Page 110 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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(Peace be upon him) and his followers. He set out at the head of 200 men towards Madinah but was
not brave enough to attack it in broad daylight. He, instead resorted to acts of piracy that are
performed in the dark. He infiltrated into the Prophet ’s town and went to see an old ally Huyai bin
Akhtab, who was too cowardly to let him in, so he left for Salam bin Mashkam, chief of Bani Nadeer,
a tribe of Jews. The Jew entertained and gave him a full account of the situation therein. Late at
night he despatched a group of his men to raid Al-‘Uraid, a suburb of Madinah. There, the men felled
and burnt the palm trees, killed two Muslims and then took swiftly to their heels.
On hearing the news, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gathered his men and set out at their heels,
but could not catch them. The Muslims brought back the provisions (
, a kind of barley
porridge) which the polytheists had thrown aside in order to lighten their loads and hasten their
escape; hence this campaign was called As-Sawiq Invasion. It took place in Dhul-Hijjah 2 A.H., two
months after the event of Badr.
The Prophet ’s intelligence personnel reported that Banu Tha‘labah and Banu Muhârib were
mustering troops with the aim of raiding the outskirts of Madinah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him)
at the head of 450 horsemen and footmen set out to handle this new situation. ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan
was asked to dispose the affairs of the Muslims in Madinah. On their way, they captured a man who
embraced Islam and acted as a guide for the army. When the enemies heard of the approach of the
Muslims, they hurriedly dispersed in the mountains and disappeared. The Muslims encamped at a
watering place called “Dhi Amr” for the whole of Safar 3 A.H. The Prophet (Peace be upon him)
aimed to impress upon the desert bedouins in the area, that the Muslims were then powerful enough
to cast fear and awe into the hearts of their enemies.
Ka‘b bin Al-Ashraf was the most resentful Jew at Islam and the Muslims, the keenest on inflicting
harm on the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and the most zealous advocate of waging war
against him. He belonged to Tai’ tribe but his mother to Banu Nadeer. He was a wealthy man known
for his handsomeness, and a poet living in luxury in his fort south east of Madinah at the rear of
Banu Nadeer’s habitations.
On hearing the news of Badr, he got terribly exasperated and swore that he would prefer death to
life if the news was true. When this was confirmed he wrote poems satirizing Muhammad (Peace be
upon him), eulogizing Quraish and enticing them against the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He then
rode to Makkah where he started to trigger the fire of war, and kindle rancour against the Muslims
in Madinah. When Abu Sufyan asked him which religion he was more inclined to, the religion of the
Makkans or that of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companions, he replied that the pagans
were better guided. Wrespect to this situation, Allâh revealed His Words:
“Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in
, and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than
the believers (Muslims).” [4:51]
He then returned to Madinah to start a fresh campaign of slanderous propaganda that took the form
of obscene songs and amatory sonnets with a view to defaming the Muslim women.
At this stage, the situation became unbearable and could no longer be put up with. The Prophet
(Peace be upon him) gathered his men and said: “Who will kill Ka‘b bin Al-Ashraf? He had maligned
Allâh, and His Messenger.” Thereupon, Muhammad bin Maslamah, ‘Abbad bin Bishr, Al-Harith bin
Aws, Abu ‘Abs bin Hibr and Salkan bin Salamah, Ka‘b’s foster brother, volunteered to do the job.
Muhammad bin Maslamah said: “O Messenger of Allâh, do you wish that I should kill him?” He said:
“Yes.” He said: “Permit me to talk (to him in the way I deem fit).” He said: “Talk (as you like).” So,
Muhammad bin Maslamah came to Ka‘b and talked to him, saying: “This man (i.e. the Prophet
(Peace be upon him)) has made up his mind to collect charity (from us) and this has put us to a
great hardship.” When he heard this, Ka‘b said: “By Allâh you will be put to more trouble by him.”
Muhammad bin Maslamah answered: “No doubt, now we have become his followers and we do not
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