Brotherhood Established Between Migrants and the Ansar
Muslims of Medina (the Ansar) embraced with love and sincerity the Muslim migrants who settled down in Medina, leaving everything they had behind for the sake of God. They (the Ansar) did not and would not begrudge any kind of help they could offer to them.
However, the migrants were not familiar with Medina’s climate, customs and working conditions. They did not bring anything with them while leaving Mecca. For this reason, they needed to be familiarized with Medina’s working conditions and with Muslims of Medina, who came to be called the Ansar (the helpers) because they offered all kinds of help to them.
Therefore, the Messenger of God gathered the Ansar and the migrants together five months after migrating to Medina. He appointed ninety Muslims, the forty-five of whom were from the Ansar and the other forty-five from the migrants, as brothers.
This foundation of brotherhood established by the Prophet was based on mutual economic and psychological support and the principle of being inheritors to each other, which in turn aimed to provide migrants with support to get over the sorrow and misery they felt because of homesickness. (1)
According to this foundation of brotherhood established, leaders of each family in Medina would provide a Muslim family from Mecca with accommodation and share their belongings with them, and they would work together.
The Prophet did not choose two Muslims to become brothers randomly. Contrarily, he investigated them carefully and appointed the best matches as brothers. For instance, there was an exact harmony between Salman al Farisi and Abu’d-Dardaa; Ammar and Khuzaifa; Mus’ab and Abu Ayyub, in terms of character, likes, and feelings. (2)
Thanks to this brotherhood, life expenses and accommodation problems of immigrants, who left everything behind except for their love for God and His Messenger, were solved. Each person from the Ansar put one immigrant up; and they worked together, sharing what they earned. This was a brotherhood that outpaced biological brotherhood. It was the brotherhood based on faith, religion. Muslims of Medina, the Ansar, shared everything they had with those sorrowful, miserable and homesick Muslims. When a person from Medina passed away, his immigrant brother would be one of his inheritors, together with his relatives. (3)
Again, thanks to this brotherhood, a large social charity was established. Muslim immigrants were saved from economic problems. Each Muslim of Medina would give half of their belongings to their brother from Muslims of Mecca. They enjoyed showing the zenith of hospitability, generosity, gratitude and humanity to their immigrant brothers.
However, this was not enough for Muslims of Medina. So, they came into the Prophet’s presence and made this proposal which showed how self-sacrificing they were:
“O Messenger of God! Share our date gardens between us and our immigrant brothers!”
However, the immigrants had not worked in agriculture till then. They did not know much about agriculture. Therefore, the Prophet refused the Ansar’s proposal in the name of the migrants.
Then, the Muslims of Medina found a solution to it. The migrants who were not familiar with agriculture would only be occupied with watering and grooming, and they would do the cultivating themselves. The harvest would be shared equally. The Honorable Messenger accepted this proposal. (4)
History has witnessed a lot of migrations. However, it had not witnessed such a meaningful and divine immigration, such sincere unity between immigrants and locals, such affectionate embracing and bonding until then; and it will not ever witness another one like this! This sincere embracing gave birth to a magnificent power, such a power that the whole Arabia would have to submit to entirely in a short time.
Efforts of Immigrants
The immigrants did not idle about thinking “The Ansar brothers gave us accommodation and subsistence.” This would contradict to studiousness arising from their belief. Each of them tried their best so as not to be a burden on anyone.
The most remarkable example of this is Abdurrahman bin Awf’s (one of the ten Companions who were heralded to enter Heaven) answer to Sa’d bin Rabi’s proposal.
“I am the richest of all Muslims of Medina in terms of money. I saved half of my wealth for you!” said Sa’d bin Rabi to Abdurrahman bin Awf, who were appointed as brothers.
Great Companion Abdurrahman bin Awf’s answer was as noteworthy as the proposal: “May God make your wealth auspicious for you! I do not need it. The greatest favor you can do me is to show me the way to the bazaar where you do shopping.” (5)
The next morning, Abdurrahman bin Awf, who was taken to Qaynuqa bazaar, bought some goods such as oil and cheese and started the trade business. After a while, he earned a fair income and then became one of the well-known tradesmen of Medina, as he was also honored with the Prophet’s prayer for “his wealth to increase and be abundant.” He used to say:
“Even when I take a stone, I see gold or silver under it!” (6)
Hazrat Abdurrahman bin Awf, who gained a lot of wealth due to the blessing of the Honorable Messenger’s prayers for him, donated seven hundred camels with their loads at once for charity, for the sake of God.
Many other Muslims of Mecca found appropriate jobs for themselves and lived happily by their own work, like Hazrat Abdurrahman bin Awf.
Abu Huraira’s Statement
We can also understand that Muslims of Mecca earned their living by elbow grease, without being a burden on Muslims of Medina from Abu Huraira’s statements.
One day, he was asked “how he could narrate more hadiths than the other Companions” and his answer to this question was illuminating:
“While Muslims of Medina were busy with planting and sowing, and migrants with shopping and trade in bazaar, I was always with the Messenger of God, listening to and memorizing his words. I received his blessing.” (7)
Positive Outcomes of the Brotherhood
The brotherhood established yielded positive outcomes in a short time. Various strata of society got closer to each other with the help of this brotherhood. This brotherhood also abolished tribalistic pride and enmity. As a result, a society with divine aims, supreme goals, and virtuous souls emerged.
Another positive outcome of this brotherhood was as follows:
The prophet would take one of the brothers with him and let the other one stay in order to provide both families’ living when he went on a battle. Therefore, their houses were not left unprotected.
God the Glorious praised this unique sincerity, hospitability, gratitude, generosity, and self-sacrifice which the Ansar showed to their immigrant brothers, declaring it in the following Quranic verse:
“But those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith,- show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, - they are the ones that achieve prosperity.” (8)
This spiritual brotherhood, which was established, is a unique picture of honor which cannot be seen in history of any other nation. Cooperation, solidarity and charitableness which resulted from this brotherhood also played an important role as it happened during the times Islam was just beginning to grow. “Without any hesitation, it can be stated that it is all because of the power of this religious brotherhood that the light of Islam expanded all over the world in a quarter of a century, that Iran was entirely conquered and East Roman Empire was threatened” (9)
Brotherhood Established among the Migrants Themselves
The Honorable Messenger also established brotherhood among the migrants.
One day, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar were walking hand in hand. Having seen this pleasant scene, the Prophet turned to the Companions near him and said to them: “Apart from prophets and messengers, if you would like to see two great people in their prime ages among the Heaven-worthy people who lived before and who are to come in the future, look at those who are coming up! And he made them brothers. (10)
The Honorable Messenger was making Muslims of Mecca brothers with each other, one by one. Then, Hazrat Ali turned up. He said: “O Messenger of God!” in tears. “You made companions brothers to each other. But you did not make anyone brother with me!”
The Prophet wiped his tears, saying: “O Ali! You are my brother both in worldly and otherworldly life!” (11)
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 238; Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, V. 2, p. 18.
2. Tecrid Tercemesi, V. 7, p. 76.
3. The decree of this brotherhood regarding inheritance was abolished by the following verse sent afte the Battle of Badr: “kindred by blood have prior rights against each other in the Book of God” (al-Anfal, 75).
4. Bukhari, Sahih, V. 3, p. 67.
5. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 125.
6. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 3, p. 126.
7. Tecrid Tercemesi, V. 7, p. 47.
8. Al-Hashr, 9.
9. Tecrid Tercemesi, V. 7, p. 77.
10. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 174-175.
11. Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 5. p. 300.
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