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Second Pledge of Al-Aqaba; Circumstances, Risks

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Muslim’s Pledge of Allegiance to the Prophet (pbuh)

It is known historically that Islam entered Medina (Yathrib) with the help of some individuals and groups who had met the Prophet (pbuh) while they were in Mecca for trade and pilgrimage, especially those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (pbuh) of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj in the first and second Aqaba pledges. So what are the First and the Second Aqaba Pledges? And in what circumstances did both pledges happen?

We’ve included in the previous article that the Prophet intended to meet the tribes that used to come to Mecca, whether in religious or commercial seasons occasions, and he tried to convince them to embrace Islam. The prophet’s attempts prospered with these tribes in the end and he had managed in the eleventh year of the Prophet’s noble mission to meet a small group of people from Medina (eight people), in Mina near Mecca. He introduced them to Islam and they were convinced so they converted to Islam and agreed to meet him in the next year.

This group returned to Medina and began calling people to Islam. Many embraced Islam and each house of the Banu Khazraj and Aws had mentioned the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and Islam. In the next year, the Prophet met twelve men from Medina in a place called Al-Aqaba which is located between Mecca and Mina. They embraced Islam and pledged allegiance to the Prophet to enjoin good and forbid evil, not to steal, not to commit adultery or kill their children. “And if you observe those precepts, Paradise is in store for you,” the prophet told them.

Pledge of AqabahThis pledge is known in history as the “Second Pledge of Al-Aqaba”. Historians say that when the pledgers returned to Medina, the Prophet sent Musab bin Omair in order to read them the Qur’an and teaches them the true Islam and Fiqh (jurisprudence). Musab went to Medina where he remained for calling people to Islam and even managed by his broad vigor to let a large number of people of Aws and Khazraj enter Islam, led by Saad bin Maaz, who was a leader among his people and society, who in turn became an advocate for Islam, and managed to convince the members of his clan Bani Abd Ashhal in the new religion and they all converted to Islam.

Historians say that the “Second Pledge of Al-Aqaba” came after one year on the “First Pledge”. During the season of pilgrimage on the thirteenth year of the mission, large numbers of people (estimated to be 500) came to Mecca from Medina for pilgrimage. They included polytheists and Muslims, and those from the tribe of Banu Khazraj and Aws. Some Muslims among them met with the Prophet and promised to meet Him in Al-Aqaba between Mina and Mecca in the night of the second of Tashreeq Days. The prophet ordered them to keep the meeting top secret.

After a third of the night had elapsed, Muslims began to leave stealthily and met in a hillock nearby which the prophet had set. They were seventy three men and two women. There they met the prophet in the house where the prophet was staying in, Dar Abdul Muttalib, He was accompanied with his uncle Hamza, Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) and Al-Abbas. In the meeting, the people pledged to defend the Prophet and debar him from anything they debar themselves, their spouses and children from, to stand by him in good and bad times, to listen and obey him in all sets of circumstances, to enjoin good and forbid evil, to call for Islam fearing nothing. He ordered them to appoint twelve deputies among them to take responsibility in matters relating to the propagation of Islam regarding the people of their own tribe. They chose nine from Banu Khazraj and three from Banu Aws.

pledgePrior to the completion of Allegiance ceremony, Al-Abbas Bin Abbadah rose to his feet to apprise the others of the serious step they were about to take so that they could give their pledge fully aware of the whole affair and consequently be ready for the sacrifice they were expected to make, especially that they should face anyone who tries to attack the Prophet and limit the freedom of his call to Islam, even if the whole world. So he said: “O Banu Khazraj, do you know the significance of the pact that you are entering into with this man? You are in fact avowing that you will fight against all and sundry. If you fear that your property will be at stake or the lives of your nobles will be endangered, then leave him now because he is respected and well-defended in his own place.”

Then, Abdullah bin Hozam, Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari’s father, who was one of the pledgers, said: “O Messenger of Allah, our blood and lives are sacrificed to yours, put the condition you want for yourself and God.” This speech was a confirmation from them to stay by the Prophet regardless of the challenges and sacrifices.

We benefit from the Prophet’s insistence to continue meeting the tribes coming to Mecca, until the second Pledge took place, that the failed and repeated attempts he faced in his call to Islam from those tribes in the beginning of the Daawa did not lead him to despair and lose hope, but was an incentive to him to continue calling for Islam, like other prophets who preceded him.

The insistence by the Prophet to continue despite all the previous failure and the trust he had in Allah’s promise of victory were one of the reasons for the rapid tide of Islam that we have seen in the overall response with the Islamic Dawa, in a relatively short period of time.

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