Why Did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Raid Caravan?

Discussion in 'Islamic Discussion' started by Casiva, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Casiva
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    Casiva A Servant of Allah

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    Assalamualaikum,
    I want to ask something : why did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) raid caravan? I think a prophet as noble as him should avoid any wrong doings. And isn't raiding other people's caravan a sin? I know that they did that because their belongings in Mecca were taken, but still, couldn't he just forgive them? Isn't Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the best man with best moral?
    And I heard some rumors that this raid story is not real, only made up to bring Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s moral down, is that true?
    Before you judge me anything, I must declare that I am muslim and I am just curious to know. I hope a good answer from all of you who read this. It will be better if your answer based on valid reference such as Quran or hadith. Thanks :)
  2. Seeking Allah's Mercy
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    Seeking Allah's Mercy Qul HuwaAllahu Ahud!

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    Asalamo`Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Baraakaatuh,

    Political reasons as far as I know. Medina was a Muslim state. The routes around it belonged to them. Muslims had every right to take what went through their lands or around them, without their permission.

    What do you think would any state on the face of a modern world do, if a plane or a ship crossed it's boundaries [air, land or water] while it belonged to someone who are at war with the state? Well war isn't a requirement these days. I think two friendly states won't allow anything like that without permission these days either.

    Trade is how the Mushriks strengthened themselves. That is how the Muslims weakened them. You weaken the enemies who know only one thing i.e to kill you, in order to survive.

    There is nothing wrong with that.
  3. a_stranger
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    a_stranger Junior Member

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    Assalamu alaikim wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh

    Muslems at beginning of Islam was under a most sever oppression from people of Mecca , those arrogant idol worshipers did all that they can to stop Islam since islam stands against their arrogance and ignorance . That battle was a must to stop those oppressors. They used all kind of force to stop Islam ......the only way remains for muslem is to stop them by force.
  4. Perseveranze
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    Perseveranze Junior Member

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    Asalaamu Alaikum,

    You do know that...

    1. They were simply reclaiming their wealth/belongings.

    2. The Muslims had little source of wealth/survival in the first place. They couldn't go around robbing people, but they also couldn't end up starving to death, so caravan raiding and taking back what was rightfully theirs was the best option.

    3. Those same wealth/belongings would've/was being used by the Quraish to further hurt/inflict pain on the Muslims.
  5. strive-may-i
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    strive-may-i Junior Member

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    Did he raid caravan? No. He peacefully preached Submission to will of creator, but that did not go down well with the non believing Quraysh. They plotted to eliminate, using the wealth of the believers.
    He did the right thing. You disagree? Then you would not be able to declare in your post, you are a muslim.


    Conclusion: He did forgive them. And, the initial resentment to Creators message naturally disappeared, because of the Good manners and impeccable character and lifestyle of Prophet :saw: and his followers. The attempted raid was to
    a. counter the economic sanctions on the city state Medina by the city state Mecca.
    b. to prevent the caravan helping the war preparation by Quraysh in Mecca (on Medina) by selling Believers property which was in Mecca.

    Like Perseverance pointed out, you know, but you need to dwelve more deeply to appreciate it. There are many parallels in history and religion. Dont prefer looking history? Its like the economic sanction America had on Cuba, just because Cuba decided to be socialist, or the economic sanctions on many countries. Just an example.



    Yes he is.
    Thats exactly why Alphonse de Lamartine said in awe “If greatness of purpose, aptness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”


    You passed a judgement on yourself :) .It too early to judge, In The Judgement day each of us will bear witness to our deeds and misdeeds. Based on your inclination you will derive a different conclusion, let know.


    Here are the facts which I recollect (Highlighted in blue, if you are short on time):
    (You heard rumor in present now how will that affect past accurately untampered documented history?)


    For the first 13 years of Prophethood of Muhammad preaching Islam, despite intense persecution, the Muslims did not fight Quraysh. The retaliation of Quraysh in mecca grew manifolds. The noble prophet who had no history of wrongdoing and his followers were being prosecuted just because Messages of - peace, treating slaves better, not killing the girl child, paying wages dutifully, ascribing no partner to the creator - did not go down well with the powerful tribe of Quraysh. The believers were not allowed to worship. The believers, after reverting had turned away from old barbaric ways and become upright, morally good leading examples of better humans. The call to fix the injustice in society, economic, social and spiritual did not go well with the Quraysh. All Prophets in their time and age were prosecuted when the message of creator was spread among the masses. Allah details history of past prophets in Quran. The hadiths give accurate picture of the events. Take some time to read it, avoid rumors.


    The resistance to prophet and his peaceful disciples grew stronger. The Quraysh made the life of believers in Mecca difficult. The inhabitants of Medina (most were not muslims yet then), however seemed open to Divine message, were happy with Prophet:saw:, the best man with best morals, even in face of severe oppression by the Quraysh of Mecca. And the historic Hijra to Medina happened. The believers were not allowed to take their wealth while migrating from Mecca to Medina. The Migration was gradual and had to be done very secretively, such was the extent of the oppression. Believers arrived poor at Medina. The ansars of Medina welcomed the Meccan Believers. When the Meccans plotted to assasinate Prophet :saw:, he under stealth moved to Madina (called Hijra). Even when they moved to Medina, the meccans did not stop their old ways. Medina was now subject to economic sanction. Serious ultimatum to the chief of the disbelievers in al-Medina, ordering him to fight or drive out the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) from al-Medina. Otherwise, they would attack their city and destroy their people. Meccans began a serious preparation to carry out the Ultimatum. Once in Medina, the Prophet Muhammad received a revelation giving the Muslims permission to respond militarily. In the two years after the migration, the encounters between the two groups were small skirmishes and attempted raids. In Ramadan of 624 CE, this changed.


    That year, the Prophet Muhammad received information that Meccan Quraysh had a large caravan returning from Syria to Mecca. This caravan was loaded with the property of the believers left behind in Mecca. The wealth from the trade was for war preparation. The Muslims planned to raid the caravan to counter for Quraysh’s using the muslims property for war preparation. The proceeds of this caravan was meant to equip in driving out believers from Mecca. Prophet:saw: did not intend to go to battle and were not prepared for battle. Abu Sufyan, one of the Meccan leaders who was with the caravan, received word of the plan for the raid, send message to Meccans to send troops and diverted the caravan and reached safety. Once Caravan was safe, Abu Sifyan again sent another message to Mecca informing Caravan was safe, directing the troops to go back. But under Abu Jahl's influence 1300 well prepared Troops set out to Badr from Mecca.


    A troop of 900 hostile troops outside Medina, needed a response. Before the Prophet decided to fight the Meccans, he consulted his followers who were made of up Muslims who emigrated from Mecca (called muhajirun) and Muslims from Medina (called ansar). He waited for the support of the Muslims from Medina because the Constitution of Medina that they signed on to did not include fighting outside of Medina. . Once he received their support, the Prophet Muhammad decided to engage in battle. 900 Well Equipped Quraysh versus 313 ill equipped muslims.


    The battles of past are different from now. The Islamic historians of then have captured the details very accurately and the unprejudiced world historians of today approve these well docuemented records.. One important point that comes out when you read about these battles from unbiased sources is the single battles at the beginning of the war. The battles were never an excess, and was a necessity.


    There were some more battles. Since believers were steadfast to the imaan and followed it up with good character, there were many victory and few defeats too. Finally it culminated in Mecca. Never in history did a conqueror, gain control over the capital city without bloodshed when leading an army of 10,000 well equipped soldiers. These Soldiers, who were badly treated had chosen a better way of leading life, and hence did not retaliate. They did not retaliate because their Beloved Leader Prophet:saw: instructed them not to. So not just Prophet:saw: even his followers were also forgiving.



    You are capable of applying your mind and arriving at a fair assessment, am sure. You can ask questions in forum openly without fear, there is no need for PMs. Hope this gives insights.
  6. kalamazoo
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    kalamazoo 'Millat "IBRAHIM" {AleyhiSalaam}

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    asalaam aleykum,

    Yes, that applies to you too from where these questions references you obtained, kuran verses hadith page and number.

    thank you.


    so am/we are waiting... to hear from you soon.
  7. Absolute truth
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    Absolute truth لا إله إلا الله

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    Critics of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) often bring up his caravan raids against the Makkans as a means to attack him; they argue that these caravan raids made the Prophet Muhammad a ‘bandit’ and a ‘thief’ amongst many other accusations.

    The caravan raids by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) need to be put in their proper context, which as usual, the critics have not done. The critics as usual have only decided to concentrate on the act, the act of the caravan raids, while completely detaching the raids from their proper and appropriate context.

    So in this article we shall give the context behind the caravan raids, once doing so, the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) actions will be seen as quite appropriate and fair.

    Now anyone who studies Islamic history will learn that the early Muslim community that began in the city of Makkah, was heavily persecuted and oppressed by the Pagan Makkans. Muslims in Makkah were verbally abused, physically beaten, tortured, as well as killed. The situation for the Muslim minority in Makkah got so bad at the hands of pagan persecution that many of the Muslims eventually left Makkah, and emigrated elsewhere. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also eventually emigrated and left Makkah alongside his companion Abu Bakr, making way for the city of Madinah, where the Muslim community were settling.

    Now when many of these Muslims emigrated from Makkah, the Makkans had taken their properties and the belongings they left behind, and sold what the Muslims had left behind. The properties and belongings obviously didn’t belong to the Makkan pagans, yet they took it anyway, and decided to financially benefit from it. Not only did the pagans unlawfully take what was not theirs, some of the Muslims who emigrated, such as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions such as Abu Bakr, Umar, and others. Were also successful merchants and traders involved in the caravan trade industry. And when they emigrated, they had to leave their successful businesses behind, and all of this was down to the persecution of the pagan Makkans.

    So the Muslims were financially hit by the Makkans, it was the Makkans who had originally hurt the finances of the Muslims. Now when the Muslim community were settled in Madinah, and for the first time in a long time, were able to defend themselves and fight back, decided to do so. And just like the pagans had hit the finances of Muslims, the Muslims began to do the same to the pagans. Muslims weren’t only hitting the pagans at their finances, but the Muslims were taking back what they lost, and what they deserved. They were taking what was unlawfully taken away from them, at the hands of the pagan Makkans.

    Furthermore, The Muslims were defending their community against the Makkan pagans who had oppressed them for several years, and in a conflict, one will often go after their enemies finances, hit them where it hurts the most. If the Muslims were able to financially hurt the Makkans, this would have a very negative affect on them, and would hurt them in their efforts to fight and oppress the Muslim community.

    It is very important to mention that the Muslims did not instigate the fight, the caravan raids was the response of the Muslims towards the pagan persecution against them, and this is what the critics always like to ignore. The critics like to pretend that it was the Muslims who began hostilities with the act of the caravan raids, when this is not at all the case. As we had earlier mentioned, the Muslim community in Makkah were heavily oppressed by the pagans, they were beaten, verbally abused, tortured and killed. The oppression got so bad Muslims had to emigrate away from their homes to be safe from persecution, and in the process of this emigration, they had left their properties and belongings behind, including their own successful business’ in the caravan-trade industry.

    So the caravan raids was to financially hurt the pagans just as they had done to the Muslims, and to also take back what was taken from the Muslim community. It also served the strategic purpose of financially weakening the pagan opposition as the two sides were now in open war, and when you’re in open war with an enemy, you seek to hurt your enemy’s finances. Modern civilized and democratic countries do this all the time when they’re in war or conflict with another nation or entity, hurting their enemies finances and assets, yet the critics of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who love to praise how civilized and great the west is, like to condemn the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for engaging in a similar act!

    So a critic of the caravan raids, like Robert Spencer, has no problem when America seizes the assets of other politicians or people deemed to be extremists or terrorists, this is all fair and good, Spencer will not speak a word against it, and you can bet he will praise and support it. And this only highlights the double standards and inconsistency of the critics of Islam; they have one standard for themselves, and another standard for everybody else.
    http://thedebateinitiative.com/2014/05/28/the-prophet-muhammad-pbuh-and-the-caravan-raids/
  8. mohammadyunus
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    mohammadyunus Junior Member

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    instead of us giving answers, wouldnt it be better to direct the op to the book which details the entire episode. It is included in the seerah books of prophet mohammad pbuh. You should read the book "Seeratun Nabi" by Syed Ali Mian Nadwi rah. It is as detailed and authentic bio of the prophet as you can get.
    Also, you can read "Hayatus Sahabas" in three volumes by Hazrat Maulana Yusuf Kandhelwi rah. which covers the lives of the companions of the prophet.

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