The Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Search for the Abandoned City

The Messenger of Allah passed away; Medina lost its miracle, friend and leader. The physical absence of the Prophet (pbuh) hit the city that revelation had expanded like a fist. The mourning city that had sent its greatest beloved to eternity was lamenting, in Ummu Salima's words, with one sound of crying. All Muslims were living the helplessness of Fatima, who said that if the calamity that had befallen her had come during the day, it would have turned into night; they shared her words as she smelled the earth from her father's grave: "I won't be sorry if I don't smell musk again." The deep and burning sound of Bilal's voice that mixed with sobs when he chanted "Muhammadan Rasullullah" made this separation even more unbearable. There was rebellion against the emptiness left by the loss of the Prophet in this city where revelation ceased and where its guide was no more.

In the city of the Prophet, where sounds of wailing turned into a din, a frenzied question was running from ear to ear in one of the main streets that remained empty: "Who will represent the Prophet?"

It was not an unfair or inappropriate commotion. For the death of the Prophet made it obvious that no job awaiting the people, either burying or swathing the corpse, could be done without a leader. The responsibility of finding a deputy for the Prophet was on the shoulders of all of Medina. The Ansar (residents of Medina during the Hijrah) were having a deep debate with the Avs and Hazrec in the shaded area of their leader Sa'd b. Ubade called Sakife. It was obvious that this shaded area, where the people gathered on special occasions, had never witnessed such an extraordinary agenda.

A different voice was rising from every corner of the crowd; candidates were being considered from the Ansar (residents of Medina during the Hijrah) and Muhajjirun (immigrants during the Hijrah), who the Prophet had made brothers in Medina. However, every candidate whose name was spoken remained in the shadow of the leadership seat the Prophet had held. Merits were answered with flaws; two brother tribes were becoming parties to a dangerous rivalry.

Or was compensation for services made to religion and support given to the Prophet being asked for? In place of the inheritance the Prophet left mankind with the words, "I am leaving you two things; when you hold on to them you will never go astray: They are Allah's Book and His Prophet's sunnah," was Arab tribalism from the Age of Ignorance flaring up again? In the absence of the Prophet, were the Muhajjirun, who called themselves the first mujahideen that put forth their lives and property for the sake of religion and initiated the first assistance and support to the Prophet, and the Ansar who opened their homes and tables to them being dragged into a terrible fire?

The voice of common sense, Bashir b Sa'd's words calmed the bubbling pot that was ready to boil over: "Hey Ansar! Yes, we are the first mujahideen who put forth our lives and property for the cause of religion. This is a fact. However, we only did this for Allah's approval and obedience to the Prophet. Our making this a vehicle for more praise before others is not becoming. We did not make these services to get a material gain in this world. Allah will reward us." The Ansar softened; the race for superiority that they entered against their brothers the Muhajjirun made their faces turn red. The Muhajjirun again surrendered to the noblest trait of this blessed society that opened their arms to them.

Those living in the shady area reached Abu Bakr and Umar, who buried their pain for the Prophet in their hearts, and took them in among the people. Umar's fire that became enflamed with what he saw before him calmed down in the crucible of peace of Abu Bakr, who had attained the station of "sidk" in confirmation and love of the prophet. The smell of the Prophet that permeated Abu Bakr engulfed the whole area with his arrival.

The Prophet's friend explains the virtues of the Muhajjirun and the unbearable hardship and suffering they endured for the sake of religion.  After that he mentions the services the Ansar made and rains praise down on them. Their hearts meet again in the atmosphere of the Prophet; their minds meet with common sense. And all of Medina becomes one fist.

In view of this sudden transformation, Umar's hand grasps Abu Bakr's hand for a moment. Abu Bakr - the Prophet's friend in the cave, his emigration companion, his deputy during illness, and the greatest of the Muhajjirun - is elected as caliph with full consensus.

Thus, the city without a Prophet successfully passes its first exam. The words of the man elected, "As long as my administration is unerring, help me. If I stray from truthfulness, correct me. As long as I obey Allah and his Prophet, obey me. If I stray from this obedience, then your duty of obedience ceases," are a sign of how appropriate his selection was.

In spite of the painful sadness in their hearts, Medina quickly gathers itself after the Prophet's farewell. It had to quickly gather itself, for some thought that with the Prophet's death, Allah had removed his support from Medina. Bad news began to come from the Yemen and Nejid regions; destructive threats were born to the newly founded Islamic state. Some Bedouin Arabs "whose hearts had not yet warmed up to Islam," seeing the Prophet's death as an opportunity, began to protest the responsibility of the poor tax. Even worse, some false prophets appeared in various corners of the Arab Peninsula.

However, with Abu Bakr's appropriate policies, by quieting all the false prophets within a year, the Arabian Peninsula which had become a field of fire became peaceful. Islam found new life in the Arabian Peninsula.

Finding their identity with Islam, the Arabs were preparing to govern the two great powers of that time - Persia and Byzantium. Before long, a new order would be established in the world: "The places of the governing and the governed, and the ruling and the ruled would change." History's most rapid and permanent conquests would be made; Byzantine emperors and Persian kings would pour all their wealth into Islamic lands.

This wealth would serve justice as long as these words of Aisha did not leave the minds of state rulers: "At the time when the Prophet died there was nothing in my house for a human to eat except half a piece of barley bread which was on a shelf belonging to me; I ate from that."

It was declared that the Messenger had completed his duty with the ayah, "Today I have perfected your religion. I have completed the blessing I gave and I am satisfied with Islam as a religion."  The Medina horizons where a pale sun rises will continue to be illuminated until Doomsday with the light rising from the Prophet's house called "Ravza-i Mutahhara," representing a garden in paradise.



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