Seek Truth, Know Truth.

THE BATTLE OF TABUK

Posted on: November 14, 2007

According to the scholar of Syirah, this battle took place in Rajab, in 9th year of Hijra

OCCASION OF THE BATTLE

When Allah, Most High, ordered the believers to prohibit the disbelievers from entering or coming near the sacred Mosque, Quraish thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. Therefore, Allah, Most High, compensated them and ordered them to fight the people of the Book until they embrace Islam or pay the Jizah, Allah. Most High, says,

“O ye who believe! Truly the pagans ore unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah not the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, no acknowledge the religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission. and feel themselves subdued. (At-Tawbah: 28-29)”

Therefore, The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) decided to fight the Romans in order to call them to Islam. Allah Most High, says,

“O Ye who believer! Fight the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find harshness in you: and know that Allah is whit those who fear Him. (At-Tawbah: 123)”

Moreover, Allah, Most High, urges the believers to go forth to fight in the Cause of Allah’s saying,

“Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but knew). If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long (and weighed0 on them. They would indeed swear by Allah, ‘If we only could, we should certainly have come out with you: ‘They would destroy their own souls; for Allah doth know that they are certainly lying. (At-Tawbah: 41-42)”

“It is not for the believers to go forth together if a contingent form every expedition go forth to devote themselves to studies on religion, and admonish the people when they return; that thus they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil). (At-Tawbah: 122)”

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered his Companions to prepare to fight Romans at a time when men hard pressed; the heat was oppressive and there was drought; fruit was ripe and the men wanted to say in the shade with their fruit disliked traveling it that season.

Unlike his previous experiences, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in formed his Companions by the people whom he were going to fight because the journey was long, the season difficult, and the enemy in great strength, so that the men could make suitable preparations.

One day when he was making his arrangements, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to a man called Jadd of the tribe of Qays Ibn Salamah, “Would you like to fight the tribe al Al-Asfar, Jadd?’ He replied, ‘Will you allow me to stay behind and not tempt me, for every one knows that I am strongly addicted to women and I am afraid that if I see the Roman women and I shall not be able to control my self.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave him permission to remain behind and turned away from him. It was about him, Allah Most High, revealed the following Qur’anic verse,

“Among them is (many) a man who says, Grant me exemption and draw me not into trial. Have they not fallen into trial already? And indeed Hell surrounds the unbelievers (on all sides). (At-Tawbah: 49) “

The hypocrites and one to another, ‘Don’t go froth in heat.” Therefore, Allah, Most High, revealed in their connection,

“They said, Go not forth in heat. Say, The fire Hell is fiercer in heat, if only they could understand. Let them laugh they could understand. Let them laugh a little: Much will they weep: a recompense for the (evil) that they do. (At-Tawbah: 81-82)”

Moreover, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) urged his wealthy Companions to spend in the Way of Allah. According to Ibn Hisham, Uthman (may Alah be pleased with him) spend 1000 Dinar in the cause of Allah on the day of Tabuk when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “O Allah, may you be pleased with Uthman for I am pleased with him ”

THE WEEPERS

In the Glorious Qur’an Alllah, Most High, refers to this group of Muslims, saying,

“When Surah comes down, enjoining them to believe in Allah and to strive and fight along with His Messenger, those with wealth and influence among them ask thee for exemption, and say, ‘leave us (behind). ‘They prefer to be with (the women) who remain behind (at home): Their hearts are sealed and so they understand not. But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons, for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper. Allah hath prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein: that is supreme triumph. And there were, among the desert Arabs (also), men who made excuses and came to claim exemption: and those who were false to Allah and His Messenger (merely) sat behind: soon will a grievous chastisement seize the unbelievers among them. There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the Cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to Allah and His Messenger: no ground (of complaint) can there be against such as do right: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Nor (is there blame) on those who came to thee to be provided with mounts. And when thou saidst, ‘I can find no mounts for you,’ they turned back, their eyes streaming with tears of grief that they had no resources therewith to provide the expenses. The ground (of complaint) is only against such as claim exemption while they are rich. They prefer to stay with the (women) who remain behind: Allah hath sealed their hearts: so they know not. (At-Tawbah: 86-93) “

According to Ibn Ishaq, the weepers were seven men form the Ansar and other tribe. Yemin Ibn Umayr Ibn Ka’b mat Abu Laylah and Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal as they were weeping, and when he asked what they were crying fro the told him that they had applied to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for a mount, but that he had none to give them and they had nothing. Thereupon he gave them a watering camel, and they saddled it and provided them with some dates and so they went off with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

In this context, Al-Bukhari narrated that Abu Musa said, ‘We a group lf Al-Ash’aryun people went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and asked him to give us something to ride, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took an oath that he would not give us anything to ride. After a while, some camels of booty were brought to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he ordered that five camels be given to us. When we took those camels we said, ‘We have made the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forget his oath, and we will not be successful after that.’ So, I went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, ‘O Allah Messenger! You took an oath that you would no give us anything to ride, but you have given us . He said, ” Yes, for if I take an oath and later I see a better solution than that, I act on the later (and gave the expiation of that oaths. ” Some Bedouins came to apologize for not going, but Allah will not accept their excuse.

THE MUSLIM ARMY GOES FORTH

When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) road was clear he determined to set off. Now there was a number of Muslims who were slow to make up their minds so that they lagged behind without any doubt or misgivings. They were Ka’b Ibn Malik, Murara Ibn Ar-Rabi, and Hilal Ibn Umayyah. Their story, however, will be mentioned later in details.

When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had set out, he pitched his camp by Thaniyatul-wada. Abdullah Ibn Ubbai Ibn Salul pitched his camp separately below him in the direction of Dhubab. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went on, Ibn Salul separated from him and stayed behind with the hypocrites and doubters.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) order Ali to remain in Medina on order to look after his family. Al- Bukhari narrated that Sa’d said, ‘Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) set out for Tabuk, appointing Ali as his deputy in Medina. Ali said, ‘Do you want to leave me with the children and women?’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron to Moses? But there will be no Prophet after me.” Abu Khaithamah, according to Ibn Ishaq, returned to his family on a hot day some days after the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had set out. He found two wives of his in huts in his garden . Each had sprinkled her hut and cooled it with water and got ready food for him. When he arrived, he stood at the door of the hut and looked at his wives and what they had done for him and said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is out on the sun and the wind and the heat and Abu Khaithamah is in a cool shade, food prepared for him, resting in his property with a fair women. This is not just. By Allah, I will not enter either of your huts, but join the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so get ready some food for me.’ They did so and he went to his camel and saddled it and went out in search to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until he overtook him in Tabuk.

Ymayr Ibn Wahb Al-Juhani had overtaken Abu Khaithamah on the road as he came to find the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and they joined forces; when they approached the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as he was stopping in Tabuk, the army called attention to a man riding on the way and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “It would be Abu Khaithmah,” and so it was. Having dismounted he came and saluted the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “Woe to you, Abu Khaitham!” Then he told the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) what happened, and he spoke well and blessed him.

Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) continued his journey and men began to drop behind. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was told that so-and -so had dropped behind said, “Let him; for if there is any good in him Allah will decree him to join you, of not, Allah had rid you of him!” Finally, it was reported that Abu Dharr had dropped behind and his camel had delayed him. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said the same words. Abu Dharr waited on his camel and when it walked slowly with him he took his gear and loaded it on his back and went off walking in the track of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stooped at one of his halting-places when a man came his attention to someone walking on the way alone. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that he hoped it was Abu Dharr, and when the people had looked carefully they said that it was he. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah have mercy on Abu Dharr. He walks alone and he will die alone and be raised alone.”

THE PROPHET COMMANDS HIS COMPANIONS NOT TO DRINK THE WATER OF AL-HIJR

According to Ibn Ishaq, When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed Al-Hijr he stooped, and men got water from its well. When they went, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do not drink any of its water nor use it for ablutions. If you have used any of it for dough, then feed it to the camels and eat not of it, Let none of you go out at night alone but take a companion.” In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari narrated that Ibn Umar said, ‘When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed by Al-Hijr, he said, “Do not enter the dwelling places of those people who were unjust to themselves unless you enter in a weeping state lest the same calamity as of theirs should befall you.” The he covered his head and made his speed fast until he crossed the valley.’ When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reached Tabuk, Yuhanna Ibn Ru’ba governor of Ayla came and made a treaty with him and paid him the Jizyah. The people of Jarba and Adhrah also came and paid the Jizyah.

KHALID-IBN-ALWALEED GOES FORTH TO UKAYDIR AT DUMA

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent Khaild bin Walid to Ukaydir at Duma. Ukaydir Ibn Abdul-Malik was a Christian. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told Khalid that he would find him hunting wild cows. When Khalid went forth, he found Ukaydir and his brother hunting wild cows as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told him. Khalid and his companions seized Ukaydir and killed his brother. Ukaydir was wearing a gown of brocade covered with gold. Khalid stripped him of this and sent it to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Then Khalid brought Ukaydir to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who spared his life and made peace with him on condition that he paid the Jizyah.

RETURN TO MADINA

According to Ibn Ishaq, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stayed some ten nights, not more. Then retuned to Medina. Ib Sahih, Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Ans Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the latter said, ‘Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) returned from the Ghazwa of Tabuk, and when he approached Medina, he said, “There are some people in Medina who were with you all the time, you did not travel any portion of the journey nor crossed any valley, but they were with you.” The said, ‘O Alla, Messenger! Even though they were at Medina?’ He said, “Yes, because they were stopped by a genuine excuse.” Abu Humaid also narrated that, ‘We returned in the company of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from the Ghazwa of Tabuk, and when we looked upon Medina, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is Taba (Medina) and this is Uhud, a mountain that loves us and is loved by us.” As-Saib Ibn Yazid said, ‘I remember that I went out with the boys to (the place called) Thaniyat-ul-Wada’ to reveive Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’

THE THREE REPENTANT MUSLIMS

As we have said before, the three Muslims who were slow to make up their minds that they logged behind at Tabuk without any doubt or misgivings are: Ka’b Ibn Malik, Marara Ibn Ar-Tabi and Hilal Ibn Umayyah.

According to Al-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Ka,b Ibn Malik, Who, from among Kab’s sons, was the guide of Ka’b when he become blind, “I heard Ka’b Ibn Malik narrating the story of the Ghazwah Tabuk in which he failed to take part. Ka’b said, ‘I did not remain behind Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in any Ghazwah that he fought except the Ghazwah of Tabuk, and I failed to take part in the Ghazwah Badr, but Allah did not admonish anyone who had not participated in it, for in fact, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had gone out in search of the caravan of Quraish, but Allah made them the Muslims and their enemy meet without any appointment. I witnessed the night of Al-Aqabah (pledge) with Allah’s Messenger when we pledged for Islam, and I would not exchange it for the Badr battle although the Badr battle is more popular amongst the people than it (Aqabah pledge).

As for my news in the battle of Tabuk, I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in that Ghazwa.

By Allah, never had I two she-camels before, but I had then at them time of this Ghazwah. Whenever Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wanted to make a Ghazwah, he used to different Ghazwah until it was the time of that Ghazwah which Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fought in severe heat, facing, a long journey, desert, and the great number of enemy So the Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) announced to the Muslims clearly so that they might get prepared for then Ghazwah. So he informed them clearly of the destination he was going to. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was accompanied be a large number of Muslims who could not be listed in a book namely, a register.’

Ka’b added, any man who intended to be absent would think that the matter would remain hidden unless Allah revealed it through Divine Revelation. So Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fought that Ghazwah at the time when the fruits and ripened and the shade looked pleasant. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Companions prepared for the battle and I started to go out in order to get myself ready along with them, but I returned without doing anything. I would say to myself, ‘I cane do that.’ So I kept on delaying it every now and then until the people got ready and Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Muslims along with him departed, and I had not prepared anything for my departure, and I said, I will prepare myself (for departure0 one or two days after him and then join them.’ In the morning following their departure, I went out to get myself ready but returned having done nothing. Then again in the next morning, I went out to get ready but returned without doing anything. Such was the case with me until they hurried away and I missed the battle. Even then I intended to depart to take them over. I wish I had done so! But it was not in my luck. So, after the departure of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), whenever I went out and walked amongst the people (remaining persons), it grieved me that I could see none of those weak men whom Allah and excused. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) s did not remember me until he reached Tabuk, he said, ‘what did Ka’b do?’ A man from Banu Salamah said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! He has been stopped by his two Burdas (garments) and his looking at his own flanks with pride.’ Then Mu’adh Ibn Jabal said, ‘What bad thing you have said! By Allah! O Allah Messenger! We know nothing about him but good.’ Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kept silent.’

Ka’b Ibn Malik added, ‘When I heard that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was on his way back to Medina. I got dipped in my concern, and began to think of false excuse, saying to myself, ‘How can I avoid his anger tomorrow?’ And I took advice of wise member of my family in this matter. When it was said that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had come out of this problem by forging a false statement. Then I decided firmly to speak the truth. So Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) arrived in the morning, he used to visit the Mosque first of all and offer a two Rak’at Prayer therein and then sit for the people. So when he had done all that this time, those who had failed to join the battle Tabuk came and started offering false excuses and taking oaths before him. They were something over eighty men; accepted the excuses they had expressed, took their pledge of allegiance asked fro Allah’s Forgiveness for them, and left the secrets of their hearts fro Allah to judge. Then I came to him, and when I greeted him, he smiled a smile of an angry person and then said, ‘Come on.’ So I came walking until I sat before him. He said to me, ‘What stopped you from joining us. Had you not purchased an animal for carrying you?’ I answered, Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! But by Allah, if I were sitting before any person from among the people of the world other than you, I would have avoided his anger with an excuse. By Allah, I have been bestowed with the power of speaking fluently and eloquently, but by Allah, I know well that of today I tell you a lie to seek your favor, Allah would surely make you angry with me in the near future, but if I tell you the truth, though you will get angry because of it, I hope for Allah’s Forgiveness. Really, by Allah, there was no excuse for me. By Allah, I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind you.’ Then Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “As regards this man, he has surely told the truth, so get up until Allah decides your case.” I got up, and many of Banu Salamah followed me and said to me, By Allah we never witnessed you doing any sin before this. Surely, you failed to offer. Excuse to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as the others who did not join him, have offered. The Prayer of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to Allah to forgive you would have been sufficient for you.’ By Allah, they continued blaming me so much that I intended to return (to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and accuse myself of having told a lie, but I said to them, ‘Is there anybody else who has met the same fate as I have?’ They replied, ‘Yes, there are two men who have said the same thing as you have, and to both of them was given the same order as given to you.’ I said, ‘Who are they?’ they replied, Murara Ibn Ar-Rabi Al-Amri and Hilal In Umayyah Al-Waqifi By that they mentioned to me two pious men who who had attended the Ghazwah of Badr, and in whom there was an example fro me. So I did not change my mind when they mentioned them to me. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade all the Muslims to talk to us, the three aforesaid persons out of all those who had remained behind in that Ghazwah. SO we kept away from the people and they changed their attitude towards us until the very land (where I lived) appeared strange to me as if I did not know it.

We remained in that condition for fifty nights. As regards my two fellows, they remained in their boudes and kept on weeping, but I was they youngest of them and the firmest of them, so I used to go out and witness the Prayers along with the Muslims and roam about in the markets, but none would talk to me, and I would come to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and greet him while he was sitting in his gathering after the Prayer, and I would wonder whether the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did move his lips in return to my greetings or not. The I would offer my Prayer near to him and look at him stealthily. When I was busy with my Prayer, he would turn his face towards me, but when I turned my face to him, he would turn his face away from me. When his harsh attitude of the people lasted long, I walked until I scaled the wall of the garden of Abu Qatada who was my cousin and dearest person to me, and offered my greetings to him. Bay Allah, he did not return my greetings. I said, ‘O Abu Qatada! I beseech you by Allah! Do you know that I love Allah and His Messenger?’ He kept quiet. I asked him again, beseeching him by Allah, but he remained silent. Then I asked him again in the Name of Allah. He said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know it better.’ Thereupon my eyes flowed with tears and I returned and jumped over the wall.’

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