DR MUHAMMAD KHAIR HAIKAL
This is an extract from his PhD thesis ‘Al-Jihad wa’l Qital fi as-Siyasa ash-Shar’iyya’
We are already aware that the meeting of the Messenger ﷺ with the Aws and the Khazraj only took place within the context of the search for the Nusrah (support) that he had been seeking from the leaders of the Arab tribes and those of a position of honour, nobility and leadership amongst them.
However, we notice in respect to the previous meeting of the Messenger ﷺ with the small Khazraji group, that he did not present to them any request for the Nusrah from them, just as we saw in respect to his meetings with the leaders of the tribes.
Similarly, we notice that the text of the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah does not contain a reference to this Nusrah as well. So a number of questions arise:
1- Consequently, was the meeting of the Messenger ﷺ that took place with the small group of the Khazraj merely for the purpose of guiding them to Islam and for that reason alone?
2- Was the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah that took place in the following year only for the purpose of taking a covenant upon them that they would adhere to the teachings of Islam and for no other purpose?
3- Did the Messenger ﷺ really stay silent over the Talab un-Nusrah (seeking of support) from the people of Al-Madinah in these two meetings?
The answer to this is that the absence of an explicit text in respect to the Talab un-Nusrah in the two prior meetings with the people of Al-Madinah does not indicate that he did not investigate or look into this matter with them. Rather, there exists that which indicates to the occurrence of such a request and even if it did not come within an explicit text related to it.
From amongst the evidences for that is what was previously quoted in relation to the meeting of the Messenger ﷺ with the small Khazraji group. They said to him after declaring their Islam: “We will advise you according to our view (of matters). So, remain upon the name of Allah (i.e. as you are) until we return to our people and inform them about your affair and invite them to Allah and His Messenger. It may be that Allah reconciles between us and unites our affair because verily we are far apart from each other and hold hatred for one another today. If you were to come to us today whilst we have not rectified our affair, then we will not possess a group for you (i.e. to support you). (Therefore) Let us agree to meet with you in the (Hajj) season of the coming year”.
Therefore, their statement: “If you were to come to us today whilst we have not rectified our affair, then we will not possess a group for you (i.e. to support you)” indicates that the Messenger ﷺ had requested from them that he emigrates to their land and that means that he had requested the Nusrah from them. That is just like the request that took place in his meetings with the leaders and chiefs of the tribes as we have previously mentioned! However, this small group of the Khazraj advised the Messenger ﷺ to wait some time before taking this step regarding going to their land so that they could prepare the atmospheres within Al-Madinah for that step and then be enabled to provide the Nusrah to him. That would be when they were able to take hold of the reins of the affairs within their hands and that is what actually took place!
It appears that the result of the year that passed between the meeting with the Khazraji group and the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, in relation to the Da’wah, was that it was restricted mainly to the generation and preparation of atmospheres for the Islamic thought and its source (i.e. the Messenger ﷺ). The meaning of this is that the Da’wah became the subject of discussion in houses and sittings in Al-Madinah even though the number that had embraced Islam remained few!
Some imagine that this conflicts with what was stated in the narration of Ibn Ishaaq: “Then when they returned to Al-Madinah … they spoke about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to their people and called them to Islam until it spread amongst them until no household remained from amongst the households of the Ansaar except that there was the mention of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ within them.” and the narration of At-Tabaraani: “That continued until it was rare that a household (Daar) from amongst the households of the Ansaar remained except that people had embraced Islam within them … inevitably!!”
However, in respect to this, it is my view that these two narrations indicate to there being a small number of Muslims in relation to the people of Al-Madinah at large. That is because the word ‘Daar’ (household), when stated in the old texts within a context such as this, only means and refers to the Qabeelah (tribe) or the ‘Asheerah (clan) as a whole and all who belong to it. It does not mean the house or residence nor does it mean the small family as would come to our mind in our current day when this word is used! As such, people becoming Muslim from every clan indicates to the small number of those Muslims in relation to the clans as a whole, just as it indicates, from another angle, to the small number of leaders or chiefs of Al-Madinah who had embraced Islam. That is because it was usual that when a chief of a tribe embraced Islam, that the whole clan or the majority from among them would follow him in embracing Islam.
That is like what happened when Sa’d Ibn Mu’aadh embraced Islam following the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah at the hand of Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umair. After embracing Islam Sa’d set off to his clan ‘Banu Abdil Ash’hal’ and said to them: “O Bani Abdil Ash’hal! How do you see my affair (i.e. position) amongst you?” They said: “You are our Sayyid (master), the best of us in opinion and most trustworthy of us in mind and nature”. He then said: “In that case I have made the speech of your men and women Haraam (prohibited) to me until you believe in Allah and His Messenger! They (i.e. Usayd Ibn Hudayr and As’ad Ibn Zuraarah who related the narration) said: Then by Allah! No man or woman from the tribe (Daar) of Bani Abdil Ash’hal reached that evening except as a Muslim or Muslimah!”
Based upon that, as long as we have established that the number of Muslims in each clan (or tribe) were few, in that year which we are discussing, then this indicates to the small number of leaders from the people of Al-Madinah that had embraced Islam during that period of time.
We have already become aware that the Messenger ﷺ used to seek or request two types of the Nusrah:
1- A Nusrah to protect the conveyance of the Da’wah to the people.
2- A Nusrah for the purpose of taking or assuming the authority upon the basis of that Da’wah.
Therefore, what the small Khazraji group took upon themselves in their meeting with the Messenger ﷺ, before the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, was to work to provide Nusrah (support) to the Da’wah with the meaning of protecting its conveyance to the people, according to what has previously been explained, in its description as representing a first step upon the path leading to the Nusrah (support) with the meaning of handing over the authority to the Islamic Da’wah.
It was explained in the previous point how the Khazraji group were successful in laying the ground for the beginning of the spread of Islam within Al-Madinah and that means that it was successful in respect to providing the Nusrah according to its meaning of protecting the conveyance of the Islamic Da’wah.
It appears that in respect to the first kind or type of the Nusrah, manifested in the protection of the conveyance, that it was not stipulated that those providing and expending it be from the main leaders or chiefs, even if at the same time, it was stipulated that they not be from amongst the inexperienced and most insignificant (in society)! That reflects the reality of the second type of the Nusrah which means handing over the rule and authority to a particular person or to a particular thought. That type of Nusrah cannot be fulfilled except from a Sayyid (person of influence and leadership) whose word or voice is heard and listened to by the masses or from a number of such leaders whom through their coming together form a dominant force or power that is capable of imposing its opinion over everyone else!
This is what the logic of matters dictates in respect to this subject area and this appears to have been what was revolving in the minds of the small Khazraji group when they indicated to the Messenger ﷺ that he should bide his time before coming to them in Al-Madinah until they had been able to arrange the circumstances in that land that would pave the way for such an arrival. That was by working in the direction of the first type of the Nusrah which is protecting the conveyance until the Da’wah became known and familiar within the mediums of Al-Madinah and was not confronted with disapproval. The number of Muslims increased as a result and they proceeded alongside the first work in the direction of the second type of the Nusrah which is the Nusrah for the purpose of handing over the authority in Al-Madinah to the Islamic Da’wah. That would be by winning over a number of the leaders of Al-Madinah to this Da’wah in the case where they form, when joined together, a dominant power or force capable of imposing its view upon others. Therefore, even if there remained a number of leaders of the Mushrikeen outside of this, they would nevertheless not represent a force that is capable of dominating the joint Islamic force that had been formed!
Therefore, in the case where the Khazraji group had been successful in respect to the provision of the Da’wah according to the meaning of protecting its conveyance, it would then begin to proceed upon the path of attaining the Nusrah for the Da’wah according to the meaning of the rule and authority being handed over to this Da’wah alongside the continuation of the protection of the conveyance and expanding the Islamic base. This then is the role that the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah played as indicated by the actions that were undertaken following that Bai’ah (pledge).
That is because the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, after that pledge, dispatched Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umair to call the people in general (or the masses) to Islam under the wing of the Nusrah i.e. the protection of the conveyance that the Khazraji group had been able to provide and make available to the Da’wah. At the same time Mus’ab Ibn ‘Umair and those from the Ansaar who were working alongside him, sought to win over the leaders or chiefs of Al-Madinah. As a consequence, a number of the leaders of Al-Madinah embraced Islam during that period like Usayd Ibn Hudayr and Sa’d Ibn Mu’aadh.
Then when the number of leaders who had embraced Islam from the people of Al-Madinah had reached a sufficiency to provide the Nusrah to the Da’wah according to the meaning of handing over the authority to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ there, the Ansaar of Al-Madinah held a conference amongst themselves and decided to provide the Nusrah to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ so that he would assume the rule and authority within Al-Madinah.
Directly following the conference, a delegation of those Ansaar and leaders, consisting of seventy-three men and two women, came to Makkah in the season of Hajj, and contracted the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah in which they gave the reins of the rule to the Islamic Da’wah and the one who had come with it! That took place in the same appointment that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had (previously) set to meet with them. This means: That the meeting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was only for the purpose of giving the Bai’ah upon the matter that they had agreed upon previously and that was to provide the Nusrah to the Nabi ﷺ according to the understanding of Nusrah that we have already made clear.
A number of matters indicates this which are understood from the Hadeeth of Ka’b Ibn Maalik in relation to the Bai’ah that took place:
1- That Al-‘Abbaas Bin Abdil Muttalib, who was the first to speak in the meeting at ‘Aqabah, when he said to the Ansaar:
“Verily, Muhammad … has refused except that he turns to you and joins with you!”
Therefore, this was a matter that has been decided upon and this meeting was not for the purpose of entering into discussions about it for the sake of deciding over it first. Rather, the meeting from the side of the Messenger ﷺ and from the side of the Ansaar was only for the sake of contracting the Bai’ah (pledge) to him! This meeting, from the perspective of Al-‘Abbaas, who had not yet embraced Islam, was to be assured about the resolve of those Ansaar in respect to them expending all that they had, to guarantee the protection of his nephew!
2- The one speaking on behalf of the Ansaar initiated the discussion to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, following the words of Al-‘Abbaas, saying:
“Speak O Messenger of Allah! Take for yourself and for your Rabb (Lord) that which you wish for (or like)!”
This also indicates that the matter of giving the Nusrah to the Messenger ﷺ had been a matter that had already been decided and finished with! Rather, they had only come for the sake of giving the pledge to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon every matter that he would stipulate upon them.
The matter therefore concerned the giving of the Bai’ah upon a matter that had already been decided and it was not related to negotiating about that matter.
3- That when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ spoke after the one speaking on behalf of the Ansaar, according to the narration of Ka’b Bin Maalik about the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, he recited something from the Qur’aan Al-Kareem firstly, and then exhorted them about Islam secondly, before thirdly stating to them: “I take your Bai’ah …” until the end of the text of the Bai’ah that he ﷺ mentioned.
That is whilst the following was stated in the previous meetings that he ﷺ had with the leaders of the tribes:
“He called them to Allah and to support him (Nusrah) …” … “He sought the Nusrah from Thaqeef … He spoke to them about what he had come for in terms of supporting him upon Islam” … “He asked them to believe in him and protect him” … “I call (you) to bear witness that Laa Ilaaha Illallah, Alone with no partner and that I am the Messenger of Allah, and to provide me with sanctuary and support me (Nusrah)”.
– Within these meetings, we observe a Da’wah (invitation), the enquiry about the Nusrah and then asking for the Nusrah.
– That is whilst the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah concerned entering into the Bai’ah (pledge) upon the Nusrah immediately without the need for it to be sought, enquired about, requested or asked for prior to the giving of the Bai’ah upon it, as is clear from what has been stated above.
It could be said in respect to this: That the reason for the difference between the previous meetings with the tribal men (leaders) and this meeting with the Ansaar at the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, is that those men, in the previous meetings had not been Muslims. Consequently, it was natural to invite them to Islam first, then enquire with them regarding the Nusrah before calling them to provide it. That is whilst the Ansaar attending the meeting at Al-‘Aqabah were Muslims already and as such the matter went straight to the Bai’ah (pledge)!
The answer to this, is that the small Khazraji group who had met with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ following the war of Bu’aath had already declared their Islam and despite that, they did not give the Bai’ah to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon the Nusrah. Rather, what was understood from that meeting was that he ﷺ had requested from then the Nusrah like he used to request it from others. However, as they were incapable at that time to provide that Nusrah (i.e. the provision of the rule and authority to Him), they firstly gave their word to him that they would work in respect to providing him Nusrah (support), with the meaning of protecting the conveyance of the Da’wah, to spread Islam and gather the people around him. And that is what took place between the time of that small group of Al-Khazraj becoming Muslim and the time of the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah.
Thereafter, the work to win the power or force capable of extending the Nusrah according to its meaning of providing the authority to the Nabi ﷺ would take place. That is what took place between the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah and the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah. And that is the matter which brought the Ansaar in that Hajj season to provide the Nusrah to the Nabi ﷺ and give him the Bai’ah. That was after they had decided to undertake that in the conference that they held in Al-Madinah prior to their arrival in the Hajj season.
This is what has been indicated in the narration collected by Al-Bayhaqi and related by Jaabir Bin Abdullah (ra), regarding the conference that they held in Al-Madinah: “… And so seventy men from amongst us gathered in conference. We said: Until when will the Messenger of Allah ﷺ be expelled (or driven out) to the mountains of Makkah … and in fear … And so we set off until we reached him … (Then) He ﷺ said: Do you give me the Bai’ah … We said: We give you the Bai’ah (pledge)!” At this point a question may come to mind and that is: In the case where this Bai’ah had been taken upon a decided matter, which is the Nusrah, then when did the Talab (request) of the Messenger ﷺ take place in respect to this Nusrah, which led the meeting of Al-Aqabah to proceed directly to the giving of the Bai’ah upon that Nusrah?
– Was the Talab un-Nusrah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ which was understood from his meeting with the small Khazraji group, two years prior to the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, considered to represent a continuous request until the capability was attained to answer the request, that could be understood from the statement of that group: “We will advise you according to our view (of matters). So, remain upon the name of Allah (i.e. as you are) until we return to our people and inform them about your affair and invite them to Allah and His Messenger …”?
– Or had the Messenger of Allah ﷺ charged Mus’ab ibn ‘Umair with the task of requesting the Nusrah from the leaders of the clans in Al-Madinah after they had embraced Islam, that could be understood from what the following statement found in some of the books or accounts of the Seerah has indicated to: “Then Mus’ab Bin ‘Umair returned to Makkah … And informed the Nabi ﷺ about those who had embraced Islam and he ﷺ was consequently pleased with that”?
– Or did the initiative to provide the Nusrah to the Messenger ﷺ come from the Ansaar during the conference they held in Al-Madinah (prior to the second pledge)?
I say: All of that has evidence to support it!
However, that which concerns us in the point that we are fundamentally addressing and that is: That the act of answering that sought after Nusrah, according to the meaning of the rule and authority being handed over to the Messenger, and the work or effort to realise that, was only undertaken after the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah, over the period of one whole year of tireless efforts within the Islamic Da’wah field within Al-Madinah … Then that answering of this Nusrah was crowned by the second pledge of Al-‘Aqabah.
With that, we come to the conclusion of this point related to the role of the first pledge of Al-‘Aqabah in respect to the Ta;lab un-Nusrah and the work to realise and achieve it.
 Related by At-Tabaraani from ‘Urwah Bin Az-Zubair: Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id: 6/40-41
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/177
 At-Tabaraaniy from ‘Urwah Bin Az-Zubair: (Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id: 6/42
 Ad-Daar means Al-Qabeelah (tribe): Ma’aalim As-Sunnah: 4/15: The Daar of so and so went passed us i.e. their tribe (Al-Munjid: article: دور )
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/187). Taareekh At-Tabariy: 2/359
 Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id: 6/40-41
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/187) and Taareekh At-Tabari: 2/359
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/89 (Hadeeth Saheeh as previously referenced)
 Sunan Al-Baihaqiy: 9/9 (Hadeeth Saheeh as previously referenced)
 Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/189) and the Hadeeth is Saheeh and has been previously referenced
 Taareekh At-Tabari: 2/348
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/172)
 Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/173)
 Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/181
 Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id: 6/40, Seerah Ibn Hishaam: (Ar-Rawd ul-Unuf: 2/176-177), Taareekh At-Tabariy: 2/353-355 and Zaad ul-Ma’aad: 3/45
 (Sunan Al-Baihaqi: 9/9. And he said in the commentary (or margins) of ‘Zaad ul-Ma’aad’ 3/46 recorded by Ahmad, classified as Saheeh by Al-Haakim and corroborated by Adh-Dhahabiy. Ibn Katheer said: This Isnaad (chain) is Jayyid (good) upon the Shart (condition) of Muslim. It is in Al-Mustadrak: 2/624-625. Al-Haakim said: This Hadeeth is Saheeh ul-Isnaad covering the Bai’at ul-‘Aqabah but they (i.e. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim) did not record it. Adh-Dhahabiy said: Saheeh
 Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id: 6/40-41
 As-Seerah Al-Halabiyah: 2/15
 Sunan Al-Baihaqi: 9/9