The Quraish had always considered themselves a superior race and looked down upon all the other tribes. It was beyond their comprehension that Rasulullah was the cause of their failure and Islam was now firmly established in Madinah.
On one occasion when Hazrat Sa'ad bin Mu'az (R.A.) of the tribe of Aus went for Umrah to Makkah and was the guest of Ummayyah bin Khalaf. he was confronted by Abu Jahl who threatened him and said: 'Sa'ad, if you were not the guest of Umayyah, we would not have you return alive to Madinah because you have given shelter to the Muslims who are our 'enemies'.
To this Hazrat Sa'ad bin Mu'az (R.A.) replied :
'Abu Jahl, if you kill me, surely my people will avenge my death. If you stop us from performing our 'Umrah and 'Hajj', your trade routes will be closed'.
The Quraish could no longer tolerate the fact that the Muslims were safely settled in Madinah. If Rasulullah succeeded in his Divine Mission the Quraish would lose their identity; their ancient religion; their popularity among the Arab tribes would lose recognition, moreover, they would lose the freedom of excreting usury, gambling and plunder as a means of livelihood. Wiping out Islam from the face of this earth was their only solution and objective.
As a precaution, Rasulullah formed volunteer guards to patrol the city of Madinah and sometimes he himself joined them in this vigilance. Other groups were assigned to patrol the trade routes passing Madinah in order to check the movements of the Quraish.
Once, Kuruz bin Jaabir, a Quraish chief, raided the gazing grounds of Rasulullah and drove away his camels. The Muslims went in pursuit and near Safwaan, managed to retrieve the animals, but Kuruz bin Jaabir escaped. This was known as 'Ghazwa-Bafre-Ulaa'.
In Rajab 2 A.H. Rasulullah delegated Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (R.A.) with twelve other Sahaaba to proceed to Nakhla, a town between Makkah and Ta'if, to gather information on the movements and evil intentions of the Quraish. This secret mission was in itself dangerous in the localities of the Kuffaar and, if discovered, the Muslims faced sure death. Incidentally they encountered a Quraish trading caravan returning to Makkah. Fearing that the Kuffaar would be informed of their presence, Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh attacked the traders, killing Amr in al-Hazramee, and taking two prisoners, Uthmaan bin Abdullah bin Mughirah and Hakam bin Kaisaan. They took away all their goods and returned to Madinah with the prisoners and goods.
Hearing of this, Rasulullah expressed his disapproval of the attack by the Muslims because he had not given any permission to attack. He freed the prisoners and returned all their goods unconditionally. Hakam bin Kaisaan (R.A.) embraced Islam and later Uthman bin Abdullah bin Mughirah (R.A.) also embraced Islam.
The Muslims began to keep a stricter check on all Quraish trade caravans which passed Madinah. They knew that the Quraish would not stop striking at the Muslims anywhere and at any time. At the same time the Muslims were aware that as yet, Rasulullah had not received any revelations (Wahi) which permitted the Muslims to go into direct battles.
To avenge the death of Amr bin-al-Hazramee, the Quraish began earnest preparations to attack Madinah. Three months earlier, every man and women of the Quraish had invested all their capital in one of the richest trade caravan ever to go to Syria on a trade mission. They were now eagerly awaiting the return of this caravan which was bringing back to them their profits and among other goods, armoury and weapons to fight against the Muslims. Abu Jail had declared war against the Muslims.
In the meantime, Rasulullah eagerly awaited Allah's Command for Jihaad (religious war). The wahi is recorded in Surah Hajj of the Qur'aan thus:
'To those against whom war is made. permission is
given (to fight) because they are wronged; and verily
Allah is most powerful for their aid;
(They are) those who have been expelled from their
homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except
that they say, 'Our Rabb is Allah'. Did not Allah
check one set of people by means of another, there
would surely have been pulled down monasteries,
churches, synagogues and Masaajid in which the
name of Allah is commemorated in abundant
(Surah: Hajj v39;40)
Periodically Rasulullah was informed of the presence of the Kuffaar in some areas and he immediately dispatched expeditions to make certain the intention of the enemy.
In the sixth month of Hijri, thirty Muhajireen under Hazrat Hamza bin Abu Talib (R.A.) were sent to intercept a party of three hundred Kuffaar led by Abu Jahl at Saiful Bahr. A clash between the two parties was avoided by the intervention of Majdi bin Amr al-johnee, an ally of those who had singed the 'Treaty' of Madina
In the eighth month of Hijri, Rasulullah sent a cavalry of eight Muhajireen under the command of Hazrat Ubaidah bin al-Harith to Raabigh. They came upon a group of two hundred Quraishi who were with Abu Soofyaan bin Harab and Ikramah bin abi Jahl. No confrontation took place and the Muhajireen returned safely to Madinah.
In the ninth month of Hijri, Hazrat Sa'ad bin abi Waqaas was sent with twenty men to Kharraar to intercept a party of Quraish. But the Quraish had already left the day before the Muslims returned to Madinah.
The expedition to Al Abwa against a Quraish group had a special significance because this was the first time Rasulullah led an expedition personally. However, the Quraish had again fled. After spending fifteen days on his expedition, he returned to Madinah.
Thirteen months after Hijrat, Rasulullah led a group of two hundred Sahaaba (R.A.) towards Bawat when news was brought to him of the presence of Umayya bin Khalaf and a hundred Quraish with a drove of two thousand five hundred camels. When Umayyah heard of the approach of the Muslims, he quickly disappeared from the place.
During the same month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rasulullah went in pursuit of Kuruz bin Jabbir al-Fahri towards Safwaan, because he (Kuruz) had raided a section of Madinah on one occasion. However, he escaped and the Muslims returned to Madinah.
Rasulullah stressed the fact to the Sahaaba (R.A.) that it was not the intention of the Muslims to use force and subjugate people into embracing Islam, and the 'Jihaad' literally meant 'effort'and endeavour'. He advised the Muslims to take every precaution against the conniving and ruthkess Kuffaar. Hence it was necessary to send out precautionary expeditions from time to time to safeguard Islam.