Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Aws and Khazraj

Medina, the first Islam City-State; (Mar. 26, 2010)

Many Moslems do not turn toward Mecca to get inspiration: They turn toward Medina where the Prophet Muhammad ruled, established his message, and was buried.  The Prophet Muhammad was buried in his green overcoat, in the ground, under the bed of Aicha, his most beloved wife, in this humble room apartment, a door opening directly to the first mosque.

The same small “apartment” where the Prophet head was in the mosque, extending his head through the door for Aicha to wash his long hair.

Muhammad had to flee Mecca in 622 after his powerful wife Khadija trespassed. Mecca had over 360 idols representing the Gods of countless tribes, paying pilgrimage every year and being scalped of every dime they carried with them on a week-long debauched festivities.

Muhammad was welcomed in Medina (Yathreb) as a prince after the two main tribes of Aws and Khazraj extended an invitation to settle after many years of negotiation. The immigrant Moslems from Mecca (the Muhajirun) had preceded their Prophet to Medina many months ahead of him.  The Muhajirun were the strangers and they were almost penniless; the tribes of Medina had to accommodate them within their residences and find them work in their fields to earn a living.

The first 4 years were glorious years: it was the period when recognition of individual rights and development as equal converts to Allah superseded tribal attachment and customs.  Women didn’t wear the veil and walked the streets unaccompanied my male relatives.

The veil was a custom in Mecca for the aristocratic women to be discriminated from common women and slaves.  Medina was an agricultural vast city extending for miles over several villages of clans and tribes. Women worked the field with men, and wearing veil was unheard of.

The women in Medina were working people and Medina was mainly a matriarchal society.  The wife had to simply lock the door of her tent for the husband to go find a sleeping place among his clan.

The muhajirun from patriarchal Mecca felt lost and appalled in this new community of traditions and customs, where sexuality was not a big deal and women had a say in city politics.

In the first four years, women demanded equality with men and got it in the Koran. The Prophet went at great length detailing heritage procedure and shares for every member of the family; even an orphan and a child born from a slave and a free person (regardless of gender) had a share as any other member of the family.

Muhammad insisted that at least one of his wives join him in his military expeditions to the grand dam of the masculine army.  People of both genders would visit the Prophet’s wives for clarifications and explanations on verses of the Koran and the daily routines of behavior.  There was no dividing space line between private and public life: And the Prophet was constantly harassed with countless queries even in his residence because the new converts wanted to learn the new message of change.

Then, Muhammad lost the battle of Uhud in 626 against a coalition of tribes under the leadership of Quraich of Mecca.

Three hard years of civil unrest in Medina followed.  Muhammad opted for defensive attitudes and no serious military campaigns “razzia” brought much loot for the survival of the growing followers in Medina.

Believing in Allah and his Prophet took serious shaking down and the incredulous turn to cynicism, calumny, and even open anger.  One clan leader entered the apartment of Aicha and Muhammad and demanded of the Prophet to swap Aicha with one of his wives.

The wives of Muhammad were apprehended in the streets with sexual overtones under the pretense that the “munafikeen” thought they were women slaves since they wore no veil.

The second Caliph Omar was the most intransigent misogyny “muhajer”:  he kept harassing the Prophet for demanding women to wear the veil and to refrain from dealing in public affairs.

People were becoming openly highly critical of Muhammad’s behaviors and his selection of newer wives.  This open space between private and public life was to tumble down gradually under the massive pressures of little military excursions and civil unrest.

Verses were pronounced to drop curtains in Muhammad’s apartment for visitors who were not invited.  Omar obtained that the wives of the Prophet start wearing veils when out of their residences.  The Prophet who never beat or slapped any of his wives had also to permit male ascendancy in the family.

Violent Omar was told by Muhammad “You may slap your wives but this would be the behavior of the unaccomplished Moslem

The next year to the battle of Uhud, Quraich tribes came back and set siege to Medina for 28 days.

For the first time in Arabia, a large ditch was dug around a city for defense purposes to enemy cavalry. Civil unrest in Medina grew and women avoided walking out their residences.  The Prophet had to give priority to political survival at the expense of equal rights to all converts, for both genders, for class differences, and for further emancipation of slaves.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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