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Why did The Prophet dispatch military expeditions into The Arabian Desert after the emigration?

In such severe circumstances, God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, dispatched, as military measures, expeditions into the heart of the desert. In dispatching them, he had several aims, some of which are as follows:

� Unbelievers tried to extinguish the Light of God �with their mouths� but, although they were averse, God willed to perfect His Light (al-Saff, 61.8). So, God�s Messenger desired to demonstrate that it was impossible for unbelievers to exterminate Islam, and to show that Islam was a reality that could not be ignored.

� Makka enjoyed a central position in the heart of the Arabian peninsula. It was the most formidable power of the time in Arabia and all the other tribes felt some sort of adherence to it. By dispatching military expeditions to neighboring areas, God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, also desired to demonstrate the power of Islam and to break the dominance of the Quraysh in Arabia.

During human history, the concept of �might is right� has usually been a norm. This has been so because �right� has usually not had enough power to hold the dominance of the world. The case was the same fourteen centuries ago in Arabia. Since the Quraysh enjoyed might and wealth, the neighboring tribes obeyed them. However, Islam came to make right might, and, in order to demonstrate this and to break the pressure of the Makkan polytheists on neighboring tribes to prevent them from embracing Islam, God�s Messenger dispatched military expeditions through the desert one after the other.

� The mission of God�s Messenger was not restricted to a fixed period, nor to one nation only; rather, he was sent as a mercy for all the worlds. So, he was charged to communicate the Message of God as far as the remotest corners of the world. However, since he began his mission in Arabia, he had, certainly, to know the conditions surrounding him. These expeditions were, therefore, vanguards to be acquainted with those conditions and pave the way for the preaching of Islam in the peninsula.

� One of the most effective ways of crushing the enemy is to stir them to unpremeditated, premature movements and thereby to always have the initiative. God�s Messenger was surely informed of the contacts the Quraysh established with �Adbullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, the head of the hypocrites in Madina, to frustrate him in his mission, and he was alert to their possible attacks on Madina. Meanwhile a military force of the Quraysh was able to penetrate as far as the suburbs of Madina and, after a plunder, returned to Makka. So, by dispatching military expeditions, God�s Messenger, upon him be peace, also desired to agitate the Quraysh to an unprepared, unpremeditated action against Madina to nip their plots in the bud.

� The Quraysh lived on international trade. They sent trade caravans to Syria and to the Yemen. So, it was a vital importance for them that their trade routes should be absolutely secure. However, thanks to the situation of Madina, God�s Messenger was able to threaten their trade and, therefore, while strengthening his position in Madina on the one hand, he was, on the other, dispatching military expeditions to paralyze the hopes and plans of the Quraysh to deal him any blow.

� Islam guarantees security of life and property. Its commandments aim to guarantee the security of life, the security of property, the security of, in addition to physical health, mental and spiritual health, the security of chastity, and the security of belief. Therefore, it strictly prohibits murder, theft, robbery and plundering, and also usurpation and interest or usury and gambling, alcohol, every kind of illicit sexual intercourse, anarchy and propagation of atheism. The Arabic original of �belief� is iman and means giving security. Therefore a mu�min (believer) is the one who never cheats and from whose tongue and hand all people are in utmost security. He never lies, never breaks his word, and never breaches a trust. Also, he never conceives of earning his life by stealing or other un-Islamic ways like usurpation and interest-involving transactions. He is convinced that the one who has killed a man is as if he killed the whole of humankind.

When God�s Messenger was raised as a Prophet, there was in Arabia no security, neither of life or property, nor of chastity or health, nor of belief, nor indeed in the rest of the world. However, he had to establish absolute security in every aspect of life. Once, he had said to Adiy ibn Khatam:

A day will come when a woman will travel, riding in a litter, from Hira to Makka and fear nothing except God and wolves.11

By dispatching military expeditions through the desert, God�s Messenger also aimed to establish security therein and wanted to show to everyone, friend and foe, that security was not possible but by Islam.

 

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