Page 85 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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2. The purely Madinese polytheists constituted the second sector with whom the Prophet
(Peace be upon him) had to deal. Those people had no control at all over the Muslim. Some
of them nursed no grudge against the Muslims, but were rather skeptical of their ancestors’
religious practices, and developed tentative inclination towards Islam and before long they
embraced the new faith and were truly devoted to Allâh. However, some others harboured
evil intentions against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his followers but were too
cowardly to resist them publicly, they were rather, under those Islamically favourable
conditions, obliged to fake amicability and friendliness. ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, who had almost
been given presidency over Al-Khazraj and Al-Aws tribes in the wake of Bu‘ath War between
the two tribes, came at the head of that group of hypocrites. The Prophet’s advent and the
vigorous rise of the new spirit of Islam foiled that orientation and the idea soon went into
oblivion. He, seeing another one, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), coming to deprive him
and his agents of the prospective temporal privileges, could not be pleased, and for
overriding reasons he showed pretension to Islam but with horrible disbelief deeply-rooted
in his heart. He also used to exploit some events and weak-hearted new converts in
scheming malevolently against the true believers.
3. The Jews (the Hebrews), who had migrated to Al-Hijaz from Syria following the Byzantine
and Assyrian persecution campaigns, were the third category existent on the demographic
scene in Madinah. In their new abode they assumed the Arabian stamp in dress, language
and manner of life and there were instances of intermarriage with the local Arabs, however
they retained their ethnic particularism and detached themselves from amalgamation with
the immediate environment. They even used to pride in their Jewish-Israeli origin, and
spurn the Arabs around designating them as illiterate meaning brutal, naïve and backward.
They desired the wealth of their neighbours to be made lawful to them and they could thus
appropriate it the way they liked.
“… because they say: “There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the
illiterates (Arabs)” [3:75]
Religiously, they showed no zeal; their most obvious religious commodity was fortunetelling,
witchcraft and the secret arts (blowing on knots), for which they used to attach to themselves
advantages of science and spiritual precedence.
They excelled at the arts of earning money and trading. They in fact monopolized trading in cereals,
dates, wine, clothes, export and import. For the services they offered to the Arabs, the latter paid
heavily. Usury was a common practice amongst them, lending the Arab notables great sums to be
squandered on mercenary poets, and in vanity avenues, and in return seizing their fertile land given
as surety.
They were very good at corrupting and scheming. They used to sow seeds of discord between
adjacent tribes and entice each one to hatch plots against the other with the natural corollary of
continual exhaustive bloody fighting. Whenever they felt that fire of hatred was about to subside,
they would nourish it with new means of perpetuity so that they could always have the upper hand,
and at the same time gain heavy interest rates on loans spent on inter-tribal warfare.
Three famous tribes of Jews constituted the demographic presence in Yathrib (now Madinah): Banu
Qainuqua‘, allies of Al-Khazraj tribe, Banu An-Nadir and Banu Quraizah who allied Al-Aws and
inhabited the suburbs of Madinah.
Naturally they held the new changes with abhorrence and were terribly hateful to them, simply
because the Messenger of Allâh was of a different race, and this point was in itself too repugnant for
them to reconcile with. Second, Islam came to brabout a spirit of rapport, to terminate the state of
enmity and hatred, and to establish a social regime based on denunciation of the prohibited and
promotion of the allowed. Adherence to these canons of life implied paving the way for an Arab
unity that could work to the prejudice of the Jews and their interests at both the social and
economic levels; the Arab tribes would then try to restore their wealth and land misappropriated by
the Jews through usurious practices.
The Jews of course deeply considered all these things ever since they had known that the Islamic
Call would try to settle in Yathrib, and it was no surprise to discover that they harboured the most
enmity and hatred to Islam and the Messenger (Peace be upon him) even though they did not have
the courage to uncover their feelings in the beginning.
The following incident could attest clearly to that abominable antipathy that the Jews harboured
towards the new political and religious changes that came to stamp the life of Madinah. Ibn Ishaq,
on the authority of the Mother of believers Safiyah (May Allah be pleased her) narrated: Safiyah,
daughter of Huyayi bin Akhtab said: I was the closest child to my father and my uncle Abi Yasir’s
heart. Whenever they saw me with a child of theirs, they should pamper me so tenderly to the
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