It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and the character of the great Prophet Mohammed peace and blessing be upon him, knows how he taught his followers and how he lived to feel anything but to deeply respect his greatness, principals and mission. On the following lines, we shall focus on Prophet Mohammed’s life after his immigration from Mecca to Medina to find a new arena for his work and mission.
The Construction of Mosque in Medina
The first step that Prophet Muhammad took was building a new society after his arrival in Medina. The first act was building a mosque. The Prophet himself participated in the building and he carried the bricks and the building materials. His actions made the companions much more energetic and inspired to work. He was a great role model for them. The mosque was not just a place for performing prayers, but it was like a university gathering Muslims and educating them about Islamic teachings. It was a minaret where different tribes can negotiate and communicate with one another after a long time of pre-Islamic wars and years of division and hostility. The Mosque was also a center for all kinds of management and initiatives. It was a parliament where Muslims held executive and counseling meetings. Moreover, the mosque was a shelter for a big number of poor Muhajireen (refugees from Mecca) who had no money, home or family as they had lost all their material possessions in Mecca.
Brotherhood between (Muhajireen and Ansar)
After building the mosque in Medina, the center of gathering, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) made another great work that is considered one of the greatest incidents that history kept during that time. The Honorable Messenger established brotherhood among Muhajireen and Ansar. Muhammad (PBUH) changed the names of the two Muslim groups now living in Medina. He called the refugees from Mecca “Muhajireen” (Emigrants); and he called the citizens of Yathrib (Medina) who had welcomed them, “Ansar” (Supporters). The two groups were known by these names ever after. The honorable Messenger exerted a great effort to integrate them into the social and economic life of the city. To achieve this objective, few months after his arrival in Medina, he told the Muhajireen and the Ansar that they had to live as “brothers” of each other for the sake of God and to bind themselves in pairs.
The brotherhood between Muslims means that pre-Islamic prejudice has melted and differences in color, race and even country have fallen as Islam becomes the only base for all of them. There was a great wisdom in this brotherhood, a rational policy, and an effective solution for a lot of problems that Muslims faced at that time. There was peace everywhere.
Abdullah bin Salam said:
“When the Prophet (PBUH) came to Al-Madinah, the people rushed to meet him, and it was said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has come! The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has come! The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has come!’ Three times. I came with the people to see him, and when I saw his face clearly, I knew that his face was not the face of a liar. The first thing I heard him say was when he said:
O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salam.”
Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He (PBUH) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.
The Charter or Constitution of Medina
The Messenger of God wrote a document between the Emigrants and the Ansar, and in it he made a treaty and covenant with the Jews, establishing them in their religion and possessions, and assigning to them rights and duties.
“In the name of Allah (The One True God) the Compassionate, the Merciful. This
is a document from Muhammad, the Prophet, governing the relation between the Believers from among the Qurayshites (i.e., Emigrants from Mecca) and Yathribites (i.e., the residents of Medina) and those who followed them and joined them and struggled with them. They form one and the same community as against the rest of men”
The citizens of Yathrib (Medina) acknowledged Muhammad as their sovereign, and he gave them a “Citizen’s Charter” which is believed to have been the first written document in Islam (other than Qur’an). The original charter as preserved by Ibn Ishaq contains forty-seven (47) clauses. The Following are the more important ones out of them:
- “Whatever difference or dispute between the parties to this covenant remains unsolved shall be referred to Allah and to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.”
- “No Believer shall oppose the client of another Believer. Whosoever is rebellious, or seeks to spread injustice, enmity or sedition among the Believers, the hand of every man shall be against him, even if he be a son of one of them.”
- “A Believer shall not kill a Believer in retaliation of an unbeliever, nor shall he help an unbeliever against a Believer.”
- “Whosoever among the Jews follows us shall have help and equality; they shall not be injured nor shall any enemy be aided against them…. No separate peace will be made when the Believers are fighting in the way of Allah.
- “The Jews shall contribute (to the cost of war) with the Believers so long as they are at war with a common enemy.
- “The Jews shall maintain their own religion and the Muslims theirs. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. The close friends of Jews are as themselves.”
- “The Jews shall be responsible for their expenses and the Believers for theirs. Each, if attacked, shall come to the assistance of the other “The valley of Yathrib”(Medina)
Treaty with Jews in Medina
After Prophet Mohammed established the rules of the new Muslim community, he started to regulate the relationships with non-Muslims. His objective was to spread peace, prosperity, happiness and goodness to all mankind. He enacted laws that were not familiar with the world full of ignorance and ethnicity. Jews were neighbors of Muslims in Medina. He established with them peace treaty and they could practice their religion as freely as the Muslims. The clients and allies of the Jews shall enjoy the same security and freedom. He didn’t go for a policy of rejection or hostility with Jews in Medina. By holding this treaty, Medina and its suburbs became one state under the leadership of Prophet Mohammed.
By doing these actions, the Messenger of God was able to build a new society in Medina. It was one of the most wonderful societies that changed history. He was able to solve and put an end to many complicated problems.
Finally, there is more to discover about Prophet Mohammed and the great religion of Islam and this article is just a glimpse. In a book called “History of the Saracen Empire”, Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay illustrated that:
It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran…The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. ‘I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’, is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay – History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870, p. 54:
– The First Year of Hijra. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from https://www.al-islam.org/restatement-history-islam-and-muslims-sayyid-ali-ashgar-razwy/first-year-hijra#charter-or-constitution-medina
– Ibn Isḥāq. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/280772/Ibn-Ishaq