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The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ - لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد - اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ - لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد - اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ - لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد - اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيرًا وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا
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  1. #1
    Michael's Avatar
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    The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

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    I was reading the biography of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS in the front of the Pickthall Qur'an translation. In it it talked about the Prophet's SAWS intention to capture the caravan led by Abu Sufyan returning from Syria. I have also read in other books about Islam that the Prophet SAWS used to raid caravans. This seems to me like nothing more than highway robbery, and that is very dishonest. I know that the Prophet SAWS was called Al-Amin, meaning "The trustworthy", so it seems completely out of character for him to lead raids on caravans.

    Can anyone explain this for me? Plus the book also talks about the Prophet SAWS leading armies into battle, and the context that it seems to be in doesn't seem defensive, as I have been told fighting is permitted in.

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    - Qatada -'s Avatar
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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Asalaamu alaikum [peace be upon you] bro michael.


    I was reading the biography of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS in the front of the Pickthall Qur'an translation. In it it talked about the Prophet's SAWS intention to capture the caravan led by Abu Sufyan returning from Syria. I have also read in other books about Islam that the Prophet SAWS used to raid caravans. This seems to me like nothing more than highway robbery, and that is very dishonest. I know that the Prophet SAWS was called Al-Amin, meaning "The trustworthy", so it seems completely out of character for him to lead raids on caravans.

    Can anyone explain this for me? Plus the book also talks about the Prophet SAWS leading armies into battle, and the context that it seems to be in doesn't seem defensive, as I have been told fighting is permitted in.


    Sorry for the late reply.


    What happened is that there was a continuous warfare and threat from the Quraysh, and i assume you've read the Makkan era. Since many of the companions fled/emigrated [made hijrah] from Makkah empty handed, their wealth and houses were occupied and taken over by the disbelievers within Makkah.

    When the believers emigrated to Madina, they were still chased after by Quraysh [as you'll read that when the muslims chase the caravan - the Quraysh are already sending an army to destroy and eradicate the muslims from Medina. This later becomes the battle of Badr] So why do they chase the caravans?



    During warfare, many campaigns take place. Whether they are physical warfare, financial, and even of propaganda and talk. The Quraysh did this to the believers throughout their lives, and therefore muslims are permitted to do similar in an equal manner. The muslims weren't able to do that within Makkah, however - now that they are in Medina, they have to defend themselves and show that we are a worthy opponent. So they did similar to the Quraysh. Why is this justified?



    1) To show their strength to the Quraysh aswell as surrounding tribes - so no-one messes with them, as many of the surrounding tribes (who were polytheists) were threatening muslims.

    2) To get back their own wealth [which the Quraysh is now spending and using unjustly, and may even be using the muslims wealth in this caravan for their own benefit!]

    3) It shows that it is permitted in warfare to get the enemy back, through different means [whether its through physical war, financially, aswell as doing other campaigns - the arabs media was poetry, so the Prophet, peace be upon him would get some companions (i.e. one of the best poets Hasan ibn Thaabit) to recite poetry in the muslims defence and support.)



    Ever since the muslims reached Medina, the Quraysh and the surrounding tribes [throughout that time - uptill the battle of Al-Ahzab/Khandaq (the confederates/trench) which was about 6 years after Hijrah] were threatening the muslim state. Compared to the event which you described which was only 2nd year after Hijrah (at this stage - the muslims were such a small minority compared to the rest of the polytheists in arabia who had respect for Quraysh and their forefathers religion - polytheism.) So it wouldn't be surprising if the muslims did many campaigns throughout this time to defend themselves aswell as harm the enemy.


    You will also read campaigns which take place after the battle of ahzaab [after 6AH], and many of them will be when the muslims will leave Medinah and face the enemy head on, the reason for this is because the enemy has threatened them, or is preparing to fight the believers, so the believers reach them since this is known as the best form of defense - to surprise the enemy without them expecting it, which usually leads to them fleeing.

    Putting fear into the heart of the enemy and making them flee is better. The believers are more pleased with less harm and more benefit.




    Some useful links insha allah:

    http://www.islamtoday.com/show_sub_s...5&sub_cat_id=0
    http://www.load-islam.com/artical_de...Misconceptions
    http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/Violence/



    Allah knows best.
    Last edited by - Qatada -; 10-13-2007 at 12:41 PM.

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    Malaikah's Avatar
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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?



    - Qatada - explained it well... I just wanted to emphasis that the Quraish stole the wealth of the Muslim who were forced to leave Makkah with none of their possessions and had no way of getting it back from the Quraish, other than raiding the caravans.

    (The caravans, by the way, should be no seen as being run by innocent business men, that is certainly not the case).
    The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?


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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Well said above already. Remember, our Prophet :saw: never did unjustice - for if he did, all who believed in him would have given it up over him if they saw him doing evil or being hypocritical which he wasn't. All his actions have reasoning - so its good to see you asking for the full context - I know many people who just read 1-2 hadiths and think that he is evil - which is indeed ignorant of them...
    The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Fight in the way of God, against those who fight against you, drive them out of the places they have drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. Fight them, until persecution is no more, and Religion is for God. But if they stop, let there be no war.


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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I was reading the biography of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS in the front of the Pickthall Qur'an translation. In it it talked about the Prophet's SAWS intention to capture the caravan led by Abu Sufyan returning from Syria. I have also read in other books about Islam that the Prophet SAWS used to raid caravans. This seems to me like nothing more than highway robbery, and that is very dishonest. I know that the Prophet SAWS was called Al-Amin, meaning "The trustworthy", so it seems completely out of character for him to lead raids on caravans.

    Can anyone explain this for me? Plus the book also talks about the Prophet SAWS leading armies into battle, and the context that it seems to be in doesn't seem defensive, as I have been told fighting is permitted in.

    I would like to add to Brother Qatada some points:

    1- For first 13 years Muslims were not allowed to use any violence to defend themselves!

    2- In all wars between Muslims and Arab Pagan killed 1018 men from both sides!

    3- When Muslims Had permission to fight Arab Pagans due to their thread and attacks on Muslims, Muslims attacked this caravan and I see it from another point view and that this is normal during war to attack enemy supplies and to attack his sources, taking in Cinsideration the instruction during battles not to kill women, childrend, old men not even hurt a Tree, stop fighting if they stop etc...!

    4- Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) were rich before Islam like most of companions but all his wealth and what he earned went to Islam and Muslims and He died having only old cloths that he had on him!

    5- caravan became caravans in Anti Islamic web sites and thats it!

    May Allah (swt) guide us all!

    Peace
    The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
    Holy Qur'an 16:125

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I have also read in other books about Islam that the Prophet SAWS used to raid caravans. This seems to me like nothing more than highway robbery, and that is very dishonest. I know that the Prophet SAWS was called Al-Amin, meaning "The trustworthy", so it seems completely out of character for him to lead raids on caravans.

    Can anyone explain this for me? Plus the book also talks about the Prophet SAWS leading armies into battle, and the context that it seems to be in doesn't seem defensive, as I have been told fighting is permitted in.

    We should give some right to those who were forced to leave their homes bare-handed. In war-like situations, it is permissible to attack logistic supplies of the enemy, while ensuring, non-combatants are not harmed. Making use of the captured material is legitimate and by no means is a violation. The war was already declared, when Muslims were forced to migrate.

    In such situations, at the tactical level, you have to take such minor initiatives like blocking the supply/reinforcement routes, capturing enemy troops and material and destroying the reaction capability of the enemy, even if you are fighting a defensive battle.

  9. #7
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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by tarek29 View Post
    I would like to add to Brother Qatada some points:

    1- For first 13 years Muslims were not allowed to use any violence to defend themselves!

    2- In all wars between Muslims and Arab Pagan killed 1018 men from both sides!

    3- When Muslims Had permission to fight Arab Pagans due to their thread and attacks on Muslims, Muslims attacked this caravan and I see it from another point view and that this is normal during war to attack enemy supplies and to attack his sources, taking in Cinsideration the instruction during battles not to kill women, childrend, old men not even hurt a Tree, stop fighting if they stop etc...!

    4- Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) were rich before Islam like most of companions but all his wealth and what he earned went to Islam and Muslims and He died having only old cloths that he had on him!

    5- caravan became caravans in Anti Islamic web sites and thats it!

    May Allah (swt) guide us all!

    Peace
    It is my understanding and I have read several times, the fighting started because of the raiding, not visa versa.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilberhum View Post
    It is my understanding and I have read several times, the fighting started because of the raiding, not visa versa.

    As if 12 years long sufferings and atrocities faced by the Muslims in Mecca and their forced migration didn't contribute towards initiation of hostilities, but a little pricking by the Muslims became the basis of fighting.

    Strange

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsan28 View Post
    As if 12 years long sufferings and atrocities faced by the Muslims in Mecca and their forced migration didn't contribute towards initiation of hostilities, but a little pricking by the Muslims became the basis of fighting.

    Strange
    Are you saying that it was the caravan owners that caused the 12 long years of suffering and forced migration?

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilberhum View Post
    Are you saying that it was the caravan owners that caused the 12 long years of suffering and forced migration?

    Can we have second opinion about the reality?

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsan28 View Post
    Can we have second opinion about the reality?
    Hardly an Islamic source, but this is what I found.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamad
    Economically uprooted and with no available profession besides that of arms, the Muslim migrants turned to raiding Meccan caravans for their livelihood, thus initiating armed conflict between the Muslims and Mecca.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilberhum View Post
    Hardly an Islamic source, but this is what I found.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamad
    Forget Islamic, it's hardly a reliable non-Islamic source. Any laymen can go edit and put what they want in there. Did you not read this statement on that page....

    The neutrality of this section is disputed.
    The original post "raiding caravans" was an ill informed post to begin with. Rather then fighting here back n forth without any real knowledge, it would be wise to go out and read a book on the biography of the Prophet(saws) and birth/rise of Islam. There's plenty of good books out there, even some by non-muslims.

    Here's a start...

    http://muhammad.net/j/index.php

    http://www.allaahuakbar.net/muhammad/index.htm (This one has military activities and conquests info)
    Last edited by islamirama; 10-17-2007 at 09:31 PM.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Wilberhum


    We have several sources suggesting otherwise. I would like to quote from only one:-

    A group of the Ansar( natives of Medina) came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and said: "Divide our date trees between ourselves and our brethren." The Prophet (Pbuh) said: "No." They said, "Then, will you be responsible for the work involved and we will share the fruits with you?" They answered: "We willingly accept." . Thus, we find the whole community of the Ansar coming with an offer of sharing their main assets with their brothers. The Prophet, however, did not like that the Ansar should part with half of their property in this way. He wanted to deepen the concept of mutual responsibility and cooperation. Hence, he accepted the offer of sharing in the work and in the fruit. The Muhajireen (those who migrated from Mecca to Medina) would be responsible for the necessary work in the date farms and, as such, they would be entitled to half the fruits yielded.


    The narration has the authenticity from our most credible sources, known as Bukhari and Muslim.


    Those who didn't accept anything in charity, can not be accused of raiding the caravan, just to become economically viable at a new place.

    Even if I accept your argument for a while, the fact remains that the non-believers of Mecca had conficated the entire wealth, business and property of the Muslims at Mecca and Muslims retaliation was perfectly legitimate and justified.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsan28 View Post
    .................................................
    Even if I accept your argument for a while, the fact remains that the non-believers of Mecca had conficated the entire wealth, business and property of the Muslims at Mecca and Muslims retaliation was perfectly legitimate and justified.
    Were the non-believers of Mecca that conficated the entire wealth, the caravan owners?

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Of course, the same non-believers, who tried every possible dirty trick with Muslims, in order to force them to either leave Islam or leave Mecca. The caravan had not come from heavens.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsan28 View Post
    Of course, the same non-believers, who tried every possible dirty trick with Muslims, in order to force them to either leave Islam or leave Mecca. The caravan had not come from heavens.
    I think that is one of the most unsupportable statement I have ever read.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Muhammad The Prophet (by Hindu professor)

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dawaah/message/727

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by islamirama View Post
    Forget Islamic, it's hardly a reliable non-Islamic source. Any laymen can go edit and put what they want in there. Did you not read this statement on that page....
    The old evil wikipedia stuff. People keep telling me about all the errors, but no one ever seams to be able to point to one.

    The original post "raiding caravans" was an ill informed post to begin with. Rather then fighting here back n forth without any real knowledge, it would be wise to go out and read a book on the biography of the Prophet(saws) and birth/rise of Islam. There's plenty of good books out there, even some by non-muslims.

    Here's a start...

    http://muhammad.net/j/index.php

    http://www.allaahuakbar.net/muhammad/index.htm (This one has military activities and conquests info)
    I looked at both sights. I could not come to a clear conlusion.

    My searches don't seam to turn up any (IMHO) reliable information.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilberhum View Post
    I think that is one of the most unsupportable statement I have ever read.
    I think you are not familiar with those named as Quryaish of Mecca. Try exploring more, instead of relying on one source. In that era, the tribes didn't have the luxury of keeping a separate fighting force for the battles. Those who used to fight, had to work also to earn their livelihood and merchants of Mecca were no different.

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    Re: The Prophet SAWS raiding caravans?

    Quote Originally Posted by islamirama View Post
    Muhammad The Prophet (by Hindu professor)

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dawaah/message/727
    Come on Islmirama.

    That sight does not address the subject and the word "caravan" isn't even contained within the artice.

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