Quraysh’s methods in fighting the emigrants – II

Quraysh’s methods in fighting the emigrants – II
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2- Kidnapping

The leaders of Quraysh were not content with preventing Muslims from emigration; rather, they went beyond this and even tried to bring back the emigrants who had reached Madeenah. They planned to kidnap one of them and take him back to Makkah, and their attempt was successful. The historical image of this kidnapping was described by ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, when he said,
 
When I wanted to emigrate to Madeenah, I agreed with ‘Ayyaash bin Abi Rabee‘ah and Hishaam bin Al-‘Aas bin Waa’il As-Sahmi to meet the next morning at the trees of Al-Adhaah [at a ten-mile distance from Makkah] of Banu Ghifaar at [the valley of] Sarif. We agreed that if any of us did not show up there in the morning, then the other two would assume that he had been retained and would proceed on their journey. In the morning, I met ‘Ayyaash bin Abi Rabee‘ah at the trees while Hishaam was retained. He was put to trial and apostated.
 
When we reached Madeenah, we stayed at the house of Banu ‘Amr bin ‘Awf at Qubaa’. Abu Jahl and Al-Haarith bin Hishaam came after ‘Ayyaash bin Abi Rabee‘ah, who was their paternal cousin and half brother, until they reached Madeenah while the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was still in Makkah. They talked to him and told him that his mother had vowed not to comb her hair or shelter herself from the sun until she saw him. I told him, “O ‘Ayyaash, by Allah these people only want to make you renounce your religion so beware of them. By Allah, if your mother was harmed by lice, she would comb her hair. If the heat became intense, she would seek the shade to protect herself from the sun.” He said, “I will fulfill the vow of my mother and fetch property that I left behind there.” I said to him, “By Allah, you know that I am one of the richest people of Quraysh. Take half of my property and do not go with them.” When he insisted on going with them, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to him, “If you are going to go, then take my she-camel because it is intelligent and docile. Stay with it and if you sense any betrayal then escape with it”.
 
On the way, Abu Jahl said to him, “O brother, I find my camel difficult to ride. Can I ride behind you on your camel?” He said, “Yes.” When he kneeled his she-camel down and was about to change his position on it, they ran to him and tied him up as he hit the ground. Then, they took him to Makkah and he was put under severe trial until he left Islam.
 
We would say that Allah The Almighty would not accept repentance or expiation from those who left Islam because they knew Allah The Almighty and then returned to disbelief, and those who did so also would say so to themselves. When the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) reached Madeenah, Allah The Almighty revealed concerning them the verses (what mean): {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped. And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive,} [Quran 39:53-55]
 
‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I wrote down these verses with my own hand and sent them to Hishaam bin Al-‘Aas.” Hishaam said, “When I received them, I kept reading them at the valley of Thu Tuwa, not understanding what they meant, until I said, ‘O Allah, let me understand them.’ Allah inspired in my heart that they were revealed concerning us and what we used to say about ourselves and what was said about us. Consequently, I returned to my camel, mounted it and joined the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in Madeenah.”
 
This incident shows us how ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, prepared the plan for his migration and that of his two friends ‘Ayyaash bin Abi Rabee‘ah and Hishaam bin Al-‘Aas bin Waa’il As-Sahmi. They were each from a different tribe and the place they agreed to meet each other was far from Makkah and Al-Haram on the road to Madeenah. The time and place were specifically determined so that if any one of them failed to show up the others would proceed and not wait for him because this meant that he had been retained.
 
As they had expected, Hishaam bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, was indeed retained. ‘Umar and ‘Ayyaash, may Allah be pleased with them, proceeded on their way and the plan was successful, and they reached Madeenah safely.
 
However, the Quraysh insisted on pursuing the emigrants and prepared an accurate plan for that purpose that was carried out by Abu Jahl and Al-Haarith bin Hishaam. They were maternal brothers of ‘Ayyaash, which made ‘Ayyaash trust them. Abu Jahl spread the tale because he knew that ‘Ayyaash was merciful toward his mother. This was evident when he agreed to return with them. This incident also shows the security sense of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, when his perceptive intuition about the kidnapping of ‘Ayyaash proved to be true.
 
The great level of brotherhood which Islam instilled in these souls is also apparent in this incident. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was willing to sacrifice half his wealth out of his concern for his brother’s safety and fear that he might undergo a testing ordeal and leave Islam. The love of ‘Ayyaash towards his mother and his filial piety toward her overcame him, so he decided to return to Makkah to fulfill her vow and fetch his property there. He abstained from taking half the property of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, while his property remained in Makkah untouched. However, ‘Umar was more farsighted, as if he could foresee the sinister destiny that awaited him if he returned to Makkah. When he failed to convince him, he gave him his intelligent, docile she-camel - and the treachery of the polytheists that ‘Umar expected befell ‘Ayyaash.
 
It was known among Muslims that Allah The Almighty would never accept repentance or expiation from those who left Islam and re-lived in the society of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). Therefore, Allah The Almighty revealed the verses (which mean ): {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah.”} [Quran 39:53]
 
As soon as this verse was revealed, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, hurriedly sent it to his dear brothers, ‘Ayyaash and Hishaam, so that they would renew their attempts to depart from the camp of disbelief. What great sublimity ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, possessed! He tried to give his brother ‘Ayyaash half his property to stop him from leaving Madeenah and gave him his she-camel to escape with in case of necessity. Despite all this, he did not rejoice at the misfortune of his brother because he did not follow him and refused his advice. Rather, he was subjugated by feelings of love and faithfulness toward his brother. When the verse was revealed, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, instantly sent it to his brothers and to all the oppressed people in Makkah to make new attempts to make them join the Islamic camp.
 
3- Imprisonment
 
Quraysh resorted to the method of jailing as a means of stopping emigration. They would jail and tie the hands and legs of anyone caught trying to emigrate and heavily guard him to prevent him from escaping. Sometimes, the imprisonment would be in a place that had no ceiling, such as the case of ‘Ayyaash and Hishaam bin Al-‘Aas, who were imprisoned in a house without a ceiling, in order to intensify their torture by adding the heat of the sun in the scorching hot mountainous environment of Makkah to the dreariness of prison.
 
The leaders of Quraysh wanted to attain two goals by doing so: the first was to prevent the jailed people from emigration and the second was to give a deterring lesson to other Muslims who remained in Makkah and thought about emigration. This method did not prevent Muslims from emigrating; some of those jailed in Makkah, like ‘Ayyaash and Hishaam, may Allah be pleased with them, managed to leave and settle in Madeenah.
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) after his Hijrah (emigration) would supplicate for the weak people in Makkah in general and named some of them in particular. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that, “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would supplicate to Allah when he raised his head after the last Rukoo‘ [bowing] in his prayer and say: ‘O Allah, save ‘Ayyaash bin Abi Rabee‘ah. O Allah, save Salamah bin Hishaam. O Allah, save Al-Waleed bin Al-Waleed. O Allah, save the weak Muslims. O Allah, be very hard on Mudhar tribe. O Allah, afflict them with years [of famine] similar to the [famine] years of the time of Prophet Yoosuf [Joseph]’.”
 
Muslims did not let the incident of the kidnapping of ‘Ayyaash, may Allah be pleased with him, pass without any reaction. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) entrusted one of his Companions for this mission and he planned for it all that guaranteed its success, and this Companion actually went to Makkah and managed with great capability and intelligence to reach the house they were imprisoned in and release them, and then he took them back to Madeenah.
 
4- Dispossession
 
Suhayb bin Sinaan An-Namiri was from the tribe of An-Namir bin Qaasit which was attacked by Romans when he was young. He was taken captive and learned the language of his captors. He was sold from one person to another until he was bought by ‘Abdullaah bin Jud‘aan who later set him free. Suhayb and ‘Ammaar, may Allah be pleased with them, embraced Islam on the same day.
 
The migration of Suhayb, may Allah be pleased with him, was an act that characterizes the beauty of faith and greatness of sincerity to Allah The Almighty. He sacrificed all his property for the sake of Allah The Almighty and His Messenger and for the sake of joining the brigade of Tawheed (monotheism) and faith. It is narrated on the authority of Abu ‘Uthmaan An-Nahdi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him that he said,
 
I was told that when Suhayb intended to migrate to Madeenah, the people of Makkah said to him, “You came to us as poor and base; your wealth increased in our town and you reached this status, and now you want to migrate with yourself and your property? By Allah, we will never allow this to happen!” He said to them, “What if I leave my property behind, would you let me go?” They said, “Yes.” He therefore gave them all his property. When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) knew about this he said, “Suhayb is victorious! Suhayb is victorious”!
 
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ikrimah, may Allah be pleased with him, that when Suhayb set out migrating to Madeenah, the people of Makkah pursued him. He drew out forty arrows from his quiver and said, “You will not seize me until I throw an arrow at each one of you. Then, I will use the sword, and you will know that I am a man. I have left in Makkah two slave-girls, they are yours.” [Al-Haakim] ‘Ikrimah, may Allah be pleased with him, added, “The verse in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allah. And Allah is kind to [His] servants.} [Quran 2:207] was then revealed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who, when he saw Suhayb, said to him: ‘O Abu Yahya, your sale has made a profit!’ Then, he recited this verse before him.” [Al-Haakim]
 
It is as if Suhayb, may Allah be pleased with him, gave a decisive evidence of the corruption of reasoning that these materialistic people who weigh the movements and incidents of history with the scale of materialism possess. What was the material benefit that Suhayb, may Allah be pleased with him, would have gained out of his migration for which he sacrificed all his property?
 
Did he wait to be given a position by Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to offset what he had lost? Or did Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) promise him a luxurious life in Yathrib (Madeenah)? Suhayb, may Allah be pleased with him, did this and joined the group of believers solely to seek the pleasure of Allah The Almighty, no matter how much it cost. He set an example of rare sacrifice for Muslim youth who would hopefully follow in the footsteps of these great men.
 
These wonderful incidents were not the only situations of greatness in the blessed Hijrah. Rather, this grand event was filled with many scenes of greatness, sincerity and sacrifice, giving the Ummah (Muslim nation) profound lessons in the building of glory and the acquisition of pride.

Quraysh’s methods in fighting the emigrants – I

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