After sometime, the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him led an expedition up to the hills and went to Dhu Qarad against Banu Lihyan in pursuit of some raiders, but there was no fighting. In Sha’ban, 6 A.H., he was informed that Banu AlMustaliq were plotting for an attack on him. He went out with a group to face the enemy. A large party of the hypocrites, still skeptical and reticent, accompanied the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him with their leader ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. The hypocrites had never before gone out with the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him in such large numbers in any earlier expedition. (Ibn S’ad, Kitab utTabaqat alKabirat, Vol. II, Part I, p. 45).
 
The failure of the Quraysh in the battle of the Trench despite having mustered all the warriors of their confederate clans for the destruction of Islam, had made the hypocrites bitter and sour, indeed burning with hostility in their souls. The Muslims were gaining victory after victory, the star of their fortune was on the rise, and this had sent the Quraysh, the Jews and their allies indistress.
They knew that they could not humble the Muslims in an open combat and hence the only way to defeat them was by sowing dissension within their ranks and pitting them against one another. They also knew that the only way they could undermine the confidence of the Muslims in Islam and its Prophet peace be and blessings upon him as well as trigger a rift between them were debasement of the noble Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and arousing preIslamic sentiments of tribal pride.
With this view in mind, the hypocrites started a clandestine campaign of casting doubts upon the honor of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. An entirely new type of society had, however, evolved and had been in existence in Madinah at such time, whose members loved and respected every other man bound by the common ideal. These pretenders had, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that nothing could sap the foundations of this ideological fraternity more effectively than a slanderous campaign aimed at creating misgivings against the leader and his family.
Undoubtedly, this was a wellmaneuvered conspiracy of the hypocrites, which was vigorously pursued during the expedition of Banu alMustaliq, when, for the first time, as stated earlier, a large number of them accompanied the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him met the enemy at a watering
place of Banu alMustaliq, in the direction of Qudaysh towards the shore, known as alMuraysri, where the battle brought Banu alMustaliq to defeat and exodus from the area.
While the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him was still at this place, a hired servant of Banu Ghifar, belonging to the Muhaajirun got into a row with another man coming from the tribe of Juhinah, which was an ally of alKhazraj. The Juhini called out, “O ye Ansaar!” and the hired servant shouted, “O ye Muhaajirun.”
‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul at once flared up and said to his friends who happened to be present with him, “Didn’t they dare it? They set themselves against us in our own country and tried to outnumber us. By God, it is just the same as the ancient saying: Feed the dog and it will bite you. I swear by God that when we return to Madinah those who are worthy and noble will drive out the unworthy wretches.” Then, admonishing his men, ‘Abdullah continued, “You have yourselves to blame for it. You allowed them to settle in your country and shared your property with them. By God, had you held back and not been so generous, they would have certainly gone elsewhere.”
 
The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him came to know about the incident and he at once gave orders to break the camp and then set off, although he was not accustomed to traveling at such a difficult hour. He wanted the people to get rid of the vain disputations and provocations of the devil. The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him continued to move all day long and braved the night till dawn extending up to the following day till the sun became annoying. He finally made a halt when the people had become so exhausted that they readily fell asleep as soon as they laid themselves over the ground.
Abdullah was the worthy son of the unworthy ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy. He rushed to Madinah ahead of the troops and waited for his father’s arrival. When ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy came, his son brought his camel to its knees, thereby obstructing the passage of his father whom he ordered not to enter Madinah until he had acknowledged that he was indeed an unworthy wretch while the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him was commendable and noble. In the meanwhile, the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him also showed up. He said to ‘Abdullah, “Nay, let us deal kindly with him while he is with us.” (Tabaqat Ibn S’ad, Vol. II, p. 46).
 
 

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#1 Episode 48: Expedition of Banu Al‐Mustaliq and the affair of Ifk (1/2)Eldon 23 Safar 1439 AH
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