The influence of Islam in Mali dates back to the 15th century when Al-Bakri mentions the conversion of its ruler to Islam. There was a miserable period of drought which came to an end by offering Muslim prayers and ablutions. The Empire of Mali arose from the ruins of Ghana Empire. There are two important names in the history of Islam in Mali: Sundiata (1230-1255) and Mansa Musa (1312-1337). Sundiata is the founder of the Mali Empire but was a weak Muslim, since he practiced Islam with syncretic practices and was highly disliked by the scholars. Mansa Musa was, on the other hand, a devout Muslim and is considered to be the real architect of the Mali Empire. By the time Sundiata died in 1255, a large number of former dependencies of Ghana also came under his power. After him came Mansa Uli (1255-1270) who had made a pilgrimage to Makkah.
Archive for the ‘History of Islam’ Category
Muslim geographers and historians have provided excellent records of Muslim rulers and peoples in Africa. Among them are Al-Khwarzimi, Ibn Munabbah, Al-Masudi, Al-Bakri, Abul Fida, Yaqut, Ibn Batutah, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Fadlallah al-’Umari, Mahmud al-Kati, Ibn al Mukhtar and Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di.
The Almighty Allah sent our prophet Muhammad to mankind after a break in the series of messengers at a time when the world was immersed in a deep darkness of ignorance. The Prophet and his companions started spreading the religion and the disbelievers challenged his message and unsheathed their swords to fight him. The Muslims faced them in the battle of Badr and realised a great victory by Allah’s command. The flag of Islam was raised high and the disbelievers returned to Makkah disgraced, everyone mourning the killing of his relative and lamenting over his misfortune.
The defeat was so painful for the disbelievers that they resolved to confront the Muslims again. They spent a whole year amassing as many weapons and men as they could to fight the Muslims. They left Makkah for Madeenah in the third year of Hijrah in order to avenge their defeat during the Battle of Badr.
Upon reaching Madeenah they camped at mount Uhud. Meanwhile some men among the Muslims who were unfortunate enough not to have participated in the Battle of Badr and were enthusiastic about Jihad advised the Messenger of Allah to go out and meet the enemy. The Prophet agreed and all the Muslims likewise were determined to go out and meet them.
After performing Friday Prayers, the Prophet entered his house, and emerged wearing an armoured breastplate, and declared, “It is not appropriate for any Prophet who has once put on his armour to take it off again until Allah has judged between him and his enemy (by granting one victory over the other).”
The Prophet then set out in the company of one thousand men, one thi rd of whom turned back home after travelling part of the way towards Mount Uhud under the influence of the head of the hypocrites; Abdullah bin Ubay. The Prophet proceeded with the remaining men until he camped at the trail of Mount Uhud putting the mountain behind him and facing the idolaters. He assigned some fifty archers under the command of Abdullah ibn Jubair to man a small strategic foothill and commanded them not to leave their position under any circumstances.
Life in Makkah was becoming difficult for the Muslims. The growing oppression and tortures of the Kuffar became unbearable. The Muslims were prevented from worshiping Allah. Consequently, Allah, the Exalted, revealed orders to migrate. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and his companions secretly planned to escape the watchful disbelievers, who intended to kill the Prophet and his companions in their own homeland and thus bring an end to the religion of Islam. But Allah, the Exalted, aided His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) to immigrate to al-Medina. This carefully planned and prudent escape of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and the Sahabah created great anxiety and rancor in the hearts of the disbelievers.
The new abode of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), al-Medina, integrated the commercial routes to Makkah. The trade caravans of the disbelievers passing near al-Median now faced serious danger. The disbelievers had already experienced the love and devotion of the Sahabah for Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). They knew that the Sahabah were always ready to sacrifice everything they had for the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). Thus, in order to safeguard their trade, the disbelievers undertook all possible efforts to expel the Muslims from al-Medina.
They sent a serious ultimatum to the chief of the disbelievers in al-Medina, Abdullah Ibn Ubai Ibn Sahul, ordering him to fight or drive out the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) from al-Medina. Otherwise, they would attack their city and destroy their people. However, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) cautioned Abdullah and his men from taking any cruel steps against the Muslims and as a result of his cowardice, Abdullah withheld his devilish plan. The disbelievers of Makkah also sent a note to the Ansaar (the Muslims of al-Medina who aided Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)) threatening to put them to death if they helped the Prophet or defended him. But the Ansaar loved Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) more than their lives and therefore paid no heed to the threats.
Construction of The Prophets Mosque
The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself carried the unburned bricks for construction of the building along with the other Muslims. He is reported to have recited as he worked.
O Allah! The true reward is the reward of the hereafter, have mercy O Allah on the Ansaars and Mujajirun. (Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 251)
Overjoyed to see the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) invoking blessings on them, the Muslims, too, sang and thanked Allah.
The Prophet in Madinah
At last, the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived one day. The Ansaar had already returned to their houses but a Jew who happened to see him, cried aloud announcing his arrival. Everybody rushed out to greet the Prophet (peace be upon him) whom they found sitting beneath a tree with Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) who was of like age. Many of them had never seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) and did not know which of the two was he. They crowded round both, but now, Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) realized their difficulty. He rose up, stood behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) shielding him with a piece of cloth from the sun, and thus the doubts of the people dissipated. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 492)
Religious and Social Conditions
Religious and Cultural Conditions
There is less uncertainty about the opportunities offered to the Jews in consolidating their religious supremacy over Arabia. Had they so willed, they could have used their influence to the best advantage. But as it is too prominent among every student of Jewish history, they have never made any effort to invite other nations to embrace their faith, rather, for certain reasons, they have been forbidden to preach this to others. (Dr. Israel Welphenson; Al-Yahud fi Balad il-Arab, p. 72)
Be that as it may, many of the Aus and the Khazraj and certain other Arab tribes had been Judaized owing to their close social connections with the Jews or ties of blood. Thus, there were Jews in Arabia, who were of Israelite descent, with a fraction of Arab converts. The well-known poet Kab b. Ashraf (often called an an-Nadir) belonged to the tribe of Tayy. His father had married in the tribe of Bani an-Nadir but he grew up to be a zealous Jew. Ibn Hisham writes about him: Kab b. Ashraf who was one of the Tayy of the sub-section of Bani Nabhan whose mother was from the Bani al-Nadir. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. P. 514).
Difference Between Makkan and Medinan Societies
The view preferred by historians about Jewish settlements in Arabia, at large and those in Madinah, in particular, is that they date from the first century A.D. Dr. Israel Welphenson writes that:
After Palestine and Jerusalem were laid waste in 70 A.D. and the Jews dispersed to different parts of the world, a number of them made their way to Arabia. This is in accordance with the Jewish historian Josephus, who was himself present at the siege of Jerusalem and had led the Jewish units on several occasions. Arab sources also corroborate his statement.”
Three Jewish tribes, Qaynuqaa’, an-Nadhir and Quraydha, were settled in Madinah. The number of adults belonging to these tribes was over two thousand where Qaynuqaa’ was estimated to have seven hundred combatants, with an-Nadir having almost the same number too, while the grown-ups of Quraydha were reported to be between seven and nine hundred. (1)
These tribes were not in good terms and very often they are caught in confrontations with one another. Dr. Israel Welphenson says:
The Lessons And Examples
If the believer is confident in his spiritual crusade, he will not practice his actions secretly, instead he will make them public; and he will not pay attention to the enemies of his call if he is sure that he can surmount them, as Umar (radiallahu ‘anhu) did in his emigration. Such attitude, that of being strong enough coupled with the potency of his conviction will frighten Allahs enemies and put fear in their hearts. There is no doubt that had he Makkahns united, they could have beaten Umar (radiallahu ‘anhu), but Umar’s bravery put fear in the soul of each and everyone of his enemies. Each was afraid that if he were to attempt in stopping Umar (radiallahu ‘anhu), his mother would then be bereaved of him, and the evildoers are misers in terms of giving up their lives as they greatly valued their existence in the world.