Thursday, 5 April 2007

The Prophet Muhammad SAW Passing Near The Ruins Of Thamud During The Tabuk Expedition

The Tabuk expedition is one of the major campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, and the last one in which he personally took part. When he received the news that the Caesar of Rome had mustered a large force to crush the power of Islam and was on his way through Syria to invade Madinah, he decided to lead the Sahabah RA to check him on his way.

On Thursday, 5th Rajab, in the 9th year of Hijrah - the devoted band marched out of Madinah. As the weather was hot and the fighting was expected to be very tough, the Prophet SAW made an open declaration that the Muslims should gather in strength and prepare fully to face the forces of the Roman Empire. The Prophet SAW also exhorted them to contribute towards the equipment of the expedition.

It was on this occasion that Saiyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq RA contributed all his belongings. When he was questioned by the Prophet SAW as to what he had left for his family, he replied:

"I have left Allah and His Prophet (SAW) for them."

Saiyidina Umar Al-Khattab RA contributed half of his belongings and Saiyidina uthman bin Affan RA provided for the equipment of one-third of the whole army. Although everybody, contributed beyond his means, yet the equipment fell far short of the requirements. Only one camel was available for each group of ten persons, who were to ride it in turn. This is why this campaign is known as - "The campaign of hardship."

The journey was long and the weather hot and dry. At that time, the orchards were laden with ripe dates - the staple crop of Madinah, and it was just the time for harvesting, when all of a sudden the Sahabah RA were required to start on this campaign. It was really an acid test of their Imaan. They visualised the long and arduous journey, the scorching heat, the formidable enemy opposing them and, to top all, the prospective loss of the year's crop. Nevertheless, they could not even dream of evading the call to arms, and that solely on account of the deep-rooted fear of Allah in their hearts.

Except the women, the children (who were excusable), those who were ordered to stay behind by the Prophet SAW himself, and the munafiqin, nearly everybody joined the expedition.

Also among those left behind were such persons who could neither arrange conveyance for themselves, nor was the Prophet SAW able to provide them with any. It is about such people that Allah says in the Qur'an:

"They turned back with eyes flowing with tears in sorrow that they could not find means to spend." (Surah 10: Ayat 92)

Of the true believers, those who stayed behind without any excuse whatsoever were three in number. (Their story would be related in another post InshaAllah.)

On their way to Syria when the expedition reached the habitation of Thamud, the Prophet SAW covered his face with his shirt and quickened the pace of his camel. He also instructed the Sahabah RA to do the same, since that was the scene of Thamud's destruction. They were advised to pass there weeping and fearing lest Allah should punish them as he had punished the Thamud. The dearest and the most beloved Prophet of Allah SAW and his privileged Companions RA pass by the ruins of the punished people in fear and tears, lest they meet the same fate.

On the other hand today, if any place is struck with an earthquake, it becomes a place of sightseeing for us and, if we come across any ruins, our eyes remain dry and our hearts unaffected. How hard and blind our hearts are.

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