By Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, New Age Islam
(Translated from Urdu by Newageislam.com)
Explaining the Verse 9:58 out of 26 Verses Presented by Wasim Rizvi in Supreme Court
Main points discussed in part 10
Background of Ghazwa-e-Hunain between the Muslims and the militant tribes Hawazin and Thaqif
Steadfastness of close companions and relatives on the battlefield of Hunain
Release of war-captives and a heart-touching incident of the Prophet’s foster sister Hazrat Shaima
Distribution of the war booty in which priority was given to the neo-Muslims
Three opinions about the reason of the revelation of verse 9:58
Verse 9:58 revealed about the Dhul Khawaisira or Abu Al-Jawaz or those whose hearts were to be reconciled to Islam
(14) Allah Almighty says, “[translation] And among them is one who slanders you regarding the distribution of charity; so if they receive some of it they would be happy – and if not, thereupon they get displeased!” (9:58)
Before discussing the reason of revelation, meaning and significance of this verse, let us take a brief look at the history of Ghazwa-e-Hunain.
After the conquest of Makkah, though the glory of Muslims had settled in the hearts of all the Arab tribes and they themselves were increasingly accepting Islam. Yet there were some rebellious tribes who did not accept Islam and were eager to waging war against the Muslims. Among them were the prominent and militant tribes of Hawazin and Thaqif. The successive conquests and authority of Islam nearly eroded their identity and prominence. Therefore, the elders and dignitaries of these two tribes unanimously decided to fight the Muslims with full force. The tribes that the Muslims had encountered so far were different from such people. They unanimously agreed to wage an offensive attack against the Muslims with all their might. Their excitement of fighting reached such an extent that they took with them their wealth and children at the behest of Malik b. Awf al-Nasri, the chief of the Hawazin tribe (who later embraced Islam and became a noble companion), so that the fighters would remain steadfast on the battlefield and benefit their courage and strength.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was not unaware of them either. He sent Hazrat Abdullah b. Hadrad al-Aslami to Hunain to receive accurate and detailed information about the intentions and war preparations of Hawazin and Thaqeef and other related issues. There was also the need to look for any form of reconciliation so that the turn of killing and fighting could not come. Hazrat Abdullah bin Hadrad conducted a secret investigation in the best possible way and informed the Holy Prophet of details about the enthusiastic war preparations of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes. After considering the situation, the Prophet did not sit in the Haram of Makkah to wait for the attack. If he had done so, it would have violated the sanctity of the Haram. So before the attackers came to attack, the Prophet went ahead and planned to attack them and started preparing for it vigorously. For war expenses, the Prophet borrowed thirty thousand dirhams from Abdullah b. Rabi'ah and one hundred armours from Safwan b. Umayyah (who embraced Islam after the conquest of Hunain).
Then the Prophet, along with ten thousand companions from Ansar and Muhajireen, one thousand new-Muslims, one thousand non-Muslims and the people of Makkah, went to Hunain. Looking at this large group, some of them said, "Who can overcome us today?" This did not please Allah Almighty. The narrations of Ghazwa-e-Hunain narrated in the several hadiths indicate that the enemies had an idea of the route that the Islamic forces were coming from, so they ambushed to attack from the safe places of the valley of Huniyn. They had set up barracks and housed their skilled archers therein.
It was not until dawn when the Islamic Army's Muqaddam al-Jaish reached there, and then the soldiers of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes fired arrows at them from all directions. According to Ibn Ishaq, Jabir Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him), who witnessed the Battle of Hunain, said,
“When we approached the valley of Hunain, we came down through a valley-wide and sloping. We were descending gradually in the morning twilight. The enemy had got there before us and had hidden in it by paths and sidetracks and narrow places. They had collected and been fully prepared and by Allah, we were terrified when, as we were coming down, the squadrons attacked us as one man, the people fled none heeding the other. (Ibn Hisham, vol.2, p.442)
It was the Banu Saleem that first returned, and then the people of Makkah fled. The whole army became confused and some started running here and there to save their lives. No one was left in a position to correctly sense the situation. The Holy Quran illustrates this event;
“Indeed Allah helped you on many occasions – and on the day of Hunain – when you prided in your multitude, so it did not benefit you at all, and the earth despite being vast became restricted for you – then you turned back and returned.” (9:25)
The men ran away except that a number of Muhajreen (Muslims migrated with the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Makkah to Madinah) and Ansar (Muslim residents of Madinah) and men of his family remained with the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar Ibn Khattab, Ali Ibn Talib, Al-Abbas bin Abdullah, Abu Fadl Al-Abbas, Usamah Ibn Zaid, Ayman b. Ubayd, Abu Sufyan, Mughirah b. Harith b. Abdul Muttalib and his sons Hazrat Ja’far and Rabi’ah (may Allah be pleased with them) were amongst the Muhajireen who stood firm with the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hazrat Umm-e-Saleem, the mother of Hazrat Anas b. Malik was also one of the steadfast companions. Meanwhile, the Holy Prophet commanded Hazrat Abbas to call out to the Ansar and the Muhajireen companions loudly. Hazrat-e-Abbas called out at the top of the voice, “O party of Ansar”, “O people of Samura (who had sworn allegiance under the shade of a tree in Hudaybiyyah)”. Hazrat Abbas said, “And by God, when they heard my voice, they came back (to us) as cows come back to their calves, and said: We are present, we are present! Hazrat Abbas said: They began to fight the infidels. Then there was a call to the Ansar. Those (who called out to them) shouted: O party of the Ansar! O party of the Ansar! Banu al-Harith b. al-Khazraj were the last to be called. Those (who called out to them) shouted: O Banu Al-Harith b. al-Khazraj! O Banu Harith b. al-Khazraj! And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) who was riding on his mule looked at their fight with his neck stretched forward and he said: This is the time when the fight is raging hot. Then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took (some) pebbles and threw them in the face of the infidels. Then he said: By the Lord of Muhammad, the infidels are defeated. Hazrat Abbas said, “I went around and saw that the battle was in the same condition in which I had seen it. By Allah, it remained in the same condition until he threw the pebbles. I continued to watch until I found that their force had been spent out and they began to retreat.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Hadith 94)
It then happened that only their belongings, pieces of equipment, women and children remained steadfast on the battlefield. Allah Almighty says, “Then Allah sent down His calm upon His Noble Messenger and upon the Muslims, and sent down armies you did not see, and punished the disbelievers, and such is the reward of the deniers.” (9:26)
The spoils of war that the Muslims obtained were 24 thousand camels, 40 thousand sheep and goats, 4 thousand ounces of silver. The holy Prophet (peace be upon him) sent all these spoils of war to Ja’raana where Ihram for the Hajj pilgrimage is worn.
Here your heart will be filled with emotion by reading an incident. Among the captives of the battle of Hunain was Shaima the daughter of Harith, with whom the Prophet had spent some times at the house of Hazrat Halima Saadia. When she was caught, she claimed that she was the sister of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She was taken to the Prophet with great respect. When she arrived in his blessed presence she said, “O God’s Messenger! I am your foster-sister” to which the Prophet asked, “What is your sign and proof?”. In response, Shaima said, “O Messenger of Allah, you had bitten me in your childhood. Here is the scar!” She then began to recount all her memories of that day. When the Prophet saw the scar, he remembered and recognized his foster-sibling. He spread out his cloak and invited her to sit with him. He approached with great affection and tenderness. A great many years had passed and his childhood memories were now flashing before his very eyes. He was very emotional and tears welled up in his eyes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her, “If you like, you can stay with me and always be loved and honoured, and if you like, I will cater for you and then send you back to your people”. Shaima accepted Islam and consented to go back to her tribe. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a maid, a few camels and goats as a gift and she returned to her tribe happily. (Seerat al-Nabi, vol.4, p.490)
After the conquest of Hunain, the Holy Prophet laid siege to Ta'if. The siege lasted for twenty days, but it was not successful. Since the siege was intended only for defence, he lifted the siege after twenty days and came to "Ja’rana" to distribute the war booty.
In Ja'rana, the holy Prophet was waiting for a delegation from Hawazin and Banu Saad (to which the Prophet’s foster mother Hazrat Halima Saadia belonged) for the release of prisoners of war. The delegation came and pleaded for the release of their captives in a heart-touching appeal. The head of the delegation said,
“Among the prisoners are your foster mothers and sisters (referring to Haleema Saadia and Shaima). They nursed you and fondled you in their bosoms. We have known you a suckling, a weaning child, youth generous and noble. Now you have risen to this dignity, be gracious to us, even as the Lord has been gracious to you. And you are the best of those nursed by any foster mother”. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was so moved with these words that he recommended the Muslims including Muhajirin and Ansaar to release the prisoners. Thus they were released and every one of them was given a shawl as a gift which was unprecedented in the history of tribal wars. This gesture won the hearts of the people and they embraced Islam in thousands.
Distribution of the war booty
While distributing the war booty, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) not only gave priority to the new Muslims in order to reconcile their hearts to Islam but also gave them relatively more booty, the details of which are as follows: He gave 300 camels to Abu Sufyan and his descendants, 200 camels to Hakim bin Hazzam, one hundred camels to eight other people, fifty camels to many people and four camels and forty goats to each member of the army, in which the share of riders was more.
The Ansar companions, along with others, objected to this distribution, as it is mentioned in Sahih Muslim Volume II. But their objection was full of love and affection, and the real motive for their objection was that they feared that perhaps now the Prophet (peace be upon him) would leave us alone in Madinah and move back to Makkah with his family. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the Ansaar companions, “Do you not like other people to take camels and goats and you to go to your house with Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?”
However, some hypocrites started using blasphemous and disheartening words in a very painful and aggressive manner, which caused great shock to the blessed heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It was at this time that Allah Almighty revealed verses 58, 59, 60 of Surah Tawbah and disclosed their greed and lust. He Almighty said,
“[translation] And among them is one who slanders you regarding the distribution of charity; so if they receive some of it they would be happy – and if not, thereupon they get displeased!” (9:58)
We find differences in the reported statements of the Mufassirin about the reason for the revelation of this verse 9:58. The author of Tafsir-e-Abi Saud has presented three opinions about the verse, out of which the first opinion is termed by him "the clearest".
(1) The first opinion is that this verse was revealed about Abu Al-Jawaz, a hypocrite who said to the companions about the distribution of booty, “Do you not see that your master is distributing your alms among the shepherds and that he thinks that he is doing justice?”
(2) The second opinion is that this verse was revealed about Dhul Khawaisira, a man from the tribe of Bani Tamim and the chief of Kharijites, said about the distribution of the booty of Hunain, “O Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)! Act justly.” The Prophet said, “Woe to you! Who else would act justly if I did not act justly?” ‘Umar said (to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
(3) The third opinion is that this was revealed about those whose hearts were to be reconciled towards Islam. (Tafsir Abi Saud vol. 4 p. 75).
The full hadith is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari in which Sa’id Al-Khudri narrated,
While the Prophet (peace be upon him) was distributing (war booty etc.) one day, Dhul Khawaisira, a man from the tribe of Bani Tamim, said, “O Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)! Act justly.” The Prophet said, “Woe to you! Who else would act justly if I did not act justly?” ‘Umar said (to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Allow me to chop his neck off.” The Prophet said, “No, for he has companions (who are apparently so pious that) if anyone of (you compares his prayer with) their prayer, he will consider his prayer inferior to theirs, and similarly his fasting inferior to theirs, but they will desert Islam (go out of religion) as an arrow goes through the victim's body (games etc.) in which case if its Nasl is examined nothing will be seen thereon, and if its Nady is examined, nothing will be seen thereon, and if its Qudhadh is examined, nothing will be seen thereon, for the arrow has gone out too fast even for the excretions and blood to smear over it. Such people will come out at the time of difference among the (Muslim) people and the sign by which they will be recognized will be a man whose one of the two hands will look like the breast of a woman or a lump of flesh moving loosely.” Abu Sa’id added, “I testify that I heard that from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and also testify that I was with ‘Ali when ‘Ali fought against those people. The man described by the Prophet was searched for among the killed, and was found, and he was exactly as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had described him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari : Book 78, Hadith 189)
Here it is necessary to know that the people whose hearts the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) reconciled towards Islam by giving more booty on the occasion of the conquest of Hunain were the esteemed people of Quraysh and they had a great influence on the Arab tribes and now they have embraced Islam. It was not long before Islam was firmly fixed in their hearts, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave them priority when distributing the booty in view of benefits and so that Islam would settle in their hearts. And this is one of the requirements of the government. Sometimes the government has to deal with influential people who are not fully subject to the government. They are in such a position that if they are forced to be under control, it is feared that they may join hands with the enemy and pose a great danger, as is sometimes the case in the border areas.
In such a case, the government treats them sympathetically. The government gives them more privileges than others to get their full sympathy and sometimes even sponsors them financially so that they are not close to the enemy and remain loyal to the government. In view of these interests, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) treated these new respectable Muslims of Quraysh with priority and gave them more privileges. But the hypocrites could not bear all this and they showed their hypocrisy on which Hazrat Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him) sought permission from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to cut off his neck, which showed that if anyone had insulted the dignity of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he was guilty and liable to be beheaded.
(The remaining 12 verses will be explained in the next parts, Insha Allah, after the month of Ramazan)
Maulana Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, Principal of Madrasa Arabia Ashrafia Zia-ul-Uloom Khairabad, District Mau, UP (India) is a Sufi-minded, well-mannered, classical Islamic scholar, an expert teacher, an excellent writer, a good poet and orator. He has authored numerous books, some of which are as follows: 1) Fazilat-e-Ramazan, 2) Zad-ul-Haramain, 3) Mukhzin-e-Tib, 4) Tauzeehat-e-Ahsan, the commentary on the well-known logical book “Mulla Hasan” 5) Muhazarat fi Halle Qutbi Tasawwurat, 6) Tahzib al-Faraid commentary on “Sharh al-Aqaid”, 7) Atayib al-Tahani fi Halle Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani, 8) Commentary on Sahih Muslim
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