How were the conditions in Madina following the emigration of The Prophet?
With the arrival of Godís Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, in
Madina, the struggle between Islam and unbelief entered a new phase. In Makka,
the Prophet devoted himself almost exclusively to expounding the basic principles
of Islamic faith and to the moral and spiritual training of his Companions.
After the Emigration, however, people belonging to different tribes and regions
of ĎArabia, who had embraced Islam, began to concentrate in Madina. Although
the Muslims held only a tiny piece of the land, the whole of Arabia, under the
leadership of the Quraysh, moved against them, bent upon their extermination.
In these circumstances, the very survival, let alone the success, of this
small group of believers depended upon several factors. First, that they should
propagate their beliefs with the utmost conviction in order to convert others.
Second, that they should demonstrate the falsity of their opponentsí standpoint
so convincingly that there could remain no justifiable ground for any intelligent
person to entertain any doubt on the question. Third, that they as the followers
of the Prophet should not become disheartened because they had been driven out
of their homes and were faced, through the hostility and opposition of the whole
country, with economic stringency, hunger, and constant insecurity and danger,
but that they should confront the situation with patience and fortitude. Fourth,
that they should be able to find a way to retake all their wealth and goods
usurped by the Makkans during Emigration. Fifth, that they should be prepared
to resist with both courage and the force of arms the violent assault by which
the enemy intended to frustrate their movement, and that in this resistance
they should not heed the enemyís superiority in either numbers or material resources.
In addition to the threats coming from Makka and its allied tribes, there
were, in Madina itself, three tribes of the Jews. As explained earlier, the
Jews held the control of the economic life of the city. Although they had been
waiting for the emergence of a Prophet, they severely opposed Godís Messenger
because he did not appear from among them, among the descendants of the Prophet
Isaac. They felt constrained to sign a pact with Godís Messenger but, entertaining
feelings of hatred against him, they never refrained from conspiracies to exterminate
Islam. For example, among their poets, Kaíb ibn Ashraf composed poems to satirize
Godís Messenger and instigate his enemies against him.
In Madina, another element of enmity against Islam also began to emerge in
the form of hypocrisy. One group of hypocrites consisted of those who had no
faith in Islam but had entered the ranks of the Muslim community merely in order
to create mischief. Another group of hypocrites, conscious of the political
dominance of the Muslims in Madina, considered it advantageous to gain acceptance
as fellow-Muslims. At the same time, they maintained contacts with the enemies
of Islam so that they could secure all the advantages of friendship with the
two opposite camps and thus remain safe from any hostilities. There was still
another group of hypocrites Ė those who were in a state of ambivalence and indecision
between Islam and Ignorance but who had accepted Islam because the majority
of their tribe or family had done so. The final group consisted of those who,
although they believed Islam to be true, found it difficult to forsake their
inherited way of life, their superstitions, their customs and usages, and to
discipline themselves to observe the moral restraints and fulfill the obligations
prescribed by Islam.