Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Assignment of Abu Bakr as the Instructor of Hajj and the Last Invitation to Mushriks.

With the conquest of Mecca, the Muslims assumed control of the city and the control of Kaaba, but although the polytheist Arabian tribes had accepted Islam there were those who continued in their idolatry. Some of these tribes were still allies of the Muslims. After the conquest of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made agreements with neighboring tribes such as the Damra, Ghifar, Juhayna and Ashja along with the Huzaa and Mudlij; he had preserved good relations with all of these since the first year of the hijrah. These agreements prescribed that no person who visited the Kaaba for either of the pilgrimages, hajj or umrah, would be obstructed and no one need be in fear during the sacred months. After returning from the Tabuk Campaign, knowing that there would still be polytheists in Mecca and that some of would want to circumambulate the Kaaba nude, in accordance with their traditions, the Prophet did not wish to go on pilgrimage. He assigned Abu Bakr to be the instructor of hajj and sent him to Mecca along with 300 companions (Dhu al-Qi'dah-Dhu al-Hijjah 9/ March 631). Then the first twenty-eight verses of Surah Tauba were revealed in relation to the general conditions of the polytheists and their agreements with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)- in accordance with the Arabic tradition in which a leader or a member of his family might have a say over the agreements - assigned Ali to convey the provisions of these verses. Ali caught up with Abu Bakr, who was on his way to Mecca, and told him about the situation, notifying him that he was to continue his assignment as instructor of hajj. The first verses of Surah Tauba constitute a "warning" to the polytheists and were read by Ali to those who had gathered in Mina on 10 Dhu al-Hijjah, the first day of the festivity. The following points were explained by him: "Non-believers will never reach an eternal redemption nor enter heaven. From this year on the polytheists will not be able to go on hajj nor will they get close to al-Masjid al-Haram; no one will circumambulate the Kaaba nude, those who have agreements with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) will be able to use their rights until the agreement expires, however should they not become Muslims afterwards, their lives shall not be under protection." This notification had its effect. Although some of the polytheists objected, without waiting the four months almost all of them became Muslim after taking into consideration the fact that "even the Quraishis had become Muslims". Thus, the existence of idolatry in the Arabian Peninsula came to an end. In accordance with the principles established by the Prophet Ishmael and Prophet Abraham, the Kaaba was now allocated to the believers who possessed the faith of tawhid (one God). With the 29th verse of the same Surah, the basic Islamic understanding was put into effect, prescribing the protection of the lives and goods of the People of the Book and of the members of the other religions on the condition that they pay jizya and providing them with the freedom to continue practicing their own religion

No comments:

Post a Comment