Muhammad's Marriage to Hafsah

did all these successes convince muhammad that his position was really secure? did his present victories delude him about the dangers of the future? did the fear of makkah and the various booty he had seized from quraysh persuade him that the word of god and his prophet was really safe and secure? did his faith in god's timely help and providence cause him to let things take care of themselves on the grounds that divine government is supreme? certainly not. although time and space belong to god, yet the world runs according to unalterable laws innate to human nature and everywhere the same. quraysh, for instance, enjoyed mastery over arabia. it was not possible to expect her to give it up without a fight. therefore, the fate of the caravan of safwan ibn umayyah succeeded only in increasing their eagerness to avenge themselves and to double their preparation for the day of vindication. neither could this escape muhammad's vision, foresight, or wise planning. it was necessary therefore, in anticipation of hostilities, for him to seek to strengthen his relationship with his fellow muslims. however closely islam had knitted the wills of its adherents and however strong the resultant social fabric, muhammad must have deemed further consolidation and unity desirable. for him to link himself to them in familial bonds was regarded by muhammad as well as by his companions as meeting this noble objective. thus he married hafsah, daughter of `umar ibn al khattab, just as formerly he had married `a'ishah, daughter of abu bakr. the former was the widow of khunays, an early convert to islam, who died seven months previously. the prophet's marriage to hafsah increased ibn al khattab's attachment to him. in the same spirit, muhammad gave his daughter fatimah in marriage to 'all, his cousin, though the latter had loved muhammad perhaps more than anyone else and had remained loyal to him ever since he was a child. when the prophet's daughter, ruqayyah, passed away, muhammad gave `uthman ibn `affan, her bereaved husband, his other daughter, umm kulthum. thus he united in a bond of family and blood abu bakr, `umar, `uthman, and `all, the four strongest personalities of his community. by this and similar action, muhammad guaranteed the solidarity of muslim ranks. he assured them that the booty they seized in their conquests would be theirs. he encouraged them to go to war by combining in a single objective service to god and fighting for his sake with the desire to make up their lost possessions in makkah with captured makkan booty. muhammad, by following the news of quraysh very closely throughout this period, always kept himself abreast of her preparations for war. it was common knowledge that quraysh was preparing for her day of revenge and for the reopening of the coastal trade route to al sham. she was preparing for a war to preserve her commercial and religious position without which it was impossible for her to exist.


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