Compromise, compassion the essence of Islam
At times of crisis when the world around is ridden with conflict is when amazing changes take place in society. While some are swallowed by the ebb and flow of this crisis some dare to swim against the waves and introduce a new guiding light to society and are remembered by ages to come as prophets. The words and actions of these prophets pave way for millions of people by unifying them as a religion. Major religions in our times such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are valid examples of such prophets. These religions were social movements that changed the world as people knew and way of living bringing about long forgotten peace and progress. Prophet Mohammed brought about such a revolution and changed the conflict ridden Arabia by bringing the tribes together as one under one banner. His birth is celebrated by us as Milad-Un-Nabi. At the time of his birth and during his early years Arabia was boiling in conflict and was saved by Prophet Mohamed’s path to peace.
The Arabian peninsula was home to several tribes which were under constant conflict. They had dismissed the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim who was supposed to be the first of the Prophets and had continued idol worship. “Tauhid”, which was the basis of the Quresh tribe professed the worship of one God which was against the beliefs of the tribes who worshipped the elements, nature, including mountains and even animals. As a result these tribes were in constant conflict due to worshipping multiple deities causing immense bloodshed and violence which was crippling the people of Arabia which caused unrest in the region. The political, economic and social situation was at an absolute standstill. The Arabs were a proud race who never surrendered their beliefs or principles for anything. Prophet Mohammed was born in this war torn Arabia at Mecca in 571 B.C. into the Quresh tribe which was at the helm in the conflict ahead in the constant war. Mohammed who lost his parents in his childhood grew up with his grandfather. It was existing practice in Arabia that children grew up in the rural areas despite being born in the cities. Prophet Mohammed spent his childhood as a shepherd, which built his endurance to climb to the top as the leader of his tribe. After his grandfather’s death Prophet Mohammed lived with his uncle.
The superstitions and conflict in Arabia had troubled Prophet Mohammed from his childhood and he was opposed the way of life and worship followed by his tribe, the Quresh and stayed away from idol worship. Prophet Mohammed even took part in the Fizar war between the Quresh and kais tribes, this war brought about a lot of change in Prophet Mohammed. With the help of his uncle Zubair Bin Abdul Muttalib he brought about a few resolutions in his tribe. 1. That they will eradicate conflict from this world to establish peace. 2. That they will protect travelers and give them safe passage. 3. That they will help the poor. 4. That they will protect those under oppression and stop the atrocities forced upon them. 5. That there will be no place for oppressors and evil people in Mecca. Prophet Mohammed took up trade which was the bread and butter of his tribe. His sincerity and loyalty attracted his tribesmen and they began to call him “Sadik” and ‘Amin” with affection.
Prophet Mohammed began to concentrate his intellectual pursuit of truth and focused on eradication of conflict from Arabia and this world. He spent immense thought into these aspects and wanted to bring about unity in Arabia. In those days it was normal to shout out messages from atop of trees or from hillocks or give out warnings. Prophet Mohammed climbed atop the Safa mountain and called on everyone and asked them, “Will you believe me if I tell you that a huge army has assembled behind this mountain and is ready to wage war against you?”, to which they replied “ We believe you because we see you as a sincere man.” He then said, “I request you all to forgo idol worship and believe in one God, if not you are going to face a punishment that is beyond your imagination.” This was Prophet Mohammed’s first sermon, his message enraged his tribesmen beyond their beliefs and they charged at him armed with weapons and daggers. A man known as Huzrat stood guard against the attack and sacrificed his life for the Prophet to go down in history as the first Shahadat. Prophet Mohammed despite surviving that attack endured several attempts at his life and physical attacks. For a long time he was subjected to insults from his own tribesmen. Despite the attacks he endured Islam began attracting followers who grew in number each day. The first person who had taken up Islam was his own wife, Khadija.
The attacks on the Prophet kept escalating along with attacks on his followers. Prophet Mohammed decided to move from Mecca at shich point he was invited to Madina, and was offered protection. After 11 years since his first sermon Prophet Mohammed, six leaders came to Mohammed to speak to him about Islam. The very next year 12 intellectuals came and held debates with Prophet Mohammed and made a resolution known as the “Akaba resolution”. Then on Prophet Mohammed shifted to Madina along with all of his followers. Almost all families in Madina sent one young man to follow Islam, which immensely strengthened the Islamic revolution.
Prophet Mohammed’s political decision in Madina changed Islam as it stood that day. By coming into a compromise with the Yadus in Madina, Islam entered a new phase. This is also known as the “Madina Constitution” which is also the first written constitution in the world which was the very foundation of the kingdom of Islam. This document professed that a civilized society has to live by God’s laws under God’s rule. By building a brotherhood between the Ansars of Madina and the Muhajirs who had come from Mecca created a new sense of peace in the region.
Prophet Mohammed’s attempt to bring about peace in Arabia was successful and led on to make the desert nation into a fortress of unity. The religion of Islam spread and brought about a sense of peace and unity in the Arabian peninsula. It was only possible for him to transform a war torn Arabia into a symbol of civilization and prosperity. His way of life and thought make it imperative for us to draw inspiration from and spread the message of peace to the now conflict ridden world.