The Banu Al-Mustaliq Battle
غزوة بني المصطلق

The Battles of Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him)

Decorative Lines

The Battle of Al-Muraisi’
غزوة المريسيع

The Battle of Al-Mustaliq: غزوة بني المصطلق

According to Al-Bukhari, this battle is also called the battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq. It took place, according to Ibn Ishaq, in the 6th year of Hijra. Musa Ibn ‘Uqbah, however, said, “It was in the 4th year of Hijra. Az-Zuhari said, “The story of the forged statement against ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was during the battle of Al-Muraisi’.”

According to Ibn Ishaq, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) received news that Banu Al-Mustaliq were gathering together against him. Their leader was Al-Harith Ibn Abu Dirar, the father of Juwairiyah, whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married afterwards.

On hearing about them, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out and met them at a watering place of theirs called Al-Muraisi’ in the direction of Qudayd towards the shore. There was a fight and Allah put Banu Al-Mustahiq to flight and killed some of them and gave the Messenger their wives, children, and property as booty.

Al-Bukhari narrated that ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Awn said, “I wrote a letter to Nafi’ and Nafi’ wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had suddenly attacked Banu Al-Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) got Juwairiyah on that day. Naff said that Ibn ‘Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn ‘Umar was in that army.”

Al-Bukhari also narrated that Ibn Muhairiz said, “I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-‘Azl (i.e., coitus interruption). Abu Sa’id said, ‘We went out with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the Ghazwah of Banu A1- Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruption.

So when we intended to do coitus interruption, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruption before asking Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who is present among us..?’ We asked (him) about it and he said,

‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (until the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.

On the day of Banu Al-Mustaliq, a Muslim of Banu Kalb Ibn ‘Awf Ibn ‘Amir Ibn Layth Ibn Bakr was killed by a man of the Ansar of the family of ‘Ubadah Ibn As-Samit who thought he was an enemy and killed him in error.

Due to their hostility to Islam and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the hypocrites tried to divide the Muslims and ruin their unity. However, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was keen enough to deal with their devices wisely.

The Story of Ifk (Lying)

’Ifk’ is an Arabic word that means ‘lying’. Here, it refers the forged statement against ‘ Aishah, (may Allah be pleased with her) which the hypocrite said.

In his Sahih, al-Bukhari narrated the whole story of Ifk on the authority of ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said, “Whenever Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) intended to go on a journey, he used to draw lots amongst his wives, and Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to take with him the one on whom lot fell. He drew lots amongst us during one of the Ghazwat, which he fought.

The lot fell on me and so I proceeded with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after Allah’s order      of Hijab (veiling the women) had been revealed. I was carried (on the back of a camel) in my howdah and carried down while still in it (when we came to a halt). So we went on umil Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had finished from that Ghazwah of his and returned.

When we approaehed the city of Madinah, he announced at night that it was time for departure. So when they announced the news of departure, I got up and went away from the army camps, and after finishing from the call of nature, I came back to my riding animal. I touched my chest to find that my necklace, which was made of Zifar beads (i.e., Yemenite beads partly black and partly white) was missing.

So I returned to look for my necklace and my search for it detained me. (In the meanwhile) the people who used to carry me on my camel, came and took my howdah and put it on the back of my camel on which I used to ride, as they considered that I was in it. In those days women were light in weight for they did not get fat, and flesh did not cover their bodies in abundance as they used to eat only a little food. Those people therefore, disregarded the lightness of the howdah while lifting and carrying it; and at that time I was still a young girl. They made the camel rise and all of them left (along with it). I found my necklace after the army had gone.

Then I came to their camping place to find no call maker of them, nor one who would respond to the call. So I intended to go to the place where I used to stay, thinking that they would miss me and come back to me (in my search). While I was sitting in my resting-place, I was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. Safwan Ibn Al-Mu’attal As-Sulami Adh- Dhakwani was behind the army.

When he reached my place in the morning, he saw the figure of a sleeping person and he recognized me on seeing me as he had seen me before the order compulsory seiling (was prescribed). So I woke up when he recited Istirja’ (i.e., “Inna lillahi wa inna llaihi raji’un”) as soon as he recognized me. I veiled my face with my head cover at once, and by Allah, we did not speak a single word, and I did not hear him saying any word besides his Istirja ‘.

He dismounted from his camel and made it kneel down, putting his leg on its front legs and then I got up and rode on it. Then he set out leading the camel that was carrying me until we overtook the army in the extreme heat of midday while they were at a halt (taking a rest). (Because of the event) some people brought destruction upon themselves and the one who spread the Ifk (i.e., slander) more, was ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubai Ibn Salul.”

(‘Urwah said, “The people propagated the slander and talked about it in his (i.e., ‘Abdullah’s) presence and he confirmed it and listened to it and asked about it to let it prevail.”‘Urwah also added, “None was mentioned as members of the slanderous group besides (‘Abdullah) except Hassan Ibn Thabit and Mistah Ibn Uthatha and Hamnah bint Jahsh along with others about whom I have no knowledge, but they were a group as Allah said.

It is said that the one who carried most of the slander was ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubai Ibn Salul.” ‘Urwah added, “‘Aishah disliked to have Hassan abused in her presence and she used to say, ‘It was he who said: My father and his (i.e., my father’s) father and my honor are all for the protection of Muhammad’s honor from you.”)

‘Aishah continued, saying, “After we returned to Madinah, I became ill for a month. The people were propagating the forged statements of the slanderers while I was unaware of anything of all that, but I felt that in my present ailment, I was not receiving the same kindness from Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as I used to receive when I got sick. (But now) Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would only come, greet me and say, ‘How is that (lady)..? and leave.

That roused my doubts, but I did not discover the evil (i.e., slander) until I went out after my convalescence, I went out with Umm Mistah to Al-Manasi’ where we used to answer the call of nature and we used not to go out (to answer the call of nature) except at night, and that was before we had latrines near our houses.

And this habit of our concerning evacuating the bowels, was similar to the habits of the old Arabs living in the deserts, for it would be troublesome for us to take latrines near our houses. So I and Umm Mistah who was the daughter of Abu Ruhm Ibn Al-Muttalib Ibn ‘Abd Manaf, whose mother was the daughter of Sakhr Ibn ‘Amir and the aunt of Abu Bakr As- Siddiq and whose son was Mistah Ibn Uthatha Ibn ‘Abbas Ibn Al-Muttalib, went out.

I and Umm Mistah returned to my house after we finished answering the call of nature. Umm Mistah stumbled by getting her foot entangled in her covering sheet and on that she said, ‘Let Mistah be ruined!’ I said, ‘What a hard word you have said. Do you abuse a man who took part in the little of Badr..?’ On that she said, ‘O you Hantah! Didn’t you hear what he (i.e., Mistah) said?’ I said, ‘What did he say?’

Then she told me the slander of the people of Ifk. So my ailment was aggravated, and when I reached my home, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to me, and after greeting me, said, ‘How is that (lady)?’ I said, ‘Will you allow me to go to my parents?’ As I wanted to be sure about the news through them. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) allowed me (and I went to my parents) and asked my mother, ‘O mother!

What are the people talking about..?’

She said, ‘O my daughter!

Don’t worry, for scarcely is there a charming woman who is loved by her husband and whose husband has other wives besides herself that they (i.e., women) would find faults with her.’ I said, ‘Subhan-Allah (Glory be to Allah). Are the people really talking in this way?’ I kept on weeping that night until dawn I could neither stop weeping nor sleep; then in the morning again, I kept on weeping.

When the Divine Inspiration was delayed. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Usamah Ibn Zaid to ask and consult them about divorcing me. Usamah Ibn Zaid said what he knew of my innocence, and the respect he preserved in himself for me. Usamah said, (‘O Allah’s Messenger!) She is your wife and we do not know anything exeept good about her.’

‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Allah does not put you in difficulty and there are plenty of women other than she, yet, ask the maid-servant who will tell you the truth.’ On that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him called Barira (i.e., the maid-servant) and said,

‘0 Barira! Did you ever see anything which aroused your suspicion?’

Barira said to him, ‘By Him Who has sent you with the Truth! I have never seen anything in her (i.e., ‘Aishah) which I would conceal, except that she is a young girl who sleeps leaving the dough of her family exposed so that the domestic goats come and eat it.’

So, on that day, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) got up on the pulpit and complained about ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubai before his Companions, saying,

‘O you Muslims! Who will relieve me from that man who has hurt me with his evil statement about my family? By Allah, I know nothing except good about my family and they have blamed a man about whom I know nothing except good and he used never to enter my home except with me.’

Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh, the brother of Banu ‘Abd Al-Ashhal, got up and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I will relieve you from is from the tribe of Al-Aws, then I will chop his head off, and if he is from our brothers, i.e., Al-Khazraj, then order us, and we will fulfill your order.’

On that, a man fiom Al-Khazraj got up; Umm Hassan, his cousin, was from his branch tribe, and he was Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubadah, chief of Al-Khazraj. Before this incident, he was a pious man, but his love for his tribe led him into saying to Sa’d (Ibn Mu’adh), ‘By Allah, you have told a lie; you shall not and cannot kill him. If he belonged to your people, you would not wish him to be killed.’

On that, Usaid Ibn Hudair who was the cousin of Sa’d (Ibn Mu’adh) got up and said to Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubadah, ‘By Allah! You are a liar! We will surely kill him, and you are a hypocrite arguing on the behalf of hypocrites.’ On this, the two tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj got so much excited that they were about to fight while Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was standing on the pulpit. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kept on calming them until they became silent and so did he. All that day I kept on weeping with my tears never eeasing, and I could never sleep.

In the morning, my parents were with me and I wept for two nights and a day with my tears never ceasing and I could never sleep until I thought that my liver would burst from weeping. So, while my parents were sitting with me and I was weeping, an Ansari woman asked me to grant her admittance. I allowed her to come in, and when she came in, she sat down and started weeping with me.

While we were in this state, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came, greeted us and sat down. He had never sat with me since that day of the slander. A month had elapsed and no Divine Inspiration came to him regarding my case. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then recited Tashah-hud and then said,

‘O ‘Aishah! I have been informed so- and-so about you; if you are innocent, then soon Allah will reveal your innocence, and if you have committed a sin, then repent to Allah and ask Him for forgiveness for when a slave confesses his sins and asks Allah for forgiveness, Allah accepts his repentance.’

When Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) finished his speech, my tears ceased flowing completely that I no longer felt a single drop of tear flowing. I said to my father, ‘Reply to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on my behalf concerning what he has said.’ My father said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’

Then I said to my mother, ‘Reply to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on my behalf concerning what he has said.’ She said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to Allah’s Messenger.’

In spite of the fact that I was a young girl and had a little knowledge of Qur’an, I said, ‘By Allah, no doubt I know that you heard this (slanderous) speech so that it has been planted in your hearts (i.e., minds) and you have taken it as a truth. Now if I tell you that I am innocent, you will not believe me, and if I confess to you about it, and Allah knows that I am innocent, you will surely believe me.

By Allah, I find no similitude for me and you except that of Joseph’s father when lte said, ‘(For me) patience is the most fitting against that which you assert; it is All^ (Alone) Whose Help can be sought.’ Then I turned to the other side and lay on my bed; and Allah knew then that I was innocent and hoped that Allah would reveal my innocence. But, by Allah, I never thought that Allah would reveal, about my case.

Divine Inspiration, that would be recited (forever) as I considered myself too unworthy to be talked of by Allah with something of my concern, but I hoped that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) might have a dream in which Allah would prove my innocence. But, by Allah, before Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) left his seat and before any of the household left, the Divine Inspiration came to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

So, there overtook him the same hard condition, which used to overtake him, (when he used to be inspired Divinely). The sweat was dropping from his body like pearls though it was a wintry day and that was because of the weighty statement, which was being revealed to him. When that state of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was over, he got up smiling, and the first word he said was,

‘O ‘Aishah! Allah has declared your innocence!’

Then my Mother said to me, ‘Get up and go to him (i.e., Allah’s Messenger).’ I replied, ‘By Allah, I will not go to him, and I praise none but Allah.

So Allah revealed the (following) ten verses:

Surah An-Nur 11-20

24:11.| Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.

24:12.| Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it, think good of their own people and say: “This is an obvious lie.”

24:13.| Why did they not produce four witnesses against him Since they have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah, they are the liars.

24:14.| Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken.

24:15.| When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great.

24:16.| And why did you not, when you heard it, say: “It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is a great lie.”

24:17.| Allah forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers.

24:18.| And Allah makes the Ayat plain to you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

24:19.| Verily, those who like that Fahishah should be circulated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.

24:20.| And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, and that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful. [Surah: An-Nur, 11-20]

Allah revealed those Quranic verses to declare my innocence.

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq who used to disburse money for Mistah Ibn Uthatha because of his relationship to him and his poverty, said, ‘By Allah, I will never give to Mistah Ibn Uthatha anything after what he has said about ‘Aishah.’

Then Allah revealed:

‘’And let not those among you who are endowed with grace and amplitude of means resolve against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in Allah’s cause, let them forgive and overlook, do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’’ [Sutah: An-Nur, 22)

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said, ‘Yes, by Allah, I would like that Allah forgive me,’ and went on giving Mistah the money he used to give him before. He also added, ‘By Allah, I will never deprive him of it at all.’”

‘Aishah further said, “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also asked Zainab bint Jahsh (i.e., his wife) about my case. He said to Zainab, ‘What do you know and what did you see?’ She replied, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I refrain from claiming falsely that I have heard or seen anything.

By Allah, I know nothing except good (about ‘Aishah).’ From amongst the wives of the Prophet Zainab was my peer (in beauty and in the love she received from the Prophet) but Allah saved her from that evil because of her piety. Her sister Hamnah, started struggling on her behalf and she was destroyed along with those who were destroyed. The man who was blamed said, ‘Subhan-Allahl By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I have never uncovered the cover (i.e., veil) of any female.’ Later on, the man was martyred in Allah’s Cause.”

Bani Al-Mustaliq (Muraisi‘) | Ghazwah,

Though militarily it did not assume its full dimension, this Ghazwah had certain implications that brought about a state of turbulence within the Islamic State, and resulted in disgracefulness to clothe in the hypocrites. Moreover, it entailed enactment of consolidating legislations that attached an impression of nobility, dignity and purity of souls to the Islamic community.

News reached the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) on Sha‘ban 2nd. to the effect that the chief of Bani Al-Mustaliq, Al-Harith bin Dirar had mobilised his men, along with some Arabs, to attack Madinah. Buraidah bin Al-Haseeb Al-Aslami was immediately despatched to verify the reports. He had some words with Abi Dirar, who confirmed his intention of war. He later sent a reconnoiterer to explore the positions of the Muslims but he was captured and killed.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) summoned his men and ordered them to prepare for war. Before leaving, Zaid bin Haritha was mandated to see to the affairs of Madinah and dispose them. On hearing the advent of the Muslims, the disbelievers got frightened and the Arabs going with them defected and ran away to their lives. Abu Bakr was entrusted with the banner of the Emigrants, and that of the Helpers went to Sa‘d bin ‘Ubada.

The two armies were stationed at a well called Muraisi. Arrow shooting went on for an hour, and then the Muslims rushed and engaged with the enemy in a battle that ended in full victory for the Muslims. Some men were killed, women and children of the disbelievers taken as captives, and a lot of booty fell to the lot of the Muslims. Only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper.

Amongst the captives was Juwairiyah, daughter of Al-Harith, chief of the disbelievers. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married her and, in compensation, the Muslims had to manumit a hundred others of the enemy prisoners who embraced Islam, and were then called the Prophet’s in-laws. [Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/112,113; Ibn Hisham 2/289,290,294,295]

The Treacherous Role of the Hypocrites prior to the Bani Al-Mustaliq Ghazwah

‘Abdullah bin Ubai, a terrible hypocrite was full of rancour against Islam and the Muslims because he believed that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) had dispossessed him of his leadership over Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, two clans already agreed on the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his masterhood over them.

‘Abdullah’s rancour had appeared before he feigned Islam. Following the battle of Badr, he made pretensions of being a Muslim, but deep at heart, he remained that terrible enemy of Allâh, His Messenger; and all the believers, in general. His sole target had always been to sow the seeds of dissension in the Muslim community, and undermine the cause of the new heavenly religion it has.

His treacherous behaviour could be witnessed everywhere but was strikingly evident in his wicked attempts at creating a state of confusion and disorder amongst the Muslims at Uhud Battle. His hypocrisy and deceit assumed serious and ugly dimensions when he used to stand up among the Muslims shortly before the Prophet’s Friday speech, and mockingly say to them: “This is the Messenger of Allâh, who has honoured you with Allâh, so you have got to support, obey and listen to him,” and then he would sit down.

He did the same following Uhud Battle on Friday. He was so rude and presumptuous that his words smacked unmistakingly of deeply-rooted rancour, so that some of the Muslims took him by his cloak reproachingly and silenced him. He immediately left, uttering rude and mocking words. A Helper met him at the Mosque gate and ordered him to return and beg the Messenger for Allâh’s forgiveness, but he retorted that he had never wanted him to ask for that.[Ibn Hisham 2/105]

He, moreover, conducted clandestine contacts with Bani Nadir, another tribe of Jews, encouraging them to make alliance with him and promising support for them; all of this in his ceaseless efforts in a long process of conspiracy and intrigue hatched against the Muslims. Allâh’s Words as regards his treacherous acts and awe-inspiring attempts during the Trench Battle came to testify quite clearly to this mode of hypocrisy:

And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: ‘Allâh and His Messenger ((Allah bless him and give him peace)) promised us nothing but delusions!” [Al-Qur’an 33:12]

The verses go on in the same context to describe the hypocrite as a coward and a defeatist. He is a liar and has no regard for pledges solemnly made. He is treacherous, disloyal and perfidious. He is niggardly and greedy. In short, he is the complete antithesis of a true believer:

They think that Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) have not yet withdrawn, and if Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the bedouins, seeking news about you (from a far place); and if they (happen) to be among you, they would not fight but little.” [Al-Qur’an 33:20]

All enemies of Islam from the Jews, hypocrites and polytheists did acknowledge that Islam had the upper hand not because of material superiority, multitudes of troops or much equipment; but it was rather due to the noble values, refined ethics and high attributes that imbued the Muslim community and whoever was attached to it. The enemies of Islam were already aware of that flood of light derived wholly from the person of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) , who always stood as an excellent exemplar for men to copy and follow.

The enemies of Islam, after steering the course of futile warfare against the new religion for five years, came to realize fully that exterminating Islam is not accessible in the battlefields, so they resorted to other tactics. They, being reputed gossip-mongers, decided to launch a widespread propaganda campaign aiming at slandering the person of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a most sensitive area of the Arabian life, namely ethics and traditions.

Following the battle of the Confederates, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) married Zainab bint Jahsh after her marriage with Zaid bin Haritha, his adopted son, had broken up. They seized this opportunity and began to circulate idle talk against the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Arabia depending on a tradition among the desert Arabs that prohibits contracting a marriage with an adopted son’s divorcee.

They alleged that his marriage would be considered a heinous sin. They also based their malicious propaganda on the fact that Zainab was his fifth wife whereas the number was strictly limited to a maximum of four in the Noble Qur’ân, hence the validity of this marriage was in doubt, according to them.

These rumours and gossips had a negative impact on the morale of some weak-hearted Muslims until the decisive verses were revealed acquitting the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and invalidating all those ill designs and obnoxious schemes:

O Prophet (Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace))! Keep your duty to Allâh, and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites (i.e. do not follow their advices). Verily! Allâh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Al-Qur’an 33:1]

The wicked Role they played in the course of the Ghazwah of Bani Al-Mustaliq

During this Ghazwah, the hypocrites almost managed to create a sort of discord among the Muslims themselves, coupled with a serious and ugly slander against the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself. In short, their behaviour was an authentic translation of Allâh’s Words:

Had they marched out with you, they would have added to you nothing except disorder, and they would have hurried about in your midst (spreading corruption) and sowing sedition among you …” [Al-Qur’an 9:47]

A quarrel was about to break out between the Emigrants and the Helpers on account of plots and evil intentions designed by the hypocrites. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told them off describing their misbehaviour as something smacking of pre-Islamic practices.

They, hypocrites with ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai at their head, were furious for the challenge which the Muslims showed towards the hostile plans and vicious intrigues woven behind closed doors, and swore “the most honourable will expel the meanest out of Madinah,” and added: “They (the Muslims) have outnumbered and shared us our land. If you fatten your dog, it will eat you.”

When that talk was reported to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), ‘Umar, a venerable Companion, asked for permission to have Ibn ‘Ubai killed. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) naturally turned down his proposal on the grounds that it did not become of a Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be accused of killing his people.

He, on the contrary in an unexpected move, asked ‘Umar to announce departure. He marched with his men for two days until the sun grew too hot. They stopped and fell asleep, a clever attempt at diverting his people’s attention from the previous event. ‘Abdullah’s son heard of that vile of his father and as the party reached Madinah, he drew his sword and barred his father’s entry into the town until he had confessed and declared that he himself was the meanest of the citizens of Madinah and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the most honourable of them. Thus the boast recoiled on his head. It was also reported that the son was ready to kill his father if the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) had wanted him to.

The Slander Affair

This extremely painful incident took place on the Prophet’s return from the expedition against Bani Mustaliq. The Muslim army had to halt for a night at a place, a short distance from Madinah. In this expedition, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was accompanied by his noble and talented wife, ‘Aishah [R]. As it so happened, ‘Aishah [R] went out some distance from the camp to attend to the call of nature. When she returned, she discovered that she had dropped her necklace somewhere.

The necklace itself was of no great value, but as it was a loan from a friend, ‘Aishah [R] went out again to search for it. On her return, to her great grief and mortification, the army had already marched away with the camel she was riding, her attendants thinking that she was in the litter as she was then thin, very young and light of weight. In her helplessness she sat down and cried till sleep overpowered her.

Safwan bin Mu‘attal, an Emigrant, who was coming in the rear recognized her as he had seen her before the verse enjoining the veil was revealed, and brought her on his camel to Madinah without saying a single word to her, himself walking behind the animal. The hypocrites of Madinah led by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai bin Salul, sought to make capital out of this incident and spread a malicious scandal against ‘Aishah [R] and unfortunately some of the Muslims also became involved in it.

On arrival in Madinah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) held counsel with his Companions, who pronounced different opinions ranging from divorce to retention. The incident almost roused a fight between two rival factions, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, but the Prophet’s intervention silenced both parties on the sport. ‘Aishah [R], unaware of the rumours being circulated, fell ill and was confined to bed for a month.

On recovering, she heard of the slander and took permission to go and see her parents seeking authentic news. She then burst into tears and stayed for two days and one sleepless night ceaselessly weeping to such an extent that she felt her liver was about to rip open. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) visited her in that situation, and after testifying to the Oneness of Allâh he told her, “If you are innocent, Allâh will acquit you, otherwise, you have to beg for His forgiveness and pardon.”

She stopped weeping and asked her parents to speak for her, but they had nothing to say, so she herself took the initiative and said “Should I tell you I am innocent, and Allâh knows that I am surely innocent, you will not believe me; and if I were to admit something of which, Allâh knows, I am innocent, you will believe me, then I will have nothing to make recourse to except the words of the father of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph):

So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose Help can be sought against that which you assert.” [Al-Qur’an 12:18]

She then turned away and lay down for some rest. At that decisive moment the Revelation came acquitting ‘Aishah [R] of all the slanderous talk fabricated in this concern. ‘Aishah [R], of course, was wholeheartedly joyful and praised Allâh thankfully. Allâh’s Words in this regard went as follows:

Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah [R] — the wife of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)) are a group among you.” [Al-Qur’an 24:11]

The principal elements involved in the slander affair, Mistah bin Athatha, Hassan bin Thabit and Hamnah bint Jahsh, were flogged with eighty stripes.

As for the man who took the principal part, ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, he was not flogged, either because the corporal punishment commutes the chastisement in store for him in the Hereafter, and he does not deserve this merit, or for the same public interest for which he was not killed previously. He, moreover, became the butt of reproach and humiliation amongst his people after his real intentions had been unequivocally exposed to all the public.

[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/364,2/696-698; Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/113-115; Ibn Hisham 2/297-307]

Almost a month later, the Messenger of Allâh (Allah bless him and give him peace) and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab were engaged in the following talk: “Don’t you see ‘Umar if I had had him (Abdullah bin Ubai) killed, a large number of dignitaries would have furiously hastened to fight for him. Now, on the contrary, if I ask them to kill him, they will do so out of their own free will.” ‘Umar replied “I swear by Allâh that the Prophet’s judgement is much more sound than mine.” [Ibn Hisham 2/293]