HOW WAS THE QUR’ANIC DOCTRINE
ANNOUNCED TO THE WORLD?(3)
At the same time, the Islamic institutions, which could not be observed openly at Makkah, began at once to be practised in public at Medina. It was in that welcoming and hospitable society that all emigrants were received after having abandoned their homes and their possessions:
“For the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allâh and to please Him, and helping Allâh (i.e. helping His religion) and His Messenger” (LIX, 8), and after being severely persecuted in Makkah.
Until that time, everything was going on in peace and with dignity at least on the Muslim part. Being reassured about the fate of his disciples and their safe arrival, Muhammad believed that he was required to extend his stay at Makkah and to continue in his call. Yet he received the divine order to emigrate at the same moment when a great plot against his existence was going to be carried out.
However, after he had miraculously escaped from danger, shouldn't he think to take vengeance on his enemies who wanted to put him to death? Not at all. And if we follow the stages of his activity at Medina, we would find his efforts consecrated, on the contrary, to blessed and constructive works: the construction of the mosque, the prescription of the fast, the institution of the appeal to prayer, the interior and peaceful organization of the society. Everything seemed to indicate that Muslims were definitely going, and even in the direction of their prayer, to turn their back on their ancient homeland. Nevertheless, towards the middle of the second year, they began to intercept the merchandise convoys of their persecutors.
From where did this sudden turn come?
It is impossible for us - the impartial judgement of the Orientalists being concordant concerning this point - to attribute the cause thereof to the personal psychology of the Prophet. The martial measures, in fact, were not one of his character or his taste. On the contrary, it was his indulgence and solicitude towards his adversaries that attracted him frequently the reproach of the Qur’an:
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You de-sire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allâh desires (for you) the Here-after.” (VIII, 67),
“Whether you (O Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them - (and even) if you ask seventy times their forgiveness - Allâh will not forgive them because they have disbelieved in Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad). And Allâh guides not those people who are Fasiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).” (IX, 80),
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