A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|A typical event following the Battle of Hunayn|
|03/02/05 at 01:17:11|
|With the conquest of Makka, many former enemies of Islam accepted|
belief. After years of enmity and battle, it was naturally difficult
for them to acquire sincerity of belief at the very outset of their
conversion. So, God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, in
order to `reconcile their hearts' and enable them to become committed
more fully and sincerely to Islam, preferred them over the others in
the distribution of the spoils of war following the Battle of Hunayn,
which took place shortly after the conquest of Makka.
The spoils consisted of 24,000 camels, 40,000 sheep and goats and
10,000 pounds of gold and silver. God's Messenger gave Abu Sufyan and
his family 300 camels and 250 pounds of gold and silver, 200 camels
to Hakim ibn Hizam, and 100 camels each to Nusayr ibn al-Harith, Qays
ibn Asiyy, Safwan ibn Umayya, Malik ibn Awf, Akra ibn Habis
and `Uyayna ibn Hisn. By doing this, God's Messenger, upon him be
peace and blessings, also repaired the wounded pride of the Makkan
Some of the younger Muslims among the Helpers (the Ansar of Madina),
however devoted to God's Messenger and the cause of Islam they were,
were upset at the distribution, not because of attachment to worldly
things but because those Makkan chiefs had once been the most bitter
enemies of Islam and had inflicted severe blows upon them in the
previous battles. This upset might have caused the beginning of a
movement of dissent among the Muslims. When informed of the situation
by Sa`d ibn `Ubada, who was one of the two leaders of the Helpers,
God's Messenger ordered that the Helpers should come together in a
certain place where he would address them. When they were assembled,
he began his address to them in a dramatic way to attract and hold
their attention and to impress their souls. He said:
O Community of the Helpers! I have heard that you are displeased with
Following this striking opening, he continued in that powerful
impressive style, reminding the Helpers of God's blessings upon them
through him. He said:
Were you not in misguidance when I came to you? And has God not
guided you to the truth through me?
Were you not in poverty when I came to you? And has God not enriched
you through me?
Were you not in internal conflicts when I came to you? And has God
not reconciled you through me?
The Helpers gave the same unanimous answer to each question of God's
Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings:
— True, O God's Messenger! We are indebted to God and His Messenger!
After reminding them of God's infinite blessings upon them through
him, God's Messenger recounted the services of the Helpers to Islam,
O Community of the Helpers! If you had desired, you could have
answered me differently and said:
Your people denied you but we believed in you; you came to us left
alone to yourself, but we admitted you and protected you. Your people
exiled you but we embraced you. You came to us with nothing to
subsist on, and we met all your needs. If you had responded to me so,
you would have told the truth and no one would have stood up to
O Community of the Helpers! If you were upset when I gave some
worldly goods to those whom I desired to become Muslims, do you not
wish to return home with God's Messenger while the others are
returning with camels and sheep? I swear by God, in Whose Hand of
Power is my soul, that if all other people took a different direction
from that of the Helpers, I would go, without hesitation, along with
the Helpers. Had it not been for the Emigration, I wished so much I
had been one from the Helpers! O God, protect the Helpers and their
These words were enough for the Helpers to burst into tears, and all
of them responded with one voice, saying:
— We are content with God and His Messenger. We desire nothing else.
Although uttered extempore, this speech, besides nipping in the bud a
possible dissenting movement, reconquered the hearts of the Helpers,
may God be pleased with them all. It will be worthwhile briefly to
analyze this in order to understand its sagacity.
First of all, this speech was made to the Helpers separately from the
Emigrants. Since the ones who felt offended by the Prophet's
distribution of the war spoils were from the Helpers. God's Messenger
excluded the Emigrants to enable him to deliver a more precise and
direct speech and to get the addressees to concentrate more on what
he would say. By excluding the Emigrants, God's Messenger honoured
the Helpers specifically and exerted a psychological influence upon
them from the outset.
A further merit of this decision is that some of his statements, such
as `while the others are returning with sheep and camels', might have
hurt the feelings of Makkans. Similarly, his praise of the Helpers
and prayer for them exclusively might have hurt the feelings of the
Emigrants, who had left their families and native land for the sake
of God's Messenger.
Second, the speech, when considered in its Arabic original, is
extraordinary for the eloquence of its rhetoric.
Third, it is worth repeating that God's Messenger had won the
attention of his listeners after the dramatic opening and then, by
continuing to speak to them and for them, he succeeded in keeping
them in rapt attention.
Fourth, God's Messenger did not resort to flattery or a diplomatic
mode of statement. Rather, he spoke in plain sincerity, which was
vital in securing the desired influence upon the listeners.
Fifth, the extempore nature of the speech was also significant in
obtaining the desired result. The freshness and force of such an
unprepared address, on such occasions, is often more affecting than
Those few examples I have cited to illustrate the intellect of God's
Messenger demonstrate that he did not speak or act of himself;
rather, what he said and did carried the charge or force of one
fulfilling a Divine mission.
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