Download PDF: [S] The Success of the Early Muslims
There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for the rapid spread of Islam was because of pure Imaan and honesty.
The world is still trying to analyse this and trying to arrive at some conclusion as to how this happened. That nation which never appeared outside its confined space within the Arab Peninsula who always looked at the two super powers in front it namely Rome and Persia with respect, awe and fear. What had suddenly happened to this once small group of people? In a space of a few years, it had destroyed two super powers!
Ancient Historians and even recent Historians are amazed by this fact. Where did these early Arabs get this power from? They were merely a few thousands in numbers. Some of them were so poor that they did not even have proper clothing to conceal themselves. They were always hungry because of the lack of food and water and they hardly had any real weapons to speak of. If they had swords, it was mostly wrapped in cloth to give it more holding capability.
Yes, the Arabs were physically powerful, but they had no army or no united front. Out of fear for their non-Arab neighbours, they spent most of their life and existence hiding in the desert. However, unexpectedly Islam created within this people a sense of united power and united strength. Suddenly in battle, every army, no matter how large, looked insignificant in front of them. It is important that we study this so that we are able to analyse the true reason.
The first reason is that when the Arabs started to believe in Islam. They had this absolute certainty that whatever was given to them by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was the absolute truth and something which did not have the slightest bit of doubt in it.
They also had this certainty that whatever they were doing, they were not doing it for this world but for the Hereafter. It did not matter whether they were going to be warriors or Martyrs.
As a matter of fact, they loved being martyred more than the life of this world. If we look at the manner in which they spoke to non-Muslim leaders, we will see how fearless they were about death. As a matter of fact, when one of them passed a peaceful live and did not become martyred, he was always regretful about this.
Hadrat Abadah bin Saamit Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and the Leader of Egypt
Once, during a conversation, the leader of Egypt at that time, namely Maquqas bin Raahil, mentioned to the eminent companion the actual power of the Romans. Bear in mind that at that time, there were certain Romans forts which were being besieged by the Muslims. When he heard the description of the Romans, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu replied, “Listen, you and your associates should not be under any false impression. Even though, perhaps your intention is to frighten us by describing the powerful might of the Roman army and you also wish to inform us that we will not be able to withstand the might of this power, I swear by Allah azza wajal that whatever you wish to frighten us with, it will never shake our resolve. Whatever you have said about them, if it is true, then it will make us much stronger and more determined to defeat them. Even if all of us are martyred, it would become a perfect means of achieving eternal success and salvation. If all of us are martyred, then too, it would be become a perfect excuse for us when we arrive in the Divine Court of Allah azza wajal. It will also become a perfect means of us achieving His Divine Pleasure and nothing is more beloved to us than this. At this time, one of two options are certain for us. If we defeat you, we will acquire immense wealth and power. If we are defeated, then we will achieve the unending wealth of the Hereafter. The latter is more beloved to us than the former and we also strive for this even more. In the Qur’an, in Surah Baqarah (2), verse 249, the Allah azza wajal states:
قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَظُنُّوۡنَ اَنَّہُمۡ مُّلٰقُوا اللہِۙ کَمۡ مِّنۡ فِئَۃٍ قَلِیۡلَۃٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَۃً کَثِیۡرَۃًۢ بِاِذْنِ اللہِؕ وَاللہُ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ﴿۲۴۹﴾
“Those who were sure to meet Allah spoke, ‘that often a small party has triumphed over a large party by Allah’s Command, and Allah is with the steadfast.’”
“Every one of us makes Du’a every morning and evening to be martyred in His Path and that we do not return to our families. None of us have any sadness in this regard. Every one of us have left our wife and children in the Divine Protection of Allah azza wajal. If we have any concern, it is only for the Hereafter. You claim that we are very poor and have no means, then bear in mind that we are very happy and satisfied with our state and condition. If all the wealth of the world were given to us, we will only take as little as we need and nothing more.” (Al Khulud)
The Belief of every true Muslim in the Past
This was the belief and conviction of every true Muslim in the past. This is the reason that many world leaders and powerful rulers used to fear the Muslims. They had this firm belief that they would never be defeated and also a firmness of belief in Islam. Others in that period did not have this firmness of belief and conviction. This is the characteristics which was given to them by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and which was something which ran in their blood. Through their behaviour, they changed the world and destroyed the Roman and Persian Empires. They also destroyed oppression and filled the world with justice and this is one of the main reasons that Muslim governments came into existence and were established.
Another reason for the amazing success of early Muslims was the amount of remarkable individuals which were born in that period. From this we can see that Allah azza wajal had already in His Divine Decree recorded success for these early Muslims by virtue of their true sincerity. Hence, they were blessed with remarkable people in the field of politics, warfare, wisdom, intelligence and patience. Some of them were people like Sayyiduna Khalid bin Waleed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Hamza bin Abdul Mutallib Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Ali bin Abi Talib Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Dharaar bin Azur Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Sayyiduna Qaqaa bin Amar Tameemi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. As far as leaders of immense integrity and honesty and steadfastness, there were no better people than the four Rightly Guided Khulafaa.
They were steadfast on patience
This was one of their greatest attributes and in the most extreme circumstances they displayed immense patience. At the same time, we should also remember that patience is a part of Imaan. They never rushed into anything and made sure that after due deliberation and patience, they made the best move possible. They also had the habit of making sure that their return was safe, hence they never had to return in haste. They never established and spread Islamic Law until they were convinced that the area had become safe for everyone. They were firm on Islamic Shari’ah and they did not only believe in the Hereafter, but they made sure that they performed actions which would achieve success for them in the Hereafter.
The arrival of Islam took these once unnoticed individuals into the highest realm of respect and dignity. Each one displayed the greatest attribute of Islam and made them into a force which could never be defeated. Their entire life was spent in calling people to Islam. (Ibn Kateer; Ar Roud)
Introduction to some of the people mentioned
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Saamit Ansari Khazraji Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was considered as one of the most eminent of companions. He was also present in the Battle of Badr. He was also nominated as one of the Muslim representatives in the Treaty of Uqbah. In Madina Shareef, he was chosen to be the brother of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Marsad Ghanawi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Saamit Radi Allahu ‘Anhu took part in all the battles and was also present when Egypt was conquered. He was the first Muslim to be nominated as the official Qadi in Palestine. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Saamit Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also one of those lucky companions who had memorized the Qur’an. He passed away in Ramallah in 34 A.H.
- Hadrat Khalid bin Waleed bin Mughayrah Makhzumi Qurayshi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also known as the Sword of Allah azza wajal. He was one of the most eminent companions. Whether before accepting Islam or after accepting Islam, Hadrat Khalid bin Waleed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu always managed to acquire the position of a commander. When he accepted Islam before the conquest of Makkah Shareef, it is reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was extremely pleased by this. Hadrat Khalid bin Waleed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was nominated as the Muslim commander during the time of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and remained as such during the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Later, he was removed from this position. However, this did not affect him and he continued to fight as an ordinary soldier. Many victories were achieved through his presence. Most are of the opinion that Hadrat Khalid bin Waleed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu passed away in the 21styear of Hijrah in the city of Hums.
- Hadrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas Qurayshi Zuhri Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was another eminent companion and considered to be the conqueror of Iraq and Madaa’in. He was one of those six people who were nominated by Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu to be the next leader of the Muslims prior to Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu being chosen. Hadrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was the first Muslim to release an arrow in the defence of Islam and one of the ten people who were given the news of Jannah in this world. Hadrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also given the title of “Faarisul Islam.” He brought Imaan when he was only 17 years old and took part in the battle of Badr and Qadisiyyah. He also encouraged the Muslims to settle in Kufah after establishing this city. He was removed from his position by Hadrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Hadrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu then returned to Madina Shareef and passed away a short distance from Madina Shareef. He passed away in the 15thyear of Hijrah.
- Hadrat Abu Ubaidah bin Amir Al Jarrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu is considered to have defeated Syria and also one of the ten given news of Jannah in this word. Hadrat Abu Ubaidah bin Amir Al Jarrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was given the title of “Ameenul Ummah” and was one of those first individuals who accepted Islam. He took part in the all the battles and when he left for Syria, he was given the position of commander by Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. He was extremely kind and merciful and many peoples heart was worn over by this quality. Hadrat Abu Ubaidah bin Amir Al Jarrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu passed away in the plague in the year 17th
- Abu Ammaarah Hadrat Ameer Hamza ibn Abdul Mutallib bin Hashim Qurayshi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. He was the uncle of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and during the days of ignorance, he was a very respected soldier and leader among the Quraish. He was born in Makkah Shareef and grew up in this city. When Islam arrived, in spite of the objections from the Quraish, Hadrat Ameer Hamza Radi Allahu ‘Anhu accepted Islam and became one of its greatest supporters. When he did this, the Quraish remarked that “now Muhammad has gained power and strength.” Many people were less oppressed by his arrival into Islam. Hadrat Ameer Hamza Radi Allahu ‘Anhu took part in many battles including that of Badr and ‘Uhud where he was martyred. He was martyred at the hands of Wahshi who was the slave of the wife of Abu Sufyan namely Hindah binte Utbah. Hadrat Ameer Hamza Radi Allahu ‘Anhu passed away in the 3rdyear of the Hijrah.
- Hadrat Darraar bin Azur Asadi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was another eminent companion who was present in the Battle of Yarmuk and during the conquest of Damascus. He was considered as one of the bravest of Muslims with Hadrat Sayyiduna Khaleed bin Waleed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and a close companion of the former. Hadrat Darraar bin Azur Asadi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu passed away in the 11thyear of Hijrah.
- Hadrat Qa’qaa bin Amar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was the brother of Hadrat Asim bin Amar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. He was an eminent companion. Once Hadrat Qa’qaa bin Amar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu presented himself in front of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam asked him, “What have you prepared for Jihad?” He replied, “Obedience to Allah azza wajal and His Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and a horse.” Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam replied, “This is the pinnacle of readiness.” Pertaining to his call in battle, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Radi Allahu ‘Anhu once declared, “The voice of Qa’qaa in battle is better than the voice of a thousand men.” Hadrat Qa’qaa bin Amar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu also displayed immense bravery in the Battle of Qaadisiyyah.
- Hadrat Mughayrah bin Shubah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was an eminent companion and one who accepted Islam just before the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. Hadrat Mughayrah bin Shubah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu also presented himself in the Baitur Ridwaan and has narrated Ahadith from Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. He was also present in the Battle of Yamaamah, Syria and Iraq. During the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu Hadrat Mughayrah bin Shubah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was the Governor of Basrah and Kufah. He also accepted the leadership of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. He passed away in Kufah in the 56thyear of Hijrah.
- Hadrat Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan Qurayshi Umawi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was the founder of the Ummayah Dynasty in Syria and also a very eminent companion. He was a master of classical knowledge and very kind. Hadrat Mu’awiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu accepted Islam in the 8thyear of Hijrah after the conquest of Makkah Shareef. Hadrat Mu’awiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also one who recorded the Qur’an and was nominated as the Governor of Damascus during the reign of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Hadrat Mu’awiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Uthman Radi Allahu ‘Anhu also nominated him as the Governor of Syria and he was removed by Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. After the passing away of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, Hadrat Mu’awiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu became the leader of the Muslim world. He passed way in Damascus in the 60thyear of Hijrah. Hadrat Mu’awiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has reported 130 Ahadith and is considered to be a great conqueror for the sake of Islam.
The Great Shaikhain
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, also known as Abdullah ibn Abu Quhaafah Tameemi Qurayshi, is considered to be the first man to accept Islam at the hands of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was also considered as one of the eminent leaders of Makkah Shareef and was well learned in the science of family lineage and the history of Arabia. Even during the days of ignorance, he had made alcohol Haraam upon himself. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was nominated as the leader of the Muslims in the 11th year of Hijrah. He ruled for about 2 years and 3 months and passed away in the 13th year of Hijrah. When Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu heard about the incident of Me’raj which everyone around him disbelieved, he was the first to believe in this miracle, hence the title of “Siddique.” Some ‘Ulama have mentioned other reasons for this title as well. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has narrated 1142 Ahadith.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattab bin Nufail Qurayshi Aduwi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. His appellation was “Abu Hafz.” He was the first leader to be given the title of “Ameerul Mo’mineen.” Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattab Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was extremely famous for his steadfastness, his bravery and knowledge. As per the advice of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Radi Allahu ‘Anhu he was nominated as the next leader of the Muslims. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattab Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was the first person to nominate the date of Hirah as the first day in the Islamic Calendar. He was also the first to create many departments in the Islamic government which continues until today. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattab Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was given the title of “Farouq” by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Khattab Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was martyred in the 23rdyear of Hijrah by a Munafiq named Abu Lulu Firoz while performing the Fajr Salaah. (Sadda Bahaar Khushbo)