وَبَرَكَاتُهُ اللهِ وَرَحْمَةُ عَلَيْكُمْ السَّلاَمُ
As we remember, in the Year of Sorrow Abu Talib passed away which caused the protection that Muhammad (SAW) had under the Banu Hashim to be revoked. Abu Lahab who then took up the leadership of the sub-tribe temporarily promised the prophet the same protection, however after coercion by Abu Jahal this was revoked within a week. It was then Mut’im ibn Adi who actually took the prophet under his mantle, but this was still a very awkward situation for the prophet; his own tribe had abandoned him and another had taken him in, and Mut’im was a very old man and so any protection the prophet had was limited.
And so the prophet decided to move away from the Quraish, and transfer himself to one of the other tribes of Arabia. Now this was something there was a precedent for, however it very rarely happened. So the prophet began approaching the different tribes when they came for Hajj, and we have some stories from this period.
One of the tribes the prophet approached was that of Kindah. Now this was a very old and prestigious tribe, and in fact some hundreds of years before they had even had a king and a kingdom. Although they had lost much of this prestige, they were still one of the biggest and most powerful Arab tribes at the time. And so the prophet approached one of the chieftains of the Kindah, who listened carefully to his message. And then the man said, ‘This is a very interesting message. Come with me, I will grant you an audience with our other chieftains, and what you said to me say to them.’
And so the prophet entered their gathering and preached his message, inviting them to Islam and asking them to take him in and give him protection. And after he had finished the chieftain who had brought him in spoke up: ‘O my fellow tribesmen, if we were to take this matter from this young man-’ Muhammad (SAW) is in his late 50s here, but this clearly shows how youthful he still looks, ‘-and take him from the Quraish and adopt him, we will have a message through which we can conquer the other Arabs.’ And then he turned to the prophet and said, ‘Now tell me, if we were to follow you in this matter of yours, and then Allah gives us victory over all those who are your enemies, will you give us control of this affair after you?’
So the prophet replied, ‘The kingdom belongs to Allah, and Allah gives it to whoever he pleases.’ This is a wise reply, as it is neither yes nor no, but simply Muhammad (SAW) is saying that he cannot make any promises.
But the chieftain grew angry and replied, ‘So you’re asking us to follow you, stick our necks out behind you in order to have them cut off, and then after we have spilled our blood and you have used it to conquer the Arabs then you will take the kingdom? Go, we have no need of this.’ Now clearly the Kindah were only attracted to the prophet’s message for political gain and would not be true believers, and the prophet saw this and did not like their ambition. Indeed, if the prophet was to seek help he would not compromise his message, for Allah was the author of that message.
Another incident is that of the Banu Shayban. The prophet approached the Banu Shayban with Abu Bakr as his companion, as he usually did. This was because Abu Bakr was an expert in the genealogy and history of the Arabs, and so the prophet would use his knowledge to aid him in approaching the tribes. So when they came to the tribe, Abu Bakr told Muhammad (SAW), ‘O Rasulallah, the Banu Shayban are of the most noble and the most illustrious and the most intelligent tribes of the Arabs.’
And so the prophet began explaining his mission. And then he recited ayats 151 and 152 of Surah An’am:
قُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيْـًٔاۖ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَٰنًاۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوٓاْ أَوْلَٰدَكُم مِّنْ إِمْلَٰقٍۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلْفَوَٰحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُواْ ٱلنَّفْسَ ٱلَّتِى حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلْحَقِّۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّىٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. Do not associate anything with Him, and to parents is good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason."
وَلَا تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ ٱلْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ ۖ وَأَوْفُواْ ٱلْكَيْلَ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ بِٱلْقِسْطِۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَاۖ وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَٱعْدِلُواْ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰۖ وَبِعَهْدِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْفُواْۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّىٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even for a near relative. And fulfil the covenant of Allah. This has He instructed you that you may remember.
And finally after this the prophet finished with a khutba, and in fact this small khutba – despite not being given in juma’ – is now often used as the popular khutba for most juma’ salahs, showing how eloquent and comprehensive it was. After the prophet had finished, the chieftain said, ‘You have indeed come with good, and you have called us to the best of manners and morals and the Quraish has lied against you. I refer you now to our elder.’
And the elder of the Banu Shayban stood up and said, ‘I have heard what you have said, O member of Quraish. And I feel that if we leave our religion and our ways and embrace your ways after a first meeting, this will be a hasty decision. And we also have people that we have left behind whose advice we have not sought on this matter and whose support is necessary. And so I think that we should wait and you should wait, and we shall return and you shall return. And I also ask the advice of our military leader.’
The military chief spoke: ‘What our elder has said is true, and we will not take any hasty decision in this matter. And there is another matter as well. We have loyalties and treaties with our neighbouring Arab tribes, but also Kisra (King of the Persian Sassanid Empire). As for the Arabs, we don’t have any fear or worry about them. But as for Kisra, we have a deal with him to be neutral in all affairs in Arabia, and this matter of yours does not seem to be something the king would approve of. So if we were to accept it, it would only be on the Arab side.’ Now Persia was the superpower of the time, some would even say it was stronger than the Romans. So the Banu Shayban did not want to make Kisra their enemy, and this was wise of them. However this meant that they gave the condition to only be Muslims in their dealings with the Arabs and not the Sassanids, and the prophet could not give this compromise.
And he replied, ‘Your response has been good, it has been sincere. But Allah’s religion will only be helped by those who have embraced it fully,’ and then he stood up to leave with Abu Bakr, ‘And what if I were to tell you that this matter of Kisra, Allah will grant you victory over the kingdom of Kisra. And you will enjoy their land and their money and their captive women. Would you then accept?’ And one of the Banu Shayban said yes they would, however none of them believed that this miracle could happen and so the prophet’s request was refused
And the final story we have is not that of a large prestigious tribe, but a small group of six people who came from a city that the prophet was not too familiar with, although he had visited them once when he was young. And they were from the city of Yathrib.
Now Yathrib was composed of three groups of people: Jews (and this was one of the only two places in Arabia with Jews), and the Arab tribes of Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj. And about two years before, there had been a great battle called the Battle of Bu’ath, which was the culmination of a century-long civil war between the Aws and the Khazraj. And this battle killed the majority of the senior members of the two tribes and further fragmented them. This left behind the younger generation, who had seen years of war and wanted peace and a new purpose to existence. And they did not have the arrogance and rigidity of the senior members, who had all died except for one – Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool – and he became the undisputed leader of Yathrib until Islam came, after which he became the leader of the enemies of the prophet.
As well as this, because there were Jews in Yathrib, these Arabs also had knowledge of prophets, holy books and monotheistic religions. And they felt inferior to the Jews because of this, and because of their unity and their advanced civilisation. And the Jews would boast that it would only be a matter of time before a prophet came to them, after which they would wipe out the Arabs completely. But this backfired.
Because in the 10th year of the Hijra – the same year that Abu Talib died – the prophet was out looking for asylum in one of the major tribes. But when he came upon a small group of six from the Banu Khazraj he preached to them with the same zeal as he would for any larger tribe, and these young men – who now had an opportunity to equal the Jews – converted to Islam and would go on to become major Ansars. And among them were the likes of Jabir ibn Abd-Allah (RA) and As’ad ibn Zurarah (RA), and they went back to Yathrib and began spreading the message of Islam until everyone knew about it. And within two and a half years they were demanding the prophet come to Yathrib and become their leader, and thus the Hijra began.
We see in this the prophet planting seeds for his message to spread and for an emigration, and in the end help came from not any of the big tribes nor any one he expected it to come from, but instead from a small minor city that embraced his message wholeheartedly. And in this we see the qadr of Allah, as Muhammad (SAW) remained sincere and faithful to the message, and no matter how good the offers that came his way he would not compromise on his religion and thus Allah found a better way for him. And we also see the strength of the prophet’s faith once again, as even in a precarious position with no power whatsoever, he predicted the fall of the massive, mighty superpower that was the Sassanid Empire by Muslim hands, and in fact the very group of Banu Shayban that he gave this prediction to were the exact people who ended up conquering the Persians. And thus was the will of Allah.
Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 024