The righteousness of the prophet Muhammad to leaders and chiefs
I have tackled the aspects of the righteousness of the prophet Muhammad to non-Muslims. I have referred to the nobility of the prophet Muhammad on dealing with them regardless of their tenets. Moreover, I discussed how the prophet Muhammad dealt in kind with those harmed him for long times, like people of Mecca and At-Taif the matter rarely found in any nation's history.
If these are rare, the following case is almost impossible.
I will tackle the righteousness of the prophet Muhammad to the chief foes who combated and waged wars against him for many years to eradicate him and Muslims. Those who were not satisfied of mocking and intriguing to him, but they added to that the incitation of others against the prophet Muhammad. Moreover, they plotted to kill him personally many times, but the prophet's heart was not rancorous for their deeds nor his morals changed.
The righteousness of the prophet Muhammad to Abi-Sufyan
Abu-Sufyan is the most prominent leader in Mecca who declared himself the enemy of the prophet for long time. This will be conducted through the following;
Abu-Sufyan ibn Harb was not an ordinary people in Quraish, however; he was held very valuable as prudent. When the prophet Muhammad was sent as Messenger, Abu-Sufyan was not neutral, rather he acted inimically that he exerted his best to eliminate the progress of the prophet's call to Islam.
Imam At-Tabari stated Abu-Sufyan among those gathered in (Daru-Nadwah) the House of Association planning to kill the prophet Muhammad shortly before his migration to Medina.
After migration, Abu-Sufyan headed the first army under the leadership of `Ubaidah ibn Al-Harith and Muslims' small army.
At Thanyat Al-Murrah zone, Abu-Saufyan was the first to in the convoy escaped which followed by the battle of Badr between the two parties. In this Battle, seventy of the leaders of Quraish were killed the matter leaded to install Abu-Sufyan into the leadership of Quraish entirely. This was peerless incident in Mecca. From that time on, Abu-Sufyan was the instigator for Quraish and the other Arab tribes to fight Muslims.
Hanzalah, the son of Abu-Sufyan was killed in Badr Battle while the other son `Amr was captured the matter aroused his spites. Abu-Sufyan managed to capture a Muslim companion, Sa`d ibn An-Nu`man ibn Akal, and exchanged him with his son `Amr. Abu-Sufyan swore not to wash himself from major impurity until he fights the prophet Muhammad. Actually, he collected two hundred knights and assaulted Medina at night and two men of Al-Ansar were killed. This incident is known in the books of the prophet's biography as Sawiq Battle.
Then, the battle of Uhud took place where Abu-Sufyan headed three thousand of Quraish fighters seeking the prophet Muhammad and Muslims. It was a very crisis Muslims experienced that after initial victory to Muslims, the matter reversed and the disbelievers became victorious. Accordingly, seventy Muslims were martyred and at that day Abu-Sufyan killed Salamah ibn Thabit and it is said he killed Hanzalah whom washed by the angels and said at that moment: Hanzalah for Hanzalah that is the companion Hanzalah is killed for his son Hanzalah who was killed in the battle of Badr.
Shortly after the battle of uhud, Abu-Sufyan acted in a manner contradicts the customs of war and manner of fighting as to Arabs. In this connection, a dialogue reflects rejoicing of Abu-Sufyan. This is related by Bukhari and others that (Abu-Sufyan asked thrice, "Is Muhammad present amongst these people?" The Prophet ordered his companions not to answer him. Then he asked thrice, "Is the son of Abu Quhafa present amongst these people?" He asked again thrice, "Is the son of Al-Khattab present amongst these people?" He then returned to his companions and said, "As for these (men), they have been killed." `Umar could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyan), "You told a lie, by Allah! O enemy of Allah! All those you have mentioned are alive, and the thing which will make you unhappy is still there." Abu Sufyan said, "Our victory today is a counterbalance to yours in the battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents, and you will find some of your (killed) men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed" After that he started reciting cheerfully, "O Hubal, be high! On that the Prophet said (to his companions), "Why don't you answer him back?" They said, "O Allah's Apostle what shall we say?" He said, "Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime." (Then) Abu Sufyan said, "We have the (idol) Al `Uzza, and you have no `Uzza." The Prophet said (to his companions), "Why don't you answer him back?" They asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What shall we say?" He said, "Say: Allah is our Helper and you have no helper".
In this dialogue, Abu-Sufyan declared he feels not sorry for the mutilation by cutting ears and splitting open the inside of martyrs the matter approved by Arabs neither before nor after Islam. In fact, it reveals inner desire to eradicate Islam and to intrigue the prophet and Muslims.
The same happened when Abu-Sufyan witnessed killing Zayd ibn Ad-Dathanah the matter disclosed plainly the perfidy to Muslims.
This attitude of polytheists was also declared plainer in Al-Ahzab Battle in 5 A.H where AbuSufyan along with 10 thousands of Quraish were keen to eradicate Muslims wholly from Medina through the siege.
Indeed, it was hideous crime when they rallied to siege the safe men, women and children in Medina and cause them terrified.
Abu-Sufyan kept leadership to Mecca till the eights year where the peacemaking covenant of Udaybya was concluded two years before where Bani-Bakr tribe joined the party of polytheists and Kuza`a tribe joined the party of Muslims. After that, Bani-Bakr, as well-known, broke the covenant by killing a number of Kuza` people through the aid of Quraish. Accordingly, the covenant was breached and the prophet Muhammad decided to open Mecca through 10 thousand Muslims.
It is lengthy story full of details, but the point we consider is the leadership of Abu-Sufyan to wage wars against Muslims.
Keep in mind all these backgrounds in mind on examining the manner the prophet dealt with Abu-Sufyan when the prophet met him on the way from Median proceeding to open Mecca.
I detailed this long history of Abu-Sufyan hatred to shed light upon the morals of the prophet Muhammad and the magnificence by which Islam weighs matters.
Days passed and now Abu-Sufyan is in critical situation. He is now unable to think properly when he found the Muslim armies kilometers away from Mecca that is he is wanted dead or alive. Accordingly, Abu-Sufyam was terrified. He sought the help of his friend who embraced Islam, Al-`Abbas ibn `Abdil-Muttalib, the prophet's uncle. Abu-Sufyan asked him: what is the way out?
`Abdullah ibn Al-`Abbas will relate to us this incident on the authority of his father over what happened between the prophet Muhammad and Abu-Sufyan, the chief of Mecca.
Al-`Abbas ibn `Abdil-Muttalib addressed Abu-Sufyan: by Allah! If the prophet caught you, he will behead you.
This was the impression of Al-`Abbas as it is the normal to him ant to any other body looking closely to the attitude of Abi-Sufyan to the prophet and Muslims.
However, Al-`Abbas out of the old friendship to Abu-Sufyan or his desire to save the bloods of Quraish, he decided to intercede for Abu-Sufyan. Al-`Abbas said to Abu-Sufyan: ride this mule behind me and let's head to the prophet in order to save your blood. Abu-Sufyan rode behind Al-`Abbas who said: whenever we passed by a fire lighted by Muslims, they ask: who are you? When they see the mule of the prophet and his uncle, namely Al-`Abbas riding it, they say: this is the mule of the prophet and the prophet's uncle mounting it. When it happened to pass by `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, he stood and proceeded to us saying: who are you? When `Umar saw Abu-Sufyan on the back of the mule, he addressed Abu-Sufyan: O! Is it you the enemy of Allah! Praise be to Allah who gave us the authority to you. Al-`Abbas said: `Umar hastened to the prophet Muhammad and entered to him and I ran by the mule until I was a head of him inasmuch as the slow animal preceded the slow man. I dismounted the mule and entered to the prophet and `Umar did the same who said: this is the enemy of Allah, referring to Abu-Sufyan that Allah gave us power to him while he is not in peace covenant so that let me behead him. Upon that, Al-`Abbas said: o Allah's Apostle! I have granted asylum to him and approached near to the prophet intending to address the prophet on the part of Abu-Sufyan more than `Umar. `But Umar made a lot of speech to the prophet Muhammad concerning Abu-Sufyan, by then, I addressed `Umar: take it easy `Umar, by Allah! If it were to Abu-Sufyan to belong to Bani-`Adi, you would never have acted in this manner, however, you have done that as he belongs to Bani `Abd-Manaf. At that time, `Umar said: O Al-`Abbas! Do not say this. By Allah! Your conversion to Islam is dearer to my heart than my father's, because I knew that your conversion to Islam is dearer to the prophet's heart than that of my father.
Thereupon, the prophet addressed Al-`Abbas: take him to tent and bring him to me in the morning.
Al-`Abbas said: I took Abu-Sufyan to my tent wherein he spent the night. In the morning, I took him to the prophet. Upon that, the prophet Muhammad addressed him: O Abu-Sufyan! Woe to you! Has not it become duly to you to know that no God but Allah, Almighty?! Abu-Sufyan replied: O Allah's Apostle! Let my father and mother be scarified to you! How patient, noble, forgiving and dutiful and merciful toward his kinship! No I am sure that if there is other God other than Him, he would have benefited me.
At that moment, Al-`Abbas said: Woe be to you! Embrace Islam and testify that no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah before beheaded. Al-`Abbas said: upon that, Abu-Sufyan testified that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Al-`Abbas said to the prophet: O Messenger of Allah! Abu-Sufyan is a man fond of pride, so you may make a special mention of him. Therefore, the prophet said: (who enters the house of Abu-Sufyan is safe. Who locks his door behind him is safe). When Abu-Sufyan went to Mecca to inform them, the prophet said to Al-`Abbas: (restrain him at the narrow part of the valley wherein knights become overcrowded (or at the mountain peak, according to another narration) so that the Muslim soldiers pass by him). Al-`Abbas obderved the instruction of the prophet Muhammad and kept Abu-Sufya there, tribes came to pass by him. Upon that, Abu-Sufyan asked me: who is that tribe? I relied: it is Banu-Salim. Abu-Sufyan would say: what power can deter them?! Then, another tribe passed, Abu-Sufyan asked me: who is that tribe? I replied: it is Mazyanah tribe. Abu-Sufyan said: what power can deter them?! Al-`Abbas said: Abu-Sufyan kept saying that until the green battalion, with only pupils of their eyes disclosed, of the prophet consisting of Migrants and Supporters passed by him, Abu-Sufyan said: what power can deter them?! O Al-`Abbas! By Allah! Your nephew has been empowered! I replied: it is prophethood. Abu-Sufyan said: you are right. I retorted: seek escape to your people!
Abu-Sufyan went out to Mecca shouting: O people of Quraish! This is Muhammad surrounded by powerful fighters that you can not deter! By then, Hind bint `Utbah held his moustache saying: O people of Quraish! Kill this black ignoble man, how evil he utters! Abu-Sufyan said: Woe be to you! Let her not misguide you, the one having recourse to the house of Abu-Sufyan will be safe. They replied: Woe be to you! In what way your house avail us? Abu-Sufyan said: the one having recourse to his house will be safe and the one having recourse to the mosque will be safe. Thus, people of Quraish dispersed to their houses and the mosque.
In this incident, the prophet Muhammad set an example for his magnanimity and dedication to Allah and placing Da`wah firstly.
The prophet Muhammad argued with Abu-Sufyan in a convincing way seeking irrefutable proof though the sword would be the normal solution in similar situations.
Abu-Sufyan's answer was not out of conviction in Allah's monotheism, however; he has not refused it any way. On the other hand, when the prophet Muhammad asked him whether he professes his prophethood, Abu-Sufyan declared that he is still doubtful. At that moment, Al-`Abbas threatened him he is on the verge of death and Islam is the only recourse to secure his life, thus Abu-Sufyan declared embracing Islam.
Al-`abbas approach to Abu-Sufyan was not a kind of compulsion; rather it is a mercy to Abu-Sufyan and all people of Quraish as well.
Indeed, if Abi-Sufyan was killed in this incident, it would not be denounced by any body or even the states' customs in past and recent. Abu-Sufyan is designated war criminal according to the Recent War law as he deliberately intrigued to kill Muslims wholly in Medina and then breached the peacemaking convention which caused men and women from the Muslim party to be killed.
Over and above, the one examining the story would expect the refusal of the prophet to Abu-Sufyan embracing Islam as he mostly accepted Islam out of fear. On contrary, the prophet Muhammad has not doubted Abu-Sufyan's embracing Islam; rather he accepted it very simply without verification. However, the prophet pardoned him immediately.
The prophet Muhammad overlooked all sorrowful memoirs at a little while as his heart is purified from spites and satanic inclinations.
If the incident of Abu-Sufyan was ended at this point, it would be considered an example to pardon and tolerance, however; the prophet made what goes beyond imagination. To exemplify, the prophet Muhammad granted Abu-Sufyan a source of pride for ever that the prophet was not only granted pardon to Abu-Sufyan; however, to any body enters his house "the one having recourse to the house of Abu-Sufyan will be safe".
Indeed, this explores that Muhammad is a prophet of Allah.
What greatness and kindness is that of the prophet!
Such nobleness is beyond imagination that hardly be apprehended except if one of us puts himself in place of the prophet. Let's be honest. Is it to any other than the prophet to act in this manner?!
Are still claimers that Muslims do not recognize the others or treat them kindly?!!
Is it still claimed that Islam is a religion of terror and violence?!
We lack only to knowledge that we only know too little on the life of the Messenger Muhammad.
If we closely study his life and transmit it to people worldwide, they will be guided.
What happened with Abu Sufyan is not sole in the prophets' biography, but it was applied to many of the fierce foes to the prophet.
As well, the prophet's attitude to `Ekrima ibn Abi-Jahl could not be overlooked, which will be our next article, God willing.
- At-Tabari, book "Tarikh Al-Umam Wa-Almuluk" 1/566.
- `Ubaidah ibn Al-Harith ibn `Abdil-Mutalib ibn `Ad Manaf from Quraish. He was older ten years than the prophet Muhammad. He embraced Islam before the prophet enters the house of Al-Arqam. He accompanied his two brothers on the way to Medina migrating in the cause of Allah. He was highly esteemed before the prophet Muhammad. Review "Al-Isti`ab" by ibn `Abdilbarr 3/141, "Usd Al-Ghabah" by ibn Al-Athir 3/448 and "Al-Isabah" by ibn Hajar 5379.
- "As-Sirah An-Nabawyah" by ibn Hesham 2/136. ibn Ishaq commented that this was the first small army to Muslims, whereas others stated that the first one was that leaded by Hamzah ibn `Aabdil-Muttalib.
- "`Uyun Al-Athar" by ibn Sayed An-Anass 1/432
- they are Mi`bad ibn `Amr and a confederate to him not known to me. Ibn Ishaq stated the story but he did not name them.
- "As-Sirah An-Nabawyah" by ibn Kathir 2/540.
- Salamah ibn Thabit ibn Waqsh from Al-Ansar and belongs to tribe Ash-hal. He witnessed the battle of Badr and martyred in the battle of Uhud along with his brother `Amr ibn Thabit by Abu-Sufyan ibn Harb. Review "Al-Isti`ab" by ibn `Abdilbarr 2/200, "Usd Al-Ghabah" by ibn Al-Athir 2/291 and "Al-Isabah" by ibn Hajar 3362.
- hanzalah ibn Abi-`Amir went out to fight morning his wedding. He was in a state of major impurity and thus angels washed him. It is said that Shadad ibn Al-Aswad ibn Sha`ub Al-Laithi killed Hanzalah not Abu-Sufyan . Review "Al-Isti`ab" by ibn `Abdilbarr 1/432, "Usd Al-Ghabah" by ibn Al-Athir 1/621 and "Al-Isabah" by ibn Hajar 1858.
- "Tarikh Al-Umam Wa-Almuluk" by At-Tabari 2/68.
- Bukhari, book "Al-Maghazi", chapter "battle of Uhud" 3817, Abu-Dawud 2662 and An-Nasai 8635.
- Zayd ibn Ad-Dathanah ibn Bayadah from Al-Ansar. He witnessed the battles of Badr and Uhud. He alobg with Khabib ibn `Adi were captured in the day of Ar-Raji`. Zayd was sold in Mecca to Safwan ibn Umayah who killed him in 4 A.H. Review "Al-Isti`ab" by ibn `Abdilbarr 2/122, "Usd Al-Ghabah" by ibn Al-Athir 21/147 and "Al-Isabah" by ibn Hajar 2900.
- "Tarikh Al-Umam Wa-Almuluk" by At-Tabari 2/79.
- "Tarikh Al-Umam Wa-Almuluk" by At-Tabari 2/154.
- That is the battalion most of their bodied dressed in iron and Arabs used to designate the black as green.
- Related by At-Tabarani. Al-Haithami said in "Majma` Az-Zawaed" 6/242 that the narrators of this Hadith are authentic and "Al-Matalib Al-`Alyah" 4362. ibn Hajar said: this is authentic Hadith. Imam Bukhari related this Hadith citing it from `Urwah Mursal Hadiths in book "Al-Maghazi", chapter "the place wherein the prophet fixed the flag in the day of Mecca opening" 4030. review "At-Tabaqat" by ibn Sa`d" 2/134/135 and "Ad-Dalael" by Al-Baihaqi 5/33-35 where Abu-sufyan discussed Badil ibn Warqaa over the ampleness of the fire kindled and holding Abu-Sufyan to having Muslim troops passing by him. Review "As-Sirah An-Nabawyah" by ibn Hesham 2-399- 405.
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