Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sarah the Singer: And the Story of Hatib ibn Abi Balta'ah.

When the Quraish broke the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, and the Prophet was preparing for a war against them [Quraish and their ally Bani Bakar], it happened that Sarah the singer [Sarah was a slave girl of Abu Amr ibn Sayfi ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, who after her freedom had adopted singing as her profession], travelled from Mecca to Medina, and when she was asked, "Have you come to Medina as a hijrati (emigrates)?"
She said, "No."
Then she was brought to the Prophet, and he asked her: 'Have you come as a Muslim?"
She again answered in the negative,then he asked: 'What has brought you here, then?"
She said: "You were my family, my clan and my patrons; I am in desperate need and have come so that you give me and clothe me". 

'What happened to all the youths of Mecca', he said, "those who would throw money as rain after impressed by your singing?" 
She said: "You were the members of respectable family of Mecca. And I would earn my livelihood among you. But when you came here and later when the prominent Quraish leaders were killed in the battle Badr, it becomes hard for me to earn my livelihood there. So I came here to you falling in a great distress and a miserable condition. I have not received a single request from anyone after the Battle of Badr!"

The Prophet then encouraged the Banu Abd al-Muttalib to be generous to her. They satisfied her need, gave her food, dress-clothing, some cash money and provided her with a mount and send her back to Mecca

When Sarah left, Hatib ibn Abi Balta'ah then got in touch with her, gave her ten pieces of gold and a letter for the people of Mecca. Then Gabriel came and informed the Prophet of what Hatib had done. 

The fact is, Hateb ibn Abi Balta'ah was one of the first Hijratis (migraters) to Medina. He was an Yemenian. Later he came to Mecca and settled there. There was no one in his tribe in Mecca. When his family became Muslim, he was the only one of his family who emigrates to Medina and his wife and children were in Mecca.

After the hijrat (emigration) of the Prophet to Medina, the Polytheists Quraish began to torture and harassing the Muslims in various way those were still residing in Mecca. The families of the hijraties (emigrates) were in a little safer there because of their relatives. But when Hatib found that no one is there to save his family from the tortures of the enemies, he thought that if he showed some grace to the Meccan, maybe they will stop torturing his family. And this time he found a golden opportunity when Sara was sending back to Mecca.

Hateb was not a hypocrite. He was on a faith that God will surely awarded the Prophet with the Victory. So if this information flashed, then it can’t be does any harm to him or Islam. So addressing Meccan, he wrote a letter with disclosing the information of War and handed it to Sara secretly.

Gabriel informed this to the Prophet. So he ordered Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Mursad and Jubair ibn Awwam to follow her. This group arrested her from a place named Rawja-e-Khak when she was on her way to Mecca.
Then she was asked to give them the letter. But she said, "There is no letter with me."

So they let her Camel seated and searched her the bag and bagged. And they found nothing. But every one of the group was so sure that the information of the Prophet shall never be false. So they threaten her, "Give us the letter, otherwise we may make you nude in search of the letter". And then she gave them the letter from her underwear.
Then they brought her back with the letter to Medina.

Hearing all the news Omar fired with anger and said to the Prophet, "This man Hatib betrayed with God, His Messenger and with all the Muslims. So order me, I will cut his head off."
The Prophet said, "Isn’t he among the fighters of the battle of Badr? And Allah announced forgiveness and offered Paradise for the fighters of Badr?"

Hatib was called, and the prophet asked him, "O Hateb, what was that, which influenced you to do this?" He said, "Ya Rasulallah, I do it for the sake of my family safety. No one except me among the Muhajir, whose peoples of his own tribe were not existed in Mecca. So I thought, if I showed some grace to the Meccan, they  will may be not torture my family and children. But I have not done this to harm Islam and Muslims. I was in a full faith at that time as I am now that the victory is yours, there will be no harm, even if the Meccan came to know the information."
Hearing all of this, the Prophet declared- "Hateb told us the truth. So do not comment any bad but good about him."
Hearing this, Omar said, "Certainly Allah and His messenger know the truths."

Then the following verses of Qur'an sent down advising Hateb and all Muslims- O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves (only) because you believe in Allah, your Lord.

If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, (take them not as friends). You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way. If they gain dominance over you, they would be to you as enemies and extend against you their hands and their tongues with evil, and they wish you would disbelieve.

Never will your relatives or your children benefit you; the Day of Resurrection He will judge between you. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing

This story is collected in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded a Hadith from Hasan bin Muhammad bin Ali which is said to be transmitted by Ali that Ali said, "Rasulullah sent me, Zubayr and Al-Miqdad saying, "Proceed until you reach Rawdat Khakh, where there is a lady carrying a letter. Take that letter from her."

So we proceeded on our way, with our horses galloping, until we reached the Rawdah. There we found the lady and said to her, "Take out the letter."
She said, "I am not carrying a letter."
We said, "Take out the letter, or else we will take off your clothes." So she took it out of her braid, and we brought the letter to the Prophet. The letter was addressed from Hatib bin Abi Balta'ah to some pagans of Makkah, telling them about what Rasulullah intended to do.

Rasulullah said, "O Hatib! What is this."
Hatib replied, "Ya Rasulullah! Do not make a hasty decision about me. I was a person not belonging to Quraysh, but I was an ally to them. All the Emigrants who were with you have kinsmen (in Makkah) who can protect their families. So I wanted to do them a favor, so they might protect my relatives, as I have no blood relation with them. I did not do this out of disbelief or to renegade from my religion, nor did I do it to choose disbelief after Islam."

Then Rasulullah said, "Regarding him, he has told you the truth."
Umar said, "O Rasulullah! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite!"
The Prophet said, "He attended Badr. What can I tell you, perhaps Allah looked at those who attended Badr and said, "O the people of Badr, do what you like, for I have forgiven you.''

The Group with the exception of Ibn Majah, collected this Hadith using various chains of narration that included Sufyan bin Uyaynah. al-Bukhari added in his narration in the chapter on the Prophet's battles, "Then Allah revealed the Surah, "O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends... ''

al-Bukhari said in another part of his Sahih, "Amr (one of the narrators) said, "This Ayah, "O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends'..." was revealed about Hatib, but I do not know if the Ayah was mentioned in the Hadith or was added as an explanation by one of the narrators.''

al-Bukhari also said that Ali bin Al-Madini said that Sufyan bin Uyaynah was asked, "Is this why this Ayah, "O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends." was revealed'' Sufyan said, "This is the narration that I collected from Amr, I did not leave a letter out of it. I do not know if anyone else memorized the same words for it.''

After the treaty of Hudaibiya, the Prophet decided to invite the neighboring kings, to Islam. In order to make the selection of ambassadors to the rulers, he asked his Companions to assemble in the Mosque. After performing the obligatory prayer, he addressed them:

“O people! Allah has sent me as the one who is compassionate to the mankind and the prophet to the world. Therefore preach (the message of Islam) on my behalf, Allah will have Mercy upon you...”

The Prophet then selected some of his very competent companions as ambassadors to kings and heads of states. One of them was Hateb. He was sent to Muqawqis, the Ruler of Egypt. He returned with gifts, including two slaves, Maria al-Qibtiyya and her sister Sirin. Muhammad took Maria as his wife and shirin to Poet Hasan.

The End.
Not Yet Verified.

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