Threat to the Shore Route of al Sham

the news of this event spread throughout the arabian peninsula. the distant tribes remained safe in their distance and concerned themselves but little with the affairs of those muslims who, until the recent battle of badr, were nothing more than a weakly group of refugees in madinah. even though the muslims had resisted quraysh successfully, expelled banu qaynuqa` from madinah, humbled `abdullah ibn ubayy, frightened abu sufyan away, and broke the traditional pattern of power distribution in the desert, it was only the tribes close to madinah which realized what threat this whole movement of muhammad posed. only they were aware of the serious consequences of the contest for power between the quraysh of makkah and the muslims of madinah. the shore route to al sham was makkah's well trodden path of trade that brought significant economic advantages to these tribes. muhammad had entered into threatening alliances with a number of tribes flanking the shore route and thereby exposed makkah's commerce to serious danger. the tribes which lived on this commerce feared that quraysh might now choose another route. before the hijrah of muhammad and his companions to yathrib, indeed before muslim victory at badr, these tribes had felt relatively safe and secure. now they pondered the future and the threat to their prosperity. if makkan trade were to take another route, how would they sustain themselves in their arid and barren lands?


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