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Sirat Rasoul Allah

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6- Permission to Wage War

When Allah gave His apostle permission to wage war, the promise to fight immediately became a condition of allegiance to Islam. This had not been so at the first meeting on the hillside, when homage was paid 'in the manner of women'; Allah had not then given His apostle permission to fight. He had given permission neither to wage war nor to shed blood, but only to call men to Allah, to endure insults patiently, and to pardon the ignorant. Some of the followers of the apostle had therefore been forced to flee from persecution into the countryside, some to Abyssinia, others to Medina and elsewhere. When the Quraysh rejected the mercy of Allah and spurned His prophet, they tormented or drove away men who proclaimed the One‑ness of Allah, believed in His prophet, and adhered to His religion.

Allah therefore permitted Muhammad to fight and to aid his against those who tyrannized over them. The first verse which came down permitting him to wage war and to shed began, 'Permission is granted unto those who fight they have been oppressed, and Allah may aid those who have been driven from their homes merely for saying “Our Lord is Allah”. The verse continued by explaining that they had committed no crime against the people except that they worshipped Allah, and when they made Islam universal they would observe the appointed times of prayer, give alms, and enjoin all men to do good and to abstain from evil. Then a further verse was recorded: ‘Fight against them until there be no more temptation’ ‑ until Believers shall no more be tempted to abandon their religion ‑ ‘and until the religion be Allah’s’, that is, until Allah alone shall be worshipped and none else besides Him.

Since permission to fight had now been granted, the apostle of Allah accepted allegiance at the second meeting on the hill only from people who swore to fight for him and his Lord against all men. He promised paradise as a reward.

‘After the act of allegiance was over, Satan roared from the top of the hill in such a loud voice as I had never heard. He cried to the people of Mina [the surrounding countryside]: “Beware of this despicable apostate and his followers! Verily they are assembled to attack you!” And the apostle of Allah replied “This is the Contemptible One of the hill. Hearken to me, o enemy of Allah! I shall make an end of thee yet!” Then the apostle told the people to depart to their caravans again, but one of them said, “If thou wish it, tomorrow we shall attack these people of Mina with our swords.” The apostle of Allah replied, “We have not been commanded to do that.” Accordingly we returned to our caravans and slept there till the morning.

‘When we rose in the morning some of the most distinguished Quraysh paid our encampments a visit and said they had heard we meant to take Muhammad from them and had pledged ourselves to attack them. Then several of the idolaters among our ­people rose, knowing nothing of the night’s work, and swore that such was not the case, and that we knew nothing about it.  Herein they spoke the truth, but only on their own account.’

After the Helpers had left for Medina , the Quraysh made inquiries about the rumour and found confirmation of it.  Accordingly, they set off in pursuit and overtook two of  the twelve ‘leaders’. One of these escaped, but they captured the other, tied his hands to his neck with thongs from his camel, and took him to Mecca , where they beat him and dragged him about by his abundant hair. Later he told how ‘some Quraysh men approached and among them was one of handsome appearance, neatly dressed. So I said to myself, if there be good in any of these people, it will be in this man; but when he approached me he raised his hand, and struck me a violent blow. Then I said to myself, “There is no good among them.” But one man had pity on me and said, “Is there no alliance between thee and any man of the Quraysh?” I replied, “There are some whom I have pro­tected or defended against those who wished to oppress them in my country”, and he said, “Then shout out the names of these men and tell what has taken place.” So he went in search of them and they came and delivered me from the hands of the Quraysh,

When on the hill, the Helpers swore allegiance to the apostle, to adopt Islam, to aid him and those who followed him as well as any other Muslims who might seek shelter with them, he ordered his companions and others who were with him in Mecca to emigrate to Medina , that they might meet their Helper brothers. He said: ‘Allah has marked out for you kinsmen and homes where you may find refuge.’ Accordingly, the Meccan followers left the city in groups. These were afterwards known as the Emigrants, and were then over one hundred in number.

But the apostle of Allah remained in Mecca , waiting for his Lord’s command to leave Mecca and to migrate to Medina .

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