More than a decade had passed since the first revelation had come to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), the Quraish persisted in their opposition to the call of Islam. Indeed, their vehemence had increased over the years and the Muslims were even more desperate in their bid to follow Islam while they lived in constant fear of persecution.
At this critical time the fortunes of the Muslims were destined to change for the better. The people of Madinah were to play an important role in the evolution of early Islam.
Madinah or Yathrib, as it was formerly known, was to the north of Makkah. It was inhabited by people who were members of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj. They were idolatrous people, always at war with each other. Apart from the two tribes, there were the Jews, who were then a monotheistic people. Although the Jews worshipped one God, their passionate belief in the theory of the chosen people prevented them from preaching their message to the pagan Arabs. In fact, the Jews treated the people of Yathrib as outcastes.
When the time for pilgrimage to the Ka’abah arrived, the people of Yathrib prepared to travel south to Makkah. Among them were six people from the tribe of Khazraj. They had heard about Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) from the people of Khazraj. He explained to them what Islam meant and recited to them from the Qur’an. They were so deeply moved by the verses of Qur’an that they became Muslims and on leaving Makkah they promised to return the following year. In Yathrib itself many people became Muslims when they heard about the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) and his message.
One year had passed since the first meeting and the time for pilgrimage had come again. This time more people went to Makkah to meet the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) and promised faithfully to serve him and Islam. On their way back, the Prophet (Pbuh) sent Mus’ab ibn Umayr with them to teach the Qur’an and instruct them in their new religion.
The following year when more Muslims came from Yathrib an historic meeting was arranged between them and the Prophet (Pbuh), who was accompanied by his uncle, Abbas. During this meeting the men from Yathrib offered to protect and defend the Prophet (Pbuh) and his followers if they would come to live in Yathrib. This promise of protection came to be known as the Treaty of ‘Aqabah’.
The community of Muslims began to prepare to leave Makkah under the instructions of the Holy Prophet (Pbuh). The city of Yathrib and its people were gearing up to receive the Muslims as their guests. Thus Yathrib became a sanctuary for the Muslims and for the particular part it played in the history of Islam it came to be known as ‘Madinah’ or ‘The city of the Prophet (Pbuh)’.
The conversion of two members of the Quraish, perhaps, made the greatest difference to the fortunes of the early Muslim community. Umar and Khalid bin Walid were powerful men who commanded great influence among their people. Their acceptance of Islam was a great moral victory. To the Quraish, on the other hand, it proved to be a death blow in their campaign against Islam.
Khalid was a born soldier. He was born in a rich family of the Bani Mukhzum and consequently had no need to work for a living. He concentrated on improving his natural ability in the martial arts.
When the Muslim army met the Pagans in the battle of Uhud, the Muslims realised that Khalid, with his great skill in military affairs, had turned certain defeat for the pagans into a near victory. In this case a frank attack on the Muslim army had taken them by surprise and changed the fortunes of battle. Khalid, although still bitterly opposed to Islam, was noted for many excellent qualities. He was an extraordinarily resolute and temperate man. This prompted the holy Prophet (Pbuh) to mention that Khalid bin Walid could not be totally unmoved by the message of Islam. Indeed, when this was conveyed to Khalid, it changed his heart and suddenly he began to see the light of truth.
One day he came to the holy Prophet (Pbuh) and gave his allegiance to Islam by reciting the shahada. He humbly requested the holy Prophet (Pbuh) to ask Allah to forgive him for his early antagonism towards Islam.
From that day onwards Khalid bin Walid became the foremost champion of Islam. He fought many decisive battles, humbling his opponents and bringing victory to the religion of God. The Holy Prophet (Pbuh) once said, “Khalid is one of the swords of Allah which he has used against the unbelievers. Thus it was that Khalid bin Walid came to be known as ‘Saifullah’ or the “Sword of Allah,” - a proud title wholly befitting one of the greatest heroes of Islam.
Zuhair Bin Saghir
It was the auspicious occasion of Eid. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) stepped out from his house towards the Eidgaah (place where Eid prayers are said) to say the Eid prayers. The streets were crowded with children who wore new and colourful clothes. They looked happy and exhilarated. The Prophet (Pbuh) also felt happy to see them in colourful dresses. As he went on greeting them, all of a sudden, he noticed a young lad sitting at the corner of the street and was weeping bitterly. His clothes were torn and he was dishevelled. It appeared as if the boy had not bathed for days.
When Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) asked him about his pitiable state, he sobbed out, “My father had gone on a Jihad along with Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), in which he was killed. Moreover, my mother married another person and my new father let me out of his house without providing me with a piece of bread,’ Of course, the boy did not know whom he was talking to.
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was the benefactor of mankind. He felt sorrowful on listening to the pitiable tale of the boy. He patted him affectionately and asked, “Would you like to have me as your father, Aisha (R) as your mother, Ali (R) as your uncle and Hasan (R) and Husain (R) as your brothers?” The boy was dumb-founded for a moment. Then he said, “Why not, Oh Rasoolullah?”
After that, Rasoolullah (Pbuh) took the boy to his house. Hazrat Aisha (R) felt happy to see the boy. She gave him a cold water bath, dressed him up in new clothes and fed him to his heart’s content. The boy’s happiness knew no bounds. He ran out of the house to join and play with other children. The boys quizzed him, “O Rafiq! You were so dirty a short while ago. How come you are so well-dressed and happy now.”
The boy replied! “I was hungry and thirsty. Rasulullah (Pbuh) fed me. I was an orphan, but now, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is my father and Hazrat Aisha is my mother. I am no longer an orphan.” When the boys listened to his detailed account, they gasped and exclaimed with one voice, “Oh lord! Had our parents got killed in the Jihad, we would have also got such humane parents.” Really, Eid seemed to be much more pleasant to the boy, who had got new parents.
We all must fast in Ramadan
Which is one of the five Arkan
It is a blessed month you know
We fast for Allah, not for show
It is designed to make us think
As we refrain from food and drink
We feel the hunger and the pain
And much there is for us to gain
From dusk till dawn we fast
Hoping that our saum can last
While we try to do much good
Building Taqwa like we should
Special prayers we say at night
And to turn to Allah in our plight
To forgive and guide us as we try
While ourselves we purify
And remember it was in Ramadan
When Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an
And so began the Prophet’s call
A guide and mercy to us all
And the night of Qadr is unique
Its blessings all believers seek
Then will follow the day of Eid
A truly festive day indeed
Fasting teaches discipline too
And self-control for me and you
As year by year we train to be
Better Muslims, by Allah’s decree.
Al-laahumma innaka afoowun tohibbul afwa fa foanne.”
“O my Lord! Thou forgivest sins, thou lovest forgiveness. Therefore forgive me.”