Islam 101- Who Is Muhammad? (PBUH) Part 2 of 2
It was here, in Medina, that Islam began to truly flourish. It was here that the laws of Islam were first put into practice, allowing the city and religion to blossom. Muhammad (PBUH) successfully brought peace amongst the warring factions of Medina, and quite a few of them became Muslim in the process. He drafted the Constitution of Medina which proclaimed the rights and duties of each of the citizens and detailed the relationship between each of the eight tribes of Medina and the Muslim emigrants.
Muhammad's (PBUH) success in Medina was like a thorn in the sides of the Meccans. Although he was no longer physically in their presence, he had become quite famous and was thus constantly with them through conversations. Muhammad (PBUH) knew that this was the time when he would have to make his military move if he was to be victorious in winning the Meccans to Islam. Also, there was a need for money since the Muslims had left all of their homes and means of wealth behind in Mecca. The solution was to raid the rich trade caravans coming and going from Mecca. This gave the Muslims a cache of military arms and wealth, but it also provoked the Meccans to war.
In 624 the first and possibly most famous major battle between the Muslims and the Meccans took place, the Battle of Badr. In this battle the Muslims were outnumbered more than 3 to 1, yet they were victorious. They killed at least 45 Meccans and took approximately 70 prisoners of war while losing only 14 Muslims. Many of the prisoners of war were wealthy, so the Muslims ransomed them off for high prices which further increased their growing wealth. The prisoners who could not afford to ransom themselves were let go for free.
Of course the Meccans were outraged and vowed all-out war on the Muslims until Muhammad (PBUH) was dead and Islam effectively obliterated. The next major battle was the Battle of Uhud, where the Muslims lost more than 75 men and were defeated by the Meccans. However, they were unsuccessful in killing the prophet or his closest companions, Umar and Abu Bakr, so they were not satisfied. It was in this battle that Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib, the beloved uncle of the prophet (PBUH) was killed.
The third major attack came in 627 when the Meccans once again mustered a huge army to attack Medina. The Muslims were forewarned of the impending attack and dug a trench around the unprotected parts of medina, making it impossible for the enemy to enter the city. The Meccan army led an ineffective attack and decided it was best to return home.
The next major event to take place was the Treaty of Hudaybiya. The verses commanding hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a person's life, had already been commanded, but the Muslims had not yet been able to make a pilgrimage. So, in the month of Shawwal in the year 628, the prophet (PBUH) and 1,400 Muslims set out for the lesser pilgrimage, Umra, wearing the simple white cloth that pilgrims wear. The Meccans heard the Muslims were coming and met them outside of Mecca at Hudaybiya. Here there were heavy negotiations that took place between the two sides, resulting in the treaty which made 4 main points:
1. Both sides would cease hostile activities against each other.
2. The Muslims would not be allowed to make the pilgrimage that year, but could return the following year for hajj.
3. When they come for hajj they should not stay in Mecca more than 3 days.
4. Any Muslims living in Mecca were forbidden to move to Medina, but any.
Muslims in Medina who wanted to return to Mecca could do so. Many of the Muslims were unhappy with the treaty since they felt it greatly favored the Meccans, but Allah revealed verses in the Qur'an that stated it was an emphatic victory. And indeed, it was. Because of the peace treaty the men of Mecca and Medina were able to meet in peace, and in the next two years the number of Muslims more than doubled.
Two years after the treaty was signed, a clan associated with the Meccans raided a clan associated with the Muslims, killing several people. Muhammad (PBUH) sent a letter to the Meccans stating that either they should pay blood money for the killed, or cease all ties with the offending clan, or consider the Treaty of Hudaybiya nullified. The Meccans chose to nullify the treaty, but soon realized that was a mistake. They sent a delegation to try to reinstate the treaty, but Muhammad (PBUH) denied them.
In the year 630 he prophet (PBUH) gathered a huge army of more than 10,000 men and marched on Mecca. Without a drop of blood shed, the Muslims marched into Mecca and took control. Muhammad forgave all of the Meccans for the crimes that they had committed against the Muslims, which was revolutionary for that place and time, the norm would have been revenge. Muhammad (PBUH) marched right up to the Ka'aba, entered it, and smashed all of the idols that were housed inside. Almost all of the Meccans converted to Islam though they were not forced to, and, because of Mecca's importance to Arabia, very shortly after all of Arabia converted to Islam.
In 632 Muhammad (PBUH) became ill and passed away at the age of 62. He had succeeded in taking the pagan, tribal society of Arabia and changing it to a monotheistic land that denounced tribalism and nationalism and completely changed every aspect of the society and government. He had proved himself to be a prophet of God, a man of truth, a man who revolutionized the world for all time, a loving husband and father, an intelligent and highly successful politician, a master of strategy and military command, a faithful friend, a good neighbor and the greatest man to ever walk the face of the earth. He is Muhammad (PBUH), the prophet of God sent as a mercy to all of the world.