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PROPHET (PBUH) AS ROLE MODAL FOR DIPLOMAT

Outline:
1. Introduction
2. Hilf al-fudul
3. Incident of Erection of Hajar al-Aswad
4. Migration to Abyssinia
5. Al-Aqaba pledges
6. Constitution of Medina (Meethaq-e-Medina)
7. Diplomatic Activity at Treaty of Hudaybiyya
8. End of Enmity between Aws and Khazaraj
9. Prophet’s correspondence with other rulers
10. The Prophet’s treatment of the envoys from other states
11. Conclusion

Introduction:
Throughout history in international relations, agreements have taken second place after wars.
The flow of history has been determined by wars and agreements. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a
role model for the mankind in all fields of life. He set the most perfect standards for the conduct
of diplomats as well. All through his life, he was always conscious of maintaining cordial
relations between Muslims and other communities.
He (PBUH) established a method of communication with other tribal or national leaders through
letters, assigned envoys, or by visiting them personally, such as at Ta’if. Although it is likely that
Muhammad (PBUH) had initiated contact with other leaders within the Arabian Peninsula, When
Muhammad (PBUH) arrived in Medina in 622, local tribes, mainly the Banu Aus and Banu
Khazraj had been feuding for several decades. Muhammad (PBUH) addressed this by
establishing the Constitution of Medina, a document which regulated interactions between the
different factions, to which the respective parties agreed. This was a different role for him, as he
(PBUH) had remained only a religious figure during his time in Mecca. The result was the
eventual formation of a united community in Medina, as well as the political supremacy of
Muhammad (PBUH).
Hilf al-fudul:
The Hilful Fudul was perhaps the first attempt of Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) to resolve
the conflict by peaceful means. Near Mecca there is a place known as Ukaz where an annual fair
was held during themonth of Dhul-Qa’dah when bloodshed and fighting were prohibited. Once
awar broke out between the tribes of Quraysh, Banu Kinanah and the Qais ‘Aylan. This bloody
war continued for ten years (580 to 590 AD)15. Many precious lives were lost during the war;
uncertainty and insecurity prevailed in society. These circumstances forced peace loving people
to take some action. Therefore, a committee for peace called Hiful Fuzul was formed and an oath
for peace was taken among the conflicting tribes. The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
participated actively in this peace agreement. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) always felt proud that he
had been present at the house of Ibn Zadan at the time of agreement. He further said that he
would rather participate in this type of peace agreement than accept an offer of a precious gift of
red camels.
No doubt this oath played a remarkable role in maintaining peace and put a stop to bloody wars
in the Arab world. Thus, one can say that through Hiful Fudul a third party alliance was
established and acted as a mediator between the conflicting Arab tribes.

Incident of Erection of Hajar al-Aswad


Muhammad (P.B.U.H) had displayed the quality of a good arbitrator while settling the dispute
that had arisen on the issue of erection of the holy Black Stone (Hajar al-Aswad). He resolved
the bloody conflict at the age of 35. The problem emerged on the reconstruction of Kaba. When
rebuilding of Kaba became necessary due to flooding, the construction works were equally
divided between Arab tribes18. However. at the time of erection of the Black Stone (Hajar al-
Aswad), a disagreement emerged because every chief of tribe wanted to enjoy the honour of
erection of the holy Stone in its place. When the issue became so serious that chances of bloody
clash increased and no tribe was ready to sacrifice for peace, and their attitudes became more
violent instead, ‘Banu Abdud Dar’ brought a bowl of blood and ‘Banu Adi’, ‘Banu Kaa’b’ and
‘Banu Lua’y’ took an oath to fight till death for this respect and soaked their hands in the blood.
The situation became so serious that the construction work was supended for a few days. At last
a decision was made, based on the advice of Abu Umayyah ibn Mugirah, that the very first one
to pass through the gate of al-Suffah would be their arbitrator to resolve the issue. Muhammad
(P.B.U.H) was the first man to enter through the gate. Seeing him, the people at once accepted
him as their arbitrator without any hesitation. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) examined the situation and
sensitivity of the issue He took a sheet, tied a piece of rope at the edge of the sheet, placed the
holy Black Stone in the middle of it and said to representatives of every tribe to hold the rope
and take it to its place. Finally, Muhammad (P.B.U.H) erected the Hajar al-Aswad (holy Stone)
at its place. This incident is also a great example of good arbitration of Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
showing how he saved the antagonistic Arab tribes from a violent clash.

Migration to Abyssinia:
In 610 AD, at the age of 40, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) started preaching Islam. The Makkans not
only rejected his message but also started persecuting the early converts to Islam. In 615 AD,
when persecution of Muslims reached beyond bearable, the Prophet (PBUH) allowed a group of
15 Muslims, under the leadership of Hazrat Jafar Tayyar (RA) to migrate to Abyssinia. The ruler
of Abyssinia “Negus” provided safety and refuge to the Muslim migrants. Encouraged by that,
one year later a larger group of Muslims consisting of 101 men and women migrated to
Abyssinia. The infidels of Makkah sent a deputation to persuade Negus to expel Muslims from
his kingdom but the selected ambassador of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Jafar Tayyar
(RA), exhibited great diplomatic skills in negotiations with Negus and proved himself worthy to
the task. He recited initial verses of Surah Maryam (Mary) in the court of Negus. Upon hearing
those verses, Negus said, “Certainly this and what Jesus (Isa) had brought come out of one
niche”. From diplomatic point of view, selection of Abyssinia for migration was an excellent
choice as the Muslims not only got refuge there but were also able to find a sincere friend in
Negus.

Al-Aqaba pledges:
In the summer of 620 during the pilgrimage season, six men travelling from Medina came into
contact with Muhammad (PBUH). Having been impressed by his message and character, and
thinking that he could help bring resolution to the problems being faced in Medina, five of the
six men returned to Mecca the following year bringing seven others. Following their conversion
to Islam and attested belief in Muhammad (PBUH) as the messenger of God, the twelve men
pledged to obey him and to stay away from a number of islamically sinful acts. This was known
as the "First Pledge of al-`Aqaba." Following the pledge, Muhammad (PBUH) decided to send a
Muslim "ambassador", Mus`ab ibn `Umair, to Medina in order to teach people about Islam and
invite them to it. Converts to Islam came from nearly all Arab tribes present in Medina, such that
by June of the subsequent year there were seventy-five Muslims coming to Mecca for pilgrimage
and to meet Muhammad (PBUH). Meeting him secretly by night, the group made what was
known as the "Second Pledge of al-`Aqaba", or the "Pledge of War".[ Conditions of the pledge,
many of which similar to the first, included obedience to Muhammad (PBUH), "enjoining good
and forbidding evil" as well as responding to the call to arms when required.

Constitution of Medina (Meethaq-e-Medina):


In 622 AD, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) migrated to Medina and founded Islam’s first city-state in
Medina. A large number of Jews and idolaters were already living in Medina. Soon after
establishing the city-state the Holy Prophet (PBUH) concluded the Charter of Medina. It was a
written agreement that comprised 52 articles. The Muslims, Jews and idolaters were signatories
to it. Charter of Medina is a great diplomatic success of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), as apart from
ensuring fundamental rights of all the communities, it also included clauses for joint/collective
security and defence of Medina. It declared that safety/defence of city-state of Medina in case of
foreign aggression would be joint responsibility of all communities residing in Medina
irrespective of their religion, cast and creed.

Diplomatic Activity at Treaty of Hudaybiyya:


Even in Medina, the Muslims were not left to live in peace; the Makkan infidels continued
creating problems for them. During 624-627 AD, Medina was attacked three times by the
infidels and their allies. But the Prophet (PBUH) used his great diplomatic acumen and military
genius for successfully defending Medina. In 628 AD, the Prophet (PBUH) left Medina for
Makkah along with 1400 companions for performing Umrah. But, when they reached
‘Hudaibiya’— a place near Makkah — they came to know that the Makkans were coming out of
city for a war. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) stopped there and sent Hazrat Usman-e-Ghani as his
envoy for holding parleys with the Makkans. After hectic deliberations and diplomatic
manoeuvring a written agreement was signed between Muslims and infidels that the history
knows from the name of the Treaty of Hudaibiya. Although many clauses of that agreement
were, apparently, not favourable to Muslims and some companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)
even showed concerns over those, but on account of their diplomatic viability, the Prophet
(PBUH) went on to conclude that agreement. During his return from Hudaibiya, the Holy
Prophet (PBUH) received revelation of initial verses of Surah Al-Fath (Victory), where Muslims
were given good tiding of clear victory.

End of Enmity between Aws and Khazaraj:


At the time when the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) arrived in Medina, its
population was basically divided into three large groups, namely Jews, Aws and Khazaraj . The
two tribes had a long history of hostility. Before the Hijrah (movement from one place to another
for the sake of belief) of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), they fought many battles. They even fought a
bloody war just before the arrival of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) in Medina. Meanwhile some people
of Medina visited Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. They were influenced by the teaching of
Muhammad (P.B.U.H). After that more people came to Mecca and met him, embraced Islam and
accepted Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as their leader, both political as well as spiritual, taking the oath
of al-Aqaba. They assured him that in case of his migration to Medina, people of Medina would
not only support but also protect him. Thus, when he migrated to Medina all groups, including
also the conflicting parties al-Aws and al-Khazaraj, accepted him as their leader and Muhammad
(P.B.U.H) ended their conflict by creating a sense of brotherhood. In this way he succeeded in
maintaining peace among them by mediation on the basis of the concept of brotherhood.

Prophet’s correspondence with other rulers:


The Prophet of Islam also sent many letters to the rulers outside the Arab region to invite them
towards Islam. Some accepted Islam, some replied with positive intent without accepting Islam
and some enraged with animosity by receiving these letters. Rulers include Negus of Abyssinia,
Heraclius of Rome, Khosrau of Persia, ruler of Egypt and rulers of Yemen and Yamama.
The Prophet’s treatment of the envoys from other states
Having relieved from dealing with Qurayash, he found opportunity to increase negotiation with
the envoys from other tribes and states. From the year 6 AH, delegates from religious sects,tribes
and states thronged Medina. The delegate bodies sent to Medina increased year after year,and the
level of negotiations and their outcome increased as well. The Prophet welcomed delegates
warmly and negotiated with them honestly and decisively.The envoys who came to meet the
Prophet were called Wafd meaning the delegate body.
1) Guesthouse for Envoys:
The Prophet’s behavior consistent with Quranic teachings is highly appreciable as he receives
the envoys and representatives of foreign states as his guests. During their mandate, the delegates
enjoyed full impunity and respect so that they could deliver their message without any
limitations. The Prophet observed certain formalities in welcoming the envoys. He dressed in
formal attire and formally welcomed them.The envoys were received and stayed in Dar-ul-
Zeyfan (guesthouse) that was protected and safe, which is considered as an example of the
impunity of diplomatic and consular accommodation.
2) Giving present to Envoys:
The Prophet treated the envoys based on their personal status and the status of senders. That is,
he changed the level of relations or negotiations but not respect and treatment. It was customary
to give presents to the envoys.History records examples of the Prophet’s presents to envoys. For
instance, the Prophet donated 500 Dirham to Cesar’s agent in Oman.
Conclusion:
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) diplomatic career was a touchstone for world people. His
diplomatic skill won him not only to spread Islam in Arabian Peninsula but different parts of the
world.In the early time, Muslims are protected by Negus (Najashi); the Christian ruler of Axum
(Abyssinia) is one of the maiden diplomatic outcomes from the part of prophet. Prophet’s
journey to Ta’if is another diplomatic movement, where he himself invited them to Islam. Even
though at first it was a flop but later they massively embraced Islam.The Al-aquba Pledges in
AD 620-21 where famous. That was in between Muslims and Quraish. It was in two times such
as First Al-aquba Pledge and Second Al-aquba Pledge. Hudaibiyya Treaty in AD 628 is very
important while analyzing prophetic diplomacy.Prophet has written letters to several leaders and
kings in order to invite to the Islam and also seeking help from them. Some of them are the
Negus (Najashi) of Axum (Abyssinia), Heraclius of Byzantine Empire etc.