Thursday, April 08, 2004

Hassan bin Thabit ~ Conquest Through a Fluent Tongue
[Source: Abridged Biography of Prophet Muhammad (p. 302-305)]

'Atarid bin Hajib came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) along with the notables of Banu Tameem. They came to him regarding the captives from Banu Tameem, who had been taken by the expedition of 'Uyainah bin Hisn al-Fazari in the month of Muharram in that year. 'Uyainah had taken eleven men, twenty-one women and thirty children. He took them to al-Madinah and the chiefs of Banu Tameem came regarding them. When they entered the Mosque, they called upon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) from behind al-Hujurat - that is his house - to come out to them. This annoyed the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) and Allah revealed concerning them:

"Verily, those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense. And if they had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [49:3-4]

When he (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) went out to them, they said: "We have come to contend with you in prose and poetry, so allow our poet and our orator to speak." He (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) said: "I permit your orator."

Then 'Atarid stood up and spoke and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) said to Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas: "Stand up and answer the man."

So Thabit stood up and spoke, answering him. Then Az-Zibriqan bin Badr stood up and said:

We are the nobles and there is no tribe who is equal to us,
Among us are kings and among us places of worship are erected,
And how many great men have we subdued,
All of them in war, and virtue and might belong to us,
And we give the people in times of drought,
Food to eat, when rain does not fall...

- up to his words:

We refuse to be subjugated and none can subjugate us,
For this reason, we are proud of ourselves...

These are some of the verses he recited. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) said to Hassan (radiyallahu 'anhu): "Stand up and reply to the man." So he stood up and said:

The honourable people who are descended from Fihr and their brothers,
Have shown the people deeds which they follow,
Which please all those in whose hearts lies fear of Allah,
And love of all good deeds,
A people who, when they fight, they harm their enemy,
But who, when they try to help their supporters, they succeed,
This is their nature, not something artificial,
You should know that the worst of deeds are the innovations,
If the people were to compete to perform good deeds after them,
They would not attain their level...

- up to his words:

They are not miserly with their neighbours, due to their virtue,
They will not allow harm to come to them,
They are not arrogant when they defeat their enemies,
And when they are defeated, they are neither weak nor fearful,
They are proud when seized by the talons of war,
When its claws rip them, they are humble...

- up to his words:

The Messenger of Allah honoured those who supported him,
When opinions and sects proliferated,
I praise them with all of my heart,
And support them by that which he loves,
A fluent tongue which composes verses...

Az-Zibriqan also said:

We came to you so that the people might see our virtue,
When they gather to celebrate the festivals,
We are the kings of people in every country,
And there is none in the land of al-Hijaz like Darm,
And we are the heroes wearing badges of courage when they are conceited,
And we cut off the head of every arrogant scoundrel,
And a quarter of the war booty belongs to us from every battle,
Which takes place in Najd or in the land of the Non-Arabs...

Hassan bin Thabit (radiyallahu 'anhu) answered him thus:

Is nobility aught but ancient glory and magnanimity,
And the honour of kings and preseverance in the face of calamity?
We supported and sheltered the Prophet Muhammad,
In spite of all from (the descendents) of Ma'add,
Careless of whether they agreed or they disagreed...

- up to his words:

And we fought the people with sharp swords, until they followed his religion,
And we gave birth to one from Quraish who is the greatest of them,
We gave birth to the Prophet of goodness, from the family of Hashim,
Banu Darim! Do not be proud, for verily your pride will breed evil consequences,
When you mention these noble traits, do you not understand?
Do you think that you are better than us, when you are our kin?
(You are all descended from) either wet-nurses or servants,
If you have come to protect your lives and your property,
Then swear by Allah that you will not associate any partner with Allah,
And embrace Islam and wear not the garments (i.e. follow not the customs and practices) of the Non-Arabs.

When Hassan (radiyallahu 'anhu) had finished his recitation, Al-Aqra' bin Habis said: "Verily, this man [i.e. the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam)] has a ready helper. His orator is better than our narrator, his poet is better than our poet and their voices are sweeter than our voices." So when they left the meeting, they embraced Islam and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) gave them valuable gifts.

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