This section details the various connections between the Prophet Muhammad SAW and the blessed land of Shaam, Palestine and Al Quds.

Blessed Birth

One of the signs of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad SAW is that when his mother became pregnant with him, she saw in a dream that a light came out of her that reached Shaam.

It was narrated from Khaalid ibn Ma’daan that the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah SAW said: “O Messenger of Allaah, tell us about yourself.” He said: “I am the answer to the prayer of the father of Ibraaheem, and the glad tidings of ‘Eesa, and when my mother became pregnant with me, she saw something as if a light came out of her and illuminated the palaces of Busra in the land of Syria.”

Narrated by Ibn Ishaaq with his isnaad; Seerat Ibn Hishaam, 1/166. Narrated with a different isnaad by al-Tabari in his Tafseer, 1/566, and by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 2/600. He said: its isnaad is saheeh although they [al-Bukhaari and Muslim] did not narrated, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him.

Al-Tabaraani narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “My mother saw in a dream that there came from between her legs a lamp that illuminated the palaces of Syria.”

Ahmad (16700) narrated from al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah RA that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said… and he mentioned the hadeeth according to which the mother of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw, when she gave birth to him, a light which illuminated the palaces of Syria.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in al-Fath:

When she gave birth there came forth from her a light which illuminated the house. This is supported by the hadeeth of al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “I was the slave of Allaah and the Seal of the Prophets, when Adam was still in the form of mud on the ground, and I will tell you about that. I am the answer to the prayer of the father of Ibraaheem, the glad tidings of Eesa concerning me, and the dream that my mother saw and that the mothers of the Prophets saw. The mother of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw, when she gave birth to him, a light which illuminated the palaces of Syria. Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim. A similar hadeeth was narrated from Abu Umaamah by Ahmad.

Ka`b bin Ahbaar who was a great scholar of the Bani Israeel states that in the previous scriptures it was stated that, “Muhammad will be born in Makkah, he will migrate to Madeenah and his rule will extend to Shaam.” (تهزيبالتهزيب )

Muslim scholars have stated that the reason behind seeing light (noor) at the time of the prophet`s birth is to signify that the world was going to be filled with light and guidance due to this birth, and the reason why the palaces of Shaam were shown is because during the life time of the prophet, Islaam will spread to Shaam – a region that holds great significance in Islam.

Trade journeys

At the age of 12, the Prophet Muhammad SAW went to Shaam with his uncle Abu Talib on a trade journey, as narrated by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq, also al-Tirmidhi who graded this report fair (hasan).

At that time a monk or several Christian monks — Bahira in some reports, Sergius in others — told Abu Talib that his nephew would be a prophet. Abu Talib alludes to these incidents in some verses of poetry that we have from him:

“The people did not return until they had seen, pertaining to Muhammad, Events that cast light on every heart, Nor until they saw the monks of every town Prostrating to him in groups and individually.”

Some historical accounts say ‘Bahira’ had been engaged in worship in his particular monastery situated at Busra. He possessed very deep knowledge of the Christian faith and was held in much respect by the Christians of that area. At times the trade caravans broke their journey at that place and the members of the caravans visited him to seek blessings.

When the Quraish Caravan stopped in Busra, Bahira`s eyes fell on the nephew of Abu Taalib who attracted his attention. His mysterious and deep look indicated the secret which was hidden in his heart. He stared on for a few moments and then suddenly broke the silence and asked “To whom is this boy related from amongst you?” Some of those present looked towards his uncle. Abu Taalib said, “He is my nephew”. Then Bahira said, “This boy has a brilliant future. He is the same promised Prophet whose universal prophet hood, conquests and rule have been foretold in the Heavenly Books and the signs which I have read in the Books apply to him. He is the same Prophet, about whose name and about the name of whose father and regarding whose family, I have read in the religious books, and I know from where he is to rise and in what manner his religion will spread in the world.”

Bahira advised Abu Taalib that he must keep Muhammad hidden from the eyes of the Jews, for, if they learn about him, they will kill him”.

Most of the historians say that the prophet Muhammad did not proceed beyond that place (Busra).

A second trip to Shaam took place at age fifteen according to Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa`d, Ibn al-Sakan, Abu Nu`aym and others. At that time Abu Talib sent him in representative partnership of Sayyidatina Khadija RA’s interests and remained behind, while Khadija sent her servant Maysara with him, and Ibn Sa`d narrates that Abu Bakr went also. Maysara reported more signs that he saw pertaining to prophethood, including another announcement of his forthcoming prophethood by the monk Nestorius. Khadija RA later told her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal about this.

A typical journey to Shaam in those days would take at least two month. When the Prophet SAW told the Quraysh about his Isra’ to al-Quds, al-Mut`im ibn `Adi said: “We strike the flanks of the she-camels for one month to reach the Hallowed House, then for another month to come back, and you claim that you went there in one night!”

In general terms, the Qur’aan refers to Shaam as being an annual destination for the Quraish trade caravans:

“For the accustomed security of the Quraysh – Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer” (106: 1-2)

Through this expression, Allah SWT refers to the summer trade journeys the Quraish embarked on to Shaam, and the winter expeditions to Yemen.

Isra and Mi’raj

The Isra and Mi’raj constitutes one of the most miraculous episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Isra was the remarkable night journey of the Prophet SAW, accompanied by the Angel Jibra’eel AS, under Divine Invitation, from the Ka’bah in Makkah to the Al Aqsa sanctuary in Jerusalem.

This was followed by the Mi’raj or ascension to the Heavens, which was characterised by the Messenger of Allah SAW meeting a number of Prophets and conversing with Allah SWT directly.

The Prophet SAW travelled on the Isra using the Buraq, a swift heavenly creature.

On his return from the heavens, the Messenger of Allah SAW again visited Jerusalem prior to him returning to Makkah.

The journey took place approximately one year before Hijrah(migration) to Madinah.

The entire journey was a complete bodily experience with the Messenger of Allah SAW being in a state of full wakefulness throughout.

“And [remember, O Muhammad], when We told you, “Indeed, your Lord has encompassed the people.” And We did not make the sight which We showed you except as a trial for the people, as was the accursed tree [mentioned] in the Qur’an. And We threaten them, but it increases them not except in great transgression.” (17: 160)

Regarding this ayah, Sayyidina Ibn Abbas RA has mentioned: “The sights which Allah SWT’s Apostle was shown on the Night Journey when he was taken to Bayt al Maqdis, were actual sights – not dreams” (Bukhari)

Detailed reports about the Isra and Mi’raj are found in the works of Hadith and Sirah and have been narrated from as many as twenty-five Companions.

It was during this journey that the Ummah was granted the gift of 5 daily Salaah.

In respect to the wider region of Shaam, during the Isra, the following transpired:

*Some narrations mention the Prophet SAW making a brief stopover in another part of Shaam en route to Masjid al Aqsa. On approaching this point, the glorious palaces of Shaam were visible. Jibril AS said to the Prophet SAW at this point: “Alight and pray.” He did so and remounted, then the Buraq continued his lightning flight and Jibril said: “Do you know where you prayed?” He said no. Jibril said: “You prayed in Bayt Lahm (Bethlehem), where `Isa ibn Maryam was born.”

* Abdullah Ibn Hawwala RA reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “I saw on the night of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the Night Journey) a white column resembling a pearl which the Angels were carrying . I asked them, “What are you carrying”? They said, “The Column of the Book, we have been ordered to place it in Al-Shaam. Later in my sleep, I saw the Column of the Book being taken away from under my headrest. I began to fear lest Allah the Almighty had abandoned the people of the earth. My eyes followed the Column of the Book. It was a brilliant light in front of me. Then I saw it was placed in Al-Shaam (Tabarani)

In respect to Masjid Al Aqsa, the following transpired within its blessed confines during this journey:

*The celestial steed, the Buraq, was tied to its Western Wall, known to Muslims as the Buraq Wall

Sayyidina Anas RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “I was brought the Buraq, a tall white beast, bigger than a donkey, smaller than a mule. It could place his hooves at the farthest boundary of his gaze. I mounted it until I arrived at Bayt Al-Maqdis. I tied it at the ring where the Prophets tied it before (i.e. Buraq Wall or the Western Wall). I entered Masjid Al-Aqsa Sanctuary and prayed 2 rak’ah there…” (Sahih Muslim)

*The Prophet Muhammad SAW led all the Prophets of Allah SWT in prayer at the Masjid al Aqsa. This occurred on the prompting of Jibra-eel AS. After Salaah, Jibra-eel AS informed the Prophet SAW that all the Messengers that Allah SWT had sent to earth –from Sayyidina Adam to Isa(Jesus) AS had joined him in prayer. Ibn Abbas RA said: “There is not a single inch in  al Quds where a Prophet has not prayed or an angel not stood”. (Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad)

*It was here that the status of Sayyidina Muhammad SAW as the Imamul Ambiyaa(leader of all the Prophets) was practically manifested. It can also be seen here that Nabi Muhammad SAW led Salaah at all 3 of Islam’s Holiest Sites.

*The Al Aqsa Sanctuary is the only known site on earth where all the Prophets performed Salaah together at a given time, led by the Prophet Muhammad SAW

*It was also within the Masjid al Aqsa Sanctuary that the Prophet SAW was famously offered by Jibraeel AS to drink, either a glass of wine or one of milk. He chose the milk upon which Jibra-eel AS congratulated him: Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, “On the night journey Allah’s Apostle (saw) was taken on a night journey (Al-Isra and Al-Miraj), two cups, one containing wine and the other containing milk were presented to him (saw) at Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He looked at them and took the cup of milk. Angel Gabriel said, “Praise be to Allah, who guided you to Al-Fitrah (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your Ummah would have gone astray”. [Bukhari]

*The Prophet SAW visited Masjid al Aqsa in this journey twice- once prior to departing for the Heavens, and a second time on its return

On his return from this journey, the people of Quraysh in Makkah disputed the story of the Mi’raj, to which Allah SWT displayed to the Prophet SAW Bayt al Maqdis in front of him, thereby enabling him SAW to describe it to them in meticulous detail as they posed questions about it.

The Hadith quotes the Prophet Muhammad SAW saying: “I had never before been as uneasy as I was at the time they interrogated me. Though I had seen Bayt al Maqdis in the Isra, I could not recollect in detail the exact description. However, Allah SWT revealed before my very eyes an image of Bayt al Maqdis and thereafter I was immediately able to answer the questions the Quraysh of Makkah asked me” (Muslim)

Sayyidina Jabir Ibn Abdullah RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “When the people of Quraysh did not believe me (i.e. the story of his Miraculous Night Journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it”(Bukhari)

In his book Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, Al-Hafiz Abu Nuaym al-Isbahani recorded via Muhammad bin ‘Umar Al-Waqidi who said: Malik bin Abi Ar-Rajjal told me from ‘Amr bin Abdullah that Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi said: “The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) sent Dihyah bin Khalifah to Caesar.” He mentioned how he came to him, and described an incident that showed how wise Caesar was. He sent for the Arab merchants who were in Syria and Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and his companions were brought to him. He asked them the well-known questions that were recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, as we shall discuss below, and Abu Sufyan tried hard to give the impression that this was an insignificant issue. [The narrator] said that Abu Sufyan [later] said: “By Allaah, nothing stopped me from saying something to Heraclius to make him despise [Muhammad] but the fact that I did not want to tell a lie that would later be found out, and he would never believe me again after that. Then I told him about the night on which he was taken to the Night Journey. I said: ‘O King, shall I not tell you of something from which you will know that he is lying? He said, “What is it?” I said: ‘He claims that he went out of our land, the land of Al-Haram, in one night, and came to your sanctuary in Jerusalem, then came back to us the same night, before morning came.’ The Patriarch of Jerusalem was there, standing next to Caesar. The Patriarch of Jerusalem said: ‘I know that night.’ Caesar looked at him and said, ‘How do you know about this?’ He said, ‘I never used to sleep at night until I closed all the doors of the sanctuary. On that night I closed all the doors except for one, which I could not manage to close. I asked my workers and others who were with me to help me deal with it, but we couldn’t move it. It was like trying to move a mountain. So I called the carpenters, and they looked at it and said: The lintel and some part of the structure have fallen onto it. We cannot move it until morning, when we will be able to see what the problem is. So I went back and left those two doors open. The next morning I went back, and saw that the stone at the corner of the sanctuary had a hole in it, and said to my companions: This door has not been closed last night except for a Prophet, who prayed last night in our sanctuary.”

Al Mubarakpuri in the Sealed Nectar comments on the opening verses of Surah al Isra, which describe the Prophet Muhammad SAW’s glorious night journey to Jerusalem, and then quickly transition to uncover the shameful deeds and crimes of the Bani Israeel, as being indicative of an important symbolic role of the Mi’raj:

“Jerusalem was the first scene of the Night Journey, and here lies the message directed to the Jews and which clearly suggested that they would be removed from the office of leadership of mankind due to the crimes they had committed, which no longer justified the occupation of that office.

“The message suggested significantly that the office of leadership would be taken over by Allah’s Messenger SAW to hold in his hand both the headquarters of the Abrahamic faith, the Sacred Mosque in Makkah and the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem. It was high time for the spiritual authority to be transferred from a nation whose history was pregnant with treachery, covenant-breaching and aggression to another nation blessed with piety, and dutifulness to Allah, with a Messenger who enjoys the privilege of the Qur’anic Revelation, which leads to what is best and right”.


Qiblah is the direction that Muslims face when performing Salaah. Throughout the Prophet Muhammad SAW’s stay in Makkah, prior to Hijrah, and for a brief period in Madinah post Hijrah, he, alongwith the Muslims would face Masjid al Aqsa for Salaah.

The biographers of the Prophet SAW mention, that whilst in Makkah, the Prophet SAW would stand towards the southern end of the Ka’bah so that he would be facing the Ka’bah and Masjid al Aqsa at the same time.

Revelation from Allah SWT, as found in the Qur’aan, descended sixteen or seventeen months after migration to Madinah, that the Qiblah of the Muslims be changed to Makkah:

“The foolish among the people will say, “What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?” Say, “To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.”

“And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.

“We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.

“And if you brought to those who were given the Scripture every sign, they would not follow your qiblah. Nor will you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor would they be followers of one another’s qiblah. So if you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, indeed, you would then be among the wrongdoers.

“Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it].

“The truth is from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.

“For each [religious following] is a direction toward which it faces. So race to [all that is] good. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you forth [for judgement] all together. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.

“So from wherever you go out [for prayer, O Muhammad] turn your face toward al- Masjid al-Haram, and indeed, it is the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

“And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces toward it in order that the people will not have any argument against you, except for those of them who commit wrong; so fear them not but fear Me. And [it is] so I may complete My favor upon you and that you may be guided.”(2: 142-150)

This change took place halfway through the month of Rajab in 2AH, two months before the great battle of Badr.

However, Allah SWT and the Messenger SAW empahised that this change in direction, did not render any acts of worship performed in the direction of Jerusalem null and void. Instead, it was affirmed, that such observances would be rewarded in full.

Sayyidina Bara ibn Azib RA narrated: When the Prophet (ﷺ) came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar. He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka’ba (at Mecca). The first prayer which he offered facing the Ka’ba was the ‘Asr prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him came out and passed by some people in a mosque who were bowing during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He said addressing them, “By Allah, I testify that I have prayed with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) facing Mecca (Ka’ba).’ Hearing that, those people changed their direction towards the Ka’ba immediately. Jews and the people of the scriptures used to be pleased to see the Prophet (ﷺ) facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka’ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it. (Bukhari)

Al-Bara’ RA also narrated: “Some men had died or had been martyred before the Qiblah changed towards the Sacred House. We did not know what to say about them (and the acceptance of their prayers). Then Allah sent down, “Allah would not let your belief go to waste. Allah is All-Gentle, Most Merciful to mankind.” (2:143) (Al-Bukhari)

The physical change in direction from Jerusalem to Makkah,  represented a natural change in focus for believers from the second House of Allah on earth(Masjid al Aqsa) to the first(the Ka’bah). However, in no way, does this move diminish the spiritual significance and legacy of Masjid al Aqsa as enumerated boldly in both the Qur’aan and Hadith.


Sayyidina Abu Umamah RA reports that the Prophet SAW mentioned that: “Prophethood descended upon me in three places: Makkah, Madinah and al-Shaam”(Abu Dawood/Tabarani).

Ibn Kathir mentioned, “al Shaam here means Bayt al Maqdis”


Various authentic sayings(Ahadeeth) of the Prophet Muhammad SAW in relation to Masjid al Aqsa, Palestine and Shaam attest to:

*Masjid al Aqsa’s deeply rooted Islamic heritage

*The virtues of praying at Masjid al Aqsa, and contributing towards its upkeep

*Masjid al Aqsa’s status as the first Qiblah

*The link between Masjid al Aqsa and the Isra and Mi’raj

*The Blessedness of the land of Al Quds and the wider Shaam region

*The important role that Masjid al Aqsa will play towards the End of Time

Peruse through a detailed collection of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad SAW on Palestine on our dedicated Palestine in the Hadith page


The Prophet Muhammad SAW prophesized the Muslim liberation of Masjid al Aqsa, as well as the important role that the region of Shaam would play in events towards the End of Time.

Sayyidina Awf Ibn Malik RA relates, “I went to the Prophet (saw) during the battle of Tabuk while he was sitting in a leather tent. He said, ‘Awf, Count six signs, between now and the approach of the Hour (Qiyamah/Doomsday): my death, the conquest of Al-Quds (Jerusalem); a plague that will afflict you (and kill you in great numbers) as the plague that afflicts sheep; the increase of wealth to such an extent that even if one is given 100 hundred Dinars (Arabian currency), he will not be satisfied; then an affliction which no Arab house will escape; and then a truce between you and Banu Asfar (i.e. Byzantines) who will betray you and attack you under eighty flags. Under each flag will be twelve thousand soldiers”[Bukhari]

Sayyidina Shadad Ibn Aws (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “Shaam will be conquered and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will be conquered and you or your sons will be Imams there, if Allah will” [Tabarani]

Sayyidina Muadh ibn Jabal RA related that the Prophet SAW said: “Allah Almighty will enable you to conquer al Shaam after my death. Their men and women will be garrisoned until the Day of Judgement. Whoever from among you chooses one of the coasts of Shaam or al Quds is in jihad until the Day of Judgement”.

Several Prophetic Ahadeeth detail what would transpire in the environs of Shaam leading up to Qiyamah:

Al Nawwas ibn Sam’an RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said, “Before the Hour, Isa[AS] will descend upon a white minaret towards the east of Damascus in Syria, during the dawn prayer. The Muslim Imam will move from his place and request Isa[AS] to lead the prayer but he will refuse and pray behind the Imam, declaring himself as a member of the nation of the Prophet Muhammad SAW”(Sahih Muslim)

Mujamma ibn al Harith RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said, “Ibn Maryam[Isa AS] will kill Dajjaal at the door of Ludd(a town in Palestine” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Narrations mention a huge fight between the enemies of Islam and Muslims that is to take place alongside the River Jordan .

Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah RA related that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “The Hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and defeat them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, it will say, ‘O Muslim, O Slave of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’ All the trees will do this except the gharqad(box-thorn) tree” (Muslim and Ahmad)

Narik ibn Surim al Sakuni RA relates that the Prophet SAW said: “You will fight the pagans until the remnant of you fights on the River Jordan, you to the east of it and they to the west of it”[Ibn Hajar]

The perpetual turbulence that the residents of Palestine face and their steadfastness in its wake, was also mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Sayyidinah Abu Umamah RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said: “A group from my Ummah will continue to help each other in [matters] of religion; they will prevail over all their enemies except for hunger and [other such] difficulties, until the Day of Resurrection”. The Companions asked: “Where will they be, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet SAW said: “In Jerusalem and around it” (Ahmad)

In another narration, the Prophet SAW said: “A group from my Ummah will continue to wage jihad from the gates of Damascus and its environs, and from the gates of Jerusalem and its environs. No deserters will harm them; they will continue to aid one another in the way of truth until the Day of Resurrection” (Tabarani)

Shaam has also been specified by the Prophet SAW as a place for migration in later times.

Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Umar RA reports that the Prophet SAW said: “There will be migration upon migration. The best of inhabitants of the earth will reside where Prophet Ibrahim AS migrated” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Amr RA reports that the Prophet (saw) repeated the following statement three times: “When the dissension takes place belief shall be in Al-Sham”. One version of hadith states, “safety will be in Al-Sham”[Tabarani]

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Hawwala reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “At some point you will be (split into) standing armies: one army in Al-Sham, on in Yemen and one in Iraq”. Abdullah Ibn Hawala asked he Prophet (saw), “Choose for me, Messenger of Allah in case I live to see that day”. The Prophet (Saw) replied, “You must go to Al-Sham, for it is the chosen land of Allah in all His earth. He protects, by sending them there, the chosen ones among His servants. If you do not wish to go there, then go to Yemen. Allah has given me guarantee concerning Al-Sham and its people [Abu Dawud, Ahmad]

Sayyidina Ibn Umar RA reports that the Prophet SAW said: “A huge fire will issue from the direction of the Sea of Hadramaut before the Day of Resurrection, which will cause a great movement of people”. The companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you order us to do at that time?” He SAW replied, “You must go to Shaam” (Tirmidhi)

Sayyidina Abu Umamah RA reports that the Prophet SAW said: “The  Hour will not come before the best of people of Iraq first go to al Shaam and the worst of the people of al Shaam go to Iraq”. The Prophet SAW further said, “You must go to al Shaam” (Ahmad)

The Messenger of Allah SAW also prophesised  Shaam to be the site of the re-establishment of a Khilafah:

Sayyidina Muadh Ibn Jabal RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “The Flourishing state of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) (under the non-Muslims) will be taken when Yathrib is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the Great War comes, the outbreak of the Great War will be at the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when Al-Dajjal (Anti-Christ) comes forth”. He (the Prophet) struck his thigh with his hand and said, “This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting (meaning Muadh Ibn Jabal)[Abu Dawud]

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Hawwala Al-Azdi RA reported, the Prophet (saw) put his hand on my head and said, “Ibn Hawwala if you see that the Caliphate has taken abode in the Holy Land then the earthquakes and tribulations and great events are at hand. The last Hour on that day will be closer to people than my hand is to your head”[Ahmad, Abu Dawud]

Sayyidina Yunus Ibn Maysarah RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “This matter (the Caliphate) will be after me in Madinah, then Al-Sham, then Al-Jazira, then Iraq, then in Madinah, then in AL-quds (Jerusalem). If it is in Al-Quds, its home country is there, and if any people expel it, it will not return there forever”[Ibn Asakir]

Sayyidina Al-Numan Ibn Bashir RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “Prophethood will last with you for as long as Allah wants it. Then Allah will end it if He wishes to end it. Then there will be the Rightly Guided Caliphs according to the method of Prophethood and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes it. Then there will be a voracious kingdom and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes. Then there will be Khilafah (Caliphate) according to the method of Prophethood. Thereafter the Prophet (saw) fell silent” [Ahmad]

Sayyidina Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Abi Umayrah RA relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “There will be an oath of allegiance according to guidance in Al-Quds (Jerusalem)”[Bukhari, Muslim]

Ultimately, the Prophet Muhammad SAW has informed, the gathering of humanity for the final reckoning will also take place in Palestine.

Maymunah Bint Sa’d (ra) reports that she asked the Prophet (saw), “O Messenger of Allah, give us a pronouncement about Al-Quds (Jerusalem)”. The Prophet (saw) replied, “It is the land where they will be raised (Al-Hashr) and gathered (Al-Mahshar)” [Ahmad, Tabarani]

Muawiyah ibn Haydah RA reports that the Prophet SAW motioned towards Shaam with his hand and said, “You will be gathered there; some walking, some riding, some crawling on their faces” [Tirmidhi]

Love and Longing

When the Prophet Muhammad SAW visited Masjid al Aqsa during al Isra, there were no complete buildings inside the Masjid al Aqsa Sanctuary – in fact the precinct was badly kept and mostly in ruins. Nonetheless, by virtue of the land itself being blessed, the Prophet SAW exhorted towards the upkeep and development of the site. All of the virtues narrated by the Messenger SAW about Masjid al Aqsa were in fact enumerated whilst Masjid al Aqsa and the land surrounding it were still far from Muslim dominion.

The Prophet SAW took incremental and strategic steps, even during his own lifetime, towards the liberation of Masjid al Aqsa. An important event in this regard were the inroads into Shaam made during the Battle of Tabuk.

He SAW foretold of the liberation of al Quds, and even informed his companions of roles they would take up there, thereby strengthening their affiliation with the Holy Land.

Sayyidina Shadad Ibn Aws RA reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “Shaam will be conquered and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will be conquered and you or your sons will be Imams there, if Allah will” [Tabarani]

The Sahabah RA had total conviction in this promise of Nabi Muhammad SAW, even though they were – at the time these prophecies were being made – still not dominant, even in Arabia. Sayyidina Tamim al Dari RA once asked the Prophet SAW to grant him an area around al Khalil(Hebron) once the Muslims liberated Palestine. The Prophet SAW signed a document granting Tamim an area around al Khalil as waqf, with the condition that this land could not be sold to anyone.

The Messenger of Allah SAW specified Masjid al Aqsa as being only one of a select trio of mosques, one is permitted to set off on journey towards for the sole purpose of prayer.

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah RA narrates: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘Do not deliberately set out on a journey[for the purpose of worship] but to three mosques: the Masjid al Haram[in Makkah], al Masjid al Aqsa[in Jerusalem], and my Masjid[in Madinah]’”(Bukhari)

The Messenger of Allah SAW also expressed a sincere desire that prayers performed there will erase all a believer’s sins.

Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Amr RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said: “Sulaymaan, son of Dawood [AS] prayed for three things from Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, when constructing Masjid al Aqsa: (i) the ability to decide cases in accordance to the Will of Allah, which was granted to him; (ii) a kingdom the like of which would be given to no one after him, which was also granted; and (iii), after finishing the construction of the masjid he prayed, ‘May anyone who comes to this mosque solely for the purpose of praying in it be delivered from all his sins as on the day his mother gave birth to him’” (Nasa’i)

Another version of this hadith includes this following: “The Prophet SAW said, “The[first] two prayers were granted, and I hope the third was granted as well’” (Ibn Majah)

It is also noteworthy that the Prophet SAW mentioned Masjid al Aqsa, second to none, with reference to contributing charitably towards its upkeep. No other similar recommendation has been made for any other Masjid.

Sayyidatina Maymuna RA – the wife of the Prophet SAW  – reported: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah[SAW], tell us about Jerusalem’. He said: ‘It is the place of Judgement Day where everyone will be called. Come and pray in it, for one prayer in it is like one thousand prayers elsewhere’. ‘What is one cannot go there?’I asked. He replied, ‘Send oil for its lamps; for whoever does so, it is as if they went there’” (Ibn Majah)

Maintaining a link between Masjid al Aqsa and Masjid al Haraam in Makkah, despite their geographical separation, the Prophet SAW enumerated the virtues of performing Hajj/Umrah via the farthest Masjid.

Sayyidah Umm Salama RA relates that she heard the Prophet SAW say: “If anyone dons Ihram for Hajj or Umrah from Masjid al Aqsa and then proceeds to Masjid al Haram, his previous sins will be forgiven” (Ahmad)

The honour the Prophet Muhammad SAW attached to Shaam can also be evidenced through the glowing terms he used to describe the region and its people.

Sayyidina Zayd ibn Thabit RA reports that the Prophet SAW said, “How blessed is Shaam!” The companions around them asked: “Why is that?” The Messenger SAW replied, “I see the angels of the Most Merciful spreading their wings over it” (Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad)

Sayyidina Abu Umamah RA reports that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “The chosen land of Allah is al-Sham. He has therein his chosen creation and servants. Most definitely, a large group from my Ummah will enter Paradise without having to give reckoning or experiencing any form of punishment.” (Al-Tabarani)

Sayyidina Abu Darda’ RA related that the Messenger of Allah  SAW said, “From al-Sham to the furthest point of Upper Mesopotamia, the inhabitants therein, along with their wives, children and servants (men and women), are in a state of ribat (guarding the Muslim frontier) in the path of Allah. Whoever occupies any land therein is in ribat. Whoever occupies any frontier therein from the many frontiers is in Jihad.” (Ibn ‘Asakir)

Abu Umamah al-Bahili  RA reports that the Prophet SAW said, “A group of my Ummah will remain on truth, they will vanquish their enemy and those who disagree with them will not be able to harm them until Allah  SWT Commands.” “Where are these people?” The companions asked. The

Prophet SAW replied, “In Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).” (Al-Tabarani)

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Hawalah RA reports that he said, “O Messenger of Allah, choose for me a place where I should be, for if I were to know that you are staying I would not have chosen any place over you.” He  SAW said three times, “You must go to al-Sham.” When He SAW noticed Ibn Hawalah’s indifference towards it, he said, “Do you know what Allah says about al-Sham? Allah said, ‘O Sham! You are the quintessence of My lands (safwati min biladi) and I shall inhabit you with the chosen ones among My servants.’” (Al-Tabarani)

As can be seen in the above Hadith(amongst others), the Prophet SAW, often exhorted towards migration and settling in Shaam, referring to it as a place of safety in times of sedition.

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Amr RA reports that the Prophet (saw) repeated the following statement three times: “When the dissension takes place belief shall be in Al-Sham”. One version of hadith states, “safety will be in Al-Sham”[Tabarani]

The Prophet SAW also reserved prayers specifically for the people of Shaam.

Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Umar RA reports that the Prophet SAW said: “O Allah! Bestow your Blessings on Our Shaam! O Allah! Bestow your Blessings on our Yemen”. The people said, “And also on our Najd”. He said, “O Allah! Bestow your Blessings on Our Shaam! O Allah! Bestow your Blessings on our Yemen”. The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! And also on our Najd”. I think the third time the Prophet SAW said, “There(in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the head of Satan”(Bukhari)

Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik RA reports that the Prophet  SAW looked towards Iraq, Shaam and Yemen, then said, “O Allah! Bring their hearts over to Your Obedience and relieve them of their burdens”(Tirmidhi)

The Prophet SAW always held dear the memories of the Isra, described the marvels of his journey to his companions and would also recite verses mentioning Masjid al Aqsa often.

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Hawwala RA reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “I saw on the night of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the Night Journey) a white column resembling a pearl which the Angels were carrying . I asked them, “What are you carrying”? They said, “The Column of the Book, we have been ordered to place it in Al-Shaam. Later in my sleep, I saw the Column of the Book being taken away from under my headrest. I began to fear lest Allah the Almighty had abandoned the people of the earth. My eyes followed the Column of the Book. It was a brilliant light in front of me. Then I saw it was placed in Al-Shaam (Tabarani)

Sayyidia Aishah RA reports that the Prophet (saw) used to recite Surah Al-Isra every night in his prayer: Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (17:1)


The Qur’aan, which is the final revelation of Allah SWT to humanity, and the greatest miracle of the Prophet Muhammad SAW mentions the noble sanctuary of Masjid al Aqsa and the blessed land of Al Quds and the wider Shaam directly and indirectly over 70 times.

Masjid al Aqsa is the only Masjid besides the Ka’bah in Makkah that is mentioned by name in the Qur’an. This mention is contained in the famous opening verse of Surah Isra, Chapter 17 that recounts the miraculous Isra and Mi’raj journey of the Prophet Muhammad SAW:

“Glorified is He Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Masjid[in Makkah] to the farthest Masjid[in Jerusalem] whose surroundings We have blessed that We may show him some of Our Signs. Indeed, He Alone is All Hearing, All Seeing”.

Revelation of the Qur’aan also descended upon the Prophet Muhammad SAW in the land of Palestine.

Sayyidina Abu Umama RA reports that the Prophet (saw) said, “Prophethood descended upon me in three places: Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham. Once it is brought out from any of them, it shall never return to it”. (Abu Dawud) In another narration it states, “The Quran was revealed in three places – Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham”. (Tabarani) Ibn Kathir, the great scholar of Islam, said, “Al-Sham here means Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) [Abu Dawud, Tabarani]

For a detailed discussion on verses of the Qur’aan that mention Palestine, visit our special Palestine in Qur’aan page



As the Call of Islam continued to make inroads all across the Arabian peninsula , relations between the Muslims and the Romans were strained, for the Romans together with their Arab allies used to aggravate and provoke the Muslims by any means. This was particularly apparent in their frequent attempts to attack the Muslim merchandise coming from Ash-Shaam (Greater Syria) and the plundering of the caravans threading their roads, not to speak of the stress and grief that they subjected to every Muslim they could seize.

Their abuse reached its peak when they killed Al-Haarith ibn ‘Umayr Al-‘Azdi RA the messenger whom the Prophet SAW sent to Shurahbeel ibn ‘Amr Al-Ghassaani, the king of Busraa in Ash-Shaam, to call him to Islam. This situation was very difficult for the Prophet SAW, for this was the first of his messengers to be killed – contrary to the usual generous hosting and protection of messengers from harm.

Consequently, the Prophet SAW called the Muslims to go out to fight the Romans so that he would discipline them and put an end to their barbarian conduct. Quickly, three thousand warriors assembled and the Prophet SAW, allocated three standards to three leaders to whom the Prophet SAW decided to assign leadership of the army in tandem to. He SAW said: “If Zayd ibn Haarithah is wounded, let Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib succeed him. If Ja‘far is wounded, let ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah, succeed him.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The army prepared and marched on a Friday in the eighth year of the Prophetic Hijrah. When people saw off the leaders of the army ‘Abdullah ibn Rawaahah  RA cried. When people asked him why he did so, he told them that it was not due to clinging to the worldly life or to them, rather, he had heard the Prophet SAW, reciting the verse that says (what means): {And there is none of you except he will come to it [i.e., Hell]. This is upon your Lord inevitability decreed} [Quran 19:71]

Thus, he did not know how he would escape Hell, having come before it.

The Muslims supplicated to Allah The Almighty to support, protect and assist the army to return safely. ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah, however, recited poetry in which he expressed his yearning for martyrdom.

The Prophet, SAW, instructed his Companions to: “Go forth in the Name of Allah, in the cause of Allah and fight those who disbelieve in Allah. Proceed, but neither break pledges, act unfaithfully in regard to the booty, mutilate the killed, commit infanticide, nor kill the recluses in their monasteries.” [Ahmad, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

The Muslim army marched until they stopped at Ma‘aana, a village in Ash-Shaam, and they were informed that Heracles had arrived at Ma’aab in Al-Balqaa’ region with 100,000 Roman troops. His army was also reinforced by another 100,000 soldiers from the Arab tribes loyal to Heracles, like Lakhm, Juthaam, Balqayn, and Bahraa’.

Therefore, the Muslims held a consultation session. Some of them suggested sending a message to the Prophet SAW, informing him of the numbers of the enemies’ troops so that he could either send reinforcements or order them to return. Others suggested a safe return because the Muslims had already entered the country and scared its people. Meanwhile ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah RA remained silent.

Zayd RA asked ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah about his view and he said, “O people, what you hate is the thing for which you set out for – martyrdom. We do not fight others by virtue of troops, military gear or multitudes. We fight them by virtue of this religion with which Allah The Almighty honored us. Proceed and it will be one of two things, either gaining victory or martyrdom.” Hence, the Muslim soldiers approved of his truthful words.

They proceeded until they were close to Al-Balqaa’, a region in Ash-Shaam, where they were met by the Roman and Arab troops at a village called Mashaarif. The enemies went forward and the Muslims drew back to a village called Mu’tah, which is known today as Kark. The armies met there and the Muslims prepared for confrontation, assigning leadership of the right wing of the army to Qutbah ibn Qataadah RA from Banu ‘Uthrah. Leadership of the left wing was assigned to ‘Ubaadah ibn Maalik RA from Al-Ansaar.

The two armies then engaged and fought relentlessly. Zayd ibn Haarithah RA was the first leader from the Muslims to be martyred whilst he was fighting courageously. Therefore Ja‘far ibn ‘Abu Taalib RA took the standard with his right hand and chanted lines of poetry referring to Paradise and his determination to fight the Romans. His right arm was cut off so he held the standard with his left hand, which was also cut off. He therefore enfolded the standard using the upper parts of his arms until he was martyred. ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah RA grabbed the standard and endeavoured to dismount from his horse. He recited lines of poetry swearing that he would dismount, and he went on wondering how his soul hated to be killed while it would later enjoy Paradise, and said to himself that if he was not killed in the battlefield, he would eventually die anyway.

After he had dismounted from his horse, one of his cousins offered him a piece of meat to eat so that he would have enough strength to fight on. No sooner had he taken a bite than he heard people shoving for combat. Thus he threw down the piece of meat and fought with his sword until he was martyred.

Thaabit ibn ‘Arqam ibn Tha‘labah Al-Ansaari  RA took the standard and suggested that the Muslims should entrust leadership of the army to one of them. They suggested that he could do this, however he refused and they ultimately chose Khaalid ibnul-Waleed RA.

Divine revelation quickly informed the Prophet SAW of the incidents of the battle before people had received news that they were martyred. Anas narrated that the Prophet SAW announced that Zayd, Ja‘far and Ibn Rawaahah RA were martyred. It is reported that the Prophet RA said: “Zayd took the standard until he was martyred. Then Ja‘far took it until he was martyred. Then Ibn Rawaahah took it until he was martyred.”The Prophet SAW then shed plentiful tears and said:“Then a sword from the swords of Allah took it until Allah The Almighty granted them victory.” [Al-Bukhari]

Having assumed leadership, Khaalid RA wanted to save the Muslim army in a way that would maintain its entity and cause dread in the enemy. In his opinion the solution was to retreat and give the enemy the impression that new reinforcements had come to the Muslims. He kept his ground in the battlefield until night fell and he utilized the darkness to change the warriors’ positions, replacing the right wing with the left and the vanguard with the rearguard. He commissioned his cavalry to create clouds of dust and noisy clamor. Therefore the Romans thought that the Muslims were provided with reinforcements, so they lost power and the Muslims launched a fierce attack against them. Khaalid RA reported that he broke nine swords fighting, with nothing remaining in his hands but a Yemeni saber.

Thus, Khaalid RA managed to return with the army to Al-Madeenah with a small amount of potential losses, and killed numberless Romans, which constituted a great victory to Islam and Muslims.

When the army returned to Al-Madeenah some Muslims rebuked those who had fled at the beginning of the battle. These men feared Allah’s wrath and the anger of the Prophet SAW, so they resolved to travel by sea and leave Al-Madeenah. However, they suggested approaching the Prophet SAW  first to see whether they could repent, or else they would leave. They went to him SAW before the dawn prayer. When he saw them he asked: “Who are you?” They replied: “We are those who fled.” The Prophet SAW said: “No! Rather, you are those who will return to the fighting. You are not to be blamed; you joined me and I am the recourse of all Muslims.” They therefore drew near him and kissed his noble hands.

That was the battle of Mu’tah, which was full of valuable lessons. Once a person has read about its incidents, he cannot help but admire the Muslim combatants – those amazing soldiers, 3,000 in number, who faced the immense army of 200,000 warriors.

Just imagining these two military powers leads to the conclusion that victory would decisively be in favor of the greater army. Nevertheless, the Muslims stood firm, despite a small amount of troops and military gear, to show the greatest example of sacrifice, even gaining victory against the enemy in the greatest force experienced by the Roman Empire’s army.

This battle represented the first formal Muslim foray into Shaam, and set the scene for much more significant developments later on.

Expedition of Tabuk

After the Battle of Mutah, Caesar could neither ignore the great boost the battle had brought to Muslims nor disregard the Arab tribes’ aspirations of independence from his empire, and closer alignment with the Muslims.

Realising all this, Caesar was aware of the progressive danger threatening the borders, especially the fronts in Shaam that were neighbouring the Arab lands. So, he concluded that the dissolution of Muslim power had grown an urgent neccesity. This assault, in his opinion, should be achieved before the Muslims became too powerful to conquer.

Towards the end of Dhul Hijjah 8AH, corresponding to April 630CE, the Prophet SAW reviewed the crucial progress  made in the immeditately preceding period – including the Battle of Mutah, the Conquest of Makkah, the invasion of Hunayn and the siege of Taif.

The menace of idolatry had dwindled and many of its previous adherents had embraced Islam. Correspondingly, the disbelievers in the peninsula were limited in their ability to create serious problems for the Muslims.

Hence, there was scope for Islam to move in the direction of the neighboring territories with the aim of spreading the faith, so that it might be embraced or alternatively result in peaceful agreements that would enable the Muslims to gain further ground.

The Prophet SAW turned towards Shaaam, a region where many of the inhabitants were Christian. The gap between them and the Muslims was less than that between that with the pagans, making their acceptance of Islam more likelier.

At around a similar time, news reached the Prophet SAW that Caesar was gathering a huge army of Byzantines and pro-Roman Ghassanide tribes to launch a decisive bloody battle against the Muslims.

It is related that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) got reports of Byzantine forces converging in the northern frontiers of Arabia with the intention of mounting an attack on the Muslims. Ibn S’ad and Waqidi had reported that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was informed by the Nabataeans that Heraclius was intending to come upon him and that his advance party had already reached Balqa’

Apprehension began to spread in Madinah and the hypocrites exploited these fears.

As to how much respect the Arabs had for the Byzantines whom they called Romans, is well illustrated by the remarks made by Abu Sufyan after he had seen Heraclius rendering honor to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)’s letter sent through Dihya b. KhAli (radiallahu ‘anhu)fa al-Kalbi. He had heard Heraclius saying that he, too, expected a Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) to be born. Abu Sufyan had then gotten up, as he related later on, rubbing his hands and saying that the affair of Ibn Abi Kabsha (i.e. the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had become so great that the King of the Romans dreaded him. Abu Sufyan further says that he was then convinced that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) would ultimately emerge victorious and this was how Islam originated in his heart. (Bukhari)

The Arabs could not then dream of attacking the Byzantine Empire; they themselves feared Byzantine invasion or rather did not rate themselves so high as to be converted by any great power. Whenever the Muslims of Madeenah were confronted with a grave danger or their safety was imperiled, their immediate action was to seek the aid of the Gassanid King who was a plyarch of East Syria under the rule of Caesar.

The Byzantine star was on the ascent in those days. Its armies had, under Heraclius, dealt a death blow to the Iranian forces and carried their arms to the Iranian capital. The glorious victory was celebrated by the Emperor’s stately march from Hims (Emessa or Edessa) to Ayleh (Elath or ‘Aqabah) in the seventh year of the Hijrah. Heraclius himself carried, in the guise of a penitent pilgrim, the True Cross retrieved from the Persians while carpets were spread and rose water sprinkled beneath his feet all over the path by the people who went forth to meet their hero with tears and acclamations.(Muslim, Kitab ul-Jihad)

As news of an alleged assault on Madinah continued circulating, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) intended to forewarn the Byzantines that they should not consider the Muslims weak nor should they take any precipitate action to violate their territorial sovereignty.

Hence, unlike his previous military expeditions, the Prophet SAW plainly declared the destination of his next target and instructed his followers to prepare themselves to attack the Byzantine empire of Rome, pre-empting them before they could collect their forces and attempt an invasion of the Muslim Lands.  He SAW cleared the situation to his people so that they would get ready, and urged them to fight in the way of Allah.

Some of the Arab tribes were still trapped in the delusion that the rise of Islam was transient like a cloudburst, whose tide would be stemmed before long. It was therefore necessary to warn or even threaten such people before they device an opportunity to strike at the Muslims. The expedition of Tabuk had the desired effect on such lukewarm tribes much in the same way as the conquest of Makkah had gone a long way in clearing away the clouds of opposition.

The Tabuk campaign was undertaken in the month of Rajab, 9 A.H. It was the time when the date palms had ripened and their shades were very pleasant. The Prophet SAW stimulated his Companions to participate in the invasion and share its costs. The Muslims raced to give their wealth and property to support this effort. The contributions of Sayyidina Uthmaan RA, and other senior Sahabah RA to this end were phenomenal.

The Prophet SAW left Madinah with over thirty thousand Muslim fighters and headed for Tabuk – at a distance of some 778 miles away. In no other drive, earlier to Tabuk, had such a large number of persons carried arms.

The Muslim troops advanced, under very difficult circumstances, for two long weeks. Narrations reflect the hardships they endured as well as the Divine miracles they witnessed.

Ibn Katheer narrated that besides lack of money and mounts, groups of two or three soldiers took turns riding on a single camel that, in some cases, they were obliged to slaughter in order to drink the water that it stored.

When the Prophet SAW’s troops reached their intended destination, they found no massing of their enemies. Either the Roman forces had dispersed because of the Muslim advancement or they had been unsuccessful in mustering up an army to fight the Muslims. Instead of a battle, the rulers of the surrounding areas began pledging allegiance to the Prophet SAW.

Yuhanna b. Ru’ba, the governor of Aylah called upon the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) at Tabuk. Yuhanna made a treaty of peace and also paid the Jizyah. So did the people of Jarba’ and Adhruh, and they were all granted peace as well as guaranteed safety of their territory and their ships and caravans by land and sea. The treaties were written by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and delivered to the respective parties. Yuhanna was received by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) cordially and was given due respect. (Ibn Hisham Vol. II, pp. 525-26)

The guarantee letter to Yuhanna stated:

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a safety(guarantee) from Allah and from the Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Yuhanna ibn Ru’bah and the people of Aylah and their ships and caravans. They, as well as those who are with them from among the people of Syria, Yemen, and the people of the sea, have been guaranteed the security and protection of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. If any of them creates a problem, his/her wealth will not save him/her and taking it(the wealth) will be acceptable. They should not be prevented from water that they come to, nor from a passage through which they want to go, either by land or sea.”

A few rulers, like Ukaydir ibn abdul Malik, the king of Doomah, did not hurry to make a peace agreement with the Prophet SAW, but binding the area with agreements of security was crucial to the Muslims, and something that the Prophet SAW firmly pursued.

Despite the fact that the general situation  was very difficult throughout the troops’advancement  to Tabuk. Through this expedition, the Muslims were able to examine themselves closely to discover their truthfulness in belief.

Psychologically, they broke the barrier of their own fears about marching for hundreds of miles into the heart of their enemies’territory. On top of this, they managed to bind with the people of that region through peace agreements, which transferred their loyalty from Rome to the Islamic State. In addition, the great numbers and strength of the Muslim army terrified its enemies about the growing weight of Islam in the Arabian peninsula.

The Expedition also went as far as proving that the rise of Islam was for real and not just meteoric, or one which is fated to burst like a bubble, as some of the Arabs had hitherto been thinking about it. Moreover, the expedition showed that its climb to power was solid as a rock with a great future lying ahead of it. This foray against the Byzantine Empire virtually meant that the Muslims were ready to fling down the gauntlet even to the greatest power of the day.

The Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) daring venture made such a deep impression on the minds of the Arabs that it would be no exaggeration to claim that the expedition of Tabuk served as prelude to the conquest of Syria during the reigns of Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) and ‘Umar (radiallahu ‘anhumaa). The Tabuk Expedition really brought the match to a chain of victories which eventually catapulted the Muslims as the masters of Syria.

In short, the expedition of Tabuk was a landmark in the life of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) as well as in the continuity of the Islamic mission for it provided long-term effect on the future course of events leading to the glorious conquest of Islam developing throughout the course of time.

The Expedition of Usamah RA

In 632 C.E., on return from the ‘farewell pilgrimage,’ the Prophet SAW ordered a detachment to be sent against the Syrians under the command of Usamah the son of Zaid bin Harith. Some persons objected to the command of Usamah on the ground that he was a mere youth of nineteen. Usamah was very dear to the Holy Prophet. He was the son of Zaid who was an adopted son of the Holy Prophet. The Prophet SAW accordingly loved Usamah as a grandson. When the Prophet SAW entered Makkah after the peace of Hudaibiya, Usamah had the honor of sitting on the camel behind the Prophet SAW. Usamah was very brave, and on the occasion of the battle of Uhud he volunteered to fight when he was only a child. The Prophet SAW wanted the Muslims not to object to the command of Usamah for he was worthy of the command.

When the Prophet SAW fell ill, the detachment of Usamah was encamped at Jorf a few miles from Madina on the road to Shaam. On account of the serious illness of the Holy Prophet, Usamah delayed his departure. When the Holy Prophet died, Usamah returned to Madina and sought further orders.

This action of despatching a mission towards Shaam on the eve of his demise, indicates towards the vision that the Prophet SAW envisaged for this blessed region in the future of his faith.