Looking Back to Madeenah – Complete book
After Allaah created humans and decided that they were delivered to this earth, He provided for all their essential needs. He ordained that the earth, with all its natural resources, was made subservient to them. The Most Beneficent (Ar-Rahmaan) also cared and provided for the intellectual and spiritual needs of the humans by appointing Prophets and Messengers from among them to communicate His guidance (contained in divinely revealed scripture).
The Most Beneficent, all of His creation and the Prophets who laid down their lives for humans’ guidance never asked for anything in return. All gave with love. We should take an important lesson from this act of unselfish generosity. It is when we give with love that Allah will restore the light and give real life. We should realise that our present state of tribulation and unhappiness is due to our failure to emulate nature’s way of giving.
Sincere giving produces illumination, or light. The city of Madeenah is referred to as ‘The Illuminated City’ because that is where the real giving took place by the Prophet and by his Companions. It was in this atmosphere that Allaah declared war on the institution of usury (ribaa). He said, “And if you do not do it (give up usury), then take notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger.” The system of usury encourages the exploitation of others and inspires people towards the domination of others. It is also a system that seek to give, but with the ultimate objective of self interest and gain and not for the sake of showing love or care to others. Madeenah destroyed this inhumane system.
WE SEE …
The Prophet not only provided wealth; he also offered his family life, his time, his body, his intelligence, his beloved country, Makkah and his life to deliver the final communication of Allah to humans. He gave with love and care for humanity. He intended that we be delivered not only from the misery of poor material conditions, but also from the misery of spiritual and intellectual bankruptcy.
He was called by Allah to announce Islam in public to his people in Makkah. At the time, he knew that it would be interpreted by his people as a declaration of war against their institution of polytheism and oppression of their abominable social ways. Nevertheless, he declared Islam to his people, and suffered the consequences: physical persecution, economic and social boycotts, and finally a claim on his life that forced him to leave the soil of the place that was so dear to him.
His presence in Madeenah represented a challenge to Jewish hegemony. They plotted his removal and used vicious methods to achieve this devious goal. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was forced to go to war in order to deal with this menace and suffered the terrible pain of combat. During one such battle, that of Uhud, he had to witness how the heart of his beloved Uncle, Hamza (radhiallaahu anhu) was removed from his honourable body and chewed by Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyaan.
The he had to deal with the hypocrites, and their attempts to destroy Islam from within its own ranks. Trying to disturb the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) household, they spread rumours that the ‘mother of the believers’, Aaisha (radhiallaahu anhaa) committed adultery; but Allah declared her innocence and the hypocrites were punished. The hypocrites planned fake fights and conflicts between the Muhaajirs and the Ansaar after the battle of Mustaliq outside Madeenah. Others who challenged the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were the Quraysh from Makkah who were intent on eliminating the presence of the Muslims from this world and the ‘super powers’ of his time; the Persians and the Romans.
On a domestic level, he concerned himself with the education of the Muslims and prepared the generation that would present Islam to all other generations to come, in an immaculate form. He had to do this before Allah took him away from this world, and he had to accomplish to mission for the sake of happiness of humanity, in this world and in the world to come. He not only focussed on the religious aspects of his mission, but also established a social solidarity in Madeenah to ensure that there would be food, shelter and clothing for all those living there. He established a community chest (baytul maal) to achieve that goal and fostered an atmosphere of true love, and brother – and sisterhood.
With regards to giving property, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) returned the spoils gained from the defeated Hawaazin tribe (Taaif). They were estimated to have comprised all the prisoners of war, over 24 000 camels, 40 000 goats, 160 000 Dirhams and 16 000 dinaars. It has already been described how he gave over 300 camels to Safwaan ibn Umayyah (radhiallaahu anhu) after the encounter at Hunayn. In fact, the camels covered the entire valley of Hunayn and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked Safwaan (radhiallaahu anhu) to take them all. Once, he received 100 000 Dirhams from the Ahlul Kitaab as the Jizya payment. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) distributed all the money in one day to his people in Madeenah. Waraqah (radhiallaahu anhu), the cousin of Khadijah, his first wife, predicted that while the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had to carry an enormous responsibility, he would prefer an extremely meager lifestyle, which has already been observed.
His beloved daughter Faatima developed calluses on her hands from grinding the grain and doing all her household duties by herself. Instead of giving her a main to help her (which the modern leaders would do), the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) advised her to have Allah-Consciousness (Taqwaa) and patient perseverence (Sabr). Then he asked her to recite a Dhikr (not a maid!) after her prayers.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not offer simply a reform ‘package’, as do the myriad Islamic organisations. He gave his life as well. And by giving his precious life with love, he renewed the lives of individuals and of societies on all levels. In so doing, he produced life in others around him, life that is still unifying Muslims all over the world. When Muslims are massacred in Chechnya or in Indonesia, for example, Muslims from other parts of the glove share in the pain. And when Islam spreads like wirldfire through Europe, Muslims all over the globe celebrate.
WE LEARN …
* Allah gave with love, as did the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)
* the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave perpetually. His attachment with Allah Ta’ala instilled in him an attachment to the creation of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala never stopped giving and so the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not stop.
* his giving was blessed with real life in the Deen of truth (Deenul Haqq); this Deen gave perpetually to individuals and to societies.
* in his giving, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not aspire towards greed in his own way of living and in the way of his own children
* when he gave, he acted upon the programme decreed by Allah Ta’ala
* Madeenah was in turmoil before his arrival. It was even referred to as Yathrib ‘the land of disease’. If the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not give of his time, his property and his own comfort, Madeenah would not have become the illuminated city from where Islam was taken to the world
* the result of withholding and selfishness is seen in the suffering we witness in this world today due to war, poverty, rebellion against parents, drug abuse and moral decadence
* ensure that our giving takes place in terms of the way that Allah Ta’ala wants it to be
* understand that we must give to humanity in order to follow the way of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)
* identify our talents and share them in order to restore the happiness of others
* seek knowledge that may help to promote better understanding of our problems. If support groups are available, let us join them and make our contribution
* empower others by supporting self-reliance programmes
* spend some of our wealth to alleviate the frightening conditions of poverty in human life around us
* break the shackles of economic oppression that was instituted by the usury (ribaa) system by supporting the Islamic means of trade
* develop the missionary spirit of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). We must make the spread of Islam our primary goal and be prepared for major sacrifices in this mission.
In conclusion, we suggest that we compare our generosity to that of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). How far from or how close are we to Madeenah?