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Al Ahzab : Battle of Trench

The Muslims sphere of influence widened and their authority increased dramatically, reaching new heights. The whole of the Arabian Peninsula became fearful of the might exercised by the Muslims. Whenever the Arabs got wind of a raid that was about to be launched against them by Allah's Messenger they would get frightened and run away, this happened in Ghatafan and Dumat al-Jandal. Quraysh were no longer a match for the Muslims and they could no longer dare to confront them on their own.

The Battle of the Trench took place after the campaign against Banu Nadir, who had been expelled from Medina for their treachery and who had mostly joined their Jewish brethren in Khaybar.In the fifth year of Hijra, a group of those Jews including Sallam ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Huyayy ibn Akhtab, together with a number of Banu Wail, left for Mecca. They urged the Quraysh to make war on the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and promised help and support.The Jewish group then went to the tribes of Ghatafan and Qays Aylan and guaranteeing them help also, encouraged them to fight against God's Messenger peace be upon him. These intrigues of the Jews resulted in the formation of a great confederacy against Islam. It consisted of the Meccans polytheists, the desert tribes of central Arabia, the Jews previously expelled for treacheries from Medina , the Jews (Banu Qurayza) remaining in Medina , and the hypocrites led by ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. The last two constituted a treacherous network within Medina. When God's Messenger Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, heard, through his intelligence service, of the gathering of the allies or confederates (ahzab) against him, and the strength of their desire to fight against him, he consulted his Companions, as he always used to do. It was their unanimous view that they should remain in Medina and fight from there. Salman al-Farisi suggested to God's Messenger that they should dig a trench around Medina.

The trench took six days of feverish work to dig. God's Messenger had divided them into groups of ten people and put them to a competition. It was a hard task and time was restricted; what was more, hunger struck them all; yet all the Companions worked enthusiastically. In order not to feel hunger, each fastened a rock around his belly. The Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him who dug alongside them, and had fastened around his belly two rocks.

Medina under threat

The allies advanced against Medina in the hope of destroying the Muslims in a battle to be fought in an open field. However, when they faced a new strategy of God's Messenger, they took the first blow. Numbering around 20,000 men, they camped near the ditch. The Medina n fighting strength was no more than 3,000, and the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza and the Hypocrites were a source of weakness as they were treacherously intriguing with the enemy. As stated in the verses of the Quran (al-Ahzab, 33.12-20) when the Hypocrites first saw the enemy, they were already in a defeatist mood. Not content with disloyalty themselves, they tried to infect others, who made paltry excuses to withdraw from the fight. If the enemy were to gain entrance, they were ready to betray the city to the enemy. While the war was continuing with exchanges of arrows and stones, God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, did not neglect to make diplomatic attempts to disunite the Allies. He contacted the leaders of Ghatafan and, offering them peace, urged them to withdraw with their people from the war. Nuaym ibn Masud was one of the leaders of the Allies, who before the battle, had come to Medina to sow discord; instead, he then began to incline towards Islam. During the battle, he secretly entered Islam. God's Messenger, supported by the mountain Sal behind, had ordered a point in the trench to be made narrower. He had expected that leading horsemen of the Quraysh would try to cross the trench through that narrow spot. It happened as he had expected, and some of the most renowned warriors of the Quraysh attempted to cross the trench and volunteered for single combat with Muslim fighters. The siege lasted 27 days. It caused the Muslims much suffering, from hunger, cold, an unceasing shower of arrows and stones, and attempts and concentrated assaults to cross the trench, and betrayals and intrigues within the city. The Quran describes this situation as follows:

When enemy forces stormed upon you from all directions, it was such a difficult time that your eyes were stupefied with horror and your hearts thumped with fear, as if they would jump on to your throats. And those (amongst you) who were weak started developing doubts about Allah's promise. At that hour of staggering calamity, the true inner courage of the Momineen was revealed. Everyone witnessed the courage and fortitude with which they stood and fought under such adverse circumstances. On the contrary, the Munafiqeen and those who were deceptive started spreading rumors that all the promises which Allah Almighty and His Rasool had made them, were nothing but delusions. One of the groups went to the extent of saying, 'O people of Medina , as you cannot hold the ground and withstand the attack of the enemy, it would be better to go back immediately. One of the groups even asked the Nabi to excuse them, on the plea that their houses were not secure, even though they really were quite safe. Actually, using this excuse they wanted to run away from the battlefield. (al-Ahzab, 33. 10-13)

After a close investment of four weeks, during which the enemy were disheartened by their ill success and the believers proved their steadfastness and loyalty, there was a piercing blast of the cold east wind. The enemy's tents were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and rain beat in their faces, and they were terrified by the portents against them. They had already well night fallen out among themselves. The Muslims were victorious by God's help; there were hidden forces of Allah Almighty which were stood beside them: O Jamaat-ul-Momineen, to achieve this purpose you have to go to war at times. As in your case, you had to go to war several times. One such war was the battle of Ahzab, in respect of which you should keep in mind the blessings of Allah. When the enemy forces came down upon you, We let loose stormy winds against them. These winds in fact were the heavenly forces which could not be seen; and Allah Almighty was fully watchful of everything you were doing. (al-Ahzab, 33.9)

Al-Andalus - Muslim Rule in Spain Europe

Al-Andalus (Arabic) is the Arabic name given to the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Emirate (ca 750–929) and Caliphate of Cordoba (929–1031 )and its taifa successor kingdoms specifically, and in general to territories under Muslim rule (711–1492). As Iberia was slowly regained by Christians fighting from northern enclaves, in the long process known as the Reconquista, the name "al-Andalus" came to refer the Muslim-dominated lands of the former Roman Hispania Baetica, Hispania Lusitania and Hispania Tarraconensis, within an ever-southward-moving frontier. Conquest and early years.In 711 CE, a Moorish Islamic army from North Africa invaded Visigoth Christian Spain. Under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, they landed at Gibraltar on April 30, 711, and brought most of the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic rule in an eight-year campaign. They moved northeast across the Pyrenees but were defeated by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732. The Iberian peninsula, except for small areas in the northwest and largely Basque regions in the Pyrenees , became part of the expanding Umayyad empire, under the name of Al-Andalus. In the Archaeological Museum in Madrid, a dinar dating from five years after the conquest (716), has the Arabic "Al-Andalus" on one side and the Iberian Latin "Span(ica)" on the other — apparently the first mention known. At first, Al-Andalus was ruled by governors appointed by the Caliph, most ruling for three years or less. However, from 740, a series of civil wars between various Muslim groups in Spain resulted in the breakdown of Caliphal control, with Yusuf al-Fihri, who emerged as the main winner, being effectively an independent ruler The Emirate and Caliphate of Cordoba. When the Umayyad dynasty gave way to the Abbasid in 750, Abd-ar-Rahman I (later titled AlDaakhil), an Umayyad exile, established himself as the Emir of Cordoba in 756, ousting Yusuf al-Fihri. Over a thirty-year reign, he established his rule over the whole of al-Andalus, overcoming partisans both of the al-Fihri family and of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad , whose title he refused to acknowledge.For the next century and a half, his descendants continued as Emirs of Cordoba, with nominal control over the rest of al-Andalus (and sometimes parts of western North Africa) but with real control, particularly over the marches along the Christian border, varying greatly depending on the competence of the individual Emir. Indeed, Abdallah ibn Muhammad, who was Emir around 900, had very little control beyond the area immediately around Cordoba.However, Abdallah's grandson Abd-ar-Rahman III, who succeeded him in 912, not only rapidly restored Ummayad power not only throughout al-Andalus but extended it into western North Africa as well. In 929 he proclaimed himself Caliph, elevating the emirate to a position competing in prestige not only with the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad but also the Shiaite Caliph in Tunis — with whom he was competing for control of North Africa.

The period of the Caliphate can reasonably be regarded as the golden age of al-Andalus. Irrigation techniques and crops – for instance, rice, oranges and a variety of other citrus fruits – imported from the Middle East provided the area around Cordoba and some other Andalusi cities with an agricultural infrastructure well in advance of that of any other part of western Europe. Cordoba under the Caliphate, with a population of perhaps 100,000, was far larger and more prosperous than any other city of the time in Europe, with the exception of Constantinople , and competed on at least equal terms as a cultural centre with anywhere else in the Islamic world. The work of its philosophers and scientists would be a significant formative influence on the intellectual life of medieval Western Europe. The famous Court of the Lions inside the Nasrid palace of Alhambra , in Granada, one of the finest examples of the high art and culture achieved by the Islamic civilization in Spain.In 1502, the Capitulation's extension of tolerance was rescinded, and the remaining Muslims were forced to leave Spain or convert to Christianity, as moriscos. They were an important portion of the peasants in some territories, like Aragon , Valencia or Andalusia , until their systematic expulsion in the years from 1609 to 1614. Henri Lapeyre has estimated that this affected 300,000 out of a total of 8 million inhabitants at the time.The Moorish domination of the peninsula had a profound effect on language, art and culture, especially in the south. Examples include the many Arabic or Arabic-influenced words in Spanish, and architecture such as Granada's Alhambra.The name of today's Andalusia (Spanish: Andalucía) comes from "Al-Andalus", as this southern province was among the last territories to pass from Moorish to Spanish Christian hands.

For a Muslim who has some familiarity with Islamic history in the Iberian Peninsula, a visit to this country is almost like a pilgrimage. However, unlike the pilgrimage to Mecca, such a visit can be spiritually and emotionally agonizing, for one is overwhelmed by manifestations of European Islam in Spain (Al-Andalus, as it was then known.

Tabuk - Battle of Tabuk

Tabuk an oasis town, northwestern Saudi Arabia . The town is situated amid a grove of date palms. In former times it was a station on the Hejaz railway (now defunct). At the edge of the old part of Tabuk town stands a Turkish fort, built in 1694. Modern Tabuk is developing as one of the fastest-growing industrial center of Saudi Arabia.

Some of the tribes were still ensnared in the mirage that the rise of Islam was temporary like a cloudburst, whose tide would be stemmed before long. It was therefore necessary to warn or even threaten such people before they device an opportunity to strike at the Muslims. The expedition of Tabuk had the desired effect on such halfhearted tribes much in the same way as the conquest of Mecca had gone a long way in clearing away the clouds of opposition. This expedition against the Byzantine Empire whose might and magnificence was well-known to the Arabs, virtually meant that the Muslims were ready to hurl down the gauntlet even to the greatest power of the day. As to how much respect the Arabs had for the Byzantines whom they called Romans. The Arabs could not then dream of attacking the Byzantine Empire; they themselves feared Byzantine invasion or rather did not rate themselves so high as to be converted by any great power. The Tabuk Expedition really brought the match to a chain of victories which eventually catapulted the Muslims as the masters of Syria. What was the genesis of this expedition? It is related that the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him got reports of Byzantine forces converging in the northern frontiers of Arabia with the purpose of rising an attack on the Muslims. The Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him intended to forewarn the Byzantines that they should not consider the Muslims weak nor should they take any precipitate action to infringe their territorial sovereignty. The expedition was thus considered a precautionary measure since one that does not have enough strength could neither dare shake one's fist at a great power nor could one take the risk of descending on its borders. It is certain, at all events, that the true purpose of the expedition was what the revelation in this connection had explained in these words: On the other hand war is also important for the protection of your Deen) so O Jamaat-ul-Momineen fight hard your enemies who are around you so that they may know how tough you are, at the same time you should keep in mind that Allah Almighty is with those who are duty-conscious - Quran chapter 9 verse 123

The Tabuk campaign was undertaken in the month of Rajab, 9 A.H. It was the time when the date palms had ripened and their shades were very pleasant.The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him undertook a long journey for the Tabuk expedition and crossed deserts and baked plains to face an enemy hugely great in numbers. As the Muslims were then passing through a period of famine, the Messenger peace be upon him told the companions in advance, unlike in previous occasions, that he intended to fight with the Byzantines so that they might make suitable preparations. The hypocrites fell out on different excuses. They either disliked arduous wars against the potent enemy or disliked going out in the harsh heat. They even doubted the truth and had little interest in fighting for the sake of God, so they avoid doing from accompanying the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on this instance. Allah Almighty warn about such disaffected persons as is related in this Quranic verse: O Rasool, those hypocrites who did not accompany you in the expedition are delighted that they did not obey the Rasool's orders. They were averse to striving in the cause of Allah Almighty with their possessions and their lives.They themselves stayed away and also asked others not to go in the hot weather.Say to them O Rasool that the fire of Jahannam is more severe in heat if they could only understand - Quran chapter 9 verse 81

When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw that there was no movement of troops by the enemy who seemed to have abandoned the border towns, he gave orders for the return march. The objective of the expedition having been achieved, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not consider it necessary to advance further in the enemy's territory to carry on the hostilities. Never in the history of human conflict had any vanquisher exhausted so little bloodshed yet achieved such a extraordinary triumph. In all these clashes, only 1018 persons, made up of Muslims as well as non-Muslims lost their lives. But, it would be to appropriate the impractical to gamble any guess as to how much blood of the ferocious Arabs was saved from being spilled or how many souls escaped degradation and humiliation because of this tiny loss to human life. Such was the public calm and method resulting from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) campaigns that a woman pilgrim would go from Hira to Mecca and return after circumambulating the Kaaba without any fear in her heart save that of God Almighty.

Battle Of Uhud has vital place in the history of Islam

The battle of Uhud was a reprisal against the Muslims following the battle of Badr. Some of the leading members of Quraysh such as Abu Jahl, Utbah, Shaiba, Walid, Umayya bin Khalaf, and Hanzala bin Abu Sufyan, had been killed in the battle of Badr. After the death of Abu Jahl, leadership of the Makkans had passed on to his compeer, Abu Sufyan, who was the chief of the clan of Banu Umayya. There was profound sorrow in Makkah at the loss of so many chiefs but Abu Sufyan had forbidden the bereaved families to cry and to lament their losses. Tears, he knew, could wash away malevolence from the hearts. But time and tears, he asserted, would not be allowed to heal the wounds received by the Meccan aristocracy at Badr. He himself had taken an oath that he would remain a stranger to every pleasure until he had paid the Muslims back in their own coin. He and the other leaders of the Quraysh spent a whole year of feverish activity in which they equipped and trained a new army.

One year after the battle of Badr, the new army of the idolaters of Makkah was ready to take the field against the Muslims. In March 625 Abu Sufyan left Makkah at the head of three thousand seasoned warriors. Most of them were foot soldiers but they were supported by a strong contingent of cavalry. Also accompanying the army, was a band of warlike women. Their duty was to wage "psychological warfare" against the Muslims by reading poetry and by singing amatory songs to spur the courage and the will-to-fight of the soldiers. They knew that nothing held such terror for the Arabs as the jibes of women for cowardice, and they also knew that nothing was so efficacious to turn them into utterly reckless fighters as the promise of physical love. These amazons included the wives of Abu Sufyan and Amr bin Aas. The Muslims advanced with 700 men against 3000 warriors from Mecca . Moreover, while the Muslims could muster only one hundred men with coats of chain-mail, and no horses, Quraish and their allies included 700 men in armor and 200 horsemen. Wishing to cover their rear in view of their small numbers, the Muslims posted themselves at the foot of Mt. Uhad. Their right flank and rear were covered by the mountains, but their left flank lay in open ground and was thus exposed to a charge by the enemy cavalry. To guard against this, Muhammed peace be upon him posted fifty archers on this flank, with orders on no account to leave their post, from which they could protect the Muslim left wing from the Quraish horse. The Meccans drew up their line facing the Muslims in such a way that the latter, with their backs to Uhad, were facing Medina , while the Quraish line confronted them with Medina in its rear, thereby interposing between the Muslims and the town. Quraysh had brought a number of women with them, riding in camel-litters. These now, as the two lines drew towards one another, proceeded to rouse the enthusiasm of the Meccans, beating upon tambourines, reciting martial poetry and letting down their long hair. The battle of Uhud began just as the battle of Badr had begun, with a Makkan warrior advancing from his lines and challenging the Muslims to single combat. The muslim army has lost this battle because their platoon of archers who were deployed on to the strategic position at Mount Uhud has left their position despite the clear orders from their commander in chief to stick their positions till the time they have got an orders to get ease.

Badr - A ground outside Medina where battle was fought

Badr, is known for its " Battle of Badr "

The Battle of Badr was a seminal event in the formative days of Islam. It is mentioned by name in the Quran (3.122) Allah Almighty helped you at Badr and you were weak') According to the historic traditions that have come down to us, the battle itself was a test so far as the Muslims were concerned. Victory at Badr crystallized Muhammad peace be upon him as a recognized effective combat leader and solidified his position in Medina . The traditions describe the enemy at Badr as, essentially, the entire manpower of the Quraysh (although several groups are described as declining to take part). Their number is estimated at about 1000 men. Muhammad peace be upon him is reported to have had 313 comrades. It was this battle that cemented the allegiance of the Medinans to the messenger.

It was a rumor which has been spread accidentally or intentionally that the business caravan of Mecca 's rich was attacked by Muslims this thing reacted like a fire, therefore people in Mecca collected their forces and rode out to teach Muhammad peace be upon him a lesson. It seems that they were expecting messenger to be leading no more than his Qurayshi followers whom the men from Mecca felt they could easily disperse.

The two forces met one another at the ground of Badr between Medina and Mecca and, after resting overnight, fought a battle on the next day. No description of battle as a whole has come down to us and apparently the historians believed that Meccans broke almost immediately and the battle dissolved into a collection of single combats. Muslims were victorious in this battle with minimum causalities rate in comparison to Meccans army. The outcome of this battle was the boost of confidence among Muslims and their robust impression on infidels and others (Christians & Jews). The Quran has also eloquently discussed this event and marked with this title “Yaumul Furqan” means the day when negative forces were standing apart from positive forces.

Medina - Saudi Arabia

City of Medina, Its history & Geography ;

Medina is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia . The long form of the Arabic name means "the enlightened city", while the short form just means "the City". Medina is the second holy city of, after Makkah (Mecca) .Its importance as a religious site derives from the presence there the Shrine of the Prophet Mohammad by Masjid al-Nabawi or the Mosque of the Prophet, famously know as Gumbad-e-Khizra, Prophet's Dome or Green Dome, which was built on a site adjacent to Prophet Muhammad 's home. His home later became part of the mosque when it was expanded by the caliph al-Waleed ibn Abdel Malek. The first mosque of Islam is also located in Medina and is known as Masjid Quba, the Quba Mosque . In 622 , Medina became the seat of Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him growing movement after the Hijra. In 622 Muhammad was invited to come and live in Yathrib (the old name of Medina ) and act as a sort of governor. Medina in those times was a divided city. Different clans and religions were eternally quarrelling and bickering and he brought unity to the city. All parties agreed to a pact drawn up by Muhammad peace be upon him and his comrades. He invited all people in the city to follow the new religion (system) of Islam. However, he had trouble convincing the majority of the Jewish population (which was actually quite large) and the Christian population that Islam was the true version of Judaism or the true religion of Jesus .

In the ten years following the Hijra, Medina formed the base from which Muhammad peace be upon him attacked and was attacked and it was from here that he marched on Mecca, becoming its ruler without battle. Even when Islamic rule was established Medina remained for some years the most important city of Islam . Under the first four Caliphs, known as the Righteous Caliphs, the Islamic empire expanded rapidly and came to include centres of learning such as Jerusalem , Ctesiphon and Damascus.

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Kaaba - Mecca

History of Kaaba And its Geographical Location ;

At the time of Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him , his tribe, the Quraysh was in charge of the Kaaba, which was at that time a shrine to numerous Arabian tribal gods. Desert tribesmen, the Bedouin , and inhabitants of other cities would join the annual pilgrimage, to worship and to trade. Caravan-raiding, common during the rest of the year, was suspended during the pilgrimage; this was a good time, then, for travel and trade.

Muhammad peace be upon him, preaching the Laws of one God (in Arabic, Allah Almighty). The Quraysh persecuted and harassed him continuously, and he and his followers eventually migrated to Medina , the Muslim community became a political and military force. In 630 C.E., Muhammad peace be upon him and his followers returned to Mecca as conquerors, and the Kaaba has been marked as a first Islamic State capital and the centre point for entire Muslim ummah. The Kaaba was built by the Messenger Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him and his son Messenger Ishmael peace be upon him.

The Qibla, for any point of reference on the Earth, is the direction of the Kaaba. In Muslim religious practice, supplicants must face this direction in prayer. It should be noted that Muslims do not worship the Kaaba or its contents, any more than Christians worship churches or crosses; the Kaaba is simply a focal point for prayer. The Qibla points along the shortest path to the Kaaba. Because the Earth is approximately spherical, this path will be a great circle such as airplanes fly. The location of the Kaaba can be used together with spherical geometry to determine the Qibla for any given point on the Earth.

The Masjid al Haram in the city of Mecca. It is considered by Muslims to be the holiest place on and is the focal point of the hajj pilgrimage required of all able-bodied Muslims as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. According to Islamic tradition, the mosque was built by Messenger Ibrahim peace be upon him with the help of his son. They were ordered by Allah Almighty to build the Masjid. The mosque itself has always been an important part of Arab culture. Even in pre-Islamic days it was a site for pilgrimages by pre-monotheistic Arabs, who filled the Kaaba with idols of the gods they worshipped. This episode is seen as a corruption of what the Kaaba was meant for, and the fact that they had strayed from the path of God explains why God sent Muhammad peace be upon him as a messenger to the people of Mecca. Muhammad peace be upon him grandfather, Abu Muttalib, was a caretaker of the Kaaba, and Messenger spent much time there.

After the Hijra, Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him was forced to withdraw to Medina . Upon his return to Mecca years later, he ritually smashed all the idols in the Kaaba and cleansed it. This began Islamic rule over Kaaba, and the building of a Masjid around it.

Hajj is a routine exercise of entire muslim ummah in a year time and this congregation held at Mecca - kaaba. Today the pilgrimage structures the entire life of the Muslim. A believer is required to make attempt to attend this congregation.The Muslim's whole life is directed towards Quranic goal; all of life becomes a pilgrimage.

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