original form and shape. There is no need of eating to maintain health or to keep fit. This is completely different.
The same is true of the other things of the body, because the body of the Paradise is not the body of this world. Everything is perfect. The women do not have monthly cycles, nor do they go to the bathroom or any of the things for relief as we know it here. This helps us to understand there would not be physical relations as we know them here. The evil thoughts and lust are not a part of the Paradise. Only pure and good things are there.
For those people whose minds are engrossed in the filth and folly of this life, naturally they will try to compare what we know about the Jennah to their own sick, dirty and unfulfilled world. When they try to compare what they know to what Allah has in store for the people of Paradise, they will never comprehend even the smallest beauty there. Leave these people and their thinking and come to the correct thinking of the true believers in Allah.
After all, the goal of every real believer in Allah, is not to find a hot babes in hot tubs. It is to be close to the other people of Paradise, those who have the same love for Almighty God and all the prophets, peace be upon all of them, and enjoy the peace, serenity and tranquility of the beauties no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no mind has ever imagined.
The highest goal of all, for the true believer, is to be with the One most deserving of love, the One from Whom all love originates, the All-Loving “Al-Wadud” and The Only God – Allah Subhannah wa Ta’ala.
NOTE: some people said the word “hurulayn” did not have gender. But according to our research it does refer both male and female gender. Allah Knows best. I try to stick with the scholars of real knowledge and leave the speculation to people with more knowledge than me.
Guess we will find out when we get to Jennah (I pray to Allah to give us His Jennah, ameen). But I do appreciate everyone’s comments – keep them coming… inshallah.
May Allah Guide you and increase your knowledge of true Islam, ameen.
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Posted May 25, 2012on:
Bani Al-Mustaliq (Muraisi‘) Ghazwah Sha‘ban 6 Hijri
Chapter 30,Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar)
though militarily it did not assume its full dimension, this Ghazwah had certain implications that brought about a state of turbulence within the Islamic State, and resulted in disgracefulness to clothe in the hypocrites. Moreover, it entailed enactment of consolidating legislations that attached an impression of nobility, dignity and purity of souls to the Islamic community.
News reached the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on Sha‘ban 2nd. to the effect that the chief of Bani Al-Mustaliq, Al-Harith bin Dirar had mobilised his men, along with some Arabs, to attack Madinah. Buraidah bin Al-Haseeb Al-Aslami was immediately despatched to verify the reports. He had some words with Abi Dirar, who confirmed his intention of war. He later sent a reconnoiterer to explore the positions of the Muslims but he was captured and killed. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) summoned his men and ordered them to prepare for war. Before leaving, Zaid bin Haritha was mandated to see to the affairs of Madinah and dispose them. On hearing the advent of the Muslims, the disbelievers got frightened and the Arabs going with them defected and ran away to their lives. Abu Bakr was entrusted with the banner of the Emigrants, and that of the Helpers went to Sa‘d bin ‘Ubada. The two armies were stationed at a well called Muraisi. Arrow shooting went on for an hour, and then the Muslims rushed and engaged with the enemy in a battle that ended in full victory for the Muslims. Some men were killed, women and children of the disbelievers taken as captives, and a lot of booty fell to the lot of the Muslims. Only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper. Amongst the captives was Juwairiyah, daughter of Al-Harith, chief of the disbelievers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) married her and, in compensation, the Muslims had to manumit a hundred others of the enemy prisoners who embraced Islam, and were then called the Prophet’s in-laws.
‘Abdullah bin Ubai, a terrible hypocrite was full of rancour against Islam and the Muslims because he believed that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had dispossessed him of his leadership over Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, two clans already agreed on the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his masterhood over them.
‘Abdullah’s rancour had appeared before he feigned Islam. Following the battle of Badr, he made pretensions of being a Muslim, but deep at heart, he remained that terrible enemy of Allâh, His Messenger; and all the believers, in general. His sole target had always been to sow the seeds of dissension in the Muslim community, and undermine the cause of the new heavenly religion it has. His treacherous behaviour could be witnessed everywhere but was strikingly evident in his wicked attempts at creating a state of confusion and diamongst the Muslims at Uhud Battle. His hypocrisy and deceit assumed serious and ugly dimensions when he used to stand up among the Muslims shortly before the Prophet’s Friday speech, and mockingly say to them: “This is the Messenger of Allâh, who has honoured you with Allâh, so you have got to support, obey and listen to him,” and then he would sit down.
He did the same following Uhud Battle on Friday. He was so rude and presumptuous that his words smacked unmistakingly of deeply-rooted rancour, so that some of the Muslims took him by his cloak reproachingly and silenced him. He immediately left, uttering rude and mocking words. A Helper met him at the Mosque gate and ordered him to return and beg the Messenger for Allâh’s forgiveness, but he retorted that he had never wanted him to ask for that. He, moreover, conducted clandestine contacts with Bani Nadir, another tribe of Jews, encouraging them to make alliance with him and promising support for them; all of this in his ceaseless efforts in a long process of conspiracy and intrigue hatched against the Muslims. Allâh’s Words as regards his treacherous acts and awe-inspiring attempts during the Trench Battle came to testify quite clearly to this mode of hypocrisy:
“And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: ‘Allâh and His Messenger (Peace be upon him)promised us nothing but delusions!” [33:12]
The verses go on in the same context to describe the hypocrite as a coward and a defeatist. He is a liar and has no regard for pledges solemnly made. He is treacherous, disloyal and perfidious. He is niggardly and greedy. In short, he is the complete antithesis of a true believer:
“They think that Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) have not yet withdrawn, and if Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the bedouins, seeking news about you (from a far place); and if they (happen) to be among you, they would not fight but little.” [33:20]
All enemies of Islam from the Jews, hypocrites and polytheists did acknowledge that Islam had the upper hand not because of material superiority, multitudes of troops or much equipment; but it was rather due to the noble values, refined ethics and high attributes that imbued the Muslim community and whoever was attached to it. The enemies of Islam were already aware of that flood of light derived wholly from the person of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , who always stood as an excellent exemplar for men to copy and follow.
The enemies of Islam, after steering the course of futile warfare against the new religion for five years, came to realize fully that exterminating Islam is not accessible in the battlefields, so they resorted to other tactics. They, being reputed gossip-mongers, decided to launch a widespread propaganda campaign aiming at slandering the person of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in a most sensitive area of the Arabian life, namely ethics and traditions. Following the battle of the Confederates, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) married Zainab bint Jahsh after her marriage with Zaid bin Haritha, his adopted son, had broken up. They seized this opportunity and began to circulate idle talk against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in Arabia depending on a tradition among the desert Arabs that prohibits contracting a marriage with an adopted son’s divorcee. They alleged that his marriage would be considered a heinous sin. They also based their malicious propaganda on the fact that Zainab was his fifth wife whereas the number was strictly limited to a maximum of four in the Noble Qur’ân, hence the validity of this marriage was in doubt, according to them.
These rumours and gossips had a negative impact on the morale of some weak-hearted Muslims until the decisive verses were revealed acquitting the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and invalidating all those ill designs and obnoxious schemes:
“O Prophet [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)]! Keep your duty to Allâh, and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites (i.e. do not follow their advices). Verily! Allâh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” [33:1]
During this Ghazwah, the hypocrites almost managed to create a sort of discord among the Muslims themselves, coupled with a serious and ugly slander against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself. In short, their behaviour was an authentic translation of Allâh’s Words:
“Had they marched out with you, they would have added to you nothing except disorder, and they would have hurried about in your midst (spreading corruption) and sowing sedition among you …” [9:47]
A quarrel was about to break out between the Emigrants and the Helpers on account of plots and evil intentions designed by the hypocrites. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) told them off describing their misbehaviour as something smacking of pre-Islamic practices. They, hypocrites with ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai at their head, were furious for the challenge which the Muslims showed towards the hostile plans and vicious intrigues woven behind closed doors, and swore “the most honourable will expel the meanest out of Madinah,” and added: “They (the Muslims) have outnumbered and shared us our land. If you fatten your dog, it will eat you.” When that talk was reported to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), ‘Umar, a venerable Companion, asked for permission to have Ibn ‘Ubai killed. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) naturally turned down his proposal on the grounds that it did not become of a Prophet (Peace be upon him) to be accused of killing his people. He, on the contrary in an unexpected move, asked ‘Umar to announce departure. He marched with his men for two days until the sun grew too hot. They stopped and fell asleep, a clever attempt at diverting his people’s attention from the previous event. ‘Abdullah’s son heard of that vile of his father and as the party reached Madinah, he drew his sword and barred his father’s entry into the town until he had confessed and declared that he himself was the meanest of the citizens of Madinah and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the most honourable of them. Thus the boast recoiled on his head. It was also reported that the son was ready to kill his father if the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had wanted him to.
This extremely painful incident took place on the Prophet’s return from the expedition against Bani Mustaliq. The Muslim army had to halt for a night at a place, a short distance from Madinah. In this expedition, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was accompanied by his noble and talented wife, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) As it so happened, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out some distance from the camp to attend to the call of nature. When she returned, she discovered that she had dropped her necklace somewhere. The necklace itself was of no great value, but as it was a loan from a friend, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out again to search for it. On her return, to her great grief and mortification, the army had already marched away with the camel she was riding, her attendants thinking that she was in the litter as she was then thin, very young and light of weight. In her helplessness she sat down and cried till sleep overpowered her. Safwan bin Mu‘attal, an Emigrant, who was coming in the rear recognized her as he had seen her before the verse enjoining the veil was revealed, and brought her on his camel to Madinah without saying a single word to her, himself walking behind the animal. The hypocrites of Madinah led by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai bin Salul, sought to make capital out of this incident and spread a malicious scandal against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) and unfortunately some of the Muslims also became involved in it. On arrival in Madinah, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held counsel with his Companions, who pronounced different opinions ranging from divorce to retention. The incident almost roused a fight between two rival factions, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, but the Prophet’s intervention silenced both parties on the sport. ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) unaware of the rumours being circulated, fell ill and was confined to bed for a month. On recovering, she heard of the slander and took permission to go and see her parents seeking authentic news. She then burst into tears and stayed for two days and one sleepless night ceaselessly weeping to such an extent that she felt her liver was about to rip open. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) visited her in that situation, and after testifying to the Oneness of Allâh he told her, “If you are innocent, Allâh will acquit you, otherwise, you have to beg for His forgiveness and pardon.” She stopped weeping and asked her parents to speak for her, but they had nothing to say, so she herself took the initiative and said “Should I tell you I am innocent, and Allâh knows that I am surely innocent, you will not believe me; and if I were to admit something of which, Allâh knows, I am innocent, you will believe me, then I will have nothing to make recourse to except the words of the father of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph):
“So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose Help can be sought against that which you assert.” [12:18]
She then turned away and lay down for some rest. At that decisive moment the Revelation came acquitting ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of all the slanderous talk fabricated in this concern. ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of course, was wholeheartedly joyful and praised Allâh thankfully. Allâh’s Words in this regard went as follows:
“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) — the wife of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) are a group among you.” [24:11]
The principal elements involved in the slander affair, Mistah bin Athatha, Hassan bin Thabit and Hamnah bint Jahsh, were flogged with eighty stripes.
As for the man who took the principal part, ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, he was not flogged, either because the corporal punishment commutes the chastisement in store for him in the Hereafter, and he does not deserve this merit, or for the same public interest for which he was not killed previously. He, moreover, became the butt of reproach and humiliation amongst his people after his real intentions had been unequivocally exposed to all the public.
Almost a month later, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab were engaged in the following talk: “Don’t you see ‘Umar if I had had him (Abdullah bin Ubai) killed, a large number of dignitaries would have furiously hastened to fight for him. Now, on the contrary, if I ask them to kill him, they will do so out of their own free will.” ‘Umar replied “I swear by Allâh that the Prophet’s judgement is much more sound than mine.”
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Posted May 24, 2012on:
Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) Invasion
Chapter 29,Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar)
Once again, peace and security enveloped the Arabian Peninsula and this turbulent area began to experience a period of lull after a whole year warJews, however, whose treachery, intrigues and . The disloyalty made them taste all types of humiliation and disgrace, were not admonished. After they had been exiled to Khaibar, they remained waiting anxiously for the results of the skirmishes going on between the Muslims and the idolaterstheir hopes, the events of the war were in favour of the Muslims, . Contrary to therefore they started a new stage of conspiracy and prepared themselves to deal a deadly blow against the Muslims, but were too cowardly to manoeuvre directly against them, so they laid a dreadful plan in order to achieve their objectivesof the Jews with some celebrities of Bani Nadir went to Makkah to . Twenty chiefs negotiate an unholy alliance with Quraishgoad the people there to attack the Messenger of . They began to Allupon him) promising them full support and backing. People of Quraish, who had been âh (Peace be languid and proved too weak to challenge the Muslims at Badr, seized this opportunity to redeem their stained honour and blemished reputationdelegation set out for Ghatfan, called them to do the . The same same, and they responded positively. The Jewish delegation then started a fresh effort and toured some parts of Arabia and managed to incite the confederates of disbelief against the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his Message and the believers in AllKinanah and other allies from Tihama, in the south; rallied, âh. Quraish, ranked and recruited four thousand men under the leadership of Abu Sufyan. From the east there came tribes of Banu Saleem, Ghatfan, Bani Murrah, etc. They all headed for Madinah and gathered in its vicinity at a time already agreed upongreat army of ten thousand fighters. They in fact outnumbered all the Muslims in . It was a Madinah, women, lads and elders includedtell the truth, if they had launched a surprise attack against . To Madinah, they could have exterminated all the Muslimsthe leadership inside the city was on the . However, alert and the intelligence personnel managed to reconnoitre the area of the enemies, and reported their movement to the people in charge in Madinah. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) summoned a high advisory board and conducted a careful discussion of a plan to defend Madinah. After a lengthy talk between military leaders and people possessed of sound advice, it was agreed, on the proposal of an honourable Companion, Salman Al-Farisi, to dig trenches as defensive lines. The Muslims, with the Prophet (encouraging, helping and reminding them of the reward in the Hereafter, Peace be upon him) at their head, most actively and diligently started to build a trench around Madinah. Severe hunger, bordering on starvation, could not dissuade or discourage them from achieving their desperately sought objective. Salman said: O Messenger of Allâh! When siege was to laid to us in Persia, we used to dig trenches to defend ourselves. It was really an unprecedented wise plan. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) hurriedly gave orders to implement the planeach group of ten to dig. Sahl bin Sa‘d said: We were in . Forty yards was allocated to the company of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), the men used to dig and we evacuate the earth on our backs.
Some preternatural Prophetic signs appeared in the process of trenching. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, seeing the Prophet (Peace be upon him) starving, slaughtered a sheep, cooked some barley and requested the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and some Companions to accept his invitation, but the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gathered all the thousand people engaged in digging the trench and they started to eat until they were all completely full and yet the shoulder of mutton and dough that was being baked remained as they were undiminished. A certain woman brought a handful of dates and passed by the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who took the dates, threw them over his cloak and invited his followers to eat. The dates began to increase in number until they dropped over the trim of his robe.
Another illustrious preternatural example went to the effect that an obstinate rock stood out as an immune obstacle in the ditch.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) took the spade and struck, and the rock immediately turned into a loose sand dune. In another version, Al-Bara‘ said: On Al-Khandaq (the trench) Day there stood out a rock too immune for our spades to break up.
We therefore went to see the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) for advice. He took the spade, and struck the rock uttering “in the Name of Allâh, Allâh is Great, the keys of Ash-Shâm (Geographical Syria) are mine, I swear by Allâh, I can see its palaces at the moment;” on the second strike he said: “Allâh is Great, Persia is mine, I swear by Allâh, I can now see the white palace of Madain;” and for the third time he struck the rock, which turned into very small pieces, he said:
“Allâh is Great, I have been given the keys of Yemen, I swear by Allâh, I can see the gates of San‘a while I am in my place.”
The same version was narrated by Ishaq. The northern part of Madinah was the most vulnerable, all the other sides being surrounded by mountains and palm tree orchards, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as a skillful military expert, understood that the Confederates would march in that direction, so the trench was ordered to be on that side. The Muslims went on digging the trench for several days; they used to work on it during the day, and go back home in the evening until it had assumed its full dimensions militarily before the huge army of the idolaters; which numbered, as many as ten thousand fighters, arrived and settled in the vicinity of Madinah in places called Al-Asyal and Uhud.
“And when the believers saw ‘Al-Ahzab’ (the confederates), they said: ‘This is what Allâh and His Messenger [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] had promised us, and Allâh and His Messenger [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] had spoken the truth, and it only added to their Faith and to their submissiveness (to Allâh).” [33:22]
Three thousand Muslims, with Muhammad (Peace be upon him) at their head, came out to encounter the idolaters, with Allâh’s Promise of victory deeply established in their minds. They entrenched themselves in Sila‘ Mountain with the trench standing as a barrier between them and the disbelievers.
On attempting to attack the Muslims and break into Madinah, the idolaters were surprised to see a wide trench, a new stratagem unknown in Arabia before, standing as an obstinate obstruction. Consequently they decided to lay siege to Madinah and began to manoeuvre around the trench trying hard to find a vulnerable spot through which they could infiltrate into Madinah. To deter their enemies from approaching or bridging any gap in their defences, the Muslims hurled arrows, and engaged in skirmishes with them. The veteran fighters of Quraish were averse to this situation waiting in vain in anticipation of what the siege might reveal. Therefore they decided that a group of fighters led by ‘Amr bin ‘Abd-e-Wudd, ‘Ikrima bin Abi Jahl and Dirar bin Al-Khattab, should work its way through the trench. They, in fact, managed to do that and their horsemen captured a marshy area between the trench and Sila‘ Mountain. ‘Amr challenged the Muslims to a duel, and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was deputed. After a short but fierce engagement, ‘Ali killed ‘Amr and obliged the others to evacuate in a state of panic and confusion. However, some days later, the polytheists conducted fresh desperate attempts but all of them failed due to Muslims’ steadfastness and heroic confrontation.
In the context of the events of the Trench Battle, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) failed to observe some prayers in their right time. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: On the Day of Trench ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) came, cursing the disbelievers of Quraish and said: “O Allâh’s Messenger! I have not offered the afternoon prayer and the sun has set.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied: “By Allâh! I, , have not offered the prayer yet.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) then went to Buthan, performed ablution and observed the afternoon prayer after the sun had set and then offered the sunset prayer after it.” He was so indignant for this failure that he invoked Allâh’s wrath on his enemies and besought Allâh to fill their houses and graves with fire because they distracted him from observing the afternoon prayer. It was narrated by Ahmed and Shafa‘i that the events of that battle detained him from the noon, afternoon, evening and night prayers, but he observed them combined. The different narrations point to the fact that the situation lasted for a few days.
It is clear that, and because of the trench standing between the two parties, no direct engagement took place, but rather there were military activities confined to arrow hurling, consequently the fight claimed the lives of a small number of fighters, six Muslims and ten polytheists, one or two killed by sword.
During the process of fighting, Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh was shot by an arrow that pierced his artery. Perceiving his end approaching, he invoked Allâh saying: “Oh, Allâh, you know nothing is closer to my heart than striving in Your way against those people (disbelievers) who belied Your Messenger and banished him from his town. Oh, Allâh, I deeply believe that You have decreed that we should fight them, so if there is still more fighting to go with them, let me stay alive in order to strive more against them. If it has settled down, I beseech you to ignite it again so that I breathe my last in its context.”He concluded his supplication beseeching Allâh not to let him die until he had had full revenge on Banu Quraiza. In the midst of these difficult circumstances, plottery and intrigues were in fervent action against the Muslims. The chief criminal of Bani Nadir, Huyai, headed for the habitations of Banu Quraiza to incite their chief Ka‘b bin Asad Al-Qurazi, who had drawn a pact with the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) to run to his aid in times of war. Ka‘b, in the beginning resisted all Huyai’s temptation, but Huyai was clever enough to manipulate him, speaking of Quraish and their notables in Al-Asyal, as well as Ghatfan and their chieftains entrenched in Uhud, all in one mind, determined to exterminate Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his followers. He, moreover, promised to stay in Ka‘b’s fort exposing himself to any potential danger in case Quraish and Ghatfan recanted. The wicked man went on in this manner until he later managed to win Ka‘b to his side and persuade him to break his covenant with the Muslims. Banu Quraiza then started to launch war operations against the Muslims especially the secluded garrisons that housed the women and children of the Muslims. On the authority of Ibn Ishaq, Safiyah (May Allah be pleased with her) daughter of ‘Abdul Muttalib happened to be in a garrison with Hassan bin Thabit as well as some women and children. Safiyah said: “A Jew was spotted lurking around our site, which was vulnerable to any enemy attacks because there were no men to defend it. I informed Hassan that I was suspicious of that man’s presence near us. He might take us by surprise now that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and the Muslims are too busy to come to our aid, why don’t you get down and kill him? Hassan answered that he would not do it, so I took a bar of wood, went down and struck the Jew to death. I returned and asked Hassan to loot him but again Hassan refused to do that. This event had a far reaching effect and discouraged the Jews from conducting further attacks thinking that those sites were fortified and protected by Muslim fighters. They, however, went on providing the idolaters with supplies in token of their support against the Muslims.
On hearing this bad news, the Messenger (Peace be upon him) despatched four Muslim prominent leaders Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, Sa‘d bin ‘Ubada, ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha and Khawat bin Jubair for investigation but warning against any sort of spreading panic amongst the Muslims and advising that they should declare in public that the rumours are groundless if they happen to be so. Unfortunately the four men discovered that the news was true and that the Jews announced openly that no pact of alliance existed any longer with Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) was briefed on this situation, and the Muslims understood their critical position with the horrible danger implied therein. Their back was vulnerable to the attacks of Banu Quraiza, and a huge army with no way to connive at in front, while their women and children unprotected standing in between. In this regard, Allâh says:
“And when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harbouring doubts about Allâh. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.”
Now that the Muslims were shut in within the Trench on the defensive, the hypocrites taunted them with having indulged in delusive hopes of defeating Kisra, emperor of Persia, and Caesar, emperor of the Romans. They began to sow the seeds of defeatism, and pretended to withdraw for the defence of their homes, though these were in no way exposed to danger. Here, Allâh says:
“And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said, ‘Allâh and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) promised us nothing but delusions!’ And when a party of them said: ‘O people of Yathrib (Al-Madinah), there is no stand (possible) for you (against the enemy attack!) therefore go back!’ And a band of them asked for permission of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying: ‘Truly, our homes lie open (to the enemy).’ And they lay not open. They but wished to flee.” [33:12, 13]
The Messenger of Allâh, (Peace be upon him) wrapped himself in his robe and began to meditate on the perfidy of Banu Quraiza. The spirit of hopefulness prevailed over him and he rose to his feet saying:
“Allâh is Great. Hearken you Muslims, to Allâh’s good tidings of victory and support.”
He then started to lay decisive plans aiming at protecting the women and children, and sent some fighters back to Madinah to guard them against any surprise assault by the enemy. The second step was to take action that could lead to undermining the ranks of the disbelieving confederates. There, he had in mind to conclude a sort of reconciliation with the chiefs of Ghatfan on the basis of donating them a third of Madinah’s fruit crops. He sought the advice of his chief Companions, namely, Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh and Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah, whose reply went as follows:
“O Messenger of Allâh! If it is Allâh’s injunction, then we have to obey, but if it is a new course you want to follow just to provide security for us then we don’t need it. We experienced those people in polytheism and idolatry and we can safely say that they don’t need the fruit of our orchards, they rather need to exterminate us completely. Now that Allâh has honoured us with Islam, I believe the best recourse in this situation is to put them to the sword.” Thereupon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) corrected their Belief saying: “My new policy is being forged to provide your security after all the Arabs have united to annihilate you (Muslims).”
Allâh, the Glorious, the Exalted, praise is to him, created something that led to the dissension of the enemies of Islam and later on to their full defeat. A man from the tribe of Ghatfan called Na‘im bin Mas‘ud asked to be admitted in the audience of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He declared that he had embraced Islam secretly and asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to order him do anything that might benefit the Muslims. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked him to do anything that could help the Muslims in the present distress and use any strategem of avail. The man, in a shuttle movement, between the Jews, Quraish and Ghatfan managed to incite each party to let down the other. He went to see the chiefs of Banu Quraiza and whispered in their ears not to trust Quraish nor fight with them unless the latter pledged some hostages. He tried to lend support to his counsel by claiminthat Quraish would forsake them if they perceived that victory over Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was far fetched, and the Muslims then would have terrible revenge on them. Na‘im, then headed for the camp of Quraish and managed to practise a similar strategem in its final result but different in content. He claimed that he felt that the Jews regretted breaching their covenant with Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his followers. He told them that the Jews maintained regular correspondence with the Muslims to the effect that Quraishite hostages be sent to the camp of the Muslims with full Jewish allegiance paid to them as already agreed upon. Na‘im then exhorted Quraish not to send hostages to the Jews. On a third errand, he did the same with the people of Ghatfan.
On Saturday night, Shawwal 5 A.H., both Quraish and Ghatfan despatched envoys to the Jews exhorting them to go into war against Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The Jews sent back messages that they would not fight on Saturday. They added that they needed hostages from them to guarantee their consistency. On receiving the replies, Quraish and Ghatfan came to believe Na‘im’s words fully. Therefore, they sent a message to the Jews again inviting them to war and asking them to preclude that condition of hostages. Na‘im’s scheme proved successful, and a state of distrust and suspicion among the disbelieving allies prevailed and reduced their morale to deplorable degree.
Meanwhile, the Muslims were preoccupied supplicating their Lord to protect their homes and provide security for their families. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) on his part invoked Allâh’s wrath on the Confederates supplicating:
“Oh, Allâh! You are quick in account, You are the sender of the Book, we beseech You to defeat the confederates.”
Allâh the Glorious, the Exalted, responded to the call of the Muslims on the spot. Coupled with the dissension and variance that found their way into the hearts of the disbelievers, forces of nature — wind, rain and cold wearied them, tents were blown down, cooking vessels and other equipage overthrown.
That very cold night the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) despatched Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman to hunt around for news about the enemy. He found out that they were preparing to leave frustrated for their inability to achieve their target. Allâh did really fulfill His Promise, spared the Muslims fighting a formidable army, supported His slave [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] and inflicted a heavy blow on the Confederates.
The battle of the Trench took place in the fifth year Hijri. The siege of Madinah started in Shawwal and ended in Dhul Qa‘dah, i.e. it lasted for over a month. It was in fact a battle of nerves rather than of losses. No bitter fighting was recorded; nevertheless, it was one of the most decisive battles in the early history of Islam and proved beyond a shadow of doubt that no forces, however huge, could ever exterminate the nascent Islamic power growing steadily in Madinah. When Allâh obliged the Confederates to evacuate, His Messenger was in a position to confidently declare that thenceforth he would take the initiative in war and would not wait for the land of Islam to be invaded.
Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) on the very day the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) came back to Madinah after the previous battle, and while he was washing in Umm Salama’s house, visited him asking that he should unsheathe his sword and head for the habitation of the seditious Banu Quraiza and fight them. Gabriel noted that he with a procession of angels would go ahead to shake their forts and cast fear in their hearts.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) , immediately summoned the prayer caller and ordered him to announce fresh hostilities against Banu Quraiza, institued Ibn Umm Maktum as a ruler of Madinah, and entrusted the banner of war to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib who marched towards the appointed target and came close enough to hear the Jews abusing the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) , who on his part set out at the head of three thousand infantry men and thirty horsemen of Ansar (Helpers) and Muhajireen (Emigrants).
On their way to encounter the enemy, the afternoon prayer was due. Some Muslims refused to observe it until they had defeated the enemy, while others offered it in its proper time, as usual. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) objected to neither. When they reached the habitations of Banu Quraiza, they laid tight siege to their forts. Seeing this terrible situation they were in, the chief of the Jews Ka‘b bin Asad offered them three alternatives: to embrace Islam, and consequently their life, wealth, women and children would be in full security, and reminded them that such behaviour would not be incongruous with what they had read in their books about the veracity of Muhammad’s Prophethood; to kill their children and women and then challenge the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his followers to the sword to either exterminate the Muslims or be exterminated, or as a third possibility to take Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his people by surprise on Saturday — a day mutually understood to witness no fighting.
None of those alternatives appealed them, so their chief, angrily and indignantly, turned to them saying: “You have never been decisive in decision-making since you were born” The gloomy future already visible, they made contacts with some Muslims, who had maintained good relation with them, in order to learn about their fate in the light of the current circumstances. They requested that Abu Lubaba be despatched to them for advice. On his arrival, the men began to implore, women and children to cry desperately. In answer to their demand for advice he pointed to his throat saying it was homicide awaiting them. He then immediately realized that he had betrayed the Prophet’s trust, so he headed directly for the mosque in Madinah and tied himself to a wooden tall pole swearing that no one would untie him save the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), and added that he would never enter the habitation of Banu Quraiza in recompense for the deadly mistake he made. When the Messenger (Peace be upon him) was informed of this incident, he said, “ I would have begged Allâh to forgive him if he had asked me, but since he had tied himself out of his own free will, then it was Allâh Who would turn to him in forgiveness.”
The Jews of Banu Quraiza could have endured the siege much longer because food and water were plentifully available and their strongholds were greatly fortified, whereas the Muslims were in the wild bare land suffering a lot from cold and hunger, let alone too much fatigue consequent on endless warfare operations that had started even before the battle of Confederates. Nevertheless, this was a battle of nerves, for Allâh had cast fear in the the Jews’ hearts, and their morale had almost collapsed especially when two Muslim heroes, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib and Az-Zubair bin ‘Awwam (May Allah be pleased with him) proceeded with ‘Ali swearing that he would never stop until he had either stormed their garrisons or been martyred like Hamza (a former Muslim martyr).
In the light of this reluctance, they had nothing except to comply with the Messenger’s judgement. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) ordered that the men should handcuffed, and this was done under the supervision of Muhammad bin Salamah Al-Ansari while the women and children were isolated in confinement. Thereupon Al-Aws tribe interceded begging the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to be lenient towards them. He suggested that Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, a former ally, be deputed to give verdict about them, and they agreed.
Sa‘d meanwhile stayed behind in Madinah due to a serious wound he sustained in the Confederates Battle. He was summoned and brought on a donkey. On his way to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , the Jews used to exhort him to be lenient in his judgement on account of former friendship. Sa‘d remained silent but when they persisted he uttered: “It is time for Sa‘d not to be afraid of the blame of the blamers.” On hearing this decisive attitude, some of them returned to Madinah waiting fa desperate doom.
On arrival, he alighted with the help of some men. He was informed that the Jews had agreed to accept his verdict about them. He immediately wondered if his judgement would pass on all the people present, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) included, turning his face away in honour of him. The reply was positive.
He decided that all the able-bodied male persons belonging to the tribe should be killed, women and children taken prisoners and their wealth divided among the Muslim fighters. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) accepted his judgement saying that Sa‘d had adjudged by the Command of Allâh. In fact, the Jews deserved that severe punitive action for the ugly treachery they had harboured against Islam, and the large arsenal they have amassed and which consisted of one thousand and five hundred swords, two thousand spears, three hundred armours and five hundred shields, all of which went into the hands of the Muslims. Trenches were dug in the bazaar of Madinah and a number of Jews between six and seven hundred were beheaded therein. Hot beds of intrigue and treachery were thus exterminated once and for all.
Huyai, a chief criminal of war, a devil of Bani Nadir and Safiyah’s father, had joined the ranks of Banu Quraiza when Quraish and Ghatfan defected, was admitted into the audience of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) with his hands tied to his neck with a rope. In audacious defiance, he declared obstinate enmity to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) but admitted that Allâh’s Will was to be fulfilled and added that he was resigned to his fate. He was ordered to sit down, and was beheaded on the spot.
Only one woman of the Jews was killed because she had killed a Muslim warrior by flinging a grinding stone upon him. A few elements of the enemy embraced Islam and their lives, wealth and children were spared. As for the spoils of the war, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) divided them, after putting a fifth aside, in accordance with Allâh’s injunctions. Three shares went to the horseman and one to the infantry fighter. Women captives were sent to Najd to be bartered with horses and weaponry. For himself, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) selected Rehana bint ‘Amr bin Khanaqah, manumitted and married her in the year 6 Hijri. She died shortly after the farewell pilgrimage and was buried in Al-Baqi‘.
After the war with Banu Quraiza had been settled and they had been defeated, Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh’s wish was gratified and he gave his last breath. In response to his supplication ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated, Sa‘d’s wounds began to bleed from the front part of his neck while he was in his tent which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had pitched for him in the mosque so that he would be in close proximity in order to inquire about and watch his well-being closely. The people were not scared except when the blood flowed towards them, and in the Mosque along with Sa‘d’s tent, there was the tent of Banu Ghifar. They said: O people of the tent, what is it that is coming to us from you? Lo! it was Sa‘d’s wound that was bleeding and he died thereon.
Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) had said: “The Throne of the Compassionate shook for the death of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh. ” When his bier was carried, At-Tirmidhi said: The hypocrites alleged it was too light. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) retorted:
“The angels are carrying him.”
In the process of the sieze laid to Banu Quraiza, one man of the Muslims, Khallad bin Suwaid was killed when a women of the Jews dropped the grinding stone on him, and another, Abu Sinan bin Mihsan, the brother of ‘Ukasha, died.
Abu Lubaba stayed tied for six nights. His wife used to untie him at prayer times and then he tied himself again to the pole. One early morning, Allâh the All-Forgiving revealed a verse to the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) to the effect that Allâh had turned to Abu Lubaba with forgiveness. The Muslims rushed to release him but he insisted that the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) himself do it. And this was done shortly before the morning prayer.
This Ghazwah took place in the month of Dhul Qa‘dah in the year five Hijri, and the siege of Banu Quraiza’s forts lasted for 25 days. The Chapter of Confederates was revealed containing Allâh’s Words concerning the basic issues relating to the believers and hypocrites during the battle of the Confederates, and the consequences of the treachery and breaching of covenants by the Jews.
Salam bin Abi Al-Huqaiq (Abu Rafi‘) was a terrible Jew criminal, who had mustered the troops of the Confederates and provided them with a lot of wealth and supplies, on the one hand, and used to malign the Prophet (Peace be upon him), on the other. When the Muslims had settled their affair with Banu Quraiza; Al-Khazraj tribe, a rival of Al-Aws, asked for the Prophet’s permission to kill that criminal in order to merit a virtue equal to that of Al-Aws who had killed another criminal of the Jews, Ka‘b bin Al-Ashraf. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave them his permission provided that no women or children be killed.
A group of five people with ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ateeq at their head, headed for Khaibar where ‘Abu Rafi‘’s fort was situated. When they approached the place, ‘Abdullah advised his men to stay a little behind, while he went ahead disguised himself in his cloak as if he had been relieving himself. When the people of the fort went in, the gate-keeper called him to enter thinking he was one of them. ‘Abdullah went in and lurked inside. He then began to unbolt the doors leading to Salam’s room. There it was absolutely dark but he managed to put him to the sword, and then leave in safety. On his way back, his leg broke so he wrapped it up in a band, and hid in a secret place until morning when someone stood on the wall and announced the death of Salam bin Abi Al-Huqaiq officially. On hearing the glad news he left and went to see the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who listened to the whole story, and then asked ‘Abdullah to stretch his leg, which he wiped and the fracture healed on the spot.
In another version, all the group of five participated in killing that enemy of Islam. This incident took place in Dhul Qa‘dah or Dhul Hijjah in the year five Hijri.
Shortly after the conclusion of the battle with the Confederates and Quraiza, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) began to despatch punitive expeditions to force the aggressive tribes and rebellious Arabians to come to peaceful terms with the rising state of Islam.
A platoon of thirty believers under the leadership of Muhammad bin Maslamah was despatched on a military mission in Muharram, the sixth year Hijri, following the two previous battles. It headed for the habitation of Bani Bakr sept. The Muslims attacked that sept and dispersed them in all directions. Plenty of spoils fell to the lot of the Muslims who returned home with a terrible disbeliever, Thumamah bin Uthal Al-Hanafi, chief of Bani Hanifa, who had gone out by order of Musailama, the Liar, to assassinate the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The Prophet’s Companions tied him to a pole of the Prophetic Mosque. To a question posed by the Prophet (Peace be upon him), Thumamah used to say: “If you were to kill someone, then you would have to choose one of noble descent, if you were to be gracious, then let it be to a grateful man and if you were to ask for money, you would have to ask for it from a generous man.” He repeated that three times on three different occasions. On the third time, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that he should be released. He soon went nearby, washed and then came back to profess the new faith addressing the Prophet (Peace be upon him) : “No face had been more awful to me than yours but now it is the closest to my heart, no religion had ever been more repugnant to me than yours, now it is the dearest in my heart. Now I want to perform the ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave him good tidings and asked him to do that. On his arrival in Makkah, the Quraishites accused him of apostasy. He denied it and affirmed that he had embraced Islam, then swore that they would never get a grain from Yamama, a suburban area around Makkah, unless the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would allow it. In fact, he did it and refused to send food supplies to Makkah until the Prophet (Peace be upon him) interceded at the Makkans’ earnest plea.
Bani Lihyan had acted treacherously towards ten of the Prophet’s Companions and had them hanged. Their habitation being situated deep in the heart of Hijaz on the borders of Makkah, and due to deep-seated blood-revenge between the Muslims on the one hand, and Quraish and the Arabians on the other, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) deemed it unwise to penetrate deep and come close to the greatest enemy, Quraish. However, when the power of the allied Confederates collapsed and they began to slacken and resign to the current unfavourable balance of power, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) seized this rare opportunity and decided that it was time to take revenge on Bani Lihyan. He set out in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal or Jumada Al-Ula in the year six Hijri at the head of two hundred Muslim fighters and made a feint of heading for Syria, then soon changed route towards Batn Gharran, the scene of his Companions’ tragedy, and invoked Allâh’s mercy on them. News of his march reached Bani Lihyan, who immediately fled to the mountain tops nearby and thus remained out of his reach. On his way back, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) despatched a group of ten horsemen to a place called Kura‘ Al-Ghamim, in the vicinity of the habitation of Quraish in order to indirectly confirm his growing military power. All these skirmishes took fourteen days, after which he left back for home.
- A platoon led by ‘Ukasha bin Al-Mihsan was despatched to a place called Al-Ghamir inhabited by Bani Asad in the year six Hijri. The enemy immediately fled leaving behind them two hundred camels which were taken to Madinah.
- A platoon led by Muhammad bin Maslamah set out towards the habitation of Bani Tha‘labah in Dhil Qassa. But a hundred men of the enemies ambushed and killed all of them except Muhammad bin Maslamah who managed to escape but badly wounded.
- In retaliation against Bani Tha‘labah, Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah, at the head of forty men, was despatched to Dhil Qassa. They walked that night and took the enemy by surprise in the morning. Again, they fled to the mountains except one who was injured, and later embraced Islam. A lot of booty fell to their lot in that particular incident.
- A platoon, under the leadership of Zaid bin Haritha, was sent to Al-Jumum, the habitation of Bani Saleem, in the same year. A woman from Bani Muzaina showed them the way to the enemy’s camp. There the Muslims took some captives and gained a lot of booty. Later on, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) granted the woman her freedom and married her to one of his followers.
- Zaid bin Haritha, in Jumada Al-Ula 6 Hijri, at the head of a hundred and seventy horsemen, set out to a place called Al-‘Ais, intercepted a caravan of Quraish led by Abul-‘As, the Prophet’s relative and looted their camels. Abul-‘As escaped and took refuge in Zainab’s (his wife and the Prophet’s daughter) house. He begged her to ask the Prophet (Peace be upon him) for the restitution of his wealth. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) recommended, but without coercion, that the people do that. They immediately gave the man back all his wealth. He went back to Makkah, gave over the trusts to those entitled to them, embraced Islam and emigrated to Madinah where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) reunited him with his wife, Zainab, after three and a half years of their first marriage contract. The verse relating to prohibition of marriage between women Muslims and disbelievers had not been revealed then.
- In Jumada Ath-Thania, the same year, Zaid at the head of fifteen men raided Bani Tha‘labah and captured twenty of their camels but the people had fled.
- In Rajab of the same year, Zaid, at the head of twelve men, set out to a place called Wadi Al-Qura in a reconnaissance mission to explore the movements of the enemy. The people there attacked the Muslims, killed nine of them, while the rest including Zaid bin Haritha managed to escape.
- The invasion of Al-Khabt (diluted yoghurt) took place in the year eight Hijri i.e. before Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty. Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah led three hundred horsemen to observe a caravan belonging to Quraish. Because of the inadequacy of food supplies, they began to starve so much that they had Khabt (diluted yoghurt), hence the appellation “The Army of Al-Khabt”. One of the men slaughtered nine camels at three times, three each time at different stages of the mission. Abu ‘Ubaidah, the leader of the campaign prohibited him from doing so. The sea was generous and presented them with an animal called Al-‘Anbar (sperm-whale) so rich in fat that they subsisted on it for half a month. When they came back home, they narrated the story to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , who commented that it was provision granted by Allâh, and asked them to share him some of its meat.
This campaign came chronologically prior to Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty because of and after which the Muslims stopped intercepting Quraishi caravans.
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Scholars seek to correct ‘mistakes’ in Bible
JERUSALEM — A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.
An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.
Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies — publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.
And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.
For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable.
For Orthodox Jews, the accuracy is considered so inviolable that if a synagogue’s Torah scroll is found to have a minute error in a single letter, the entire scroll is unusable.
But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine.
‘Must be of interest’
The project’s scholars have been at work on their critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, a version intended mainly for the use of other scholars, since 1958.
“What we’re doing here must be of interest for anyone interested in the Bible,” said Michael Segal, the scholar who heads the project.
The sheer volume of information makes the Bible Project’s version “the most comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible in existence at the present time,” said David Marcus, a Bible scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, who is not involved with the project.
But Segal and his colleagues toil in relative anonymity. Their undertaking is nearly unknown outside a circle of Bible experts numbering several hundred people at most, and a visitor asking directions to the Bible Project’s office on the university campus will find that many members of the university’s own staff have never heard of it.
This is an endeavor so meticulous, its pace so disconnected from that of the world outside, that in more than five decades of work the scholars have published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible’s 24 books. (Christians count the same books differently, for a total of 39.) A fourth is due out during the upcoming academic year.
If the pace is maintained, the final product will be complete a little over 200 years from now. This is both a point of pride and a matter of some mild self-deprecation around the office.
Bible Project scholars have spent years combing through manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek translations on papyrus from Egypt, a printed Bible from 1525 Venice, parchment books in handwritten Hebrew, the Samaritan Torah, and scrolls in Aramaic and Latin. The last member of the original team died last year at age 90.
Inevitable hiccups, scribal errors
The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions — differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed on, orally and in writing.
A Microsoft Excel chart projected on one wall on a recent Sunday showed variations in a single phrase from the Book of Malachi, a prophet.
The verse in question, from the text we know today, makes reference to “those who swear falsely.” The scholars have found that in quotes from rabbinic writings around the 5th century A.D., the phrase was longer: “those who swear falsely in my name.”
In another example, this one from the Book of Deuteronomy, a passage referring to commandments given by God “to you” once read “to us,” a significant change in meaning.
Other differences are more striking.
The Book of Jeremiah is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Some verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after the events happened.
Cheese merchant turned smuggler
The year the Bible Project began, 1958, was the year a priceless Hebrew Bible manuscript arrived in Jerusalem after it was smuggled out of Aleppo, Syria, by a Jewish cheese merchant who hid it in his washing machine.
This was the 1,100-year-old Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most accurate version of the complete biblical text in Hebrew.
The Bible Project’s version of the core text — the one to which the others are compared — is based on this manuscript.
Other critical editions of the Bible, such as one currently being prepared in Stuttgart, Germany, are based on a slightly newer manuscript held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Considering that the nature of their work would be considered controversial, if not offensive, by many religious people, it is perhaps surprising that most of the project’s scholars are themselves Orthodox Jews.
“A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy,” said the project’s bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. “But as soon as the words are given to human beings — with God’s agreement, and at his initiative — the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on.”
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Seal of prophet hood on Muhammad s.a.w back
Indeed, after the Prophet had received the first revelation, he went to this same Waraqa, who said “Surely, by Him in whose hand is Waraqa’s soul, thou art the Prophet of these people. There has come unto you the greatest angel, who came unto Moses. You will be called a liar, and they will use you despitefully, and cast you out and fight against you.” Al Jurud ibn Ak Ala, a Christian scholar and ruler of his people came to visit the Prophet and said: “By Allah you have come with the truth, and have spoken truly, as a Prophet I have found your description in the Gospel, and the son of the Virgin has announced your coming.” Al Jurud then accepted Islam along with his people. Also Muqauqas, the King of the Copts, in his response to the letter sent to him by the Prophet inviting him to Islam wrote: “I have read your message and have understood what you have mentioned in it, and what you are calling to. I have known that a Prophet would be sent and thought that he would appear in Sham, and I have honored your messenger.”
The story of one the Prophet’s companions, Salman the Persian, further illustrates this:
“I was a Persian man from the peoples of Isfahan from a town known as Jayi. My father was the town chief. To him, I was the most beloved of the creature Allah. His love of me reached the point whereby he trusted me to supervise the fire he lit, which was not allowed to be let to die down. My father owned land, and one day while he was busy he told me to go and inspect the land and to bring from it some things he wanted. On my way I came across a Christian church. I heard the voices of the prayers of the people inside. I did not know what goes on with the lives of other people because my father had kept me confined to his house. So when I came across those people and I heard their voices I went inside watching what they were doing. When I saw them I liked their prayers and became interested in their religion. I said to myself: “By Allah, this religion of theirs is better than that of ours.” By Allah I did not leave them until sunset, and never inspected my father’s land. I asked: “Where is the origin of this religion?” They said: “In As-Sham (i.e. Greater Syria).” I returned to my father who had become worried and sent after me. Upon my arrival he said: “O son! Where have you been? Didn’t I trust you with an assignment?” I said: “I came across some people praying in their church and I liked what they were on from their religion. By Allah I stayed with them until sunset.” My father said: “O Son! There is no good in that religion. The religion of your fathers is better.” I said: “No, by Allah, it is better than our religion.” He threatened me and chained me by my foot and kept me confined to the house. I sent to the Christians requesting to let me know of the arrival of any Christian trade caravan coming from as-Sham. A trade caravan arrived and they informed me about it. I told them to keep me informed about the people of the caravan, and when they were about to finish their business and return to their country. I took off the chains from my foot and joined the caravan until we reached as-Sham. Upon my arrival I asked: “Who is the best amongst the people of this religion of yours?” They said: “The Bishop in the Church.” I went to him and said: “I like this religion and I love to be with you, serving you in your Church, to learn from you and to pray with you.” The Bishop agreed. After a while I learnt that this Bishop ordered and motivated his people to pay charity only to keep it for himself. He did not give it to the poor. He heaped up seven jars with gold and silver! I hated him so much because of what I saw him doing. The Bishop died. The Christians gathered to bury him. I told them that he was a bad man who ordered you to release your money for charities only to keep if for himself and that he did not give anything of it to the poor. They said: “How do you know this?” I said: “I can show his treasure.” They said: “Show us!” I showed them the place and when they saw it they said: “By Allah we will never bury him!” They took his dead body and crucified and stoned it. They replaced their bishop. I never saw a man from those who do not pray the five prescribed prayers better than him; nor a man detached from this worldly life and attached to the hereafter more than him; nor a committed person who works day and night better than him. I loved him more than anything else I loved before. I stayed with him for sometime before his death. When his death approached I told him: “O teacher, I stayed with you and loved you more than anything else I loved before. Now you are approached by the decree of Allah, so who would you recommend for me and what would you like to order me?” The Bishop said: “By Allah! People are in a total loss, they altered and changed what they were on. I do not know of anyone who is still holding to what I am on except a man in Al-Moosil, so join him.” When the man died, I moved to Al-Moosil and met the recommended person. I told him that my former master at the time of his death recommended that I join you. He also told me that you are holding to the same as he was. The man of Al-Moosil told me to stay with him; I stayed with him and found that he was the best man holding onto the matter of his friend. Soon he died. When death approached him I asked him to recommend some other person who is on the same religion. The man said: “By Allah! I don’t know of anyone who is on the same matter of ours except a man in Nasiyibin, so join him.” Following his death I moved to the man of Nasiyibin and stayed with him for a while. The same story repeated itself. Death approached and before he died, I came to the man and asked for his advice as to whom and where to go. The man recommended that I join another man on the same religion in Am’muriyiyah, which I did, and earned some cows and one sheep. When death approached the man of Am’muriyiyah, I repeated my request. The answer was different. The man said: “O son! I do not know of anyone who is on the same religion as we are. However, the time of emergence of a Prophet will shade you. This Prophet is on the same religion of Abraham. He comes from Arabia and migrates to a place located between landscapes of black stones. Palm trees are spread between these scapes. He has certain well known signs. He eats food given as a gift and he does not eat from charity. The seal of Prophethood is between his shoulders. If you could move to that land, then do so.” After he died I stayed in Am’muriyiyah until one day some merchants from the tribe of Kalb passed by me. I told them, “Take me to Arabia and I will give you my cows and the only sheep I have.” They agreed. When we reached Wadi Al-Qura (close to Madinah) they sold me as a slave to a Jew and I saw the palm trees, and I hoped that this would be the same place described by my friend. A man who was a first cousin to my master came visiting one day and bought me. He took me with him to Madinah. By Allah! When I saw it I knew it was the place my friend had described. Then Allah sent His Messenger. He stayed in Mecca as long as he did. I did not hear anything about him because I was very much busy with the work of slavery. He the migrated to Madinah. I was on a palm tree doing some work for my master. A first cousin of his came and stood in front of him and said: “Woe to Bani Qilah, they are gathered in Quba around a man whom came today from Mecca claiming that he was a Prophet!” When I herd that I shivered thinking that I was about to fall down on my master. I came down and I said: “What did you say, what did you say?” My master became angry and punched me with a powerful punch and said: “What kind of business do you have in this matter? Go back to your work!” I said: “Nothing! I just wanted to be sure of what he was saying.” On that evening I went to see the Messenger of Allah while he was in Quba. I took with me something I had saved. I went in and said: “I was told you are a righteous man and that your company are strangers in need, and I want to offer you something I saved as charity. I found that you deserve it more than anyone else.” I offered it to him; he said to his companions: “Eat!” and he kept his hand off. I said to myself: “This is one of the signs!” The next time I visited the Prophet in Madinah I said: “I see you don’t eat from the charity, here is a gift that I wanted to honor you with.” The Prophet ate from it and ordered his companions to do the same which they did. I said to myself: “Now they are two.” On the third encounter I went to funeral of one of the Prophet’s companions. I greeted him with the Salaam, then I moved towards his back attempting to see the seal that was described to me by my friend. When he saw me he knew I was trying to confirm something described to me. He took the garment off his back and I looked at the seal. I recognized it. I came down on it kissing it and crying. The Messenger of Allah told me to move around and talk to him, and I told him my story.”
Oh! Lovely… while reading kiss seal ,
seriously . me too cried….why it was not me …
What should i do when i have sinned
You might ask: “If I commit a sin, how can I repent from it straightaway? Is there anything that I should do straight after committing a sin?”
The answer is that there are two things which should be done after committing a sin. The first is to feel remorse in one’s heart and to be determined not to repeat the sin. This is the result of fearing Allaah. The second is to undertake some physical action to do different kinds of good deeds, such as praying salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance). Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘There is no man who commits a sin, then gets up, purifies himself, prays two rak’ahs then asks Allaah to forgive him, but Allaah will forgive him.’” (Reported by the authors of Sunan; see Saheeh al-Tagheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/284). Then he recited this aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And those who, when they have committed faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allaah – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135]
Other saheeh reports describe how to perform the two rak’ahs which will expiate for sin. In summary::
He should do wudoo’ well. Doing wudoo’ well includes saying “Bismillaah” at the beginning, and reciting some du’aa’s afterwards, such as “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu” or “Allaahumma’j’alni min al-tawwaabeen wa’j’alni min al-mutahhareen (O Allaah, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who are purified)” or “Subhaanak Allaahumma wa bi hamdika ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk (Glory and praise be to you O Allah. I bear witness that there is no god but You. I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You).” Saying any of these du’aa’s after wudoo’ will bring a great reward.
He should stand and offer two rak’ahs of prayer..
He should not make any mistakes or forget any part of the prayer.
He should not let his thoughts wander.
He should concentrate properly and think of Allaah whilst praying.
Then he should seek the forgiveness of Allaah.
The result will be that his previous sins will be forgiven, and he will be assured of Paradise. (Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/94,95)
This should be followed with more good deeds and acts of obedience to Allaah. When ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) realized that he had made the mistake of disagreeing with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during the Campaign of al-Hudaybiyah, he said: “Because of that I did many deeds,” i.e., righteous deeds, as expiation for that sin.
Think about the example given in the following saheeh hadeeth:
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who does bad deeds then does good deeds is like a man who wears a tight coat of mail which almost chokes him; when he does a good deed, it becomes a little looser, and as he does more good deeds it becomes even looser, until it falls off him and drops to the ground.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2192).
So good deeds release the sinner from the prison of disobedience, and bring him forth into the brave new world of obedience to Allaah.
Ibn Mas’ood said: “A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I found a woman in a garden and I did everything with her (kissing and fondling) except that (intercourse), so do with me as you will.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not say anything, and the man went away. ‘Umar said: ‘Allaah covered his sin. He should have covered it himself.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) followed the man with his gaze and said: ‘Bring him back to me.’ So they brought him back, and (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited to him: ‘And perform al-salaah (prayer) at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e., small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice)’ [Hood 11:114 – interpretation of the meaning].” According to the report narrated by ‘Umar, Mu’aadh said: “O Messenger of Allaah, is this just for him or does it apply to all the people?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No, it applies to all the people.” (Reported by Muslim))
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