Study the biography of the single greatest human being that ever walked the surface of this earth, whom Allah sent as a Mercy to Mankind.
This lecture was recorded on 26th February 2014
Study the biography of the single greatest human being that ever walked the surface of this earth, whom Allah sent as a Mercy to Mankind.
This lecture was recorded on 26th February 2014
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We started the conquest of Mecca and we will continue from where we left off. We mentioned the prophet PBUH did not inform anyone where he was heading until the very last minute. Most likely the day before he told them so they can properly preapre and know they will possible face a battle.
What happens? One of the sahaba, Hatib ibn Abi Balta’ah, decides to warn the Quraysh that the prophet PBUH is coming. This story will take up a long time to go through. It is a story that has a lot of benefits; a lot of contraversy exists to this day about this story. Hatib according to the strongest opinion was a mawla from Yemen i.e. someone with an immigrant status. He was a mawla to one of the Qurayshis – so he has a second class citizenship in Mecca. He converted to Islam and had immigrated to Madinah, but for reasons not mentioned his family, children and according to one report his mother remained in Mecca. The other opinion is that Hatib was a slave who had won his freedom and purchased his freedom; and this opinion clearly shows why his family are still in Mecca i.e. they are still slaves. In any case, both opinions say Hatib was not pure Qurayshi and he was an Arab; either a mawla or a slave. The main point is his family is still in Mecca. And Hatib wrote a letter to the people of Mecca. One report mentions that “the prophet PBUH and the muslims are leaving with an army; he might be heading to Mecca OR another place so take precautions”. So according to this report Hatib wrote this letter obviously before the prophet PBUH announced they ARE going to Mecca. Another report mentions Hatib wrote to the Quraysh that “the prophet PBUH is heading towards YOU with an army ‘like the night’ (very dense and powerful) and he is rushing towards you like a river, and I swear by Allah even if he was to come to you alone, Allah will help him over you because Allah will fulfill his promise”. Therefore Hatib spilled the beans and gave away the secret of the prophet PBUHs coming to the Quraysh.
How did he write this letter? He found another mawla lady from Abdul Muttalibs Banu Hashim, and he paid her some money to smuggle this letter to the Quraysh. He didn’t tell her the contents; just to deliver it – and so she took this letter, folded up and tied the letter in the braids of her hair so no-one could ever notice it. And she then began the trek back to Mecca. Notice Hatib chose a person that’s not famous, nor noble so attention would not be drawn to her. And he didn’t even tell the contents for secrecy – the only thing he said was to deliver the letter to the Quraysh. And there is no way anyone will find out Hatib was the one who did this. Walahi even the lady messenger did not know what the letter contained, had it not been for divine intervention. Allah sent Jibreel AS down and Jibreel AS told the prophet PBUH “this lady is taking the letter so you had better stop her”. And so the prophet PBUH told Zubair ibn Awwam and Ali ibn Abi Talib, that “go to such a place, you will find a lady on such a caravan, stop her and bring the letter she possesses back to me”. So he told the sahaba where to find the lady; he described what she will riding and told them to take the letter from her. Look at the detailed knowledge the prophet PBUH had, and exactly as the prophet PBUH described they found her. So Ali and Zubair told her to give the letter but she denied and said “I don’t know what you are talking about”. So they searched through her belongings, searched the camel, searched the saddle etc but it was not found. So when it is clear it’s not in the belongings, Ali RA said “I swear by Allah, neither has the prophet PBUH been lied to nor have we been lied to”. That is “Jibreel AS did not lie to him, and the prophet PBUH did not lie to us” i.e. “you MUST have the letter”. So Ali RA said “either you hand it over OR we will strip you completely”. You can imagine their anger, so when she saw this, she told them “turn around” and so they did – she untied her hair and gave them the letter. They then brought her with the letter back to the prophet PBUH.
SubhanAllah you have to see here even though she is a non muslim she has the hayaa of covering her hair, so much so she told them to turn around so they don’t see her hair. This was the custom and culture of all civilised society. Even in such a time she tells them “turn around”. Many of us don’t have the hayaa that this lady has which is sad. So they took her as a prisoner to the prophet PBUH, she tells the prophet PBUH what happened that Hatib paid her some money to deliver a letter to the Quraysh. And, she is not mentioned after this so we can assume she was let go. At the end of the day she did not willingly commit a crime. Then the prophet PBUH called Hatib, and the lady is there and the letter is there. So the prophet PBUH shows Hatib the letter, the entire plot is exposed, and Hatib confesses “yes this is my letter”. He confesses. And Umar RA immediately said “Ya RasulAllah allow me to chop of the head of this munafiq, he has become a kafir”. But the prophet PBUH said “Ya Hatib WHY would do something like this?” And Hatib response is recorded in many books of hadith. And this story is mentioned in every single book of hadith. Bhukari, Muslim, Imam Ahmed, ibn Ishaaq etc. It’s one of the most common stories in the conquest of Mecca and it’s mentioned in a lot of detail. And Hatib’s response has been pieced together: “Oh RasulAllah why would I want to leave imaan in Allah and His messenger? I did not do what I did leaving my faith, nor did I prefer kufr over Islam, and I haven’t changed who I am. I did not want to betray Islam or be a munafiq. I knew Allah would fulfill his promise and execute his command (i.e. the prophet PBUH will conquer Mecca). Rather, I wanted to establish a favour with the Quraysh so that my family and property is protected. For all of your other companions have family that would protect their other relatives but I don’t have any”. Meaning none of the Ansar have relatives in Mecca, and all the muhajir belong to one of the clans of Quraysh. No matter what relatives they have they won’t harm since they are the clans of Quraysh! But Hatib is saying his whole family is there and he does not belong to ANY tribe. So he wanted to have some kind of favour with the Quraysh – but at the same time he has full imaan Allah will protect the muslims.
So the prophet PBUH said “Hatib has spoken the truth. Nobody should say anything bad about him except good”. But Umar RA was still fuming and said “Ya RasulAllah he has betrayed Allah and His messenger so let me kill him”. Note the first time Umar said he is a pure kaafir. But the prophet PBUH said he has spoken the truth i.e. he has imaan. So now Umar RA is saying “he might be a muslim but he has kiyaana i.e. betrayal. He is a spy so allow me to kill him.” This shows us Umar first asked to kill Hatib as if he was a murtad; the second time Umar asked to kill Hatib as a punishment for betraying the trust”. So the prophet PBUH said “did he not witness Badr? And how do you know oh Umar? Perhaps Allah has looked upon all of those in Badr and said “do as you please for I have forgiven all of you”. So Umar RA began to cry and said “Allah and His messenger know best”. At this Allah revealed Surah Mumtahina which begins
“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 (secretly) try to befriend them, 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.”
So this ayat deals with Hatib. And Allah says to him and anyone else that “do not take as allies those who are your enemies and my enemy”. Indeed anyone who is an enemy to Allah is an enemy to us. And don’t befriend them because “they’ve expelled you only because you worship Allah”. Other than being a participant of Badr Hatib does not appear at all in the seerah before this. He also participated in the bayaatul Ridwan. And also the prophet PBUH chose him to be the emmisary to Muqawqis and he died in 30H in the khalifah of Uthman AS. 107 years after him, one of his descendants, Ziyaad as Shabatoon, became one of the main students of Imam Malik. And Ziyaad was one of the narrators from Imam Malik, and he spread the maliki madhab in North Africa. Two or three of Imam Malik main students went to north Africa who studied with him directly and Ziyaad was one of them at a time when Unduloos was opening. So Ziyaad was a descendant of Hatib.
Now this story has so many benefits. Of the benefits:
1. We see the infinite knowledge of Allah – that nothing escapes Allah. We learn in Bhukari a lady who complained about her husband came to the house of the prophet PBUH, and Aisha RA says “walahi I was trying my best to hear what she was saying from behind the curtain but I couldn’t hear a phrase and Allah heard it from above the seven heavens”. Allah says “Allah hears the one who comes to you complaining about her husband”. SubhanAllah. Aisha RA is saying “I was in the same room and I couldn’t hear!” But Allah heard.
2. Dua is the weapon of the believer. Our prophet PBUH made a dua that “oh Allah do not allow my plans to be known to them”. This dua was answered. The prophet PBUH made this precaution and Allah answered it.
3. Look at how Allah worked what he wanted to do. If Allah wanted a lightening bolt could have struck the women; the camel would have got lost etc. But Allah wants US to do as much as we can, and then He does the rest. Even when Allah is directly intervening, He still wants us to do work. The prophet PBUH had to send people, stop the girl, search her and then bring her back with the letter. SubhanAllah. This is the sunnah of Allah. We still have to do effort and give 100%, and then you put your trust in Allah.
4. The penalty for treason is death. And that is clearly shown in Umars second question. “Ya RasulAllah he has betrayed us so let me execute him”. And this is the agreed upon rule still applied to this day across the globe. The reality is treachery and treason is not an excusable event in any time or place. Can a treachorous person be forgiven? There is a lot of contraversy about this in the hadith books. If a muslim betrays the trust of the Islamic state, can he be forgiven? Many scholars say no. Ibn al Qiyyam says it’s up to the ruler as it was up to the prophet PBUH; but scholars argue the prophet PBUH only forgave because of the battle of Badr which is specific only to 313 people. Therefore anyone else will not be excused. The crime of Hatib was only forgiven in light of the battle of Badr. Who can compete with Badr? No one. So a large group says there is no forgiveness for the spy. But 30% say it’s up to the khalifah.
5. The humanity of even the sahaba. A badari, a person who participated in the greatest battle of Islam, can fall in such a major error. And this gives us so much hope. Why? We are all sinners. And who amongst us can claim to be sinless? If even the sahaba made mistakes, and yet Allah forgave them when they repented, how about us? In fact Allah describes this act of “going FAR away” but Allah did not call him a kafir. He did not strip away the imaan of Hatib.
6. The forgiving nature of the prophet PBUH – he defended the life of Hatib and did not allow Umar RA to execute him. Contrastingly we also see the nature of Umar RA and we understand his sterness. And that sterness was coming out of a love and protection of Islam. Umar wanted to make sure no one would do this again. And walahi his strictness was a mercy to this ummah when we needed it. At times it worked, but at other times you need it soft. And Allah gave the ummah Umar RA when they needed it. And indeed it was in the time of Umar RA most of the conquests took place.
7. We judge people based upon the sum total of who they are and what they are doing; not just their bad. This is a very important point. You assess overall what people are doing. The righteous person who commits one mistake is not the same as continous sinner who makes the same mistake. And there is a hadith which supports this. The prophet PBUH said “the people of nobility and statis, when they fall in a mistake then ‘cut them some slack'”. This shows us when a person of stature and nobility who’ve done something positive for the community, if they do something wrong, we should cut them slack and overlook it. We look at the overall positive and negative and never judge only looking at the negative. This is a common problem: we are blind to the good people are doing. This includes the scholars of knowledge. It’s not possible that they will never make a mistake. After all the sheikh talk all day. And these days everything they do gets onto youtube. And it’s impossible someone who has 1000s of hours of talk will be mistake free. And these will be genuine mistakes. But for someone to go collect these errors, it is a disease of the heart. Here is a sheikh that has a thousand lectures, and you only find 3 minutes of talk to critique him on. This is wrong. Even if those 3 minutes of talk are completely wrong, you have to look at all the good that is done. The sunnah is to look at the good. Hatib is judged in light of who he is i.e. he is a badari.
8. We also see the importance of confirming reports. It’s amazing the prophet PBUH has the letter, and the women is literally in front of him relaying the story in detail, yet he still calls Hatib and says “did you do this?” Think about this. Forget the lady and letter, Jibreel AS has told him Hatib has done this. Is there any more evidence needed?! Yet the prophet PBUH still calls Hatib and confirmed. Did the prophet PBUH doubt Hatib did it? Of course not. Jibreel AS told him. Why is he doing it? To show you have to always verify and confirm. After Hatib confirmed, still he then asks Hatib for an explanation. Which shows you have to always give a chance to the other party. Even if he did it, what is his reasoning? And this paticularly shows us just because you confirm a person did something without hearing his story, you cannout prenounce a verdict. This shows us a major difference in Islamic law and western law. Western law is codified meaning the judge opens up the book, says you are guilty of X therefore the law mandates you recieve Y. The judge has no power (besides fine tuning i.e. 5 or 7 years) if the jury prenounce a guilty verdict. In Islamic law, the ‘qadhi’ (judge) will look at the human factor. Islamic law was not cannonised. Why? People have different reasons for doing crimes. And sometimes the circumstances truly matter. In Calafornia there is a barbaric law of ‘three strikes and you’re out’ meaning if you do three minor things you are given life in jail. There are hundreds of cases where the judge himself has said “I’m sorry I wish I could help you but I can’t control the law”. Back to Hatib: there are extenuating circumstances so the judge can decide what to do independantly.
9. When the prophet PBUH asks him “why did you do this?” Hatib does not plead for his life. He is arguing to defend him imaan, not his life. Subhan’Allah this truly shows us he was a man of imaan. Umar RA is saying “let me kill this kafir”. What irritated Hatib was NOT the ‘kill’ part but rather the ‘kafir’ part. And Hatibs whole message was “ya RasulAllah I’m still the same person; I knew Allah would protect you; I am not a kafir I am still on imaan”. In fact, most likely Hatib knew he would be executed and he’s resigned to that. He is worried about being labelled a kafir. The concern is not the sword, the concern is Islam and imaan. “I have always been a muslim; I have no desire to be a kufar” etc.
10. We see the softness of Umar RA. Instantly from the anger of wanting to kill Hatib, when the prophet PBUH says to him “what do you know oh Umar? Allah looked at the people of Badr and says ‘do what you want I have forgiven you'”. That one phrase was enough to reduce the anger of Umar to tears. We view Umar as being a harsh and strict man, but under than was a very soft and tender heart. And Umar RA is crying perhaps because he is a badari and the blessing he’s heard has overwhelmed him. Or he is crying because he is saddened at his own quickness and eagerness to kill Hatib when Allah has forgiven him. But in any case this one phrase made Umar so emotional.
11. When the prophet PBUH said “nobody should criticise Hatib after today”. SubhanAllah. He lives for 22 years after this, and never once did anyone utter against him “this is the traitor”. Once the prophet PBUH said “nobody should criticise Hatib after today” that’s it. Imagine what type of leader the prophet PBUH must have been to have so much respect that for 22 years, up until now, no one criticises Hatib. SubhanAllah. What amazing respect the prophet PBUH has. Once he has said this, Hatib HUGE crime becomes nothing, and we say nothing but good about Hatib.
12. The story of Hatib has taken on a huge contraversy which deals with the status of the muslim who helps an enemy against other muslims. The status of a muslim who helps an enemy that are invading the muslims. Its the status of one who helps an invading force, and this force is invading a muslim land, and this muslims help him or is even apart of the army. Or maybe works for them. And is a computer programmer etc. And there is a whole spectrum of opinion:
The first opinion is that anyone who helps an invading force against a muslim nation or land, that person has become a kafir by that action. Their primary evidence is “whoever allies with them shall be one of them”. This group says therefore anyone who helps an invading force and betrays the muslims, that action is one of kufr in and of itself. Equal to cursing Allah and His messenger etc. This is the position of many of the medival scholars, in paticular Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab who wrote a book “the 10 things that negate Islam”, and the 8th on his list is to aid the kuffar against the muslims. To aid an enemy force against the muslims ‘destroys imaan’. This was also the opinion of the famous muhadith, Sheikh Ahmed Shakir. He was alive during the time of the british occupation of Egypt. Indeed Egypt was invaded by England, and it ruled Egypt for a century or over a century. And he wrote a fatwah “anyone who helped the british in any form, even by speech, such a person was a kaafir murtad. Either he’s very ignorant, or he will accept Islam again and will repent”. And this is a harsh position but it is held my many scholars. Some among this group seperate between two concepts: there are levels of cooperation with the oposing army ‘tawalee’ and ‘muwaala’. The higher level ‘tawalee’ would be to fight with the army or be a spy for them. The lower level ‘muwaala’ is not kuffar. And this would be to sell fruits and vegeatables to the army. It’s a major sin but not kuffar. And they say Hatib was a specific case – no one else will be forgiven by Hatib. This is the position of many scholars, Sheikh Uthaymeen, Bin Baaz etc. This is the standard position. Any type of support to any opposing army IS kuffar.
Ibn Tammiyah had another opinion. If a person AIDS such an army for a personal reason and not a religious reason, it is possible that is a sin and NOT kufr. Now, both groups agree anyone who aids the enemy of Allah out of a love for the enemy because he’s the enemy, and out of a hatred of the muslims, this is pure kuffar just by the emotions of the heart. If you want the enemy to win over the muslims, simply because these are enemies and believers, this is kuffar anyway. But what if someone is helping for a personal reason. Ibn Tammiyah says “it is possible a person loves these enemies for family reason, or for another ‘maslahah’ (wordly matter), then this would be a sin that diminishes imaan but does not make him a kaafir. As what happened with Hatib when he warned the Quraysh and Allah revealed Surah Mumtahena”. So how does ibn Tammiyah view the story of Hatib? That he commited a SIN and not kuffar. Why? He didn’t want to help the Quraysh because he loved them out of a hate of Islam. If so this is kuffar. But he wanted to help them out of a love for his mother and children. He prefered the love of his children over the privacy of the prophet PBUHs plans – so this is a major sin, but it is not kuffar. And this is what Hatib says in his entire speech that “I am still a believer etc” to the prophet PBUH.
Therefore this is very controversial. Why? Alot of the fitnah happening in our times in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan etc was that this rule; firstly as a general rule all the ‘jihadi’ groups (groups involved in a physical understanding of jihad) – all of them follow the stricter positions about takfeer. They love the issue of takfeer. The jihadists groups are takfeeri groups i.e. they are very quick in making takfeer. ANYONE who dosen’t agree with their version of Islam is a kaafir. Not just a munafiq, but a pure blooded kaafir. Regardless of the theoretical understanding of Hatib, even if you follow the stricter position of i.e. Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the problem comes when you cut and paste his view and apply it to the situation today and your own group. So they believe their own group is Islam, and any other group who dosen’t agree with you, they become kaafir. And in Syria we have the fanatical jihadists groups, and the moderate free syrian army: both are fighting against Assad and his army. What happens? One group goes to excessive voilence. They start shooting and killing innocents. Another group will tell this group to stop, and will try to stop this fanatic group. Then, the more hardcore fanatic group will invoke this principle: “you have aided the nonmuslims by i.e. appealing to the UN. So you are kaafir murtad and munafiq, so you are halal to kill”. So they start killing one another and this is exactly what is happening today. You have the fanatic groups and the moderate groups, both fighting Assad and his army. But then the fanatic groups also fight other sunni groups because they believe using the story of Hatib, that anyone who dosen’t follow them is a kaafir. This type of fanaticsm and extremism is more dangerous for the ummah than the invasion of the non muslims to muslim lands. This is a battle from within. That when we criticise these extremists, the reaction comes “you must be supporting the kaafir so you are kaafir”. However we all agree the foreign policy of this land is the source of all evil and anger. But this anger must be expressed in a legitimate manner. Killing innocents is not legitimate – this is not the jihad Allah has allowed. When someone tries to correct them, immediately they become kaafir. Why? Beacuse you are criticising them so they think if you criticise them it’s as if you are critising Allah. This is the essense of being khawarij – to think only YOU are on the true path.
Note also a person who commits an act of kufr does not become a kaafir. This is unanimous among scholars. Hatib’s story is the best example of ‘taweel’ which means ‘perveted logic’. Or another exmaple is complete ignorance. The prophet PBUH gave the example of the man who sinned all his life and when he died told his children to gather his ashers and spread them everywhere. Allah brings him back and asks “why did you do this?” He said “I was scared of you oh Allah”. So Allah forgave him because of that fear even though his act was an act of kufr i.e. thinking by spreading the ashes he could outsmart Allah. So Allah forgave him because of ignorance. Or you can be forgiven because of being forced. The story of Ammar ibn Yasir where the prophet PBUH asked him when he was forced to bow down in front of the idol, “how was your heart?” Ammar said “my heart is firm on the faith”. Even though he did kufr he didn’t become a kaafir. The issues with these groups is they are over zealous fanatics that think their position is the only right Islam. And these groups have caused more tension and damage to the ummah more than invading armies.