15.2 Jewish Plots
They began to ask questions about things that had happened centuries earlier which had for them a symbolic value and that only a prophet would know about. Some of the holy verses sent down in the Koran were in answer to these questions. Mohamed was able to answer these questions correctly as he was truly a prophet, supported by the invincible power of Allah. As the only way to destroy him was to make him err in the sight of Allah, they devised a wicked plan to this end. Some of their elders and rabbis went to him and said,
"You know our position among our people. If we follow you, they would all follow you."
Then they explained that they differed with their people on a certain issue. If Mohamed would accept to be arbiter between them and their people, and then take their side, they would follow him and all their people would follow him. He would thus be saving many human souls. This they knew to be the Messenger's dearest wish.
In spite of his wish to save them, the Messenger refrained from their suggestion, for Islam decrees that a Muslim shall judge fairly, even if it is against himself or his own parents. He used to say,
"It is my fate to see people try to rush into the fire and my duty to try and pick them out."
On one such occasion the holy verses tell him to be on his guard against them, saying:
"And decide between them according to what Allah has shown you,
and do not follow their wishes. If they turn away,
then know that Allah desires to strike them for some of their sins.
Of men many are trespassers." (5:49)
At the same time, the Jews tried stirring up the old feuds between AI-Aws and AI-Khazraj as this had always been a successful way of dominating them both in the past. Now, however, AI-Aws and AI-Khazraj had become brothers in Islam and were often to be seen discussing religion and earnestly studying the Koran together.
One day a Jew, Shas ibn Qays, passed by some of AI-Aws and AI-Khazraj conversing amiably together. He was annoyed by the sight, so he called a Jewish youth who had been standing with them and told him to find an opportunity to mention a certain battle from the past. He did so and they began to differ, boasting of their respected warriors until it became a full-blown dispute. When news reached the Messenger of what was happening, he went to them and reminded them of the lofty aims of Islam and of their bond of brotherhood. Brought to their senses, both stunned at their own stupidity and overjoyed with re-affirmation of their faith, they wept and embraced each other.
On another occasion some of the Jews who pretended to listen to the Messenger's teaching were caught whispering and conspiring in a corner of the mosque and Mohamed had to order that they be sent out.
The Jews did not know what to do about Mohamed. Realizing that they would never be able to dominate the inhabitants of Medina so long as he was there, they went to him and said that all the great prophets had been to Jerusalem. Since he was a prophet, it was only proper that he should go there as well, and consider his stay in Medina only as an interval between Mecca and Jerusalem. It did not take the Messenger long to realize what their real aim was. Then a momentous revelation came to him from Allah which left him in no doubt about the matter.