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Jairana: A landmark in the history of Islam

Source : Arab News | 02 Oct 2012

The bloodless conquest of Makkah occupies a great moment in the history of Islam. But when the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) heard of war preparedness of Hawazen and Thaqeef, he marched to Taif heading a 12,000 strong force. It was the largest force commanded by him at that time. Initially, Muslims suffered a setback, but with the Prophet’s (pbuh) undaunted courage and strong faith in Allah’s support they defeated the large pagan force at the Battle of Hunain.

The enemy fled leaving behind a large booty: 6,000 captives, 24,000 camels, over 40,000 goats and 4000 Oqya (about 580 kg) of silver. The pagan force re-assembled at Taif and fortified them in the local castle. The Prophet sent the booty under Masud bin Amr Al Ghifari to a safer place called Jairana and marched to Taif and besieged the enemy for 20 days. The purpose of the siege was to break the morale of the enemy. Subsequently many people escaped from the castle and joined the Muslim force. When the Prophet (pbuh) felt that the enemy had no courage to attack the Muslims, he lifted the siege and returned to Jairana where he honored his ‘foster’ sister named Shaima, distributed the booty, released 6000 captives, made a declaration about Ansar of Madinah, welcomed an enemy commander, and performed Umrah.

Shaima: Among the captives was Shaima, who claimed to be the foster sister of the Prophet. When brought before the Prophet, she said she was the daughter of Abu Kabsha and Haleema Saadiya, the Prophet’s foster parents.

The Prophet (pbuh) welcomed her by spreading his shawl on the ground for her. She reminded of his bite mark on her body, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) recognized and tears rolled down his cheeks. He offered her to stay with him. She embraced Islam and the Prophet gave her a gift of one maid with few camels and goats when she left for her tribe.

Distribution of booty: After the fall of political hierarchy, the leaders of Makkah, who had embraced Islam, were left empty-handed. The Prophet honored them in such a way that they were amazed by his generosity. The Prophet (pbuh) gave 100 camels and 40 Oqya silver to Abu Sufyan (his former arch enemy), who said, “What about my son Yazid”? The Prophet said, “The same for him.” Abu Sufyan said, ‘And what about my other son, Muawiya? The Prophet said, “Same for him.”

Safwan bin Omayya saw a valley full of goats. The Prophet asked him, “Is the valley full of goats looking wonderful to you.” He replied “Yes.” The Prophet said, “This is all yours.” He was wonderstruck at the Prophet’s generosity, although he had not yet embraced Islam, which he did after a few weeks. Hakeem bin Hizam got 40 Oqya of silver and 100 camels like Abu Sufyan and when he repeated his request the Prophet doubled and tripled his share. Aqra bin Habis, Oyana bin Habis, Haarith bin Kilda and Abbas bin Mardas, all got 100 camels each. The Prophet did not take even a hair of a single goat from the large booty for himself.

Release of captives: A delegation of 14 nobles from Hawazen and Banu Saad, who had embraced Islam, came to the Prophet, led by Zuhair bin Surad and Abu Barqaan (foster uncle of the Prophet). They pleaded for the release of their captives.

“There, in those huts among the prisoners are your foster mothers and sisters. They have nursed thee and fondled thee in their bosoms. We have known thee a suckling, a weaned child, a youth generous and noble, and now thou hast risen to this dignity, be gracious unto us, even as the Lord hath been gracious unto thee.”

The Prophet was moved by these words. He told them that actually he waited for a week but when none came to him to get the release of the captives, he distributed them.

However he said, I can release all the captives of Banu Muttaleb’s share. And for the remaining captives, I will recommend your case to the Mujahedeen.

The next day the Prophet recommended their case to his followers and about 6,000 captives were freed in a day by Mujahedeen.

The Prophet gave each captive a nice Egyptian shawl as a gift. This behavior won their hearts as it was unprecedented in the history of tribal wars.

Glad tidings about Ansars: It seemed strange that the Prophet lavishly gifted to the Muslims and non-Muslims of Makkah, but gave nothing to the Ansars of Madinah. This created bitter feeling among some young Ansars, while the elder ones thought that perhaps the Prophet was displeased with them. When the Prophet heard about it, he called them in a large tent and said:

“O tribe of Ansar, what is this anguish that you feel in your hearts? Did I not find you going astray and Allah guided you through me? You were disunited and fell upon one another. Did Allah not unite you through me? You were needy. Did Allah not enrich you through me?”

In response to each of the questions they cried: “Allah and His Apostle are bountiful.”

He said, “What prevents you from replying to the Apostle of Allah, O tribe of Ansar?” They said, “What should be the reply, O Apostle of Allah, while to the Lord and to His Apostle belong all benevolence and grace.”

The Prophet said: “Ye Ansar, do you feel anxiety for the things of this world, wherewith I have sought to incline these (Makkah) people into the faith in which you are already established. “Are ye not satisfied, O group of Ansar that the people go with ewes and camels while you go along with the Messenger of Allah to your dwellings? By Him in Whose hand is my life, had there been no migration, I would have been one of the Ansars. If the people would go through a valley and passage, and the Ansars go through another valley and passage, I would go through the valley and passage of the Ansars.”

“The Ansars are the inner garment and the people are outer ones. You will surely face, after me, a wave of terrible selfishness. Then have patience until you meet Allah and His Apostle. Verily, I shall be on the ‘Haudh’. May Allah have mercy on the Ansar, their sons and their sons’ sons!”

The audience wept until tears rolled down their beards as they said: “Yes, we are well satisfied, O Prophet of Allah! with our lot and share.”

Welcoming the commander of enemy: The family of Malek bin Awf Al Nasri the pagan commander of Taif, was among the captives. The Prophet sent them honorably to Makkah to stay with their aunt Umm Abdullah bin Umayyah and sent a word to Malek that “if he appears to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a Muslim, he will release all his wealth and his family to him. Further he will also award him 100 camels as a gift.” When this message reached Malek, he retired secretly from the castle of Taif and embraced Islam at the hand of the holy Prophet (pbuh) at Jairana and won all his promised awards. The Prophet appointed him as the chief of Hawazen Muslims in Taif.

After that the Prophet donned Ihram at Jairana and came to Makkah to perform Umrah thanking Allah for the great success. He appointed Uttab bin Usaid as the first Muslim governor of Makkah. The Prophet then left for Madinah. The whole campaign of Makkah, Hunain and Taif completed within 75 days. This ended the centuries-old enmity of Arab tribes and they entered the fold of Islam as one Ummah.

Prophet’s return from Jairana: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was now returning to Madinah with a large force of 10,000 Mujahedeen leaving thousands of Muslims in Makkah and Taif behind him. The whole pagan society of Makkah and their self-made gods were crushed. The entire resistance in the whole of Arabian Peninsula was dissolved. What a great contrast? This success was achieved with the grace of Allah within eight years. This is the place called Jairana, a landmark of Islamic history.