The Life of Muhammad (PBUH)

By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translation by: Abdullah al-Shahin

p. 199-227
The Ansar were very happy with the coming of the messenger of Allah to their town and his taking it as the capital of his state. After the conditions had been orderly in Medina, the Prophet (a.s.) took very important steps such as:

Brotherhood among Muslims

The first step the Prophet (a.s.) took was that he made the Muhajireen brothers of the Ansar by a tie of true brotherhood that was confirmer than the tie of blood and kinship. From among the conditions of this brotherhood was that each one should participate his brother in every possession and every ease and hardship. The Prophet (a.s.) made himself a brother of Imam Ali (a.s.). There is another thing worth of being mentioned is that the Prophet (a.s.) reconciled the Aws Tribe with the Khazraj Tribe after their long enmities and wars.

Building the Islamic civilization

When everything was orderly in Medina and the Prophet (a.s.) found protection and security among its people, he started the establishing of the Islamic civilization that would save man from all that might degrade him and would take him toward perfection. The Islamic civilization has made an integral method of life for man that he can find in it security, ease, and all that he wishes for in life. Islam deals with all fields of life and throughout all ages. The following are some of the articles of this method:

Liberation of woman

Woman, in the pre-Islamic age, was the weakest of Allah’s creatures and the most suffering and oppressed creature. From the abominable injustice against woman in that age was that whenever a female was born for a man, that man would be very angry and distressed. Allah has said in the Qur’an, (When if one of them receives tidings of the birth of a female, his face remains darkened, and he is wroth inwardly).[1] The worst of that was that they buried their daughters alive. Allah has said, (And when the female infant buried alive is asked: for what sin she was killed?).[2] This bad habit was widespread among some tribes like Rabee’ah, Kindeh, and Tamim. From the sayings famous among them was “the killings of girls is from noble deeds”. Islam has liberated woman and built her a honorable, exalted entity, for she is the renewer of life and the educator of generations.

Another form of the injustice against woman was that she was deprived of her right in inheritance. She had no right to inherit her father, mother, or husband. However, Islam has equaled her to man in this concern. She has the right to inherit and to bequeath.

As for one’s father’s widow in the pre-Islamic age, she was considered as a part of inheritance. She was possessed by the elder son of that dead father. He could get married to her if he wanted, or otherwise, he married her to anyone and took her dowry to himself, or he would let her unmarried until she died.

As for the marriage of woman in general, it was controlled by the personal wishes of fathers, brothers, and other male relatives, whereas woman herself has no right to interfere in the affairs of her marriage. Males had full control on woman. They could, if they wanted, leave her unmarried until she died, or she would ransom herself.

Islam has liberated woman from all those ties and made no authority for anyone over her except her father (according to some jurisprudents) because he is more aware of men’s affairs than her, but on condition that he must realize her welfare; otherwise, he shall have no authority over her. This concerns a virgin, but as for a non-virgin, her father has no authority over her (as to her marriage).

Equality

From the high values that Islam has established is the equality among all human beings with all their different races, nations, and languages with no difference between a ruler and a subject, a wealthy one and a poor one. The Prophet (a.s.) has said, “All of you are from Adam and Adam is from earth.”

Jeeb says, “Islam is the only religion that still has the ability to be greatly successful in uniting the discordant human races and communities in one front based on equality. When the discords of the East and the West are put to be discussed, it must be resorted to Islam.”

Jawaharlal Nehru says, “The theory of the Islamic brotherhood and the equality that Muslims believed in and lived with it had had a deep influence in the Hindus’ mentalities. The wretched, whom the Indian society had deprived of equality and human rights, were the most in submitting to this influence.”

Thomas Carlyle says, “In Islam there is a characteristic that is one of the noblest and most beloved characteristics; it is the equality between people.”[3]

It is not meant by the equality that Islam has announced the natural equality among people in color, intelligence, morals, and natures, for this is something impossible, as the equality in (the level and ways of) life is impossible as well. The Prophet (a.s.) has said, “If you are equal (in everything), you shall perish.” Anyhow, here are some aspects of the equality in Islam:

1. Social equality

Allah has said, (O mankind! Surely We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the best in conduct).[4] Ibn Abbas narrated a tradition about the cause of the revelation of this verse that a freed slave had proposed to a woman from the Bani Bayadhah. The messenger of Allah (a.s.) asked the woman’s family to marry her to the freed slave, but they said, “O messenger of Allah, would we marry our daughters to our freed slaves?”

Then, this verse was revealed to destroy this notion that sowed differences between social classes. The infallible imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were the first to follow the orders of Allah. Imam Zaynol Aabidin (a.s.) set his bondmaid free and then he got married to her. Abdul Melik bin Marwan blamed him for that in a letter to him saying in it, “I have been informed of your marriage to your freed slave. You know well that there are competent ones to you in Quraysh by whom you shall have glory in affinity and noble offspring. You have neither regarded yourself nor your offspring. With greetings.”

Imam Zaynol Aabidin replied to him saying, “Your letter has come to me where you blame me for my getting married to my freed slave and claim that there are in Quraysh well-qualified women by whom I shall have glory in affinity and noble offspring. There is no above the messenger of Allah an eminence in glory nor a nobility. She just was my bondmaid. She got out of me (out of bondage to me) by the order of the will of Allah the Almighty that I sought His reward by it, and then I got her back according to His laws. Whoever is pure in his religion nothing of his affairs shall harm him. Surely Allah has exalted by (the faith in) Islam the mean, repaired defects, and removed the blame. There is no blame on a Muslim, but the blame (in that matter) is the blame of the pre-Islamic age…”[5]

This is the clear logic of Islam. It has annulled all differences and barriers among Muslims. The Prophet (a.s.) said, “All of you are from Adam and Adam is from earth. Let some men stop glorying on their fathers or they shall be to Allah lower than dung-beetles.” He also said, “Allah has removed from you the defect of the pre-Islamic age (of ignorance) and the glorying on fathers. People are two men (kinds); one is dutiful, pious, and honored to Allah, and the other is dissolute, wretched, and ignoble to Allah.”[6]

Islam has established the rules of equality on the base of the sound nature preferring no people to others except by piety. Imam Zaynol Aabidin (a.s.) said, “Allah the Almighty has created the Paradise for whoever obeys Him even if he is an Abyssinian slave, and created the Fire for whoever disobeys Him even if he is a Qurayshi master.”

The Prophet (a.s.) addressed his family saying, “O Bani Hashim, let you not come to me with your lineage saying: we are the progeny of Muhammad…when people come to me with their deeds.”

The Prophet (a.s.) resisted the vying in glory by ancestors that was widespread among the Arabs. One day, a black slave disputed with Abdurrahman bin Ouf (one of the chiefs of Quraysh) who was angry and said to the black man, “O son of the black woman!” When the Prophet (a.s.) heard that, he angrily said to Abdurrahman, “There is no preference for the son of a white woman to the son of a black woman except by the truth.”

2. Equality before the law

One of the clear manifestations in the Islamic politics is the equality of people before the law where there is no preference for the strong to the weak or the wealthy to the poor. Once, the Prophet (a.s.) was begged to pardon a thief because of her noble family, but he refused and said, “Surely, those who were before you had perished because if a weak person from among them committed a sin, they punished him/her, and if a noble one committed a sin, they left him free. By Allah, if Fatima daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand.”[7]

Imam Ali (a.s.), during his caliphate, lost his armor and then he found it with some Jewish man who claimed it was his. Imam Ali (a.s.) brought the case before the judge who judged for the Jew. Imam Ali (a.s.) simply submitted to the judgment.

During the reign of Umar, some Jewish man disputed with Imam Ali (a.s.). Umar said to the Imam Ali (a.s.), “O Abul Hasan, get up to stand up with your litigant.”

Imam Ali (a.s.) changed color. After the trial, Umar said to Imam Ali (a.s.), “O Abul Hasan, you might be angry that I asked you to stop with your Jewish opponent?”

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “No, but I was angry because you called me by my surname (while it was not so with the Jew) and did not equal me to my opponent (did not regard the Jew equal to me). A Muslim and a Jew are equal before the truth.”

Islam has imposed on its followers to equalize the two opponents in courts. It is not right to prefer one to the other. It is worth mentioning to refer here to some wonderful pictures of equality in judgment.

1. Equalizing the litigants in greeting; a judge has no right to greet one of them and leave the other. If they both greeted him, he has to reply to them both.

2. Equalizing them in speaking; he is not to talk with one of them and give up the other.

3. Equalizing them in giving permission to come in to him; he is not to permit one of them and reject the other.

4. Equalizing them in regarding and respecting

5. Equalizing them in seating; it is not permissible to him to seat one of them in a good place and leave the other anywhere.

6. Equalizing them in cheerfulness

7. Listening to the speaking of both of them; he is not to listen to one of them carefully away from the other.

8. Equalizing them in justice and fairness.

9. A judge has no right to prefer one of the opponents to the other in anything.[8]

This equality that Islam has adopted has no any like in the modern and all other systems.[9]

3. equality in taxes

All Muslims are equal in paying the taxes that Islam has imposed like the zakat, the Khums, and others. They are not imposed on some people and some others are exempted from them.

4. equality in employment

Islam has equalized all citizens in employment and posts. Whoever is well-qualified to a certain post is worthier of occupying that post. No certain class of people is preferred to another concerning certain posts.

Individual responsibility

Man, in Islam, is responsible for his deeds, and no one other than him should be blamed in place of him for that. Allah says, (every man is responsible for what he shall have wrought),[10] and (That was a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did).[11]

This responsibility is one of the wonderful rules that Islam has fixed in its civilization that has announced the human rights.

Annulling the racial segregation

One of the high values in Islam is the annulling of the racial segregation among Muslims and among all human beings. A very poor black woman lived in the mosque. One day, the Prophet (a.s.) missed her. When he asked about her, it was said to him that she had died. He felt pain and said to his companions, “Would that you have told me of that!” He asked about the place of the woman’s tomb and he visited it.[12]

The Prophet said about Salman al-Farisi (the Persian), “Salman is from us the Ahlul Bayt. Charity to Salman is impermissible.”[13]

The Prophet (a.s.) said about Bilal al-Habashi (the Abyssinian) when some hypocrites criticized and mocked at him because he pronounced [s] as [sh], “The [s] of Bilal is [sh] to Allah. The [s] of Bilal is better than your [sh].”

There are many other examples showing that the Prophet (a.s.) cared too much for the equality among Muslims.

The Islamic brotherhood

The Islamic brotherhood was not just a slogan, but it was an eminent reality in the rulings of Islam. The Islamic brotherhood was not established on tribal, racial, or regional bases, but it was established as a part of the Islamic doctrine that every Muslim would be asked about and punished for. It supplies the society with the means of unity, mutual understanding, altruism, and cooperation, and it creates a unique example of social integrity and blocks the way before its enemies.

As for the reality of the Islamic brotherhood, the Prophet (a.s.) said, “No one of you is a true believer until he wishes to his brother what he wishes to himself.”

The Prophet (a.s.) described the Muslim society as one body saying, “The example of believers in their mutual love and mercifulness is like the body when one of its organs suffers a pain, the rest of the body falls in fever and sleeplessness for it.”

Islam has considered the Islamic brotherhood as better and stronger than the tie of blood and kinship. The Prophet (a.s.) said, “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim; he should not wrong, degrade,…him.”

The Islamic brotherhood is not just a mere passion, but it is a firm relationship extending to the deep of hearts and the inners of souls. It requires all Muslims to participate in joy and in sorrow. The Prophet (a.s.) had often declared that. Once, he sent some man to do something for him. The man was late. When he came back, the Prophet asked him why he was late and he said it was ‘clothlessness’.

The Prophet (a.s.) asked him, “Do you not have a neighbor who has two garments to lend you one?”

The man said, “Yes, O messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (a.s.) was unpleased and said, “He is not a brother to you!”

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim; he is his eye, mirror, and guide. He should not betray, wrong, cheat, backbite, or tell him lies…”[14]

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “A believer is a brother to a believer; he should not abuse, anger, or mistrust him.”[15]

Islam has recommended some acts that they encourage love and brotherhood among Muslims. The following are some of them:

1. Mercifulness and sympathy

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Fear Allah and be brothers loving each other for the sake of Allah, helping each other, and showing mercy to each other. Visit each other, meet, consider our matter (imamate), and liven it up.”[16]

He also said, “Muslims are required to strive for interconnection and cooperation in comforting and showing mercy to the needy until you shall be as Allah has ordered you to be (compassionate among themselves), showing mercy to each other, caring for what is unknown to you from their (other Muslims) affairs like the community of the Ansar was at the time of the messenger of Allah (a.s.).”

2. The spread of greeting

One of the ties of the Muslim society is the greeting of each other. The Prophet (a.s.), when he arrived in Yathrib, ordered Muslims of some things saying to them, “Spread greeting (among you), speak good, offer food (to the needy), retain kinship, and offer prayers in the night while people are asleep, then you shall enter the Paradise peacefully.”[17]

3. Mutual visiting

Islam encourages Muslims to visit each other because these mutual visits confirm the love and relation between them. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “The meeting of brothers is a great gain even if they are few.”[18]

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) said to one of his companions, “Give my regards to our followers and recommend them of the fear of Allah and that their wealthy should help their poor, their powerful should help their weak, their alive should attend the funerals of their dead, and to meet in their houses. If they meet each other, it shall be a life to our matter (imamate). May Allah have mercy on whoever livens up our matter.”[19]

There are many other traditions transmitted from the infallible imams inviting Muslims to keep on visiting each other.

4. Satisfying the needs of people

Satisfying the needs of people causes more love and cordiality among people. The Prophet (a.s.) often and always encouraged that. He said, “Whoever moves to satisfy a need of his brother an hour in the night or in the day, whether he satisfies it or not, it shall be better to him than spending a month of worshiping in seclusion.”[20]

Safwan al-Jammal narrated, “Once, I was with Imam Abu Abdullah as-Sadiq (a.s.) when a man from Mecca, called Maymun, came to him. He complained to him that he could not pay the rents. He (Imam as-Sadiq) said to me, ‘Go and help your brother!’ I went to satisfy the need of the Meccan man, and when I came back, Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) asked me, ‘What did you do to the need of your brother?’ I said, ‘Allah has satisfied it, may my father and mother die for you.’ Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) was delighted and said, ‘Surely if you help your Muslim brother it is more beloved to me than circumambulating the House (the Kaaba) for a week.’”[21]

5. Helping a Muslim

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “Whoever relieves a Muslim from a distress from the distresses of this life, Allah will relieve him from a distress from the distresses of the Day of Judgment. Allah is in the assistance of a servant as long as that servant is in the assistance of his brother.”[22]

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “Let no one of you think that when he pleases a believer that he pleases him only, but, by Allah, he pleases us, and in fact, by Allah, he pleases the messenger of Allah (a.s.).”[23]

These are some of the means that increase love and strengthen the relations among the members of the Muslim society, and consequently they lead to the unity and solidarity of Muslims.

Factors of separation

Islam has closed all the doors through which separation may come in and affect the Islamic brotherhood and split the unity of Muslims. Here are some factors that lead to that:

1. Mocking and insulting each other

Allah says, (O you who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso turns not in repentance, such are the evil-doers).[24]

2. Backbiting

Islam has prohibited backbiting. Allah says, (…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning, Merciful).[25]

The Holy Qur’an has likened backbiting to the eating of one’s dead brother’s flesh. The Prophet (a.s.) often emphasized on the prohibition of backbiting. He said, “O folk of those who believed by their tongues and did not believe by their hearts! Do not backbite Muslims and do not look for their defects! Surely whoever looks for the defect of his brother Allah will look for his own defect until He will expose him in the heart of his house.”[26]

The Prophet (a.s.) also said, “Backbiting is faster in (destroying) a Muslim’s faith than a canker in his inners.”[27]

He also said, “No meeting is built by backbiting except that its religion is destroyed. Purify your hearings from the listening to backbiting, because the sayer and the listener to it (backbiting) are participants in sin.”[28]

3. Talebearing

The Prophet (a.s.) has prohibited talebearing, for it leads to grudge, enmity, and quarrels among Muslims.

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “The most hated ones of you to Allah are those who practice talebearing, separate between lovers, and ascribe defects to the innocent.”[29]

He also said to his companions, “Shall I inform you of the worst of you?” They said, “Yes, O messenger of Allah.” He said, “Those who practice talebearing, separate between lovers, and ascribe defects to the innocent.”[30]

Many other traditions have been transmitted from the infallible imams about talebearing. Muhammad bin Fudhayl said to Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.), “May I be sacrificed for you! Something that I hate is informed to me about one of my brothers and when I asked him about it, he denies it, though those who inform about him are trustworthy.”

The imam said to him, “O Muhammad, do not believe your hearing and sight about your brother. If fifty witnesses bear witness (about him), and says to you something else, you should believe him and deny them. Do not spread about him something that defames him and destroys his status, and then you shall be from those about whom Allah has said, (Surely those who love that scandal should spread respecting those who believe, shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter).[31]”[32]

4. Irrelation

The Prophet (a.s.) based the Muslim society on interconnection and love and he prohibited the absence of relation. He said, “If any two Muslims desert each other and remain three days without making peace with each other, they shall be out of Islam and there shall be no guardianship between them. Whichever of them precedes in talking with his brother shall be precedent to the Paradise on the Day of Judgment.”[33]

He also said, “It is not permissible for a Muslim to desert his brother more than three days.”[34]

5. Non-cooperation

Islam has built the Muslim society on cooperation and prohibited the violation of it. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “Whoever refrains from assisting his Muslim brother and satisfying his need, he shall be afflicted by assisting one whom he shall be punished and not rewarded for.”[35]

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) asked his companions, “Why do you belittle us?”

A man from Khurasan said to him, “Allah forbids that we belittle you or anything of your matter!”

The imam answered him while being angry, “You are one of those who have belittled us”

The man said, “Allah forbid!”

The imam said, “May Allah forgive you! Did you not hear so-and-so, when we were in Qarn al-Jahfah, saying: ‘carry me on the mount for a mile. By Allah, I have been tired.’? By Allah, you did not raise your head to him. You belittled us. Whoever belittles a believer from among us belittles and neglects the sanctity of Allah the Almighty.”[36]

6. Harming and insulting

Islam has prohibited the harming and the insulting of a Muslim. Many traditions were transmitted from the Prophet (a.s.) and the infallible imams about that.

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “A (true) Muslim is he whom Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand.”

He said, “It is not permissible for a Muslim to point to his brother with a look that may hurt him.”

He said, “Allah the Almighty has said, ‘He, who degrades my believing servant, resists Me.’”[37]

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Whoever abases and despises a believer for his neediness and poverty Allah will expose him (the despiser) before the creatures on the Day of Judgment.”[38]

He also said, “Whoever despises a poor or not poor believer Allah the Almighty will be despising and hating him until he shall renounce his despising to him (the believer).”[39]

7. Frightening and terrorizing

Islam has prohibited the terrifying and terrorizing of any Muslim. The messenger of Allah (a.s.) said, “Whoever looks at a believer with a look by which he intends to terrify him Allah will terrify him on the Day where there shall be no shelter except His.”[40]

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “He, who terrifies a believer by a ruler that a harm from him (the ruler) may afflict him but it does not afflict him, shall be in Fire, and he, who terrifies a believer by a ruler that a harm from him may afflict him and it does afflict him, shall be in the Fire with the Pharaoh and the family of the Pharaoh.”[41]

Islam has prohibited terrorism and promised terrorists to be in the fire of the Hell forever.”

8. Revilement

From the high values of the Islamic education is the prohibition of revilement even toward the opponents of the religion. Allah says, (And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance).[42]

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “Abusing a believer is apostasy, eating his flesh (backbiting) is disobedience, fighting him is disbelief, and the inviolability of his property is like the inviolability of his blood.”[43]

A man from Tamim asked the Prophet (a.s.) to recommend him of something. One of the Prophet’s recommendations to him was, “Do not revile people lest you earn enmity of them.”[44]

9. Watching of others’ slips and defects

Islam has surrounded the Muslim society by a strong fence to protect it from splitting and separating. From that which causes separation in the society is the watching of others’ slips and faults which Islam has insistently prohibited. Allah the Almighty says, (Surely those who love that slander should be spread concerning those who believe, shall have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter).[45] The Prophet (a.s.) said, “O folk of those who have become Muslims by the tongue and not by the heart, do not watch the slips of Muslims, because whoever watches the slips of Muslims Allah watches his slips and Allah will expose whomever He watches his slips.”[46]

Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) (a.s.) said, “The soonest of good in being rewarded for is beneficence, and the soonest of evil in being punished for is oppression. It is an enough defect for a man to see in people what he overlooks in himself, and to blame people for what he himself can not give up, and to hurt his companion with what does not concern him.”[47]

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “From that which makes one nearer to disbelief is that he befriends someone in religion and he watches his slips to censure him for them someday.”[48]

10. Degrading a Muslim

It is not from Islam that a Muslim degrades and despises his Muslim brother. The Prophet (a.s.) said, “He, who spreads a vice, is as if he has committed it, and he, who censures a Muslim for something, shall not die until he shall be involved in it.”[49]

11. Priding on lineages

Islam has prohibited the priding on lineages for it leads the split of the Islamic brotherhood. People in Islam are equal as the dents of a comb; no one has preference to another except by piety and good deeds.

Once Uqbah bin Basheer al-Asadi had the honor of meeting Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (a.s.) and began praising himself and his lineage. The imam said to him, “Do not pride on your lineage before us. Allah has exalted by faith that whom people used to call ‘mean’ if he was faithful, and lowered by disbelief that whom people used to call ‘noble’ if he was an unbeliever. There is no preference for one to another except by piety.”[50]

Instead of priding on one’s ancestors one should pride on good deeds and assistance to others.;

Lights from the Islamic civilization

The Prophet (a.s.) undertook the best and most appropriate systems that assured security and settlement to his nation. We have talked about some of them in the previous chapters and now we talk about some others.

Freedom

Islam has adopted full freedom for man because it is as the air to his lungs and without it a sound life cannot be realized. The freedoms that Islam has declared are the following:

1. The freedom of religion

The freedom of religion is a part from the Islamic mission. The Prophet’s plan was to inform of the principles and values of his mission to the society and they were free to believe in them if they wanted and to reject if they wanted. Allah has said addressing His prophet, (And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who pleases believe, and let him who pleases disbelieve),[51] and said, (Therefore, do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a warder over them),[52] and, (We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind him by means of the Qur’an who fears My threat).[53] There would be no harm to Islam if the Jews and the Christians insisted to remain on their religions. Allah also has said to His messenger, (will you then force men till they become believers?)[54]

Goldzieher says, “Islam, in order to be a universal power, followed an intelligent policy. In the first ages, embracing Islam was not obligatory. Those, who believed in monotheism and took their laws from Divine Books like the Jews, the Christians, and the Zoroastrians could, if they paid the certain tribute, enjoy the freedom of rites and the protection of the Islamic state. Islam had gone with this policy to far distances. In India, for example, the old rites were practiced in the temples under the Islamic rule.”[55]

Dozy mentions the importance of the Islamic leniency when talking about the conquest of Andalusia. He says, “The conditions of the Christians under the Islamic rule did not lead to complaint as to what they were before. Add to that that the Arabs had much leniency. They did not weary anyone in the affairs of religion…and the Christians did not neglect this favor of the Arabs, but they approved the Arabs’ leniency and justice and preferred their rule to the rule of the Germans and the French.”[56]

Islam has obliged all Muslims to regard the right of others in their beliefs. No one is permitted to force anyone to embrace Islam. Allah has said, (There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error).[57] If a Muslim wants to argue with someone of another belief, he has to show him irrefutable evidences on Islam and show him through logic and clear proofs the defects of that someone’s belief. Either he submits to the truth or otherwise a Muslim has no right to use pressure and force to impose his own beliefs on him.

From the manifestations of the full freedom that Islam has given to the followers of the other religions is that it does not impose on them the application of the Islamic rulings especially in the personal law, but they can refer to the rulings of their religions.

However, history has never mentioned that Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) had killed, punished, or imprisoned a follower of another religion or prevented him from practicing his rites.

2. The freedom of thought

Islam has opened all horizons of thinking before the mind and invited it to set out in the universe and use all its activities to ponder on everything there and think deeply of all what Allah had created which would lead to the absolute faith in Allah the Almighty.

The freedom of thought, which Islam has invited to, calls for the intellectual development and the release from every superstitions and illusions that were widespread in the society of Mecca where idolatry was the most significant thing in that life of deviation. Allah has said, (And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; they are as cattle, nay, they are worse. These are the heedless ones).[58]

The Prophet (a.s.) invited the Meccan people to waken their minds and free their thinking from all their bad habits and thought and from imitating their fathers blindly. Allah has said, (And when it is said to them: Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! And though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way?)[59]

Allah the Almighty ordered His prophet to address his people, who followed their idols in error, saying, (Say: Have you then considered that what you call upon besides Allah, would they, if Allah desire to afflict me with harm, be the removers of His harm, or (would they), if Allah desire to show me mercy, be the withholders of His mercy? Say: Allah is sufficient for me; on Him do the reliant rely).[60]

3. Civil freedom

It means the giving of the full freedom to the individual in the field of work on condition that his work should not be impermissible in Islam such as the making of instruments of amusement, wines, and the like.

From the other fields of the civil freedom is the freedom of abode that every individual has the right to choose for himself an abode to live in on condition that it should not be ill-gotten. He is also free to live in any country he likes except that when his emigration is to non-Muslim country and that it is feared for him that he may lose his faith and become deviant; therefore, this emigration is impermissible to him.

Governors and officials

When Islam had become strong and its state firm, the Prophet began sending governors and officials to the provinces and the villages that had embraced Islam.

The task of governors

The task of the governors whom the Prophet (a.s.) sent to the Muslim towns was as the following:

1. To teach the rulings of Islam, like the rulings of prayer, fasting, hajj, zakat, the enjoining of good and forbidding of wrong, the Holy Qur’an, spreading the good morals and manners, and virtues among people.

2. Collecting the Islamic taxes and spending them on the poor of that town, besides the other public interests.

3. Deciding the disputes among people and solving their problems according to the rulings of Islam.

4. Watching the market; the Prophet (a.s.) paid much attention to the economic life of people. Those, who sold foods without weights or measures, were whipped at the time of the Prophet (a.s.), for the selling of foods must undergo certain measures and weights.[61] The Prophet (a.s.) employed Sa’eed bin al-Aas to watch the market of Mecca after the conquest[62] for fear of usurious dealings.

The Prophet’s covenant to governors

The Prophet (a.s.) had assigned to Amr bin Hazm, who was his governor on Yemen, this covenant in which he said,

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This a communiqué from Allah and His messenger. O you who believe be loyal to the covenant! This is a covenant from Prophet Muhammad the messenger of Allah to Amr bin Hazm when he sent him to Yemen. He ordered him of the fear of Allah in all his affairs for (surly Allah is with those who keep their duty unto Him and those who are doers of good). He ordered him to follow the truth as Allah had ordered him, and to bring good news about goodness, order them to do it (goodness), teach them the Qur’an and make them understand it, and forbid them that no man should touch the Qur’an except when he is pure, and to inform people of their rights and their duties, and to be lenient to them in the truth and severe to them in injustice (when one of them commits injustice) because Allah hates injustice and prohibits it. He says, (surely the curse of Allah is on the unjust).[63] And to bring people good news about the Paradise and its deeds and warn them against the Fire and its deeds, and befriend people until they fully understand the religion, and teach people the ruling of the hajj and its rites and obligation and what Allah has ordered, and the Major Hajj.”[64]

The Prophet’s covenant to Mu’ath

The Prophet (a.s.) made a covenant to his governor Mu’ath and ordered him to fulfill its terms. It has been narrated in two forms. Here is the first one:

“O Mu’ath, I recommend you of the fear of Allah, the truthfulness in speaking, the fulfillment of covenants, giving deposits back (to their owners), avoiding betrayal, being merciful to the orphan, observance of neighbors, controlling of anger, being lenient, offering of greetings and soft speech, keeping to faith, understanding the Qur’an, the love of the afterlife, the fear of Judgment (of the afterlife), good deeds, and not relying on wishes, and beware of abusing a Muslim, disbelieving a truthful one, believing a liar, or disobeying a just ruler.

O Mu’ath, remember your Lord at every rock and tree, and make to every sin a repentance; secretly when secretly and openly when openly. Visit the sick, and hurry to satisfy the needs of widows and the weak. Sit with the poor and the wretched. Be fair to people against yourself, say the truth, and do not fear, in the way of Allah, a blame of any blamer.”[65]

The second narration:

“O Mu’ath, teach them the Book of Allah, and educate them with the good morals. Regard people according to their positions whether good or bad. Apply the order of Allah to them and do not flatter anyone as to His orders and wealth, because it is neither your authority nor is it your wealth. Give deposits back to their owners in all cases whether little or much. Keep on leniency and pardoning except in the leaving of the truth that an ignorant one may say: you have left the right of Allah. Apologize to the people of everything that you may commit a fault in it until they pardon you. Deaden the affairs of the pre-Islamic age except that which Islam has passed, and show all matters of Islam whether small or big. Let the prayer be most of your attention because it is the head of Islam after the acknowledgment of the religion (faith). Remind the people of Allah and the Last Day and follow preachment for it is better to them in the doing of what Allah likes. Then, send among them educators, and worship Allah Whom you shall return to, and do not fear, in the way of Allah, a blame of any blamer.

And I recommend you of the fear of Allah, the truthfulness in speaking, the fulfillment of covenants, giving deposits back (to their owners), avoiding betrayal, (I recommend you of) soft speaking, offering of greetings, observance of neighbors, being merciful to the orphan, doing good deeds, not relying on wishes, the love of the afterlife, the fear of Judgment (of the afterlife), , keeping to faith, understanding the Qur’an, controlling of anger, and being lenient.

Beware of abusing a Muslim, obeying a sinner, disobeying a just ruler, disbelieving a truthful one, or believing a liar. Remember your Lord at every rock and tree, and make to every sin a repentance; secretly when secretly and openly when openly.”

Deposing of governors

The Prophet (a.s.) was too careful in watching the conducts of his governors. When he saw that the public complain at a governor for his bad administration or bad morals, he deposed him. Once, he deposed his governor on Bahrain, al-Ala’ bin al-Hadhrami, because the delegation of the bani Abdul Qays complained against him, and he appointed in place of him Aban bin Sa’eed and said to him, “Be kind to Abdul Qays and regard their notables.”[66]

The Prophet (a.s.) often called his governors and officials to account. Once, he appointed a man from al-Azd on charities.

The man said, “This if for you and this has been given to me as gift…”

The Prophet (a.s.) was angry at the man’s saying and he said to him, “What about one whom we employ in what Allah has entrusted us with and he says: this has been gifted to me? Would he not sit in his father and mother’s house and see whether it is gifted to him or not? By Whom in His hand my soul is, we do not employ a man in something of what Allah has entrusted us with except that he shall come on the Day of Judgment carrying it on his neck; if it is a camel, it shall grumble, and if it is a cow, it shall moo, and if it is a yew, it shall bleat.” Then the Prophet (a.s.) raised his hands toward the heaven and said two or three times, “O Allah, I have informed him.”[67]

When the Prophet’s attention to the honesty of governors and officials was spread among Muslims, they (governors and officials) refrained from accepting gifts. Historians mention that the Prophet (a.s.) sent Abdullah bin Rawahah every year to the Jews of Khaybar to estimate the fruit of their date-palms. Their villages were from the most important villages in Hijaz as to production. The Jews wanted to bribe him. They collected to him some of their women’s jewels and said to him, “This is to you, but you lessen (the estimation) to us and overlook in division.”

He angrily said, “O community of Jews, you are the most hated of Allah’s people to me, but this does not make wrong you. And as for the bribe you offer to me, it is ill-gotten that we do not eat.”

The Jews were astonished at his honesty and they said, “On this the heavens and the earth have been established.”[68]

The salaries of officials

Islam has cared much for the conditions of the state officials. It has paid much attention to make them in no need of what people possess. The Prophet (a.s.) appointed Etab bin Usayd a wali on Mecca and gave him one dirham a day where one dirham equaled the price of a sheep and a bottle of oil or honey. Etab declared his satisfaction saying, “…the messenger of Allah gives me one dirham a day, and now I am in need of no one.”[69]

The Prophet (a.s.) also assigned certain quantities of food instead of money for some of his governors. When he appointed Qays bin Malik al-Arhabi on Hamadan, he assigned to him two hundred sa’s[70] of the corn of Nasar, and two hundred sa’s of raisins of Khaywan (in Yemen) and to be paid for his children after him as well.[71]

The Prophet (a.s.) sent governors to all the towns and villages that had believed in Islam. For example, he sent al-Muhajir bin Umayyah a wali on Sana’a’, Ziyad bin Labeed on Hadhramaut, Adiy bin Hatim on Tay, Etab bin Usayd on Mecca, Sa’d bin Abdullah bin Rabee’ah on Ta’if,[72] Amr bin Hazm al-Ansari on Najran, Bathan, the deputy of Khosrau, on Yemen, and after his death, the Prophet (a.s.) appointed his son Shahr bin Bathan a wali on Sana’a.[73]

[1] Qur’an, 16:58.
[2] Qur’an, 81:9.
[3] The Political System in Islam, p. 205.
[4] Qur’an, 49:13.
[5] The Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far, vol. 1 p. 38-39.
[6] The Political System in Islam, p. 207.
[7] Al-Kharaj by Abu Yousuf, p. 50.
[8] Al-Lum’ah, the book of judgment, vol. 1 p. 366-367.
[9] The Political System in Islam.
[10] Qur’an, 52:21.
[11] Qur’an, 2:134.
[12] The Political System in Islam, p. 305.
[13] Only khums is to be given to the Prophet (a.s.) and his progeny.
[14] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 174.
[15] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 167.
[16] Ibid., p. 475.
[17] Rabee’ul Abrar, vol. 2 p. 313.
[18] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 140.
[19] The Political System in Islam, p. 22.
[20] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 195.
[21] Ibid. p. 158-159.
[22] Al-Jami’ as-Sahih by at-Termithi, vol. 2 p. 189.
[23] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 151.
[24] Qur’an, 49:11.
[25] Qur’an, 49:12.
[26] Jami’ as-Sa’adaat, vol. 2 p. 298.
[27] The Political System in Islam, p. 199.
[28] Ibid.
[29] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 274.
[30] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 274.
[31] Qur’an, 24:19.
[32] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 358.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Wasa’il ash-Shia, vol. 2 p. 344.
[35] The Political System in Islam, p. 23.
[36] Al-Wasa’il, the book of Hajj, vol. 8 p. 592.
[37] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 262.
[38] Ibid., p. 263.
[39] Ibid., p. 262.
[40] Ibid., p. 273.
[41] Ibid., p. 275.
[42] Qur’an, 6:108.
[43] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 268.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Qur’an, 24:19.
[46] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2 p. 264.
[47] Ibid., p. 332-333.
[48] Ibid, p. 264.
[49] Ibid, p. 265.
[50] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 247.
[51] Qur’an, 18:29.
[52] Qur’an, 88:21-22.
[53] Qur’an, 50:45.
[54] Qur’an, 10:99.
[55] Decisive Situations (Mawaqif Hasimah), p. 20.
[56] Ibid., p. 20-21.
[57] Qur’an, 2:256.
[58] Qur’an, 7:179.
[59] Qur’an, 2:170.
[60] Qur’an, 39:38.
[61] Sahih of Muslim, vol. 3 p. 1161.
[62] Al-Istee’ab (on the margins of al-Isabah), vol. 2 p. 8.
[63] Qur’an, 11:18.
[64] The Political System in Islam, p. 169.
[65] At-Tathkirah al-Hamduniyyah, vol. 1 p. 42-43.
[66] At-Tabaqat al-Kubra by ibn Sa’d, vol. 4 p. 360.
[67] The Wise Ways in the Legal Policy, p. 48.
[68] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 3 p. 369.
[69] The Political System in Islam, p. 175.
[70] Sa’ is a measure of about three kilograms.
[71] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 4 p. 224.
[72] The System of the Prophetic Government, vol. 1 p. 242.
[73] Al-Isabah, vol. 2 p. 168.
Source: maaref-foundation.com


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