Madinah becomes the school of Islam
Madinah developed into a centre of
the Muslim Empire. More and more Muslims were drawn towards Madinah
and the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam vigorously expounded
the principles of Islam to his faithful followers. The Prophet
Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam began to put into effect the Islamic
administrative machinery that was to make Islam one of the greatest
powers of the world. It was a pleasure for the Muslims to lead
a chaste life. The five pillars of Islam changed the concept of
life for the Arabs.
Five times daily Salaah was established
in Masjid-un-Nabawi. This brought about a close congregational
spirit and harmony amongst the Muslims. Saum and Zakaah became compulsory.
In this way, feelings of compassion for the needy and less privileged
were inculcated. The just laws of marriage, divorce and inheritance
made family life secure and very pleasant.
Gambling, usury, vulgarity, intoxication,
adultery, stealing and killing were punishable by stringent Islamic
laws. While Islam continued to grow, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam did not relax at any time from the ever-lurking danger
from his enemies.
The hypocrites of Madinah
Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool was
a very prominent personality of Madinah. He was intelligent, experienced
and very shrewd. He had developed a great influence over the tribes
of Aus and Khazraj. Whenever these warring tribes took up arms
against each other, Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool intervened to
bring about peace between them. All his efforts were directed
towards the ultimate aim that he would one day be acknowledged
as the leader of Madinah. He had succeeded in this quest for fame
to the extent that he was often addressed as the ‘prince
of the Ansaar’.
Preparations were well under way
for his magnificent coronation. A crown had been made for the
occasion. It was at this stage that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam arrived in Madinah. In due course, nearly all the people
of Madinah including the Jews acknowledged the Prophet Sallallahu
Alaihi Wasallam as their leader and as the supreme authority on
matters affecting the whole population of Madinah.
Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool’s
hopes and ambitions of becoming king of Madinah were dashed to
the ground. But, being a cunning person, he did not confront the
Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and show his rivalry openly.
He and his followers accepted Islam only in name but in their
hearts they rejected the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and
his teachings. They were ever ready to turn against the Muslims
at the first opportunity. They were a source of considerable danger
to the new-born commonwealth. In return, the Prophet Sallallahu
Alaihi Wasallam always showed the greatest patience and forbearance,
hoping in the end to win them over to Islam.
When the Quraish of Makkah heard
of the acceptance of the leadership of the Prophet Sallallahu
Alaihi Wasallam in Madinah, they were furious and turned to tactics
of plotting and conspiracy. They sent threatening ultimatums to
Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool and other non-Muslims of Madinah
that if they did not fight and drive out the Prophet Sallallahu
Alaihi Wasallam, the Quraish would attack Madinah and kill all
their young men and take away their women folk.
In response to this threat, Abdullah
Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool gathered the people around him and incited
them to overthrow the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. On hearing
this, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam addressed the people
stressing the need for peace. He reminded them of the treaty that
had been signed by all the parties of Madinah. If, however, the
Quraish persisted in their plan to attack Madinah the Muslims
would be prepared to repulse them.
The determination of the Prophet
Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam left Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Sulool dumb-founded.
He decided that it would be in his own interests to work from
within the Muslim fold to pursue his worldly ambitions. With a
group of his followers he embraced Islam. These hypocrites began
to spy on the Muslims and sow seeds of mutiny, revolt and mischief.
They befriended the Jews and assured them that they were their
allies against the Muslims. When in the company of the Muslims
they expressed piety and holiness. The Quran makes reference to
“Of the people there are some
who say: ‘We believe in Allah and in the Last Day but they
do not believe.' They seek to deceive Allah and those who believe,
but they only deceive themselves and realise not”. (Surah
Baqarah, verse 8-9)