Do You Remember the Story Of the Battle of Hud?

Many of us probably already know that the battle initially started in favour of the Muslim army and they had defeated the pagan army so much so that they were fleeing the battlefield. Unfortunately, seeing this initial victory, most of the archers whom the Prophet (pbuh) stationed at a particular point of mount Uhud got carried away and left their duty post to gather spoils of war. One of the commanders of the Quraysh army saw this loophole and immediately took advantage of it. Thus, did the battle turn against the Muslims leading to the loss of many notable companions including the Prophet’s beloved uncle Hamza bn Abdulmutallib.

That Qurayshi commander was Khalid bn Walid, and he eventually submitted to the One True God after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

Do you know what happened next?

He began to devote all his considerable military talents to the support of the new Muslim state. The same energy and fervour with which he opposed Islam was the same that he used to support Islam. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “People are like gold and silver; those who were best in Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance) are best in Islam, if they have religious understanding…”. [Muslim].

Khalid bn al-Walid is undoubtedly one of early Islam’s notable generals, and one of the world-famous generals who never lost a battle. In fact, when he died, it was said that there was barely any spot on his body without a scar. That was how much he sacrificed for the Deen despite his earlier ignorance and opposition to the truth.

In another instance, Suhayl ibn Amr was a leader among the Quraysh. He was clever and articulate, and his opinion carried weight among his people. He was known as the spokesman and orator of the Quraysh, and was famous for the provocative speeches against the Muslims. In fact, Suhayl bn Amr was the representative of the pagan Quraysh during the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. He was such a strong opponent of the Prophet (pbuh) that he refused to go ahead with the treaty except his son Abu Jandal who had just accepted Islam was released to him to take back to Mecca and the Prophet (pbuh) had to agree to that in the greater interest of peace.

A brief history of al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah

Before that, at the Battle of Badr, Suhayl had been captured as a prisoner, and Umar, in his characteristic manner, told the Prophet (pbuh) to permit him to knock out Suhayl’s two front teeth so that he will never be able to speak against the Prophet (pbuh) again. However, the Prophet (pbuh) in his wisdom refused saying, “I would not mutilate anyone lest God mutilate me, even though I am a Prophet.” And calling Umar closer to him, the Prophet (pbuh) said, Umar, perhaps Suhayl will do something in the future which will please you.”

Suhayl later accepted Islam after the conquest of Mecca, and few years after that, the Prophet (pbuh) died. When that happened, the news quickly reached Makkah, where Suhayl was still living. The Muslims were plunged into a state of confusion and dismay just as in Madinah. Even Umar was distraught and would not hear of anyone saying that the Prophet (pbuh) had died. In Madinah, Abu Bakr quelled the confusion with his decisive words: “Whoever worships Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. And whoever worships Allah, Allah is indeed living and will never die.”

In Makkah, Suhayl performed the same role in comforting the Muslims and speaking the truth about Allah, the Prophet, and Islam. He called the Muslims together and in his brilliant and inspiring style, he affirmed to them that Muhammad was indeed the Messenger of Allah and that he did not die until he had discharged his trust and propagated the message. He also said that it was the duty of all believers after the Prophet’s death to apply themselves with utmost devotion to following his example and way of life. On this day more than others, the prophetic words of the Messenger shone forth. Did not the Prophet say to Umar at Badr, “Perhaps Suhayl will do something in the future which will please you”?

I woke up today reflecting on the issue of our brother Professor Ajibade of LAUTECH. Indeed, Muslims are people of balance, neither tending towards laxity or extremism. Allah told the Prophet (pbuh), “It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hard-hearted, surely they would have scattered from around you. So, excuse them, and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (Quran 3:159) Just as a lot of us condemned his actions, I implore the Muslim ummah to also support our brother with prayers.

I really hope that this experience has been an opportunity for our brother to understand the true Islamic teachings on the hijab, jilbab and niqab. Just as Khalid who caused the defeat of Muslims in the Battle of Uhud later led the victory of Muslims in several battles by Allah’s permission; and Suhayl who incited people against the Prophet (pbuh) with his rousing speech, also calmed the Muslims with his speech, I pray that our brother will also be a source of illumination and support for others. I hope that not only is he a changed person, but that he would be a pillar of support for other Muslims going forward.

Haleemah Oladamade Ahmad writes from the United States of America.

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