Page 105 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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Allâh’s praise, he excused himself for not having joined them on grounds that the Prophet ’s
intention was presumably, an errand aiming to intercept a caravan of camels only, he added that if
it had occurred to him that it would be real war, he would have never tarried. The Prophet (Peace be
upon him) assured Usaid that he had believed him.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) now entered Madinah as a man to be counted for in a new
dimension — the military field. In consequence, a large number of the people of Madinah embraced
Islam, which added a lot to the strength, power and moral standing of the true religion.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) exhorted the Muslims to treat the prisoners so well to such an
extent that the captors used to give the captives their bread (the more valued part of the meal) and
keep the dates for themselves.
Prisoners of war constituted a problem awaiting resolution because it was a new phenomenon in the
history of Islam. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) consulted Abu Bakr and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab as
to what he should do with the prisoners. Abu Bakr suggested that he should ransom them,
explaining this by saying: “They are after all our relatives, and this money would give us strength
against the disbelievers, moreover, Allâh could guide them to Islam.” ‘Umar advised killing them,
saying, “They are the leaders of
(disbelief).” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) preferred Abu
Bakr’s suggestion to that of ‘Umar’s. The following day, ‘Umar called on the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) and Abu Bakr to see them weeping. He shextreme astonishment and inquired about the
situation so that he might weep if it was worth weeping for, or else he would feign weeping.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said that a Qur’ânic verse had been revealed rebuking them for
taking ransom from the captives rather than slaying them:
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom)
until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of
this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allâh desires (for you) the
Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allâh, a
severe torment would have touched you for what you took.” [8:67,68]
The previous Divine ordainment went as follows,
“Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom) or ransom.”
Which included an area providing permission to take ransom, that is why no penalty was imposed.
They were rebuked only for taking prisoners before subduing all the land of disbelief. Apart from
this, the polytheists taken to Madinah were not only prisoners of war but rather archcriminals of war
whom modern war penal law brings to justice to receive their due sentence of death or prison for
The ransom for the prisoners ranged between 4000 and 1000 Dirhams
in accordance with the
captive’s financial situation. Another form of ransom assumed an educational dimension; most of
the Makkans, unlike the Madinese, were literate and so each prisoner who could not afford the
ransom was entrusted with ten children to teach them the art of writing and reading. Once the child
had been proficient enough, the instructor would be set free. Another clan of prisoners were
released unransomed on grounds of being hard up. Zainab, the daughter of the Prophet (Peace be
upon him), paid the ransom of her husband Abul-‘As with a necklace. The Muslims released her
prisoner and returned the necklace in deference to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) but on
condition that Abul-‘As allow Zainab to migrate to Madinah, which he actually did.
In captivity, there was also an eloquent orator called Suhail bin ‘Amr. ‘Umar suggested that they pull
out his front teeth to disable him from speaking, but the Prophet (Peace be upon him) turned down
his suggestion for fear Quraish should retaliate in the same manner on one hand, and on the other
for fear of Allâh’s wrath on the Day of Resurrection.
Sa‘d bin An-Nu‘man, a lesser pilgrim detained in Makkah, was released in return for setting Abu
Sufyan’s son, a captive, free.
The Chapter of
(spoils of war) was revealed on the occasion of the battle of Badr, Ramadan
17th 2 A.H. It constituted a unique Divine commentary on this battle.
Allâh, the All-High, in the context of this Chapter draws on major issues relating to the whole
process of Islamization. Allâh, here draws the attention of the Muslims to the still lingering moral
shortcomings in their character. He wants them to build an integrated, purified society. He speaks
about the invisible assistance he sent down to His obedient servants to enable them to accomplish
their noble objectives. He wants the Muslims to rid themselves of any trait of haughtiness or
arrogance that might sneak in. He wants them to turn toHim for help, obey Him and His Messenger
(Peace be upon him).
After that He delineated the noble objectives for which the Messenger (Peace be upon him) launched
that bloody battle, and directed them to the merits and qualities that brought about the great
victory.The polytheists, hypocrites, the Jews and prisoners of war were also mentioned, being
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