THE MUNAFIQEEN (HYPOCRITES)

Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool was a very prominent personality of Madinah. He was an intelligent, experienced and a very shrewd person. He had developed a great influence over the tribes of Aus and Khazraj. Whenever these warring tribes took up arms against each other, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool intervened to bring about peace between them. All his efforts were directed to the fact that he be acknowledged the leader of Madinah. He had succeeded in this quest for fame to the extent that he was often addressed as the 'Prince of the Ansaar'.

Preparations were well under way for a magnificent coronation. A crown had been made for the occasion. It was at this stage that Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) arrived in Madinah. In due course, nearly all the people of Madinah including the Jews acknowledged Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) as their leader, and as the supreme authority on matters affecting the whole population of Madinah.

Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool's hopes of becoming king of Madinah and ambitions were dashed to the ground. But being a cunning person, he did not confront Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and show his rivalry openly. He and his followers accepted Islam only by  name, in the heart they rejected Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and his teaching. They were ever ready to turn against the Muslims at the first opportunity. They were a source of considerable danger to the new born commonwealth. Towards them (munafiqeen) Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) always showed the greatest patience and forbearance, hoping in the end to win them over to Islam.

When the Quraish of Makkah heard of the recognition of Islam and the acceptance of the leadership of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) in Madinah, they were furious and turned to tactics of plotting and conspiracy. They sent threatening ultimatums to Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool and the Mushrikeens (infidels) of Madinah that unless they fought and drove out Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) , the Quraish would attack Madinah and kill all their young men and take their women folk.

In response to this threat, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool gathered the depleted number of kuffar of Madinah and incited them to over power Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him). On hearing this Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) went over to the gathering and addressed the people. He told them that it would be a foolish act to pay attention to the threat of the Quraish as this would bring disaster against all of them. He stressed the need for peace, since any attack against the Muslims of Madinah would only destroy their own kith and kin of the Aus and Khazraj tribe who had embraced Islam in great numbers. He reminded them of the 'Treaty' which had been signed by all the parties of Madinah. If  however, the Quraish persisted on their plan to attack Madinah, the Muslims would be prepared to repulse them.

The determination of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) left Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulool dumb-founded. He decided that it would be in his own interest to work from within the Muslims fold to pursue his worldly ambitions. With a group of his followers, he embraced Islam. These Munafiqeen began to spy on the Muslims and sow seeds of mutiny, revolt and mischief. They befriended the Jews and assured them that they were their ally against the Muslims. When in the company of the Muslims they expressed piety and holiness. The Qur'aan refers to this group of people as:

                           'Of the people there are some who say: we 
                          believe in Allah and in the last Day;' but they do not 
                             (really) believe'. 
                             'They seek to deceive Allah and those who believe 
                              but they only deceive themselves and realise (it) 
                              not'. 
                                                      (Surah: Baqarah v:8:9)

The Qur'aan refers to their activities as : 
        When they meet those who believe, they say: 'We 
         believe;' but when they are alone with their evil 
         ones, they say: 'We are really with you. we (were) 
           only jesting.' 
                                    (Surah: Baqarah v:14)

The Muslims now had to contend with deception and danger of attacks from three fronts: (1) the Kuffar of Makkah; (2) the Jews in and around Madinah, inspite of the 'Treaty' with Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and (3) the munafiqeen who reared their heads to strike whenever the opportunity presented itself. 
After the revelation of Surah 'Munafiqun' the Muslim began to tread cautiously and kept a very close watch on the activities of the Munafiqeen.

Madinah developed into a center of the Muslim Empire. More and more Muslims were drawn towards Madinah and Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) vigorously expounded the principles of Islam to his faithful followers. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) began to put into effect the Islamic administrative machinery which was to make Islam one of the greatest power of the world. It was a blessing for the Muslims to lead a chaste and Allah fearing life. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s teachings of the 'Five Pillars of Islam' changed the concept of life of the Arabs.

The five daily salaah was well established in Masjid-e-Nabawi. This brought about a close congregational spirit and harmony among Muslims. Saum (fasting) and Zakaah became compulsory. In this way, the feelings of compassion for the needy and less privileged were inculcated. The just laws of 'Nikah' (marriage), divorce and inheritance made family life secure and very pleasant.

Gambling, usury, vulgarity, intoxication, adultery. stealing, killing were punishable by stringent Islamic laws. While Islam continued to grow, Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) did not relax at any time from the ever lurking danger from the Kuffar, munafiqeen and the enemies of Islam.

It was during this period that a Jew of great learning and intellect, Hazrat Abdullah bin Salaam (R.A.) accepted Islam.

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