Aqabah Agreement

Aqabah Agreement

The haste observed among some people in Yathrib reinforced the Quraiens` doubts about the agreement and concluded that the report they had received was correct. So they were pursuing all those who belonged to Yathrib. But fortunately, they began their pursuit when it was too late and the Hajj caravan had already passed through the reach of Makkans. They could only put their hands on a Muslim, and he was Sa`d bin `Ubadah. Suddenly, the news of the second agreement in `Aqabah fell like a bomb under it. The leaders of the Idolatean administration had just known that in the darkness of the previous night, seventy-three people belonging to Yathrib had made an agreement with the Prophet to defend him in the same way that they defended their children. The two most important Arab tribes in Medina were the Banu Khazraj and the Banu Aws. They were great enemies of one another and fought many battles. The recurrent massacres and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu`ath (c. 617), in which all clans (including Jews) participated, made them understand that tribal conceptions of the blood and eye-for-an-eye quarrel were no longer practicable, unless there was a man of authority to decide in the event of a dispute.

At that time, Bura`ben Ma`rur rose and said, “By Allah! If there had been anything in our hearts other than what we said with our tongue, we would have expressed it. We have no other intention than sincere respect for the agreement and sacrifice on the path of the Prophet.┬áThen the Khazrajites turned to the Prophet and asked him to say something. The Prophet recited a few verses and stirred their propensity for Islam. After adopting Islam by reading the Shahada, the delegation and its fellow citizens pledged to welcome the Prophet Muhammad into their community and physically protect him as one of himself. This oath was known as the “First Bay`at (Oath) of Aqabah”. The text of the agreement reached after the adoption of Islam was as follows: “We have concluded with the Prophet that we will be obliged to do so: `We will not associate anyone with Allah We will not steal or commit adultery. We will not kill our children. We will not box each other and we will not fail to do good deeds.┬áThe continued dissemination of these six people proved fruitful and a group of Yathrib residents embraced Islam. In the twelfth year of the prophetic mission, another group of twelve people came from Yathrib and met the prophet in `Aqabah and concluded the first Islamic agreement. The most famous of these people were As`ad bin Zurarah and `Ubadah bin Samit. The prophet promised that if they acted in accordance with the agreement, they would be their place in paradise, but if they were disobeyed, it was up to Allah to forgive or torture them.