by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 5, Ramadan, 1436)
History is repeating itself. The enemies of Allah and of the committed Muslims are once again getting together to destroy the Islamic State. Like the Prophet’s (saws) time, the neo-Ahzab fail.
History, it is said, repeats itself. For Muslims, it repeats itself repeatedly because most refuse to learn from it. This has been the tragedy of the Muslim Ummah from the early days of Islam. Almost all Muslims, including many children, are aware of the challenges the noble Messenger (pbuh) faced even when he migrated from Makkah to Madinah to escape persecution at the hands of the Makkan mushriks. Led by the power elite, the Makkan mushriks launched repeated attacks on the nascent Islamic State in Madinah. Of the four major battles that the Quraysh chiefs waged against the noble Messenger (pbuh) and his Companions, in two — Uhud and al-Ahzab — Muslims suffered some setbacks. While Uhud resulted in nearly 70 Companions being martyred, including the Prophet’s (pbuh) uncle Hamzah (ra), it was the Battle of al-Ahzab that offers important lessons for us as events unfold today.
A brief historical review is in order. The battle occurred in the fifth year of the Hijrah. Two Yahudi power factions — Banu Qaynuqa‘ and Banu al-Nadir — had already been expelled from Madinah after they violated their Covenant agreement with the noble Messenger (pbuh); they had committed treason. Under the terms of the agreement, they should have been executed but the noble Messenger (pbuh), showing his immense mercy, merely expelled them with their belongings. The third Yahudi power faction — Banu Qurayzah — stayed in Madinah and its members were provided full protection and citizenship rights as long as they did not violate their agreement, which would have constituted treason against the Islamic State. Leaders of the other two treacherous Jewish power factions went around the Arabian Peninsula mobilizing other Arabian tribes to march on Madinah and finish the Muslims off. They gathered the mushriks of Makkah as well as the Bedouin tribes from Najd in Central Arabia. They assembled a force of more than 10,000 fully armed men. This was a formidable force against the small Muslim community that could mobilize only 3,000 men. The Muslims’ situation was complicated by the presence of munafiqs (dual loyalists, fifth columnists) in their ranks sowing fear and discord. Prior to the Battle of Uhud, 300 munafiqs had broken off from the Muslim army of a mere 1,000 that headed out to confront an enemy force of 3,000. While their absence was not the direct cause of the setback the Muslims suffered, it was a psychological blow to them at such a crucial time.
Munafiqs have always existed in Muslim ranks. They were present in the early days of Islam and they are present today. One of their defining features is that they emerge when Muslims acquire power. These fifth columnists claim to be Muslims but work assiduously to undermine Islam and any expressions of Islamic self-determination. Today, we witness a host of Arabian rulers joining hands with the Zionists to undermine the only Islamic state represented by Iran. In the past these Arabian rulers made statements and adopted hostile policies against Hizbullah as well as Hamas. For them, struggling Muslims are causing disruption and should not disturb the status quo.
Muslims that have followed developments closely would know that a new alliance is in the making between the Zionists and the Arabian rulers against struggling Muslims. This is the neo-Ahzab in the making. Like the Prophet’s (pbuh) time, the Zionists are leading the charge in lining up the Bedouin tribes of the region against the Islamic State of Iran. The Makkan mushriks had more honor than the so-called Muslim Bedouins of today. While the mushriks were mobilized by the Zionists of old, they still retained their leadership role. Today’s Bedouins have lost all self-respect; they never had much. This is reflected in the Qur’anic ayah, “All honor belongs to Allah, and [thus] to His Apostle and those that have made a faith commitment to Allah; but of this the munafiqs are not aware” (63:11). While claiming to be Muslims, the Bedouin rulers are in reality munafiqs. For them (and for the kafirs), Allah (swt) has prepared hellfire wherein they shall abide forever (9:68). The divine Book shines further light on the personality traits of the Bedouins: among them are those sho are most vehemently opposed to acknowledging the truth of Islam (9:97). With this definition provided from on high, we can see why the Bedouins of today are so vehemently opposed to any expression of Islamic self-determination.
The Bedouins have tried to destroy Islamic Iran on numerous occasions. First, they instigated the Iraqi Ba‘thists to attack the nascent Islamic State. For eight years (1980–1988), this bloodbath against innocent Muslims was financed by the Arabian rulers with $100 billion in handouts. When this grand conspiracy failed, they tried other means including flooding the oil market to undermine Iran’s economy. Their latest and perhaps final attempt is to join hands with the Zionists to attack the Islamic Republic. Like the Ahzab of old, the modern-day Ahzab will also fail, insha’allah.
Prophetic history tells us that the siege of Madinah lasted more than a month and finally, a storm blew the invading hordes’ tents away. They fled the battlefield in fright. A year later, the Treaty of Hudaybiyah was signed and two years after that, Makkah was liberated from the clutches of the mushriks who stood trembling before the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Committed Muslims can look forward to a similar victory today because Allah (swt) has promised, “O you who have made a firm commitment to Allah! If you help [the cause of] Allah, He will help you, and will make firm your steps” (47:07).