The First Muslim State

        "The individual for the state; the state for the individual, and all for Allah".

For 13 years the Prophet went on teaching the Oneness of Allah. His few followers in Makkah were persecuted, 1  and they suffered all kinds of oppression 2 at the hands of their people, who saw in the new religion a menace 3  to their way of life, and an end to their idol worship.

         Finally the Prophet was given permission by Allah to migrate to Al-Madinah, where he established the First Muslim State of our times.

I. The Two Mosques

1. Quba' Mosque:

          When the Prophet was about to enter Al-Madinah, "The City", he asked the guide to lead him and his Companion, Abu Bakr, straight to Quba'. When they reached Quba', the Prophet lodged 4 with Kulthum, who had previously welcomed both Hamzah and Zayd in his house when they first arrived from Makkah.

          The Prophet reached Quba' on Monday 12th of Rabi `Awwal (27 September 622 A.C.). He stayed there for three days, during which he laid the foundation of the first mosque built in this new Muslim State.

          Up till now so many visitors to Al-Madinah make it a point to visit the First Mosque, where they pray once at least during their stay in "The City".

2. The Prophet's Mosque:

        On the third day, the Prophet left Quba' for Al-Madinah. At noon on Friday, the Prophet and his Companions stopped to perform a congregational 5 prayer. It was the first Friday congregational prayer in Islam.

          The worshippers on that day were not more than a hundred. After the prayer, the Prophet mounted 6 his she-camel Al-Qaswa, which proceeded slowly into Al-Madinah. On the way, many of the inhabitants invited the Prophet and his Companions to stop the Qaswa' and become their guests; but the Prophet told them, "Let her (Al-Qaswa') go her away, for she is under the Command of Allah". Finally the she-camel knelt at the entrance of an enclosure belonging to two orphans. The Prophet asked them if they would sell the enclosure. The two orphans offered to give it as a gift; but the Prophet gave them the price that was fixed by the guardian 7 of the two orphans. Then the Prophet gave orders that the enclosure be made a mosque.

          Most of the building was made of bricks; the trunks of the palm-trees, recently felled, 8 served as pillars 9 to support the roof, which was framed of their branches and thatched 10 with their leaves. It had three doors: one to the south, where the Qiblah was afterwards established, another called the Door of Jibril, and the third the Gate of Mercy. A great part of the enclosure was left without a roof. All the Muslims took part in the construction, including the Prophet himself, and as they worked they chanted: "No life there is but the good life hereafter. Mercy, O Allah, on Emigrants and Helpers (to Victory).

          3. The Call for Prayers: Some of the Companions suggested that the call for prayers could be with the sounds of bugles, 11  as among the Jews, or by lighting fire on high places, or by the striking of trumpets. While they were uncertain which of these means would be appropriate,12 Abdullah, son of Zayd, came to declare that he had seen in his sleep the vision of a man with a bell. "Would you sell me that bell?" asked Abdullah. The man answered, "What would you do with it?" Abdullah then answered, "We'll use it to call for prayers". "Could I suggest something better?" The man said. "What is it?" was Abdullah's eager reply. Then the man said: "You should say:

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Allah is Greater: Allah is Greater,
I testify that there is no god but Allah:
I testify that there is no god but Allah:
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,
Come to prayers! Come to prayers'
Come to success! Come to success!
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater.
There is no god but Allah.

        Abdullah went to the Prophet and told him about his vision. To him the Prophet replied, "It is a true vision, so Allah wishes. Go with Bilal, tell him about it and let him say it in calling for prayers. Bilal's voice is more fit for the call."
        `Umar, son of Khattab, was in his house when he heard Bilal's call for prayers; so he instantly went to the Prophet in the mosque and told him, "Oh! Prophet of Allah, By Him Who has sent you with the truth, I have seen the same vision . Then the Prophet said, "Praise be to Allah".
4. A Simple Mosque:
        Everything in the Prophet's mosque was simple. At night it was lighted up by wood from the palm-tree. The Prophet stood on the ground and preached 13 leaning with his back against the trunk of one of the palters, which served as pillars. Later on, he had a pulpit 14 erected 15  to which he ascended  16 by three steps, so as to be elevated above the congregation.
        The Prophet preached sometimes sitting, sometimes standing and leaning on a staff. His precepts 17  were all peaceful and benignant,  18  inculcating  19 devotion to Allah, and humanity to man.
        The first sermon delivered by the Prophet was an exhortation 20 to be devoted to Allah by putting forward righteous deeds, for death comes of a sudden, even upon a shepherd who would leave his folk shepherdless. Then when he faces His Creator on the Day of Judgment, he will be asked, "Haven't I sent My messenger who delivered My message to you? Haven't I given you money and property, then what good deeds have you put forward for this Day?" Then he will look right and left, and will see nothing but Hell; so guard yourselves against this Fire, even with a portion of a date (fruit). If he cannot find that, a good word would do, for the reward of a good word or deed is ten times to seven hundred times its equal.
II. Believers and Disbelievers
1. The First Treaty: 21
        On the Prophet's arrival at `Al-Madinah, some of the Christians of the city embraced Islam; they became convinced that there was nothing in Islam against their belief in Christ as a Messenger and Prophet, and they realized that Islam venerated 22 Christ as one of the greatest prophets. Other Christians showed a favorable disposition towards Islam, considering it far better than the old idolatry 23
        The Jews of whom there were rich and powerful families in Al-Madinah and its neighborhood, were on the whole apprehensive 24 of the new religion. That is why the Prophet made a treaty with the Jews of Al-Madinah. It was a covenant 25  of mutual 26  obligation, in which the Jews were given equal status with Muslims. In times of peace, both Muslim and Jew were to redress 27 the wrong incurred 28  on Jew or Muslim. In case of war against the disbelievers, neither Jews nor Muslims should make a separate treaty with disbelievers. For peace is indivisible. "Peace to believers is one." All differences of opinion were to be referred to Allah and His Prophet.
        The parties to this treaty were two: the Prophet and all Muslims; the other party was the Jews adherents 29  of the tribes  30 of Bani `Awf, Bani an-Najjar, Banil-Harith, Bani Sa'idah, Bani Jusham, Banil-Aws, and Bani Tha'labah.
        "If Quraysh were to attack Al-Madinah, Jews and Muslims have to defend the city. Anybody must be accorded 31 safe exit and safe abode 32 in Al-Madinah, unless he has committed wrong".
2. Muslims and Jews:
        The Treaty with the Jews was intended to bring peace to a city which had for long been torn by civil war between Aws and Khazraj. These Muslims had now concluded a covenant with the Jews to face the disbelievers in Makkah as one united front. But, inspite of the treaty, the Jews were not happy with the growing power of the Prophet and his followers. It was about this time that the longest surah of Al-Qur'an was revealed. It is the surah entitled "The Cow" = Al-Baqarah =( ÇáÈÞÑÉ) The first 20 verses (ayat) give a revealing description of the trichotomy 33  that existed in the 2 major cities of Arabia at that time, the number of ayat devoted  34 to each group being highly indicative 35 of the dangers involved if the Muslims are not prepared to face emergencies of conspiracy  36 and betrayal. The first 5 verses describe the attitude of the believers; the following 2 verses briefly refer to the disbelievers, while the remaining 13 verses offer a vivid delineation 37  of hypocrisy and  38 the hypocrites. 39
The believers are addressed in the following verses:

        "Alif-Lam-Mim. This, above any suspicion 40  is the Book, a guidance to the pious, 41  who believe in the Unseen and keep up prayers and spend of what We have provided for them, and who believe in what has been sent to you and in what had been sent before you, and who are certain of the Hereafter. These are they who follow guidance from their Lord and these are they who are successful."

        The disbelievers are depicted 42  as stubbornly hostile 43  On their hearts is the seal of disbelief and a veil of ignorance 44 covers their sight and hearing. In the Here after they will suffer severe 45 torment. 46

3. The Hypocrites:

        Most of the hypocrites were Jews. Of these the same surah devotes 13 ayat to describe them. They claim that they are believers, while in reality they are not. They try to deceive Allah and His Messenger, but they unwittingly  47  deceive themselves. They are sick of heart, and Allah has increased that sickness, and they shall suffer severe torment since they are liars. If they are told not to spread corruption 48  in the land, they answer that they are sincere reformers. 49  In fact they are the source of corruption but they do not feel it. If they are told to believe as the believers have done, their answer is "Shall we believe as these fools have done?" In fact, it is they who are the real fools without knowing it. If they meet the believers, they say "We are also believers", and when they are alone with their Satans, they say, "We are one with you. We are only mocking  50  the believers.". Allah mocks them and prolongs  51 their tyrannous 52  folly. 53 Those have bought error for guidance; so their bargain  54 is sure loss, and they cannot be rightly guided.

        4. Muhammad and Ibrahim

        (a) Ibrahim is the ancestor 55  of Muhammad, and Muhammad was an answer to Ibrahim's supplication 56 of old:

        "Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who will recite to them Your verses (revelations), and will teach them the Book and wisdom and cleanse them. Surely You are The Mighty, The Wise". (Al-Baqarah, 129).

        This supplication was granted Ibrahim centuries later when Muhammad was born to proclaim to the pagan 57  Arabs and the whole world the message of Islam.

        (b) Another supplication of Ibrahim was also granted, and the answer was again centuries later. The timing of the grants from Allah is not a matter of human reckoning, 58 for a day with Allah may equal a thousand years in our reckoning; it may sometimes mean more than 50 thousand years. This second supplication of Ibrahim was to infuse 59  in mens' hearts the earnest desire to perform the pilgrimage to His Inviolable House.

        "Surely I have settled a line of my offspring in an uncultivable valley near Your Inviolable House, Our Lord! that they may keep up prayers; so incline some hearts of men that they yearn toward them, and provide them with fruits that they may be thankful." (Ibrahim: 37).

        (c) With the coming of the Prophet to Yathrib (the pre-Islamic name of Al-Madinah), most of the Jews began to be cautious, 60 and even hostile to the new Prophet and the new religion. Some of the Jewish chiefs used to tell the pagan Arabs in Yathrib that a Prophet was about to come, and had told them that with the coming of the new Prophet, the Jews would fight the Arabs and destroy them. The Jews had described the coming Prophet so clearly that the pilgrims 61  from Yathrib recognized him, when they saw him in Makkah. But the Jews had hoped that the Prophet would give them power and dominion as the "Chosen People". A story related by Saffiyyah, the daughter of Huyyay Ibn Akhtab - who later became a wife of the Prophet - tells clearly the enmity 62  of some of the Jewish chiefs towards the Prophet. "I was the favorite child of my father and uncle Abu Yasir," says Saffiyyah."When I was present they took no notice of their other children. When the Prophet was staying at Quba', the two went to see him before daybreak and did not return until after night fall, weary, 63  worn out, 64  drooping  65 and feeble.  66 I went up to them in childish pleasure as I always did, and they were so sunk in gloom  67 that they took no notice of me. I heard my uncle say to my father, `Is he he? Do you recognize him, and can you be sure?' `Yes!' `And what do you feel about him?' By Allah I shall be his enemy as long as I live.'"(1)

        But Islam came with the fundamental 68 principle of the Oneness of Allah, the Creator; a principle from which spring all the other concepts of the oneness of humanity, the importance of right conduct for the individual, and of justice and consultation for the state. So the Prophet as a descendant 69  of Ibrahim turned his face in prayer towards Jerusalem. He had also hoped that the Jews, likewise the children of Ibrahim, would accept him as the new Prophet. This went on for about 16 months. Then came the order to change Al-Qiblah from Jerusalem to Al-Ka'abah which was built by Ibrahim in Makkah. The Divine order for the change of Qiblah came in the month of Sha'ban (the 8th month of the lunar year).
        "We see you turning off your face into the sky; and now We do indeed turn you to a qiblah that will please you. So turn your face towards the Inviolable Mosque; and wheresoever you (all) may be, turn your faces towards it". (Al-Baqarah "Cow"- 144).

        So a niche 70 or mihrab was made in the south wall of the Madinah mosque. The mihrab has been facing towards Makkah ever since. Muslims have been turning their faces in prayer towards Makkah for nearly fifteen centuries. The same verse (Al-Baqarah - 144) speaks of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), revealing that they know that Al-Qur'an is the Truth from their Lord. It was the Jews who were mainly addressed by these words, because the Christians were not an influential 71 community in Al-Madinah. The Jews were more formidable, 72 and before the change of Qiblah they had thought that they could win the Prophet over to their religion. So to them came the answer that the Qur'an has the Truth that they have distorted 73  sometimes and concealed  74 at others in their long history of disobedience and rebellion. 75 -->