During his tenure of prophetic mission the Final Messenger of Allah presented one thing and sought one thing during his time in Makka. What he sought, Makka refused to give, but Madeena did. Only a handful accepted what he presented, in Makka but as a whole, Makka rejected him and his call and Madeena as a society accepted him wholeheartedly.
This is the distinct difference between the two historical cities of Islam. Now let us analyze rather extensively these two polarized attitudes of the people in Makka and Madeena.
The Prophet (PBUH) virtually met every person in Makka and pleaded with them to accept Islam and reject any thing and everything that is not in line with the teachings of Islam. While engaging in his literally laborious task, he also spiritually trained the few who accepted his call. Subsequently, the few Muslims, upon realizing the irrefutability of the duty of spreading Islam, too engaged in their own efforts to preach Islam, whilst experiencing the ecstasy of worshipping the only true God.
And noble principles of Islam transferred them to a wholly new world of righteousness, virtue and unprecedented piety as well as obedience to Allah. Many of them outwardly looked despondent, without any or few worldly belongings, but internally they were the most peaceful and unaccountably contented human beings under the sun at that passage of time.
The innermost bliss they achieved was the ultimate goal the human race, which the Companions of the Prophet attained by embracing Islam and living by its impeccable doctrine.
In Makka the Prophet (PBUH) tried lobbying the leaders with the hope that they would accept his call and their allegiance to his call would ascertain the submission of their respective tribes to Islam. It was the common practice then as it is today seeking subscribers among leaders for a given call in order to allure their respective tribes to it.
However, he did not succeed in making at least one tribe head see the validity of Islam… until he ultimately ventured out to Madeena with his call. Initially six Madeena people embraced Islam from the hands of the Prophet (PBUH) when he arrived in the city, while the potential was much more enormous as it was later substantiated. In fact, Awz, Khazraj tribes and their clans had already embraced Islam and many had already been in an accommodative mindset towards this noble faith.
However, the Prophet (PBUH) did not come across an immediate need to speak to the tribal leaders of Madeena seeking their consent in a singular issue until the Truce of Aqabah.
It is at this point Muslims realized the enormity of their responsibility as believers and came to terms with the fact that Islam is demanding everything from a person to be really victorious in both worlds. As Muslims, it is our duty to pledge everything we have for Islam and just living as nominal Muslims would not be sufficient.
During Aqabah, the Prophet (PBUH) succumbed to all the unreasonable demands of the unbelievers to the extent finally the Companions with disbelieving awe asked him ‘Oh Prophet of Allah! Is there any thing left for us?’
‘Yes, the Paradise’ was his assurance.
At this point Iblees who was observing from the peak of Mina let out a resounding shriek of agony, induced by the unmatched level of compromise believers were making at the behest of their leader, which the cursed Shaitan knew would bring them unimaginable glory.
The accursed also knew that the Prophet (PBUH) is going to achieve by many fold what he could not attain in Makka. In fact Truce of Aqabah, despite its initial outward disadvantages to the Muslims, had been a turning point in the history of Islam which ultimately served Islam in its advance.
It should be understood that these historic events repeatedly impress that obedience to the leader is indispensable in Islam. That is what gave the Shaitan an excruciating agony. And the Prophet (PBUH) too made Madeena the epicenter of Islam at the time and brought along with him to Madeena his stalwart Makkan companions who were seniors in Islam compared to Madeena Muslims. Moreover, the he fondly addressed Madeena Muslims as Ansaris which means Helpers.
However, it is unfortunate that present day Muslims are not receptive to these historic facts. People who are engaged in Dawa seem to believe that everything could be achieved by holding Bayans, without any planning or carrying out activities.
Meanwhile, apparently some are of the conviction that it is the people of highest eminence of piety who are needed for this mission and that only they could carry out it. They warn others too, not to launch themselves in this mission as it is only for the best of believers.
Some argue that we do not need any leadership and we just have to follow the Qur’an and the way of life of the Prophet (PBUH), while another faction just sings the praise of the Prophet (PBUH) without living his life.
In such a chaotic setting Islam is in a desperate situation while enmeshed in different views, debates and arguments of the very Muslims. What is Sunna? What is the correct way of striving? Do we need leadership? Everything seems hazy and ambiguous. Guidance of various kinds only leads to more confusion.
And the average Muslims ask each other: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Islam?
Usthaz Rasheed Hajjul Akabar
Ameer, Sri Lanka Jama’athe Islami