Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
2 November 2012 / 17 Zulhijjah 1433
Lessons From The Pledge Of ‘Aqabah
Dear Friday jemaah blessed by Allah,
On this blessed Friday, let us affirm our relationship with Allah s.w.t. by strengthening our resolve to continue having taqwa to Him in the truest sense of the word. Let us continue to strive as best as we can to fulfil His commands, and avoid the things forbidden by Allah s.w.t.
My dear blessed jemaah,
In this blessed month of Zulhijjah, let us take this opportunity to recall the event that occurred during the Prophet’s time in this month, known as the ‘Pledge of ‘Aqabah.’ Through our appreciation of this significant event, may our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. be strengthened and may our love for Rasulullah s.a.w. be increased.
As recorded in the book of Sirah or History of The Prophet, ‘Al-Raheeq Al-Makhtum’ that the event leading to the pledge of allegiance at ‘Aqabah began with the presence of a few representatives from the tribes of ‘Aus and Khazraj from Yathrib, who met with Rasulullah s.a.w. in secret at Mount ‘Aqabah in Mina. Their presence there was to sign a treaty which is known as the ‘Pledge of ‘Aqabah.’
One of the companions who came from the tribe of Khazraj and was present during the Pledge of ‘Aqabah was ‘Ubadah Bin Al-Samit. He narrated that Rasulullah s.a.w. said, which means:
“Promise me that you shall not associate anything with Allah: whether in worship, His attributes, His power or His authority. You shall not steal, nor indulge in adultery or fornication, nor practice the custom of killing your own children, nor falsely accuse or backbite anyone in front or from their backs, and that you will not disobey in performing good deeds and just cause.”
“Whoever breaches any of these terms, will be punished in this world, and that will be his redemption (or kaffarah).”
“However, if anyone of you breach the terms of this agreement by performing against the very deeds that we have agreed today, but Allah conceals his actions from being known to man, then his matter is with Allah. If Allah wishes, He may punished him and if Allah wishes, He may forgive him for his deeds.”
‘Ubadah then continued: “I therefore took my allegiance with the Prophet.” Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari.
In the book ‘Al-Raheeq Al-Makhtum,’ the significance of this Pledge of ‘Aqabah is further detailed by the presence of a Muslim envoy by the name of Mus’ab Bin ‘Umayr, together with 73 other males and 2 females from Yathrib in the following year. Their presence this time was to give their pledge and allegiance to protect and defend Rasulullah s.a.w. and to assure their support in good and bad times, and to not be divided, as well as to always speak the truth wherever they may be.
My dear beloved brothers blessed by Allah,
This is the Pledge of ‘Aqabah entered between the tribes of ‘Aus and Khazraj with Rasulullah s.a.w. If we ponder carefully, my dear brothers, there are many valuable lessons that we can learn from this historical event. Allow this minbar to outline key learning points from this event so that the spirit of this agreement as demonstrated in ‘Aqabah will prevail in our daily lives.
First – In the first Pledge of ‘Aqabah during the hajj season, Rasulullah s.a.w. met with a small group of people from Yathrib to introduce himself and the message that he brings. Clearly, he did not underestimate the small group before him. In fact, he took the golden opportunity to convey the message of Islam. In the end, it was proven that this small group who believed in Allah and His Prophet, has a larger quality than the people of Quraysh who have yet to believe in the message of Islam.
Second – The Pledge of ‘Aqabah indirectly opened a new chapter for the lives of the people of ‘Aus and Khazraj. Previously, they lived in mutual hostility to each other. Battles and bloodsheds coloured their history for ages. Poetries were written and recited to celebrate their victories, or to lament over their defeats in battles.
After the Pledge of ‘Aqabah was taken with Rasulullah s.a.w., these two warring factions were united on the basis of belief and faith in Allah and His Prophet, and they now live in peace and love for each other. In fact, they went on to become a strong community who was known for their compassion, caring and loving nature for each other, and their preferential treatment for others above themselves.
This is the new chapter in the lives of these two warring tribes who then become a community who is resolute with virtuous characteristics. These two tribes are united in the name of ‘Al-Ansar’ as we know it today. In the Al-Quran, Allah paid tribute to this group in the following verse as follows:
Meaning: “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 who achieve prosperity.”
Third – The final lesson that we can learn from this event of ‘Aqabah, is the main message found in the agreement itself.
In summary, the contents of the message invited the people of ‘Aus and Khazraj to give their allegiance based on the teachings of Islam, that is:
(1) To not associate anyone or anything with Allah,
(2) To not commit any sins that will be detrimental to our own selves,
(3) To not commit any sins that will aggrieve others,
(4) To not backbite or slander,
(5) To not disobey Rasulullah s.a.w.
Subhanallah! These are the essence of the agreement made in ‘Aqabah for them to appreciate, understand and practiced by the people of ‘Aus and Khazraj until they managed to turn their lives around from syirik to belief, from being enemies to loving each other, from injustices to fairness that benefits everyone.
My dear beloved and blessed brothers,
These are some of the lessons that I can share with you through the Pledge of ‘Aqabah that happened during the month of Zulhijjah.
These lessons can sharpen our minds to help us to continuously think and reflect, these lessons will wet our lips in zikrullah to remind us to be grateful for the blessings of Allah, and these lessons will beautify and enhance our manners as we interact with people around us, whether they are Muslims or otherwise.
Let us strive together in this month of Zulhijjah, to emulate the Ansars who promised to defend Rasulullah s.a.w. from all forms of harm. Let us pledge to obey Allah and His Prophet in good or tough times. Let us not succumb to disunity among ourselves, and let us always speak the truth wherever we are.
May Allah s.w.t. bless us in our pursuit and deeds to please Him, and may Allah assist us to be among those who are successful and prosperous in this world and in the hereafter.
Hope it benefits:)