19.2 Abu Sufyan Skirmishes the Outskirts
For a short time there was peace in Medina as potential plotters lay low after Banu Qaynuqa were evacuated. However Abu Sufyan, hating to remain idle in Mecca after the humiliation of Quraysh, went towards Medina with a group of men and on the outskirts of the city came across one of the Supporters tilling his land with the aid of a friend. They killed the man, bummed some palm trees, and fled. Abu Sufyan thought this would raise the prestige of Quraysh among the Arabs and make them realize that Quraysh did not fear the Muslims and still had power to strike at them. Mohamed with some of his Companions went after Abu Sufyan and his followers. The closer Mohamed came, the faster Abu Sufyan fled to avoid the encounter, and in order to go as fast as possible, they threw away their provisions onto the road. The pursuers picked them up and Mohamed, seeing that Abu Sufyan would avoid them at all costs, turned back.
This raid did not raise the prestige of Quraysh as Abu Sufyan had hoped, but, on the contrary, his flight before Mohamed only proved that the Muslims had become a power to be reckoned with.
The tribes around Medina who levied protection dues on the summer journey of Quraysh to AI-Sham feared that if this trade was threatened by the Muslims, Quraysh would take another route and they would be deprived of their revenue. They resented that the Muslims, who only a few months earlier had been fugitives seeking shelter, should defeat the great Quraysh and exile the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa. They decided to attack the Muslims in the hope that they would gain fame among the Arabs and earn the undying gratitude of the illustrious Quraysh. Accordingly they made preparations and gathered together a large war host.
Hearing of these movements, Mohamed thought it would be better to go out to meet them instead of waiting for them to raid Medina. He set out at the head of a group of his Companions, but whenever the tribes heard of his approach, they dispersed or fled to the mountains. Again and again they gathered, and then fled when they saw him approaching.
The Jewish tribes of Medina took note of this and feared for themselves, especially when one of them who used to slander Muslims, particularly Muslim women, was assassinated. The Jews went to Mohamed to complain. He pointed out that had this man not kept on slandering people, no harm would have come to him. Then he called them to make a new treaty and to respect it. They accepted, for such treaties gave them all the rights given to the Muslims, but, cowed and resentful, they waited and bided their time to make mischief.