Thaqeef’s Delegation and Their Embracing Islam - I

Thaqeef’s Delegation and Their Embracing Islam - I
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Between the Battle of Tabook and the Farewell Hajj

 
 
When the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), returned from Taa’if, ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ood Ath-Thaqafi followed his footsteps until he caught up with him a short distance before he reached Madeenah, where he embraced Islam. He then returned to his people and invited them to embrace Islam, but they attacked him with arrows and one of them killed him. Seeing that they had no power to confront all the Arabs surrounding them who had embraced Islam, these people unanimously decided to delegate many of their men to the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). In the month of Ramadan in the ninth year after Hijrah (emigration), and after the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), had returned from Tabook, six of their men went to meet him.
 
The delegation comprised six of their chiefs: three from Banu Maalik and three from Al-Ahlaaf, and the head of the delegation was ‘Abd Yaaleel bin ‘Amr. The formation of the delegation refers to political thinking of profound significance, for the Thaqeef people hoped that the Muhaajiroon (emigrants) from the Banu Umayyah would intercede for their reconciliation with the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), because of the historical relations between the Banu Umayyah and Al-Ahlaaf .
 
The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were well-aware of the fact that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), wanted  Thaqeef to embrace Islam. For this reason, as soon as the delegation of Thaqeef was seen near Madeenah, both Abu Bakr and Al-Mugheerah, may Allah be pleased with them, raced to give the glad tidings of their arrival to the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).  However, Al-Mugheerah let Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, do this. The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), was pleased to receive the delegation  and ordered  tents to be pitched for them, in order for them to be able to listen to the Quran and to see the people performing prayer. They stayed as guests of the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). They used to pay him a visit every day, leaving ‘Uthmaan bin Abu Al-‘Aas to take care of their luggage. Whenever they returned to have a nap during the heat of noon time, ‘Uthmaan bin Abu Al-‘Aas would go to the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), and ask him about matters of religion and request him to recite the Quran for him, until he understood and learnt the religion. If he found the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), asleep, he would go directly to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, to learn from him. He concealed this matter from his companions. This conduct appealed to the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), who admired and loved him.
 
The delegation spent many days during which they frequented the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), who invited them to embrace Islam. Then, ‘Abd Yaaleel bin ‘Amr said to him, “Are you going to make a peace treaty with us so that we could return to our families and people?” The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said to him: “Yes, if you profess Islam, I shall make a peace treaty with you, otherwise, there will be no peace treaty or reconciliation made with you.” ‘Abd Yaaleel said to him, “What do you think about adultery? We always travel through faraway lands, and we do not take our wives along.  It is necessary for us to commit adultery, because we cannot endure celibacy.” He replied: “It is among what Allah has forbidden for Muslims. Allah The Almighty Says [what means]: {And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.} [Quran 17:32]
 
‘Abd Yaaleel said, “What do you think about Riba [usury]?” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Riba [usury] is unlawful.” Abd Yaaleel said, “But all of our property comes from Riba.” On that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said, “You have only your principal [capital]. Allah The Almighty Says [what means]:{O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.} [Quran 2:278]
 
Abd Yaaleel said, “What do you think about wine? It is the juice of our grapes and is a necessity for us.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah has forbidden it.” The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), then recited the verse (what means): {O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.} [Quran 5:90]
 
The people then left and held a closed meeting. ‘Abd Yaaleel said to them, “Woe to you! Should we return to our people with the prohibition of these three things? By Allah, the Thaqeef people would never endure refraining from wine and adultery.” Sufyaan bin ‘Abd Allah said,
 
O man! If Allah intends good for them, they will have the patience to refrain from them. The Muslims who are with the Prophet were in the past hooked on the same immorality as we are now, but they were patient and gave up their pre-Islamic conduct. We should keep in mind that we feel terrified of this man who has subjugated with his power all of the land, and we live in a fort in one side of the land [i.e. we are very weak and few in number compared to the Muslims], and Islam has become widespread around us. By Allah, were he to besiege our fort for only one month, we would die of hunger. I but see that [we should embrace] Islam, and I fear a day like that of Makkah.
 
It was Khaalid bin Sa‘eed bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, who mediated between them and the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), until the treaty was written by him. The Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), would send food to them, but they would never eat unless the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), ate from it first. They remained as such until they embraced Islam.
 
They said, “Tell us about the statue of our goddess: What do think about it?” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “It should be demolished.” They remarked, “How extreme! Were the goddess to know that we intend to demolish it, it would kill our families.” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Woe to you, O ‘Abd Yaaleel! That goddess is but a stone which cannot know or distinguish those who worship it from those who do not.”  ‘Abd Yaaleel said, “We have not come here to [take your advice], O ‘Umar.” They then embraced Islam and a peace treaty was fulfilled and a document was written by Khaalid bin Sa‘eed, may Allah be pleased with him.
 
When the peace treaty was completed, they asked the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), to postpone the destruction of their goddess for three years, but he refused. They reduced the term to two years and he refused, to one year and he refused, and even to a month and he refused to fix a specific term for them. However, they wanted to leave their goddess out of fear of the weak-minded among them, in addition to their women and children, and because they did not want to frighten their people by demolishing it. They therefore asked the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), to exempt them from demolishing it themselves, and the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), agreed to their request. They further requested the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), to exempt them from prayer, whereupon the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “No good lies in a religion that is void of prayer.” 
(To be continued)

Thaqeef’s Delegation and Their Embracing Islam - II

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