21.2 Muslims Debate Manner of Defense
Quraysh marched on until they were only five miles from Medina. The Muslims slept in the mosque that night in a state of alert for they feared that Quraysh would strike during the night. When morning came, the Prophet called the nobles of Medina together and held a council. Mohamed was of the opinion that they should remain in the city and fortify and defend it. Abdullah ibn Ubayy, who had been one of the chiefs of Yathrib, and who had much experience in war and many followers, was of the same opinion. He said,
"Prophet of Allah, we have fought in this manner before. We used to fortify the city, and then place the women and children within forts from which they threw stones at the enemy while we met them with our swords. Our city, Prophet of Allah, is a virgin city. No enemy has ever set foot upon its soil without being defeated."
The words of' Abdullah ibn Ubayy found favor with the Prophet's counselors as well as the Prophet himself, but some fiery-hearted youths, who had not fought at Badr and longed to engage the enemy, and some of the men, whom Allah had granted victory against seemingly impossible obstacles at Badr, said that if they remained inside Medina, Quraysh would say,
"We have besieged Mohamed and his associates inside the walls of Yathrib and none dared come out to us. Moreover these men would bum the fields and come to raid us again and again."
They had witnessed the victory at Badr when they were less numerous, less experienced, poorly armed, and away from their city and people. Would He who gave them victory then not grant them victory now when they were in more favorable circumstances? Surely Allah was capable of that. The deep faith and courage that prompted them to speak moved all who heard them and now many were in favor of going out to meet Quraysh, even though Quraysh had come to them with an army they had never seen the like of before. The Messenger accepted the opinion of the majority. Ever careful to follow the precepts of the Koran, he settled affairs after taking counsel. He told them to get ready for battle, and promised them that if they were patient and persevering, victory would be theirs. Then he entered his house to dress for battle.
After the Prophet went in, Sad ibn Muadh, the chief of Al-Aws, who was in favor of staying in Medina, spoke to the youths whose fiery speeches had induced Mohamed to decide to fight the enemy outside the city. He said that they had pressed the Prophet to do what he did not like and perhaps it was not a good thing. The youths reflected on this and as soon as the Prophet came out to them, dressed in armor, they went to him and said,
“Prophet of Allah, we should not have differed from you. Do what you think best. We should not have pressed you; the decision belongs to Allah and you.”
"I did suggest it, but you refused. No prophet, once he wears armor, shall take it off again until Allah decides between him and his enemy. So listen to what I command, and obey, and if you are patient and persevere, victory shall be yours."
We perceive in Mohamed's refusal to go back on his decision strict adherence to the teaching of the Koran,
"Once you take a decision, and then trust in Allah."
A Muslim should not be panicky and hesitant but should trust in Allah who rules over all. He should take his time to decide, but once he has I decided, he does not waver but marches forward in the firm belief that the conclusion of all issues rests with Him who rules all.