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Detailed Biography of Prophet Muhammad - Madinan Period (part 1 of 3)

Description: A three-part lesson detailing the life of Prophet Muhammad after migrating to Madina until his passing away.  Part 1:  Migration to Madina, and some of the events that took place shortly afterwards.

By Imam Kamil Mufti (© 2016 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 12 Sep 2016 - Last modified on 21 Sep 2016

Printed: 13 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 1417 (daily average: 4)

Category: Lessons > Prophet Muhammad > His Biography


Objectives

·       To learn about the migration to Madina.

·       To learn about the first mosque in Madina.

·       To understand the bond of true brotherhood established by the Prophet.

·       To learn about the battle of Badr.

Arabic Terms

·       Adhan - an Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory Prayers.

Migration to Madina

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave the green light for believers to start migrating to Yathrib, which was renamed to Madinatun-Nabi, meaning, city of the Prophet, or just Madina for short.  The Quraysh tried to stop as many Muslims as they could from leaving.  Within two months almost all the Muslims had already migrated, while the Prophet himself remained behind with only a few of his companions.  Later he also left with his close companion, Abu Bakr. After several days of travel through the desert, Madina was in sight.  The mission of Islam was about to enter a new phase.

Arrival in Madina

The people of Madina had heard the news that the Prophet had migrated and was on his way.  The first place the Prophet stopped at was a little village called Quba.  It was an elevated settlement about three miles from Madina.  One of the first things the Muslims did here, was to build a mosque. After the mosque was complete, he headed towards the city.  The people of Madina came out in crowds to meet him.  It was the month of al-Rabi al-Awwal, thirteen years after the Prophet received the first revelation from Allah.  This migration marked a new phase in the mission of the Prophet and later became the point at which Muslims would begin their calendar.

First Mosque of Madina

The first task which the Prophet performed was to build a mosque where all believers could assemble and perform their prayers.  This mosque became known as the “Mosque of the Prophet”, but was merely a courtyard surrounded by mud walls and covered with palm tree branches.

In Mecca, the Muslims were not able to pray together in congregation because of the danger they faced.  Now that that threat disappeared, the five daily prayers were established in congregation in the mosque.  Bilal ibn Rabah, the former slave, was selected to have the honor of calling the Adhan.  Every time his voice cried out, “Allah is great!” people would stop whatever they were doing and would come to the mosque for prayer.

While the mosque was being built, the Prophet stayed with Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, since he had no house of his own and refused to accept the extravagant gifts of his followers.

True Brotherhood

The Muslims who migrated assumed the respectful title of “The Emigrants” (al-Muhajirun), because they abandoned their homeland for the sake of Islam.  The Muslims in Madina were called “The Helpers” (al-Ansar), because they helped the former to settle in their new homeland.  The Prophet instituted a pact of brotherhood between the two groups by pairing one Emigrant with one Helper.  The Helper would share his house and possessions with his Emigrant brother.

Continuation of Hostilities

The Muslims escaped the persecution in Mecca, but the Quraysh were still bent on destroying Islam and the Muslims.  The Quraysh utilized their influence in Arabia to block several tribes from even visiting Madina.  Since there was no central government in Arabia, tribes and communities related to one another through alliances and treaties.  In the absence of either, it meant that they were potentially at war.  A tribe would only enter into an agreement if there was some incentive for them.  The Quraysh, being the mighty force that they were, had nothing to gain by making a treaty with the Muslims.

The Prophet understood the situation perfectly well but was unable to do anything until the verses were finally revealed: “Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been oppressed – God has the power to give them victory.  [They are] those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly, for no other reason besides their statement, ‘Allah is our Lord.’” (Quran 22:39)

Before this, Muslims were not allowed to fight back at all, even in self-defense.  This is why so many Muslims had been tortured and humiliated in Mecca.  Now, the permission to fight back was given because the circumstances had changed.

Battle of Badr

The Muslims concluded a number of peace treaties with various tribes, but the army of Quraysh (1000 strong men) and the Muslims (little over 300) met, face to face, in their first battle, at Badr (a small village about 80 miles from Madina).  The Muslims were physically outnumbered, but with the help of Allah, they managed to overcome the Quraysh army who began to retreat.  Seventy idolaters were killed while another seventy were taken prisoner.  Most of the leaders of the Quraysh were killed that day, including the notorious Abu Jahl.  The Muslims only lost about fourteen men.

Treatment of Prisoners

The prisoners of war were handcuffed and put under the charge of different Muslim soldiers.  The Prophet ordered that they be treated and fed well.  Some companions took the words of the Prophet so seriously that they gave their prisoners bread to eat while they settled only for dates themselves.  The rich prisoners were ransomed while the literate ones had to teach ten Muslims to read and write in order to secure their release.  Meanwhile in Mecca, the Quraysh were mourning over their dead and vowed that they would take revenge.

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