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The Alliance of Fudul

3716 2008/05/16 2024/05/23

following the fijar war, the quraysh realized that their tragedy and deterioration as well as all the loss of makkah's prestige in arabia which they entailed ever since the death of hisham and `abd al muttalib were largely due to their disagreement and internal division. they realized that once they were the unquestioned leaders of arabia, immune to all attacks, but that every tribe was now anxious to pick a fight with them and deprive them of what was left of their prestige and authority. with this recognition, al zubayr ibn `abd al muttalib called together the houses of hashim, zuhrah, and taym and entertained them at the residence of `abdullah ibn jud'an. at his request and appeal, they covenanted together, making god their witness, that they will henceforth and forever stand on the side of the victim of injustice. muhammad attended the conclusion of this pact, which the arabs called the alliance of fudul, [literally, "the alliance for charity." -tr.] and said, "i uphold the pact concluded in my presence when ibn jud'an gave us a great banquet. should it ever be invoked, i shall immediately rise to answer the call."

in the fijar war, hostilities were waged only during a few days every year. during the rest of the year the arabs returned to their normal occupations. neither losses in property nor in life were grave enough to change the makkans' daily routines of trade, usury, wine, women, and other kinds of entertainment. was this muhammad's daily routine as well? or did his poverty and dependence upon his uncle for protection force him to stay away from the luxury and extravagance of his contemporaries? that he kept away from these indulgences is historically certain. that he did so not on account of his poverty is equally certain. the debauchees of makkah who were hardly capable of providing for themselves the immediate needs of the day could still afford their life of turpitude. indeed, some of the poorest among them could outdo the nobles of makkah and the lords of quraysh. rather, the soul of muhammad was far too possessed by his will to learn, to discover, and to know, to incline towards any such depravities. his having been deprived as a boy of the learning, which was the privilege of the rich, made him all the more anxious to learn on his own. his great soul whose light was later to fill the world and whose influence was to fashion history was so involved in its will to perfection that muhammad could only turn away from the recreative pursuits of his fellow makkans. as one already guided by the truth, muhammad's mind was always turning towards the light of life evident in every one of its manifestations in the world. his constant preoccupation was with the discovery of the underlying truth of life, the perfection of its inner meaning. ever since he was a youth his conduct was so perfect, manly, and truthful that all the people of makkah agreed to call him "al amin", or "the truthful", "the loyal."


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