‘Abdullah bin Ubai, a terrible hypocrite was full of rancour against Islam and the Muslims because he believed that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had dispossessed him of his leadership over Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, two clans already agreed on the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his masterhood over them.
‘Abdullah’s rancour had appeared before he feigned Islam. Following the battle of Badr, he made pretensions of being a Muslim, but deep at heart, he remained that terrible enemy of Allâh, His Messenger; and all the believers, in general. His sole target had always been to sow the seeds of dissension in the Muslim community, and undermine the cause of the new heavenly religion it has. His treacherous behaviour could be witnessed everywhere but was strikingly evident in his wicked attempts at creating a state of confusion and diamongst the Muslims at Uhud Battle. His hypocrisy and deceit assumed serious and ugly dimensions when he used to stand up among the Muslims shortly before the Prophet’s Friday speech, and mockingly say to them: “This is the Messenger of Allâh, who has honoured you with Allâh, so you have got to support, obey and listen to him,” and then he would sit down.
He did the same following Uhud Battle on Friday. He was so rude and presumptuous that his words smacked unmistakingly of deeply-rooted rancour, so that some of the Muslims took him by his cloak reproachingly and silenced him. He immediately left, uttering rude and mocking words. A Helper met him at the Mosque gate and ordered him to return and beg the Messenger for Allâh’s forgiveness, but he retorted that he had never wanted him to ask for that. He, moreover, conducted clandestine contacts with Bani Nadir, another tribe of Jews, encouraging them to make alliance with him and promising support for them; all of this in his ceaseless efforts in a long process of conspiracy and intrigue hatched against the Muslims. Allâh’s Words as regards his treacherous acts and awe-inspiring attempts during the Trench Battle came to testify quite clearly to this mode of hypocrisy:
“And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: ‘Allâh and His Messenger (Peace be upon him)promised us nothing but delusions!” [33:12]
The verses go on in the same context to describe the hypocrite as a coward and a defeatist. He is a liar and has no regard for pledges solemnly made. He is treacherous, disloyal and perfidious. He is niggardly and greedy. In short, he is the complete antithesis of a true believer:
“They think that Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) have not yet withdrawn, and if Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the bedouins, seeking news about you (from a far place); and if they (happen) to be among you, they would not fight but little.” [33:20]
All enemies of Islam from the Jews, hypocrites and polytheists did acknowledge that Islam had the upper hand not because of material superiority, multitudes of troops or much equipment; but it was rather due to the noble values, refined ethics and high attributes that imbued the Muslim community and whoever was attached to it. The enemies of Islam were already aware of that flood of light derived wholly from the person of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , who always stood as an excellent exemplar for men to copy and follow.
The enemies of Islam, after steering the course of futile warfare against the new religion for five years, came to realize fully that exterminating Islam is not accessible in the battlefields, so they resorted to other tactics. They, being reputed gossip-mongers, decided to launch a widespread propaganda campaign aiming at slandering the person of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in a most sensitive area of the Arabian life, namely ethics and traditions. Following the battle of the Confederates, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) married Zainab bint Jahsh after her marriage with Zaid bin Haritha, his adopted son, had broken up. They seized this opportunity and began to circulate idle talk against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in Arabia depending on a tradition among the desert Arabs that prohibits contracting a marriage with an adopted son’s divorcee. They alleged that his marriage would be considered a heinous sin. They also based their malicious propaganda on the fact that Zainab was his fifth wife whereas the number was strictly limited to a maximum of four in the Noble Qur’ân, hence the validity of this marriage was in doubt, according to them.
These rumours and gossips had a negative impact on the morale of some weak-hearted Muslims until the decisive verses were revealed acquitting the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and invalidating all those ill designs and obnoxious schemes:
“O Prophet [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)]! Keep your duty to Allâh, and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites (i.e. do not follow their advices). Verily! Allâh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” [33:1]