Financing the expedition to Tabuk. In 630 C.E., after return from Makkah the Holy Prophet decided to lead an expedition to Tabuk on the Syrian border. In order to finance the expedition the Holy Prophet invited contributions and donations from his followers. Othman provided ten thousand camels. Umar made a liberal contribution When the Holy Prophet asked him what he had left for himself and his family he said that he had given one half of his wealth for the cause of Allah, and had left one half for himself and his family. Then Abu Bakr came loaded with his contribution and the Holy Prophet put him the same question as to what had he left for himself and his family. Abu Bakr said, “I have brought all that I had. I have left Allah and His Prophet for myself and my family.” This episode has formed the theme of one of the poems of Allama Iqbal. The last verse of the poem reads: “For the moth the lamp; for the nightingale the flower, For Siddiq God and His Prophet alone suffice.”
The call to arms. The call to arms was given at a very critical time. The weather was burning hot. Crops were ripe and ready for harvesting. The journey was long and arduous. Many persons preferred to stay back. In spite of these obstacles and difficulties, an army of thirty thousand persons was raised. The army assembled at Al-Jorf outside Madina. The Holy Prophet remained at Madina for some time to attend to other affairs and at Al-Jorf, Abu Bakr deputized for the Holy Prophet and led the prayers.
The march to Tabuk. The Muslim army led by the Holy Prophet reached Tabuk after a weary march. At Tabuk the standard of the army was entrusted to Abu Bakr. There was no Byzantine force at Tabuk to meet the Muslims. On coming to know of the Muslims the Byzantines had withdrawn their army well within Syria. The Muslims achieved their object without firing a shot. The Byzantines who had at one time threatened to invade Arabia were no longer in the mood to measure swords with the Muslims. The tribes in the region which were under the suzerainty of the Byzantines transferred their allegiance to the Muslims.
The Holy Prophet’s address at Tabuk. At Tabuk, the Prophet delivered a classical address which has passed into history. He said: “Verily, the most veracious discourse is the Book of Allah. The most trusty stronghold is the word of piety. The best of religions is the religion of Islam. The best of precedents is the precedent of Muhammad. The noblest speech is the invocation of Allah. The finest of the narratives is the Quran. The best of the affairs is that which has been firmly resolved upon. The worst in religion are those things which are created without sanction. The best of the ways is the one trodden by the prophets. The noblest death is the death of a martyr. The most miserable blindness is waywardness after guidance. The best of the actions is that which is beneficent. The best guidance is that which is put into practice. The worst blindness is the blindness of the heart.”
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