THE FLIGHT OR HIJRAT
Finding that their persecutions could not stop the progress of Islam, the Quraish determined to put an end to the movement by assassinating the Prophet. To achieve this end they fixed a night when thirty of the most reckless among them should enter his house, fall upon him while he was asleep and dispatch him with their swords. But they were doomed to bitter disappointment. The Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him), who came to know about the conspiracy, slipped through their hands and when they found that he had baffled them, their rage knew no bounds. They set a price on his head, and Suraqa and others set out in hot pursuit. But after various experiences in which the Divine hand was clearly visible, he reached Medina in safety.
MERCY FOR THE WORLDS
But the troubles of the Prophet did not end. The hostility of the Quraish took a new form and the envy of the Jews created fresh difficulties. He had not been long in his new home when his enemies, more than ever, determined to destroy him, started against him a series of small wars, which lasted till the very end of his life and in which many of his beloved friends lost their lives. But by and by the power of the Quraish was broken and at last the Prophet (peace be upon him) came victorious to the home from which they had driven him. The very enemies who had made it their life-long mission to destroy him were now completely at his mercy. One nod of his head, one word from his mouth, and they would have been wiped out of existence. Any other man would have torn them limb from limb, and nobody would have blamed him for it. But what did The ‘Mercy for the Worlds’ (Prophet, peace be on him) do? Did he cause them to be killed and quench his thirst for revenge with their blood? Did he nail them to the cross and feast his eyes with the sight of their slow and lingering death? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic NO.. When they stood before him, wondering what fate was in store for them, there came a benevolent smile to his bright face as he called them his brethren and gave them all a free pardon. He did not even call upon them to embrace Islam and never even hinted at the treatment he had received for the past twenty-three years. It was unconditional pardon. This one act of Hazrat Muhammad’s life (peace and blessings of God be on him) is sufficient to place him far above the heads of all the great men of history and the founders of the religions. Such terrible persecution, lasting not for days or months but for a whole life-time, was all forgiven and forgotten. Surely it is more than human. It is Divine in its sublimity.
At Medina, there was a class of people whom the Qur’aan has given the epithet of hypocrites. They were headed by Abdulla bin Obayy, who was one of the most important personages of Medina before the advent of the Prophet. These hypocrites outwardly professed Islam, but at heart they were infidels of the most virulent type. They did everything in their power to bring about the downfall of Islam. Here are some of their methods. They created bad blood between individual Muslims. They sowed discord among the tribes which had embraced the religion of One True God. They incited the people of Medina to stop helping the Muslims and thus force them to leave Medina. They carried on secret intrigues with the enemies of Islam and divulged to them the secrets of Muslims. Whenever a battle was imminent, they went to the front along with the Muslims but deserted them at the most critical juncture. No Government, not even the most civilized, would overlook such treachery carried on for whole years. The Prophet and the Muslims knew all about it and some Muslim leaders even urged the Prophet to punish this breed of reptiles. But the Prophet forgave them too. Nay, his benevolence was so great that when Abdullah died, He (Prophet) gave his own cloth to be used as his winding sheet.
Some persons had inflicted deep personal wrongs on the Prophet. Some of the hypocrites once attacked his honour. Some other persons joined in spreading the scandal; Even the mildest man would not have forgiven such an insult. But the Prophet forgave them all and never harboured any ill-will against them. The Prophet’s beloved daughter, Zainab, while travelling from Mecca to Medina, was caused to fall down from the camel she was riding. The result was her death after a short illness. Hibar, who was guilty of this murder, was also forgiven. Hazrat Hamza, the first knight of Islam and the beloved uncle of the Prophet, was treacherously slain by one Wahshi Hindah the wife of Abu Sufian, who cut open the chest of the dead hero and tore out his heart and liver, which she chewed with her teeth. Even this woman was pardoned and Wahshi was pardoned too. Ikrama, who was an admitted enemy of Islam and the Holy Prophet, after the conquest of Mecca fled to Yemen, but when he was brought into the Prophet’s presence, was forgiven. A Jewish girl had tried to poison the Prophet, but she was forgiven also. Abu Sufian, who was, next to Abu Jahl, the greatest enemy of Islam, and who had taken a leading part in all wars waged by the Quraish against the Prophet, became a captive in the hands of Muslims. His past behaviour was forgotten. Such was Muhammad (p.b.u.p) the magnanimous, God’s Mercy incarnate.
No. 15. San Juan, Dated the 25th August, 1939.