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The Fudhool alliance

Thursday 02/07/2009

The Fudhool Alliance was held after the Quraysh had returned from the Fijaar War, mainly because a man from Zabeed (a Yemeni town) had brought some merchandise to Makkah. Al-‘Aas bin Waa’il took it from him but then refused to give him its price. The man therefore sought help against him from the chiefs of the Quraysh, but they did not help him because they held Al-‘Aas in a high position. Hence, the man stood next to the Ka‘bah and appealed to the Fihr tribe and other people who had a sense of honor.

In response to this appeal, Az-Zubayr bin ‘Abd Al-Muttalib declared that the man should not be let down. Hence, the Banu Haashim, Zuhrah and Taym bin Murrah gathered in the house of ‘Abdullaah bin Jud‘aan, who prepared food for them. They all gave an oath in the Name of Allah during the month of Thu’l-Qa‘dah to forever support the wronged against the wrongdoer until the former would get back his right.
They then set out to Al-‘Aas bin Waa’il, took by force the merchandise of the man, and returned it to him.
The Quraysh called this The Fudhool (Virtuous) Alliance, deeming that the allied tribes had initiated a virtuous approach.
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) attended this alliance by means of which they put an end to inequity and held the truth in an exalted regard. This alliance was a source of pride to the Arabs and it denoted their acknowledgement of human rights. In this regard, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I witnessed the alliance of Al-Mutayyibeen [i.e. Al- Fudhool] with my uncles when I was still a boy, and I would not even be satisfied at attaining [the finest] red camels for breaching it.” [Al-Albaani – Saheeh]
Moreover, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I witnessed, in the house of ‘Abdullaah bin Jud‘aan, an alliance that I would not even swap for the [finest] red camels. If I were invited to such an alliance under Islam, I would definitely respond to the invitation.”
Lessons to be learned:
  1. Justice is an absolute, rather than relative, value. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) showed us that he took pride in participating in anything that would enhance the principle of justice, two decades before his commissioning as a prophet. Positive values deserve to be praised even if maintained by people of the pre-Islamic era.
  2. The Fudhool Alliance was a source of light in the darkness of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). It clearly denotes that the spread of corruption in any community does not mean that it is devoid of virtue. Makkah was a pre-Islamic community wherein the worship of idols, injustice, and foul practices such as inequity, adultery and Riba (usury, interest) were dominant. Nevertheless, some people who had a sense of honor disliked inequity and never approved of it. This is a great lesson for the callers living in societies that do not apply Islam or that fight it.
  3. Injustice in any form is unacceptable and Islam fights it when it befalls even the most meager of people. Moreover, Islam supports the wronged people irrespective of their color, religion, homeland and sex.
  4. It is permissible to make such alliances and pledges for the sake of maintaining a virtue, and this is categorized as the cooperation that is advocated in the Noble Quran where Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Quran 5:2] In this case, Muslims are permitted to contract with other Muslims and by doing so they affirm something that is required by the Sharee‘ah. However, it should not take the form of a “mosque intended to harm” where the contract turns into a sort of partisanship against other Muslims out of injustice. It is also permissible for Muslims to contract with non-Muslims to ward off injustice or to face wrongdoers, provided that the Muslims’ interest is observed in the present and in the future. This is alluded to by the part of Hadeeth that reads: “I would not even be satisfied at attaining [the finest] red camels for breaching it.” This is owing to the justice achieved and the injustice prevented, or that having such red camels would be attained only for breaching the alliance. The Prophet’s declaration that he would respond to the invitation should he ever be invited to such an alliance under Islam is effective as long as the alliance would restrain the wrongdoers. He expressed his readiness to answer absolutely anyone inviting him to such an alliance after the advent of Islam.
  5. The Muslim should be positive and effective in his society instead of living on the margins. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was the center of attention and the role model of his society. People would even call him Al-Ameen (the trustworthy), and he was dear to both men and women because of the noble morals that Allah The Almighty had conferred upon him. He continued growing and becoming purer until people were whole-heartedly associated with him. This gives us a live image depicting the value of morals within society and the respect that is paid to the person with good morals, even in a deviant society.


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