17.1 News Reaches Medina
Mohamed had sent two men on ahead to Medina with the news of victory .They entered the city through different gates and began to call out the good news. The Muslims in Medina were overjoyed and much relieved, for they were aware of the might of Quraysh and the meager condition of their own army, but the Jews, the Polytheists, and the Hypocrites (those who had pretended to enter into Islam but had not) were shocked and grieved. At first they did not believe the emissaries and they could not bear the idea that the Muslims should have been victorious. They saw Zayd ibn Al-Haritha, Mohamed's retainer, on the Messenger's white mule and assumed that Mohamed and his men had all been killed and that Zayd was overwrought because of the horrors he had seen at the hands of Quraysh. They pointed out that Zayd would not be riding Mohamed's mule if the latter were alive. When they discovered that Zayd spoke the truth and the names of the Qurayshi nobles who had been killed in battle were read out to them, they were alarmed and depressed. The Muslims already had considerable influence in Medina and if they really had defeated Quraysh, then they would soon be masters of the city. They could not hide their envy and frustration. One of the Jews said,
"It would be better to be under the earth today than on top of it, now that the noblest and greatest of men after the kings of the Arabs, the inhabitants of the Sacred Sanctuary, have been killed."
It seems curious that the Jews' sympathy should be with the polytheists who worshipped idols, rather than the Muslims who worshipped Allah like them, but they believed that they were the chosen people and that no other people had a right to receive a Messenger from Allah. They resented the Muslims because they worshipped Allah like them, and could never forgive Mohamed for being a prophet. Add to this their struggle to be the dominant power in Medina and their reaction becomes understandable.