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The Battle of Tabuk


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'Ali (radiallahu 'anhu) went forth on the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)'s camel and overtook Abu Bakr (radiallahu 'anhu) along the way, who asked 'Ali (radiallahu 'anhu) if he had come to give orders to him or whether he had something to convey them. 'Ali (radiallahu 'anhu) replied that he had only been charged to convey orders to him. Thereafter, both proceeded to Mecca where Abu Bakr (radiallahu 'anhu) managed the arrangements for Hajj. When the day of sacrifice came, 'Ali (radiallahu 'anhu) proclaimed what he had been ordered by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 543-46)


[68]Tabuk is half-way between Medina and Damascus lying to the south-east of Aylah, the biblical Elath or 'Aqabah. Yaqut writes, quoting Abu Zayd, in the M'ojamm al-Buldan that Tabuk is the fourth destination on the road from Hijr to Syria. It is reported that the Prophet Shu'eyb was sent to the people living there. Tabuk is at a distance of six days' journey from Red sea and lies between two mountains known as Hismy and Shibravi (Da'iratul Ma'arif Lil-Bustani). It is now a military cantonment in the district of Medina at a distance of 700 Km. From it.
[69] Abu Sufyan had used the name sarcastically since a man of that name belonging to Khuza'a had given up idol worship, or perhaps, someone going by that name was among the forefathers of the Prophet. (Majm'a Bahar al-Anwar).
[70] Al-Zurqani, Commentary on Al-awahib, Vol. III, pp. 63-64.
[71] It is difficult to determine the period of Tabuk campaign according to the solar calendar. Some of the Prophet's biographers have computed that Rajab 9 A.H. coincided with November as computed by Habibur Rahan Khan in his Miftah-ulut-Taqwim. 'Allama Shibli also holds this view. But the internal evidence furnished by reliable Traditions included in the Sahihain and other trustworthy books of Traditions shows that the expedition was undertaken in the summer season. K'ab b. Malik says: "God's Messenger undertook it in extreme heat, facing a long journey, desert country and a teaaming enemy." Musa b. Uqba describes the journey to have been undertaken during "autumn nights in severe heat when the people take shelter under the date-palm trees…" Also, the plea of the hypocrites and its contradiction in the chap. Repentance (And they said: Go forth in the heat! Say: The heat of the hell is more intense of heat, if they but understood) leaves no doubt that the journey was undertaken during the summer season. Be that as it may, the internal evidence is so strong and irrefutable that it cannot be brushed aside, as certain historian have done, to hold the view that the expedition was undertaken in November instead of July-August, merely for the reason that it is now difficult to compute the dates given by the earlier biographers with the Gregorian calendar.
[72] Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. pp. 3-4; Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 522.
[73] Dumatul Jandal was a populous town near Tabuk where the Arabs used to go for transacting business in olden time. Duma had been forsaken and was deserted when Ukaydir again developed the town and started olive plantations. The town thus regained its past importance. The place enclosed by a surrounding wall had a strong fort which made it an importanct outpost at the northern border. The town was populated cheifly by the tribe of Kalab and Ukaybir was known as the King of the town, He professed Christianity.
[74] Hassan b. Thabit and other poets have immortalized the Ghassanid Kings through their glowing eulogies.
[75] Estimate by Ibn Qayyim (Zad al-Ma'ad).
[76] Qazi Muhammad Sulaiman Mansurpuri gives this figure after a detailed study. (Rahmatulil 'Alamin)
[77] Bukhari, Chap. 'Alamat an-Nabawah
[78] Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 581
[79] Waqidi, on the authority of Zayd b. Arqam in connextion with the expedition of Mu'ta.
[80] Brig. Gulzar Ahmad, the Battles of the Prophet of Allah, Karachi (1975), p. 28
[81] Encyclopedia Britannica, (1974) Vol. 19, p. 966.
[82] Encyclopedia Britannica, (1974) Vol. 19, p. 1013.
[83] John Devenport: Apology for Muhammad and Qur'an.
[84]There are some scholars who hold the view that the command for Haj was received in the 6 A.H. Sheikh Muhammad al-Khudari takes this view in the Tarikh-al-Tashr'I-al-Islami (p. 25).
[85] Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 543
[86] 9th Chap. Of the Qur'an 

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