Religious and Social Conditions in madenh
Religious and Social Conditions
Ahmad b. Hanbal has related a tradition from Urwa, on the authority of Aisha, which says that: The Ansaar used to cry labbaik (Lit. At thy service) to Manat and worship it near Mushallal before accepting Islam. And anyone who performed pilgrimage in its (Manat) name did not consider it lawful to round the mounts of Safa and Marwa. (12) When the people once inquired from the Prophet: (peace be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah, we felt some hesitation during the pagan past in going round Safa and Marwah”; God sent down the revelation:
” Lo! As-Safa and al-Marwah are amongst the indications of Allah.
However, we are not aware of any other idol in Madinah equally glamorized as al-Lat, Manat, al-Uzza and Hubal or venerated like them, nor was there any idol set up in Madinah which was paid a visit by the people from other tribes. Madinah does not appear to be bristling with idols, unlike Makkah where one used to set up an idol in every house and the vendors offered them for the sake of the pilgrims. Makkah was, all in all, the prototype and symbol of idolatry in Arabia whereas Madinah simply trailed behind in such respect.
In Madinah, the people used to have two days devoted to games alone. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Madinah, he said to them, God has substituted something better for you, the day of sacrifice and the day of breaking the fast.” (Bulugh al-Arab) Certain commentators of the Traditions hold the view that the two festivals celebrated by the people of Madinah were Nawroz and Mehrjan, which they had perhaps inherited from the Persians. (Sahihain)
Aus and Khazraj descended from a lineage whose nobility was acknowledged even by the Quraysh. Ansaars were descendants of Banu Qahtan belonging to the southern stock of Arab Arbah, with whom the Quraysh had marital affinity. Hashim b. Abdu Manaf had married Salama bint Amr b. Zayd of the Banu Adiy b. al-Najjaar, which was a clan of Khazraj. Nevertheless, the Quraysh considered their own ancestry to be nobler than those of the Arab clans of Medina. On the day of the battle of Badr, when Utba, Shayba, and Walid b. Rabia came forward and challenged the Muslims for a single combat, some youths of the Ansaar stepped forth to face them. The Qurayshite warriors, however, asked who they were and on coming to know that they belonged to the Ansaar, replied, We have nothing to do with you. Then one of them called out, Muhammad, send forth some of your own rank and blood to face us. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered, Advance, O Ubayda b. Al-Harith; O Hamza; Advance, O Ali. When the three were already up at them and had already told their names, the Qurayshite said: Yes, these are noble and our peers.” (Ibn Hisham, Vol. p. 625)
The self-conceited Quraysh used to look down upon farming, the occupation employed by the Ansaar owing to the physical features of their city. We find a commensurate display of similar egotism with what Abu Jahl said when he was slain by two Ansaar lads who were sons of Afra. Abu Jahl said to Abdullah b. Masud although he was nearing his end, Would that somebody else than a cultivator had slain me! (13)
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Tags: Prophet Muhammad