Battle Of Tabuk
When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned, the men, women and children of Medina had already gathered at Thaniyat-ul-Wada in order to welcome the Holy Prophet (sa) on the outskirts of Medina. Thaniyat-ul-Wada is a place near Medina and those travelling from Medina to Mecca were accompanied to this place and bade farewell, hence it was called Thaniyat-ul-Wada. According to the historians of the life of the Holy Prophet (sa), when the Holy Prophet (sa) migrated from Mecca and to Medina, he passed by Quba and Thaniyat-ul-Wada was also situated on this route. According to the narration of Hazrat Aisha (ra), the children of Medina welcomed the Holy Prophet (sa) and the girls were reciting:
طلع البدر علینا من ثنیات الوداع
وجب الشکر علینا ما دعا للہ داع
That is, “The full moon has risen over us from the valley of Wada. We owe our gratitude to Allah, for we have among us a caller unto Him.”
Some commentators of the Ahadith, such as Allama Ibn Hajar Asqalani, who has written a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, believe that it is quite possible that the poetic verses (which have been mentioned in Hazrat Aisha’s narration) are in actuality connected to the return from the Battle of Tabuk, as adults and children welcomed the Holy Prophet (sa) at Thaniyat-ul-Wada. The reason for this is that the people who were travelling from Syria were welcomed at this very place.
When the people of Medina found out about the return of the Holy Prophet (sa) from the Battle of Tabuk, they rejoiced and gathered at this place outside of Medina in order to welcome the Holy Prophet (sa). In light of this, Hazrat Sa‘ib (ra) bin Yazid narrates, “I remember that along with the other children, I also went to Thaniyat-ul-Wada in order to welcome the Holy Prophet (sa) on his return from the Battle of Tabuk.”
Imam Bayhaqi has also stated that the children welcomed the Holy Prophet (sa) with these poetic verses when the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from the Battle of Tabuk.
(Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 2, p. 100, Thaniyat-ul-Wadaa, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut) (Justuju-e-Medina, pp. 403-404, Oriental Publications, Lahore, 2007) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 267)
Nevertheless, whatever may be the case, both views of historians and biographers can be found; according to some, these verses were recited on the occasion of the migration of the Holy Prophet (sa) to Medina, whereas others believe that they were recited on the return from the Battle of Tabuk.
With regards to the Battle of Tabuk which took place in Rajab 9 AH, Mus‘ab (ra) bin Saad narrates an incident on the authority of his father that when the Holy Prophet (sa) departed for Tabuk, he appointed Hazrat Ali (ra) in charge of Medina in his absence. Hazrat Ali (ra) said, “Are you leaving me behind with the women and children?” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “Are you not pleased that you have the same relation to me that Aaronas had with Moses (as), with the exception that there is no prophet after me.”
(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 842) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat Tabuk wa hiya Ghazwat al-Usrah, Hadith 4416)
Narrating this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states, “On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) left for a battle and left Hazrat Ali (ra) in charge in his absence. Only the hypocrites remained behind and owing to this, he became worried. He went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and requested to take him along with him. The Holy Prophet (sa) reassured him by saying:
اَلَا تَرْضٰی اَنْ تَكُوْنَ مِنِّیْ بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُوْنَ مِنْ مُّوْسٰی اِلَّا اَنَّهٗ لَيْسَ نَبِیٌّ بَعْدِیْ
“Meaning, ‘O Ali! You are to me as Aaron (as) was to Moses (as). Just like Aaron (as), after me you shall be a Caliph, the difference being that you will not be a prophet.’”
(Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 579)
A Jew from Medina, whose name was Suwailam resided in a part of Medina named Jasoom, also known as Bi‘r Jasim. This was a water well belonging to Abul Haitham bin Tayyihan and was situated towards Syria. Its water was excellent and the Holy Prophet (sa) enjoyed drinking from it. The house belonging to this Jew was the centre for the hypocrites. The Holy Prophet (sa) was informed that this was where the hypocrites would gather and they were dissuading people from joining the Holy Prophet (sa) in the Battle of Tabuk.
The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) to go to them and enquire about what they were saying to others. If they denied saying the aforementioned then he should let them know that he had been informed about what they had been spreading. When Hazrat Ammar (ra) arrived there and said what was instructed, consequently those individuals started coming to the Holy Prophet (sa) to present their excuses.
(Al-Siratun Nabawiyyah Li Ibn Hisham, p. 597, Ghazwah Tabuk, Dar ibn Hazm, Beirut, 2009) (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, p. 186, Bab Dhikr al-Bi‘aar allati shariba minha Rasulullah (sa), Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Farhang Sirat, p. 84, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)
Allah the Almighty has described their condition in the following words:
یَحۡذَرُ الۡمُنٰفِقُوۡنَ اَنۡ تُنَزَّلَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ تُنَبِّئُہُمۡ بِمَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ قُلِ اسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡا ۚ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ مُخۡرِجٌ مَّا تَحۡذَرُوۡنَ۔ وَ لَئِنۡ سَاَلۡتَہُمۡ لَیَقُوۡلُنَّ اِنَّمَا کُنَّا نَخُوۡضُ وَ نَلۡعَبُ ؕ قُلۡ اَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ کُنۡتُمۡ تَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ۔ لَا تَعۡتَذِرُوۡا قَدۡ کَفَرۡتُمۡ بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِکُمۡ ؕ اِنۡ نَّعۡفُ عَنۡ طَآئِفَۃٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ نُعَذِّبۡ طَآئِفَۃًۢ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا مُجۡرِمِیۡنَ
“The hypocrites fear lest a Surah should be revealed against them, informing them of what is in their hearts. Say, ‘Mock ye! Surely, Allah will bring to light what you fear.’ And if thou question them, they will most surely say, ‘We were only talking idly and jesting.’ Say, ‘Was it Allah and His Signs and His Messenger that you mocked? Offer no excuse. You have certainly disbelieved after your believing. If we forgive a party from among you, a party shall we punish, for they have been guilty.’” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.64-66)
Nevertheless, these were the conditions at the time prior to the departure [for the battle] and such schemes of not going were being plotted. The hypocrites were a part of this conspiracy and the Jews were also inciting them in this regard. Some presented their excuses prior to going to the battle, whilst others offered excuses when the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from battle. Nonetheless, the Holy Prophet (sa) entrusted their matter to Allah the Almighty. When the Holy Prophet(sa) returned from the Battle of Tabuk and reached a place near Medina, he stated, “There are some people in Medina [at present], who had accompanied us in every journey and in every valley.” The Companions (ra) submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! How could they have been with us if they are in Medina?” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “Indeed they are in Medina. However, they were hindered due to certain reasons or ailments.”
(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 263, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 12032, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998) (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 5, p. 132, Musnad Jabir bin Abdillah, Hadith 14731, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)
These people had genuine excuses not to go and they either fell ill or were hindered from going due to some other reason, even though they desired to go on this journey. This is why Allah the Almighty has counted them among those who participated in the battle. During the journey whilst returning from Tabuk, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “I am returning swiftly. Hence, whoever from among you wishes to travel with me may do so and whoever wishes to stay behind (i.e., to return at their own pace) may do so.” The narrator says, “Following this, we departed until we were able to see Medina. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘This is Taa‘bah, which is pure and pleasant and this is Mount Uhud, which loves us and we love it.’ Following this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘The best household from among the Ansar is that of Banu Najjar, which is followed by the households of Banu Abdil Ashhal, Banu Abdil Harith bin Khazraj and Banu Sa‘ida…’ and the Holy Prophet (sa) went on to declare all of the households of Medina to be good.” The narrator relates that “Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah joined us upon which Abu Usaid said, ‘Are you aware of the fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) has mentioned the excellence of the households of the Ansar and has kept us at the end?’ Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and submitted, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! You have mentioned the excellence of the households of the Ansar and have kept us at the end.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Does it not suffice you that you are among the virtuous ones?’” This is a narration from Sahih Muslim.
(Sahih Muslim, Kitabul fada‘il, Bab Fi Mu‘jazat An-Nabi (sa), Hadith 1392)
As mentioned previously, he was among the three companions who were unable to participate in the Battle of Tabuk and regarding whom God Almighty revealed the following verse of the Holy Quran:
وَّ عَلَی الثَّلٰثَۃِ الَّذِیۡنَ خُلِّفُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَ ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّا مَلۡجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَتُوۡبُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ
“And [He has turned with mercy] to the three whose [case] was deferred, until the earth became too strait for them with [all] its vastness, and their souls were [also] straitened for them, and they became convinced that there was no refuge from Allah save unto Himself. Then He turned to them with mercy that they might turn [to Him]. Surely, it is Allah Who is Oft-Returning [with compassion and is] Merciful.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.118)
As it has been mentioned previously, all three of these companions – Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umaiyyah, Hazrat Murarah (ra) bin Rabee‘ and Hazrat Kaab (ra) bin Malik – were from among the Ansar.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Hadith Kaab bin Malik, Hadith 4418) (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 129, Murarah bin Rabee’ra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
In reference to this incident, there is no separate account by Hazrat Murarah (ra). The only detailed account is by Hazrat Kaab bin Malik (ra), which was mentioned in the previous sermon in relation to Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umaiyyah, therefore there is no need to mention it again here.
There is an incident about Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) assisting the Holy Prophet (sa) in burying a deceased companion. In this regard, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud (ra) reports,
“I accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) during the expedition of Tabuk. I woke up one night and noticed some light coming from a fire that was lit on one flank of the army, so I went toward it to see what it was. There, I saw the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra). I saw that Hazrat Abdullah Dhu al-Bijadain Muzani (ra) had passed away, and they had already dug his grave. The Holy Prophet (sa) was standing in the grave, while Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra) were lowering the body into the grave. The Holy Prophet (sa) was saying, ‘You both should lower your brother toward me.’ Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra) lowered the body of Hazrat Abdullah Dhu al-Bijadain (ra) towards the Holy Prophet (sa). When the Holy Prophet (sa) had placed him in the grave, he offered the prayer:
اللّٰهُمَّ إنِّيْ أَمْسَيْتُ رَاضِيًا عَنْهُ فَارْضَ عَنْهُ
That is, ‘O Allah, I spent the day until the evening in a state that I was pleased with him, pray be pleased with him as well.’”
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud (ra) says, “At that moment, I wished that I was the one being buried.”
(Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Kitab Rasul (sa) Allah li Sahib Ilah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 822)
The Battle of Tabuk took place in Rajab, 9 AH. In regards to this battle, it is recorded that the place of Tabuk is located along the main route to Syria from Madinah, commonly used by travelling merchant convoys. It is a city between the Valley of Qura and Syria, and the companions would also refer to it as the city of the “Dwellers of the Wood”. This was the place to which Hazrat Shu‘aib (as) was sent as a prophet.
(Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-’Arabi], p. 14)
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) during the Battle of Tabuk and during this expedition, the Holy Prophet (sa) gave a large flag to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
(Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra)… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2017], p. 131)
During the Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) presented his entire wealth to the Holy Prophet (sa), which had a total value of 4,000 dirhams.
(Sharh al-Zurqani ‘ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 3, Thumma Ghazwat Tabuk [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1996], p. 69)
When the Holy Prophet (sa) commanded the companions to prepare for the expedition to Tabuk, he sent a message to the tribes around Mecca and the other tribes of Arabia to accompany him.
The Holy Prophet (sa) ordered the affluent companions to spend their wealth and provide mounts in the way of Allah, and this was the last expedition in which the Holy Prophet (sa) participated. Thus, on this occasion, the first person to bring their wealth was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) brought everything he owned, which was equal to 4,000 dirhams. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked him, “Have you left anything at home for your family?” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, “I have left [the name of] Allah and His Messenger (sa).” Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) brought half of his entire wealth. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked him, “Have you left anything at home for your family?” He replied that he had left behind half of his wealth. On that occasion, Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (ra) offered 100 Auqiah, which was equal to approximately 4,000 dirhams. Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Usman bin Affan and Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf are among the treasuries of Allah the Almighty on earth, who spend in order to attain the pleasure of Allah.” They had contributed a lot of wealth.
On the same occasion, women also offered their jewellery for this cause, and Hazrat Asim bin Adi (ra) offered 70 Wasq [unit of measurement] of dates, which is equal to approximately 262 maunds.
(‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Ghazwat Tabuk [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], pp. 183-184), (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 82, Awqiyah), (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 4, p. 487, Wasq, Vol. 2, p. 648, Saa’)
If one maund is approximately 40 kilograms, then this would come up to just over a ton; or about ten and a half tons.
Zaid bin Asslam narrates from his father, “I heard Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) saying, ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) told us to give alms, and at that time, I had some wealth. I thought to myself that today, I will surpass Abu Bakr. If there is a day that I shall surpass him, then it is today.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) continued, ‘I offered half of all my wealth. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked, “What have you left behind for your family?” I humbly submitted, “I have left for my family as much as I have brought with me.” Then, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) brought all the wealth that he had (when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) arrived, Hazrat Umar (ra) explained that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had brought all the wealth he owned). The Holy Prophet (sa) asked, “O Abu Bakr, what have you left behind for your family?” He submitted, “I have left [the name of] Allah and His Messenger (sa) for them.”’ Hazrat Umar (ra) said, ‘By Allah, I can never surpass him in anything.’”
(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Raja‘ih an Yakuna Abu Bakr…, Hadith 3675)
There is a narration about how the Holy Prophet (sa) would accept the counsel of Hazrat Umar (ra) regarding expeditions, and this narration is reported by either Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) or Hazrat Abu Saeed (ra). The narrator, A‘mash, was in doubt as to who exactly reported this narration.
Nonetheless, it is narrated that during the Battle of Tabuk, many people were extremely hungry. They sought permission from the Holy Prophet (sa) to slaughter their camels that were used to carry water as a food source and to utilise their fat. The Holy Prophet (sa) granted them permission. Upon this, Hazrat Umar (ra) arrived and humbly submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, if you allow this then the number of mounts will decrease. Instead, you could ask everyone to bring their food and provisions – whatever they may have to eat – and pray on the combined food for blessings. It may so happen that Allah the Almighty bestows His blessings upon it.” The Holy Prophet (sa) agreed with this suggestion.
The narrator continues that the Holy Prophet (sa) sent for a leather spread and laid it out and asked for the little provisions and food that remained to be brought. The narrator says that some brought a handful of corn bulbs or dates, and others brought pieces of bread etc., to the point that some small amounts of food were collected on the spread. The Holy Prophet (sa) prayed for the food to be blessed. He then instructed everyone to fill their dishes with it.
People began to fill their dishes until every single dish in the army was full. Everyone ate to their fill and there were leftovers, too. Then, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that he bore witness that there was none worthy of worship except Allah and that he was Allah’s messenger, and whoso went before God while doubtlessly bearing witness to these two things would not be prevented from Paradise. This narration is from [Sahih] Muslim.
(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Bab al-Dalil ‘ala anna man mata ‘ala al-Tauhid, Hadith 7373)
This same narration is reported in Bukhari by Yazid bin Abi Ubaid on the authority of Hazrat Salma (ra) bin Akwa. He narrates that during a journey, the people’s provisions had depleted and they sought permission from the Holy Prophet (sa) to slaughter their camels. The Holy Prophet (sa) granted them permission to do so. Following this, Hazrat Umar (ra) came to them and was informed [of what happened] by them, upon which he asked them how they would survive after consuming their camels.
Hazrat Umar (ra) then went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and asked as to how they would survive after consuming their camels. The Holy Prophet (sa) replied that he should announce to the people to bring their remaining provisions together.
The Holy Prophet (sa) prayed and blessed those remaining provisions. He called for the people to bring their dishes, and they began to fill them. When they had finished, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that he bore witness that there was none worthy of worship except Allah and that he was Allah’s messenger.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar, Bab Haml al-Zad fi al-Ghazw, Hadith 2982)
Except for the Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah took part in all the battles, including the Battle of Badr and Uhud. During the Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah took permission from the Holy Prophet (sa) to remain behind in Medina.
(Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, pp. 28-29, Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995) (Sharh Zurqani, Vol. 6, p. 511, Hadith Bani Nadeer, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
Hazrat Mu‘az (ra) bin Jabal narrates: “In the year when the Battle of Tabuk took place, we also left with the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Holy Prophet (sa) would join the Zuhr and Asr prayers and also the Maghrib and Isha prayers. One day, the Holy Prophet (sa) read the prayers slightly later. He came out and led the Zuhr and Asr prayers and then returned to his residence. He then came out again and led the Maghrib and Isha prayers. The Holy Prophet (sa) then stated, ‘Tomorrow, you will, InshAllah, reach the springs of Tabuk.’”
To clarify, it does not mean that the Holy Prophet (sa) led all four prayers together; rather, he joined the Zuhr prayer with the Asr and read it at the very last moments of when Asr can be offered and similarly offered the Maghrib and Isha prayer at the earliest time when Maghrib can be offered. In any case the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:
“Tomorrow when the sun has fully risen, you will reach the spring of Tabuk. (The Holy Prophet (sa) estimated that they would roughly reach during the day.) Whoever among you reaches it should not touch its water or drink from it until I arrive.”
The narrator states, “Upon arriving, two individuals had already reached before us and there was a very small stream of water coming from it, almost as thin as the lace of a shoe. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked both these individuals if they had touched the water and they both replied that they had taken water from it and also drank from it.”
The Holy Prophet (sa) admonished them both, asking why they had taken some water despite the fact that he had forbidden them from doing so; and he continued to say to them that which Allah willed. The narrator says that little by little, people began taking water out of the spring until some water had accumulated in a bowl – there was only a small stream of water. The narrator says that the Holy Prophet (sa) washed both hands in the bowl and washed his face as well. Then he took the water and poured it back into the spring, meaning he washed his face whilst standing by the stream and the excess water fell back into the spring. Upon this, the spring began flowing rapidly; when the Holy Prophet (sa) washed his face and hands in the spring and the excess water fell back into the spring, what was once a light stream began to quickly flow and people were able to drink to their fill. Then the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “O Mu‘az! If you live long enough, you will see this place become filled with gardens.”
(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Faza‘il, Bab fi Mu‘jazat al-Nabi, Hadith 706)
According to the books of Ahadith, we learn that this miracle occurred when the Holy Prophet (sa) had just arrived in Tabuk. According to Sirat Ibn Hisham this event took place on the way back from Tabuk, in a valley named Mushaqaq.
(Ibn Hisham, al-Raud al-Anf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ghazwat Tabuk fi Rajab Sanah Tis‘ [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], 821-822)
Imam Malik (rh) has also mentioned this incident in his book, Muwatta. Whilst explaining this Hadith, Muhammad bin Abdul Baqi Zarqani writes that Abu Waleed Waji states that this was a prophecy which had already been fulfilled and the Holy Prophet (sa) specifically mentioned Hazrat Mu‘az (ra) because he had moved to Syria and that was where he passed away. The Holy Prophet (sa) was informed through revelation that Hazrat Mu‘az (ra) would see this place and through the blessings of the Holy Prophet (sa), that valley would become a place full of trees and gardens.
Allamah ibn Abdul Barr relates that Ibn Waddaha states that he visited the entire area surrounding that spring. He found the lushness and greenery of its trees to the extent that perhaps it would remain so until the end of time, which was exactly as the Holy Prophet (sa) had prophesied.
(Sharh Zurqani ala al-Muwatta, Vol. 1, p. 436, Kitab Qasr al-Salah fi al-Safar, Bab al-Jam‘ baina al-Salatain, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1997)
It is written in Atlas Seeratun Nabawi that “one of the government officials in Tabuk said, ‘Until two years ago, this spring was continuously flowing for 1,375 years. Then tube wells were dug in areas at a lower altitude, and thus the water from this spring moved towards the tube wells. After being distributed among 25 tube wells, this spring has only just dried up.’ Afterwards, he took us to a tube well where we saw a four-inch pipe was installed and water was flowing from it with great force, without the use of any machine. We were told that the other tube wells were similar to this one. It is due only to the blessings from the miracle of the Holy Prophet (sa) that there is such an abundance of water in Tabuk, that apart from Medina and Khaybar, we have not seen as much water anywhere else. In fact the reality is that the amount of water in Tabuk is even more than these two places. Due to this water, gardens are being planted everywhere in Tabuk, and according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (sa), Tabuk is filled with gardens, which continue to increase by the day.”
(Atlas Sirat Nabawi, p. 431, Dar al-Islam, 1424 AH)
On the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk, the Holy Prophet (sa) learnt of the news that some of the hypocrites were gathering at the house of a Jew named Suwailam, which was near Jasum. Jasum was also known as Bir-e-Jasim, which was in the direction of Syria near Ratij and was a well that belonged to Abu Haitham bin Tayyihan. The water of this well was of extremely good quality and the Holy Prophet (sa) also drank from it. In any case, they were all gathering at his house and he was conspiring against the Holy Prophet (sa) by urging them to not go along with him for battle to Tabuk. The Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat Talha (ra), along with some other companions, towards his house and instructed them to set Suwailam’s house alight. Hazrat Talha (ra) acted accordingly. During this, Zihak bin Khalifa broke his leg whilst trying to escape from the back of the house. Similarly, the other men also fled.
(al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, Vol. 2, p. 517, Ghazwah Tabuk, Maktabah Matba’ah Mustafa Albani, Egypt, 1955) (Farhang Sirat, p. 84, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)
Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umayyah was among the three Ansari companions who failed to participate in the Battle of Tabuk without having any excuse. The other two companions were Ka‘b (ra) bin Malik and Murarah (ra) bin Rabi‘. The following verse of the Holy Quran was revealed in relation to them:
وَعَلَى الثَّلَاثَۃِ الَّذِیْنَ خُلِّفُوْا حَتّٰى اِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَیْہِمُ الْاَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَیْہِمْ اَنْفُسُہُمْ وَظَنُّوْا اَنْ لَّا مَلْجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّا اِلَیْہِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیْہِمْ لِیَتُوْبُوْا اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیْمُ
“And He has turned with mercy to the three whose case was deferred, until the earth became too strait for them with all its vastness, and their souls were also straitened for them, and they became convinced that there was no refuge from Allah save unto Himself. Then He turned to them with mercy that they might turn to Him. Surely, it is Allah Who is Oft-Returning with compassion and is Merciful.” [Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.118]
(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 381, Hilal bin Umayyah (ra), Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
When the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from the battle, he expressed his displeasure upon this and also reprimanded them. Subsequently, the three companions were extremely anxious and submitted before Allah the Almighty, repenting and continuously seeking forgiveness. This continued until the lamenting of these three companions – which included Hazrat Hilal (ra) – was eventually accepted and Allah the Almighty revealed a verse regarding their pardoning. Nonetheless, in relation to this battle, the extent of sacrifices presented by the Companions (ra) was also stated. Furthermore, it was stated that certain other individuals, who harboured hypocrisy inside them, did not participate in this battle and made false excuses before the Holy Prophet (sa). Some refused to go along right from the beginning and thus the Holy Prophet (sa) left the matter of such hypocrites to Allah the Almighty.
One individual who preferred not to go with the Holy Prophet (sa) was Jadd bin Qais. The Holy Prophet (sa) asked him if he would join them in the battle against the Byzantine forces. He replied that this would place him in a trial on account of the women, therefore he ought not to be placed in such a difficulty. Subsequently, the Holy Prophet (sa) let him be and permitted him to stay behind. In light of this incident, the following verse was revealed:
مِنْہُمْ مَنْ یَّقُوْلُ ائْذَنْ لِّیْ وَلَا تَفْتِنِّیْ أَلَا فِی الْفِتْنَۃِ سَقَطُوْا وَإِنَّ جَہَنَّمَ لَمُحِیْطَۃٌ بِالْکَافِرِیْنَ
“And among them is he who says, ‘Permit me to stay behind and put me not to trial.’ Surely, they have already fallen into trial. And surely, Hell shall encompass the disbelievers.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.49)
It was the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) that whenever he returned to Medina after a journey, he would go to the mosque and offer two rak‘at [units] of prayer. Thus, the Holy Prophet (sa) returned from Tabuk and entered Medina in the morning. He proceeded immediately to offer two rak‘at of prayer in the mosque.
(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 5, p. 414, Musnad Ka‘b bin Malik, Hadith 15865, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)
After offering his prayers, he sat down in the mosque in order to meet with everyone. Those who intentionally stayed behind from travelling to Tabuk without any reason had also come to see the Holy Prophet (sa). There were approximately 80 individuals who presented excuses for remaining behind. Despite the fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) knew the true reality of their false excuses, yet even then he accepted what they said and pardoned them. He would take their oath of allegiance and seek forgiveness for them.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Hadith Ka‘b bin Malik, Hadith 4418)
However, as it has been mentioned in detail already, Hazrat Hilal (ra) bin Umaiyyah, Hazrat Murarah (ra) bin Rabi‘ and Hazrat Ka‘b (ra) bin Malik did not present any false excuses. As a result of this, Holy Prophet (sa) was displeased with them for some time. They prostrated before God Almighty and lamented before Him and implored for His forgiveness. Later, Allah the Almighty accepted their repentance and also mentioned the acceptance of their repentance in the Holy Quran.
Among those who remained behind from travelling for the Battle of Tabuk was Hazrat Ka‘b (ra) bin Malik. Consequently, he was boycotted and after 40 days, Allah the Almighty accepted his repentance and announced his forgiveness. When he came to the mosque to present himself before the Holy Prophet (sa), it was Hazrat Talha (ra) who came forward and met Hazrat Ka‘b (ra) bin Malik and congratulated him. Apart from Hazrat Talha (ra), no one else stood up from the gathering and Hazrat Ka‘b (ra) stated that he would never forget this kind gesture of Hazrat Talha (ra).
(Roshan Sitarey az Ghulam Bari Saif Sahib, Vol. 2, p. 145)