The Tribal Debate

By Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin on 05-07-2013

The domestic problem did not in any way affect the administration of the affairs of the state. The surrender of Mecca and the conversion of its inhabitants to Islam, increased the responsibilities of Mohammed. The mosque at Mecca was a holy place of the entire Arabia and they were conducting pilgrimage to Mecca from generations. Now, its’ custody and administration came into the hands of Mohammed and the new religion. Along with this the expenditure of administration also increased. To meet this contingency, a levy of ten percent of agricultural produces was imposed on the Muslim farmers. Later, this levy was made applicable to persons belonging to other faiths also. The tribes in Mecca generally accepted this levy, and readily discharged their obligation. The only exception to this was the tribe of Mustalac and the grant tribe of Banu Thanebm. 
Mohammed endorsed a man to collect the share of levy from the sub tribes. Then some persons belonging to Banu Khamsa a sub tribe of Banu Khanim armed themselves with weapons, confronted him and forcefully expelled him from the locality. It was done before levy was demanded fromsub tribe Banu Amu Hanwar. On knowing this, Mohammed sent fifty horsemen under the leadership of Unaina Bin Hisisn in order to meet the attackers. They attacked them and made some of them captives. Others ran away for their lives. Among the tribes, there were some Muslims belonging to Banu Talib. They had fought with Mohammed in the battle of Umain and also they had participated in the conquest of Mecca. There were others who remained in the old religion. They came to know about the calamity that was faced by the members of their tribes at the hands of the horsemen.
They sent a delegation consisting of the chieftain of the tribe to Mohammed. They entered the Mosque and shouted, ‘Mohammed come out down’, standing behind the room of Mohammed. Mohammed did not like this behavior. It is at that time the calls for the mid day prayers came and Mohammed came out of the room. On seeing him they complained about the treatment meted out to the members of their community by the Muslim army. They mentioned about their participation in the battle of Umain and they stated that they have come to enter into a debate with Mohammed and his followers. They sought the consent of Mohammed for that. The orator among them by name Uthuwaria Bin Khajiu stood up and presented his argument. When he finished Sabit Bin Quais stood up to make his argument with him. Thereafter the poet among them Hibri Khan Nin Baday stood up and recited a poem. Hasman Bin Sabit replied to him. The debate came to an end. Aqrat Bin Habis said, “By my father, the resource of Mohammed and his companions is wonderful. It outstands far greater than that of ours and their poet is far greater than our poet.” All the members of the delegation agreed to that. Mohammed released all the captives as requested by them.   

About The Author

Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin

Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin (High Court of Kerala) is a great Gandhian and a noted humanitarian, who could successfully steer World Fellowship of Inter-religious Councils. His relentless efforts for inter religious harmony was awarded by HH Pope John Paul 2nd and Parliament of World Religions.