The Army of Islam at Tabuk
Arriving at Tabuk and camping there, the Muslim army was ready
to face the enemy. There. Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ the delivered an eloquent speech that included the most inclusive words.
In that speech he urged the Muslims to seek the welfare of this world and the world to come. He warned them and gave them good tidings. By doing that he encouraged those who were broken in spirits, and blocked up the gap of shortage and mess they were suffering from due to lack of supplies, food and other substances
Upon learning of the Muslims’ march, the Byzantines and their allies were so terrified that none of them dared set out to fight. On the contrary they scattered inside their territory. It brought, in itself. a good credit to the Muslim forces which had gained military reputation in the mid and remote lands of Arabian Peninsula.
The great and serious political profits that the Muslim forces had obtained, were far better than the ones they could have acquired if the two armies had been engaged in military confrontation.
The Head of Ailah. Yahnah bin Rawbah came to Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ made peace with him and paid him the tribute (Al-Jizyah). Both the Jarba’ and Adhruh peoples paid him tribute, as well. So Allâh’s Messengerﷺ gave each a guarantee letter, similar to Yahnah’s, stating:
“In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
This is a guarantee of protection from Allâh, and Muhammadﷺ the Prophet , the Messenger of Allâh, to Yahnah bin Rawbah and the people of Ailah; their ships and their caravans on land and sea shall have the custody of Allâh and the Prophet Muhammadﷺ, he and whosoever are with him of the people of Ash-Sham and those of the sea. Whosoever contravenes this treaty, his wealth shall not save him; it shall be the fair prize of him that takes it. Now it should not be lawful to hinder the men from any springs which they have been in the habit of frequenting, nor from any journeys they desire to make, whether by sea or by land.”
Allâh’s Messengerﷺ dispatched Khalid bin Al-Walid at the
head of four hundred and fifty horsemen to ‘Ukaidir, the Chief of Dumatul-Jandal and said to him: “You will see him hunting wild cattle.”
So when Khalid in drew within sight of his castle, he saw the wild cattle coming out rubbing their horns against the castle gate. As it was a moonlit night, Khalid could see Ukaidir come out to hunt them, so he captured him – though he was surrounded by his men – and brought him back to Allâh’s Messengerﷺ who spared his life and made peace with him for the payment of two thousand camels, eight hundred heads of cattle, four hundred coats of armor and four hundred lances. He obliged him to recognize the duty of paying tribute and charged him with collecting it from Dumat, Tabuk, Ailah and Taima’.
The tribes, who were before allies with the Byzantines, became quite certain that their dependence on their former masters came to an end. Therefore they turned into being supporters of the Muslims. The Islamic State had therefore expanded its borders to an extent that it touched the Byzantines’ borders. So we see that the Byzantine agents’ role was over.
Returning to Madinah
The Muslim army returned from Tabuk victoriously, without being deceived or wronged. That was because Allâh had sufficed them from the evils of fighting.
On the way back and at a mountain road, twelve hypocrites sought the Prophet’s life and that was while he was passing along that mountain road with only ‘Ammar holding the rein of his she-camel and Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman Radiallahu anhoo driving it, at the time that people had already gone down into the bottom of the valley,
The hypocrites seized that opportunity to seek the Prophet’s life. As Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ and his two Companions were moving along, they heard thrusts of people coming towards him from behind with their faces covered. Hudhaifah advertise who was sent by the Prophet ﷺ to see what was going on, saw them and stroked their mounts’ faces with a crook in his hand, and Allâh cast fear
into their hearts. They fled away and caught up with their people, However, Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ informed him of their names and intentions. So that was why Hudhaifah was called the “confidant” of Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ About this event Allâh the Exalted says:
“And they resolved that (plot to murder Prophet Muhammad which they were unable to carry out.” 19:74)
When his headquarters, Madinah, began to appear at the horizon. the Prophet ﷺ said: “This is a cheerful sight. This is Uhud, which is a mountain, we love it and it loves us.” When the Madinese learnt of their arrival, they set out to meet the army. Women, youth, and small children came out of the town to celebrate their return wholeheartedly, singing:
“The full moon shone down upon us, through the trails of Al-Wada’ Mountain.
Thanks is due upon us, as long as a supplicator invokes to Allah.”
ﷺThe march of Allâh’s Messenger to Tabuk was in Rajab and his return in Ramadan. So we see that this Ghazwah took fifty days. twenty days of which were spent in Tabuk and the others on the way to and fro. The Tabuk Invasion was the last one made by the Prophet
The People Who lagged behind
Due to its particular circumstances, this invasion was a severe trial by Allâh only to try the believers’ Faith and sort them out. This is Allâh’s permanent Will in such circumstances. In this respect He says:
*Allâh will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good, 13:1791
Lagging and hanging back from full participation in that invasion amounted to the degree of hypocrisy. Whenever Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was informed of a man’s lingering. he would say
“Leave him alone! If Allâh knows him to be good He will enable him to follow you; but if he were not so. Allâh would relieve us of him.”
Nobody stayed behind except those who were either hindered by a serious excuse or the hypocrites who told lies to Allâh and His Messenger ﷺ
Some of those hypocrites’ lingering was due to an excuse based on forgery and delusion. Some others stayed but didn’t asl for permission. But there were three believers who unjustifiably lingered. They were the ones whose Faith Allâh tried, but later on He turned to them in mercy and accepted their repentance.
As soon as Allâh’s Messengerﷺ had entered Madinah, he prayed two Rak’ah in the Mosque and then he sat to receive his people The hypocrites who were over eighty men’ll came and offered various kinds of excuses and started swearing. The Prophetﷺ acknowledged their excuses and invoked Allâh’s forgiveness for them but he entrusted their inner intentions and Faith to Allah.
As for the three faithful believers – Ka’b bin Malik, Murarah bin ArRabi and Hilal bin Umaiyah – who favored telling the truth. Allah s Messenger ﷺ directed his Companions not to talk to them.
Consequently they were shunned and were excluded from the life of the community. Everybody turned their back to them. So they felt as if the whole land had become constrained to them in spite of its spaciousness and they felt awkward and uneasy. The hard times they lived and which lasted for over forty days. were made severe by an order to them to abandon their wives. After fifty
days’ shunning Allâh turned to them and revealed:
“And (He did forgive also) the three (whom the Prophet 🙂 left (i.e., he did not give his judgment in their case, and their case was suspended for Allâh’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their own selves were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allâh, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He accepted their repentance that they might repent (unto Him). Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” [9:118]
Allâh’s turning to them was a great joy for both Muslims and the three concerned. The joy of those who stayed behind was immense. It was the happiest day in their lives. The good tiding encouraged them and filled their hearts with delight. As for those who lingered due to disability or sickness or any other serious excuse, Allâh the Exalted said about them:
“There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend (in holy warfare (Jihad)], if they are sincere (in duty) to Allâh and His Messenger.” [9:91)
When he approached Madinah. Allah’s Messengerﷺ: said:
“Inside Madinah, there are certain men, who though being left back due to serious excuses, they have, all the time, been with you. Lingerers as they are, they have been with
you while you were passing valleys or walking along roads.” “Do you mean that they have done that while they are still in Madinah?” They wondered. “Yes, though they are in Madinah.” The Prophet ﷺ said.
The Invasion of Tabuk and its far-reaching Consequences
The effect of this invasion is great as regards extending and confirming the Muslims’ influence and domination on the Arabian Peninsula. It was quite obvious to everybody that no power but Islam’s would live long among the Arabs.
The remainders of Jahiliyah and the hypocrites – who used to conspire steadily against the Muslims and who continuously relied on Byzantine power when they were in need of support or help – these people lost their expectations and desires of ever reclaiming their influence.
Realizing that there was no way out and that they were to submit to the fact, they gave up their attempts.
From that time on, hypocrites were no longer treated leniently or even gently by the Muslims. Allâh not only ordered Muslims to treat them severely but He also forbade them to take their charity or perform prayer on their dead, or ask Allâh’s forgiveness for them or even visit their graves. Allâh ordered the Muslims to demolish the mosque, which they verily appointed and used as a hiding place where they might practice their plots, conspiracy and deceit. Some Qur’ânic Verses were sent down disclosing them publicly and utterly so that everybody in Madinah knew their reality. The great impact that this invasion produced could be perceived by the great number of delegations that came successively to meet Allâh’s Messenger uten Naturally, deputations used to come to meet him at the end of an invasion particularly after the Makkah Conquest but they were not as
many as these nor were they as frequent as they were then in the wake of the Tabuk event. It was certainly the greatest.
The Qur’anic Verses about the Invasion
Many a Verse of the Chapter of Bara’ah (Taubah) handling the event of Tabuk were revealed. Some Verses were revealed before the march, while others after setting out for Tabuk, i.e., in the context of the battle. Some other Verses were also revealed upon the Prophet’s arrival in Madinah. All of which covered the incidents that featured this invasion: the circumstances of the battle, exposure of the hypocrites, the privileges and special rank earmarked for the strivers in the cause of Allâh, acceptance of the repentance of the truthful believers who slackened and those who hung back, etc.
Some Important Events of that year
During this year many events of great significance took place. They were:
- After the Messenger’s ﷺ return from Tabuk, the sworn allegation of infidelity between ‘Uwaimir Al-‘Ajlani and his wife took place.
- Pelting with stones the Ghamidiyah woman who confessed committing adultery. She was pelted with stones only after weaning her child off her breast milk.
- Negus Ashamah, the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), died so the Nabi Pakﷺ performed prayer in absentia for him.
- The death of the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ Umm Kulthum . The Prophet felﷺt extremely sad at her death.
- The death of ‘Abdullah bin Ubai Ibn Salul, the head of hypocrites. after the Prophet’sﷺ return from Tabuk.