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The Romans
***Reading: Everything you can on the Romans in general, and their building in particular
***Activity: draw / sketch the main features of a Roman city, paper machie a set?!
Include the following and explain their uses: Basilica – the meeting place
The amphitheatre – for shows, meeting and theatre
Forums - market place
Baths -
***Geography: if you have read the notes under references you will have noticed that a lot of countries are
mentioned ( Arabia Jordan, Syria and Palestine and rome). Between 300 BC and AD 200 their empire
was huge, from Britain to Egypt, Spain, Gaul (modern day France), Italy, Germany, goods from all over
the empire of Rome were brought in , eg. olives from Spain, corn from Egypt.
Using the following sites print off the maps and mark the main areas:
You may want to uses colours, green shading for muslims and their expansions, Another for the romans,
also blue for water
***Roman clothing
Sketch the main articles of clothing for a free born person and for a slave.
Clothing and Status: Much of Roman clothing was designed to reveal the social status of its wearer,
particularly for freeborn men.
To make this part more `alive' it would be ideal if you can get hold or some wool from a sheep! From the
amount you have roll a little bit between your index finger and thumb until it starts to look like a string,
pull gently so adding a bit more, keep twisting the whole time and the string should keep getting longer,
and thinner, It's hard work and would have been the task of the daughters while the sons went to school.
other useful / interesting sites
Reading: Quran and Hadith reading as given, this will again depend on the children and their ability: (I
will take this as reading for myself and then simply talk to the children about what Surahs in the Quran
say about the Romans, the history of that time and why they are mentioned at all.) Older children can
read by themselves in the Quran, on the net, and come back for discussion.
Romans in Britain: The Roman conquest of Britain book provides short chapters which are excellent for
covering the basics, each title is given below with their summary paragraph. Using this and any other
books from the library or internet sources it should be fairly easy to get an overall picture of the Romans
and Britain
{Any areas of particular interest can be taken further, eg. my eldest son was very interested in the Roman
Military so we found Gladiators, Pretorians, Legionary, Ensign and Infantry office for him to see in their
different costumes and battle gear. ( from Reading museum, small figures and book)
He drew a few sketches, had some pretend battles using some modern day toy men! And we discussed
how Gladiators must have felt when in the auditorium , how the soldiers must have felt about the constant
wheel of work, building, fighting, marching. How about defiance, emperor was god?! Parallel with
pharaoh! Etc.}
How Romans saw Britain: Before the roman general Julius Caesar landed on its shores in 55 and again in
54 BC few romans knew much of Britain. The people of the island were Celts, living outside the roman
empire. Across the channel was Gaul, ( modern France) which was under Roman rule, and
many Gauls fled to Britain to escape the Romans.
The first invasion: Caesar had conquered Gaul, and he was annoyed with the Celts for siding with the
Gauls against him, he also wanted to find out more about Britain, so the Romans marched on. This first
`invasion' was unsuccessful, as storms and bad weather stopped his ships from landing. As there was no
cavalry to fight the waiting Celtic horsemen Caesar returned to Gaul.
The second invasion was more successful in that he made it much further inland , from the south coast all
the way up and across the river Thames. At this time some of the Celts changed sides and joined the
Romans. This led to defeat for the still warring Celts and by utumn all had given up arms and peace was
restored. Caesar left for Rome, with some fame, but not much booty.
In the 90 years following these raids Britain was beginning to show Roman influence, in dress, living, and
coinage. In AD 43 Claudius ordered an attack on Britain, and the Battle of Medway took place. Romans
were victorious.
The Romans now held south east Britain, with its mineral wealth, silver and iron, and good farmland.
Beyond lay the mountains of Wales and northern Britain. In these remote regions the Celts watched and
waited. Many Celts resented the Romans who had the self imposed `duty' of civilising the world!!
The Romans were willing to fight but also to bargain, they did not want to lose their riches.
In AD 54 Claudius dies and Nero comes to the throne. The Celts hatred joined the Iceni of Norfolk who
along with the Trinovantes accused Rome of plundering their lands and abusing the Iceni queen Boudicca.
War!! The Great Revolt left Roman cities burnt and looted, under Boudicca. But the final battle with the
disciplined Roman soldiers and the roaring haphazard attacks of the Celts left the latter in flight. Boudicca
was discovered dead, believed to have taken poison to avoid capture. With Boudicca dead the Celts were
lost, leaderless and aimless, the Romans attacked, revenge on all, those who had joined her and those who
were simply Celts.
The wealth of Britain was being wasted and a tax official by the name of Classicianus went to report to
Nero the `mismanagement' of Britain. Nero appointed a new governor Paulinus.
Rebuilding and peace was restored. This peace continued for 400 years , the Romans never fully
controlled northern Britain but under them southern Britain prospered and had peace.
The Romans decorated the walls of their houses with brightly coloured paintings. The floors were often
covered in mosaics, pictures made from tiny different coloured tiles. Often the size and number of mosaics
in a house were a reflection on the wealth and status of the family, eg. the larger ones done on a dining
room floor would not be covered by rugs or furniture. When they had a dinner party there would be tables
laden with food pushed back around the room touching the walls so the floor space, and mosaics, could be
clearly seen!
Activity: making a mosaic: Have a look at these links which show Roman mosaics, and then try one of
your own!
Remember it doesn't have to be on a grand scale or the same topic, you can do one for a house, car, your
name, Arabic words?, or even Islamic symmetrical patterns.
The link below shows some childrens work on mosaics
Method :
** cut several sheets of different coloured paper into small squares
**sketch the outline of your mosaic in pencil on a sheet of plain paper
**then stick the coloured squares in place with paper glue/ pva glue
**remember to leave a tiny space between each `tile' so that the mosaic looks realistic
Reading: 1. from Alim disc
About this time it was revealed to the Prophet that his mission should be universal. He dispatched several
envoys to invite the neighboring sovereigns to Islam. The embassy to the king of Persia, Chosroes Parvis,
was received with disdain and contumely. He was haughtily amazed at the boldness of the Meccan fugitive
in addressing him on terms of equality. He was so enraged that he tore into pieces the Prophet's letter of
invitation to Islam and dismissed the envoy from his presence with great contempt. When the Prophet
received information on this treatment, he calmly observed: 'Thus will the Empire of Chosroes be torn to
The embassy to Heraclius, the Emperor of the Romans, was received much more politely and reverentially.
He treated the ambassador with great respect and sent the Prophet a gracious reply to his message.
Another envoy was sent to an Arab prince of the Ghassanite tribe, a Christian feudatory of Heraclius. This
prince, instead of receiving the envoy with any respect, cruelly murdered him. This act caused great
consternation among the Muslims, who considered it as an outrage of international obligations.
Abu Sufyan and Heraclius Meet Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb informed me that
Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They
were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan) at the time when Allah's
Messenger had a truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to
Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem).
Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for
his translator who, translating Heraclius's question, said to them: "Who among you is closely related to
that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied: "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the
Heraclius said: "Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Abu
Sufyan added: "Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions
to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should
contradict me. By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have
spoken the truth about the Prophet."
Abu Sufyan's narration continues:
"The first question he asked me about him was: "What is his family status among you?" I replied: "He
belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us." Heraclius further asked: "Has anybody among you ever
claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?" I replied: "No." He said: "Was anybody amongst his
ancestors a king?" I replied: "No." Heraclius asked: "Do the nobles or the poor follow him?" I replied: "It
is the poor who follow him." He said: "Are his followers increasing or decreasing (day by day)?" I replied:
"They are increasing." He then asked: "Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become
displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?" I replied: "No." Heraclius said: "Have you ever accused
him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?" I replied: "No." Heraclius said: "Does he break his
promises?" I replied: "No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it." I could not
find opportunity to say anything against him except that. Heraclius asked: "Have you ever had a war with
him?" I replied: "Yes." Then he said: "What was the outcome of the battles?" I replied: "Sometimes he was
victorious and sometimes we." Heraclius said: "What does he order you to do?" I said: "He tells us to
worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our
ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with
our kith and kin."
Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following: "I asked you about his family and your reply
was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact, all the Messengers come from noble families among
their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else among you claimed such a thing; your
reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man
was following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king.
Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man
wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom. I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies
before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not
tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then asked you whether the rich people followed
him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And, in fact, all the Messengers have
been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or
decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and, in fact, this is the way of true faith, till it is
complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion,
became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and, in fact, this is (the sign
of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he
had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative, and likewise the Messengers never betray. Then I asked
you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not
to worship anything along with Him, and forbade you to worship idols, and ordered you to pray, to speak
the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my
feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be
from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I
would certainly wash his feet."
Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Messenger which had been delivered by Dihya to
the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows:
"In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and
His Messenger to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him who follows the right path.
Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your
reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam, you will be committing a sin by misguiding your subjects.
(And I recite to you Allah's Statement:)
Say (0 Muhammad): '0 people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between
us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of
us shall take others as lords besides Allah.' Then, if they turn away say: 'Bear witness that we are
Abu Sufyan then added: When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great
hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the
question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha (the Prophet Muhammad) had become so prominent that even the King of
Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) was afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be
the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it).
Heraclius's Hatred of Islam: The sub narrator (of the Abu Sufyan story) added that Ibn An-Natur was the
Governor of llya (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur
narrated that once while Heraclius was visiting Ilya (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad
mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood. Heraclius was a foreteller and an
astrologer. He replied: "At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice
circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?"
The people replied: "Except the Jews, nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them
(Jews). Just issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.'
While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah's
Messenger to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go
and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius
that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied: "Arabs also
practice circumcision."
(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote
a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs (a
town in Syria) and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend, who
agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On
that, Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they
assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said: "O Byzantines!
If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain, then give a pledge
of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam)."
(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found
the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their
embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.
(When they returned) he said: "What was already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and
I have seen it." The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of
Heraclius's story (in connection with his faith).
The death of the envoy: revenged When the Prophet and his followers returned to Medina, they arranged
an expedition to exact retribution from the Ghassanite prince who had killed the Muslim envoy. A force of
three thousand men, under the Prophet's adopted son Zaid, was sent to take reparation from the
offending tribe.
Khalid Ibn Al-Walid was one of the generals chosen for the expedition. When they reached the
neighborhood of Muta, a village to the southeast of the Dead Sea, they met with an overwhelming force of
Arabs and Romans who were assembled to oppose them. The Muslims, however, resolved resolutely to
push forward. Their courage was of no avail and they suffered great losses. In this battle Zaid and Jafar, a
cousin of the Prophet, and several other notables were killed. Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, by a series of
maneuvers, succeeded in drawing off the army and conducting it without further loses to Medina. A
month later, however, 'Amr Ibn Al-As marched unopposed through the lands of the hostile tribes,
received their submission, and restored the prestige of Islam on the Syrian frontier.
2. Embrace Islam in the Harder book, pages 90 and 91, ( given below)
3. Atlases which show the Arabian Peninsula , or on the net
Prophet Muhammed PBUH sent many letters to invite others to become believers and join Islam. He sent
envoys with letters to kings and heads of state around the Arabian peninsula after the Treaty of
Hudaybiah in the 6th year of the Hijra.
Letters were send to and via the names given:
1.The Prophets PBUH nephew Jafar took a letter to Negus al Asham king of Abyssinia
2.Whaiyyah took a letter to Emperor Heraclius in Rome
3.Amr bin al-As took the Prophets PBUH letter to Jafr and Ahbad, the rulers of Oman
4.Hatib took a letter to Maqauqis king of Egypt, in Alexandria
5.Abdulla bin Hudhaifa took one to Khosroe Pervez, king of Persia
6.Shuja bin Wahb took a letter to Harith bin abi Shimr ruler of Damascus
7.Ala'bin Hadhrami took one to the governer of Bhrain, Al munzir bin sawa
Using the map at reading for this week: Find Mecca and Medina on your map and roughly plot routes to
each of the places mentioned , esp. number 2
Questions for discussion/ further reading
Q1. How do you think these distances were covered? Did the journey take long? How long would it take us
today?! Discuss modes of transport, then and now, these sites will help inshaAllah
Q2.Why do you think these letters were sent? ( calling to Islam was the task of the Prophet PBUH, but we
all, as muslims )
Activity: An original letter is kept in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
It is the one delivered by Hatib to the king of Egypt. It reads…..( in Arabic!!)
-----------------In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful
From: Muhammad the servant of Allah, and His Prophet
To: Maqauqis, the Great Copt
Peace be upon him who follows His guidance
After this I invite you to accept Islam and become a muslim. You will be saved and Allah will doubly
reward you. But if you don't, you will be responsible for the straying and the sins of the Copts.
"O people of the book" come to that which is common between us—that we shall worship none but Allah,
associate no partner with Him, and none of us shall take others as Lord but Allah. "if they turn away tell
them to bear witness that we have surrendered ourselves (unto Him)"
( there is then a circular seal in the bottom right hand corner saying Muhammed, the Prophet of Allah)
----------------------------------Using some thick A4 size paper copy out this letter in your best handwriting / calligraphy style. With the
help of an adult, ` age' your letter so it looks about 1400 years old! (3 minutes in the oven mums or lightly
toast on an electric hob! Staining with cold tea also works! )
***Reading Roman roads
*** worksheet on roman roads
The Romans were famous for their roads, and this page describes how Roman roads were built, and how
you could use the topic in the classroom. The Romans built roads so that the army could march from one
place to another. They tried to build the roads as straight as possible, so that the army could take the
shortest route. How the Road was Built...
1) First, the army builders would clear the ground of rocks and trees. They then dug a trench where the
road was to go and filled it with big stones. 2) Next, they put in big stones, pebbles, cement and sand
which they packed down to make a firm base. 3) Then they added another layer of cement mixed with
broken tiles. 4) On top of that, they then put paving stones to make the surface of the road. These stones
were cut so that they fitted together tightly. 5) Kerb stones were put at the sides of the road to hold in the
paving stones and to make a channel for the water to run away.
Print the diagram below and photocopy it. Then ask the children to draw the diagram into their books,
and put the following sentences into the correct place on their diagrams.
1) At the bottom of the trench, the Romans put a layer of big stones.
2) Broken stones, pebbles, cement and sand to make a firm base.
3) Cement mixed with broken tiles.
4) Paving stones formed the surface of the road. These were cut so they fitted together tightly.
5) Kerb stones at the sides held in the paving stones and made a channel for the water to run away.
The above activity can also be found on a worksheet here
2) If you have suitable materials (i.e. different sized rocks and pebbles, sand etc.), you could ask your
children to make a model of the road, using the instructions above.
3) Give the children a copy of a map of Britain. Ask them to draw on the location of some Roman roads,
using the information below: This table shows where some Roman roads started and ended. Draw the
roads on your map by joining the towns with a line.
You could ask the children to find the location of more Roman roads using different reference sources,
and they could also find out the Roman names for the towns and cities which are joined by the roads.
build an arch, such as the ones shown in the bridges use plasticine, or cardboard or even papermachie a
What the Ancients Knew: Roman Arch – Vault for the more ambitious
***Reading: either plumbing and calender OR coins OR cooking plumbing and calender
Romans are said to have been the inventors of: plumbing works roman calender
using the roman calender work out some dates, eg. todays date, next Ramadan, birthday etc.
Coins: most museums will have some kind of rubbings that you can attempt and bring home! (Luton
museum has a good range, so does Reading)
Roman emperors on coins
The romans used many spices in their food. It is said the main reason for this was the fact that the meat
would often be rotten and the spices covered up the taste!! For the recipie below you need to know two
roman terms
Liquamen: a salty fish sauce. Most of the time you can replace it by salt. And Defritum: Either thick fig
syrup, or must that's boiled until you have only a third of the amount with which you started.
Saturei: Savory. In Latin it's called 'satureia hortensis'. It's a violet or white flowered kind of labiate plants
which grows mainly in Southern Europe. It's used as a spice plant, especially for bean dishes; in Germany
it is called the 'bean herb'.
PULLUM FRONTONIANUM (Chicken a la Fronto)
(Apic. 6, 9, 13)
-----------1 fresh chicken (approx. 1-1.5kg)
100ml oil
200ml Liquamen,
1 branch of leek
fresh dill, Saturei, coriander, pepper to taste
a little bit of Defritum
------------Start to fry chicken and season with a mixture of Liquamen and oil, together with bunches of dill, leek,
Saturei and fresh coriander. Then cook approximately 1 hour with 220 deg C in the oven. When the
chicken is done, moisten a plate with Defritum, put chicken on it, sprinkle pepper on it, and serve.
1.Quran Surah 30 Rum,
For the historical background to Surah Rum From Alim disc : The period of the revelation of this Surah is
determined absolutely by the historical event that has been mentioned at the outset. It says: "The Romans
have been vanquished in the neighbouring land." In those days the Byzantine occupied territories
adjacent to Arabia were Jordan, Syria and Palestine, and in these territories the Romans were completely
overpowered by the Iranians in 615 A.D. Therefore, it can be said with absolute certainty that this Surah
was sent down in the same year, and this was the year in which the migration to Habash took place.
The prediction made in the initial verses of this Surah is one of the most outstanding evidences of the
Quran's being the Word of Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad's being a true Messenger of Allah. Let
us have a look at the historical background relevant to the verses.
Eight years before the Holy Prophet's advent as a Prophet the Byzantine Emperor Maurice was
overthrown by Phocus, who captured the throne and became king. Phocus first got the Emperor's five
sons executed in front of him, and then got the Emperor also killed and hung their heads in a
thoroughfare in Constantinople. A few days after this he had the empress and her three daughters also put
to death. The event provided Khusrau Parvez, the Sassanid king of Iran; a good moral excuse to attack
Byzantium. For Emperor Maurice had been his benefactor; with his help he had got the throne of Iran.
Therefore, he declared that he would avenge his godfather's and his children's murder upon Phocus, the
usurper. So, he started war against Byzantium in 603 A. D. and within a few years, putting the Phocus
armies to rout in succession, he reached Edessa (modern, Urfa) in Asia Minor, on the one hand, and
Aleppo and Antioch in Syria, on the other. When the Byzantine ministers saw that Phocus could not save
the country, they sought the African governor's help, who sent his son, Heraclius, to Constantinople with a
strong fleet. Phocus was immediately deposed and Heraclius made emperor. He treated Phocus as he had
treated Maurice. This happened in 610 A.D., the year the Holy Prophet was appointed to Prophethood.
The discourse begins with the theme that the Romans have been overcome and the people the world over
think that the empire is about to collapse, but the fact is that within a few years the tables will be turned
and the vanquished will again become victorious.
This introductory theme contains the great truth that man is accustomed to seeing only what is apparent
and superficial. That which is behind the apparent and superficial he does not know. When in the petty
matters of life, this habit to see only the apparent and superficial can lead man to misunderstandings and
miscalculations, and when he is liable to make wrong estimates only due to lack of knowledge about "what
will happen tomorrow", how stupendous will be his error if he risks his whole life-activity by placing
reliance only upon what is visible and apparent with respect to his worldly life as a whole. Then, from the
question of the conflict between Byzantium and Iran the direction of the discourse turns to the theme of
the Hereafter, and as far as verse 27, man has been made to understand in different ways that the
Hereafter is possible as well as rational and necessary; then for the sake of keeping the system of his life
also stable and balanced it is absolutely necessary that he should plan and order his present life on the
faith in the Hereafter; otherwise he will commit the same error as has always been the result of placing
one's reliance only upon the apparent and the visible.
In this connection, the Signs of the universe which have been presented as evidence to prove the doctrine
of the Hereafter are precisely the same which support the doctrine of Tauhid.
Therefore from verse 28 onward, the discourse turns to the affirmation of Tauhid and the refutation of
shirk, and it is stressed that the natural way of life for man is none else but to serve One God exclusively.
Shirk is opposed to the nature of the universe as to the nature of man. Therefore, whenever man has
adopted this deviation, chaos has resulted. Again here, an allusion has been made to the great chaos that
had gripped the world on account of the war between the two major powers of the time, and it has been
indicated that this chaos too, is the result of shirk, and all the nations who were ever involved in mischief
and chaos in the history of mankind were also mushriks.
In conclusion, a parable has been presented to make the people understand that just as dead earth comes
to life, all of a sudden, by a shower of rain sent by God and swells with vegetation and plant life, so is the
case with the dead humanity. When God sends a shower of His mercy in the form of Revelation and
Prophethood, it also gives a new life to mankind and causes it to grow and develop and flourish. Therefore:
"If you take full advantage of this opportunity, the barren land of Arabia will bloom by Allah's mercy and
the whole advantage will be your. But if you do not take advantage of it, you will harm only your selves.
Then no regret will avail and no opportunity will be provided to make amends."
Surah 18 Kaf, Historical background to Surah 59 Hashr
Surah 9 backgroung At tauba given on the Alim disc
The first was the Conquest of Arabia. The Holy Prophet was able to send missions among different clans
for the propagation of Islam. The result was that during the short period of two years, it became such a
great power that it made the old order of ignorance feel helpless before it. So much so that the zealous
elements from among the Quraish were so exasperated that they broke the Treaty in order to encounter
Islam in a decisive combat. But the Holy Prophet took prompt action after the breach so as not to allow
them any opportunity to gather enough force for this. He made a sudden invasion on Makkah in the
month of Ramadan in A H. 8 and conquered it.
Though this conquest broke the backbone of the order of ignorance, it made still another attack on Islam
in the battlefield of Hunain, which proved to be its death-knell. The clans of Hawazin Thaqif, Naur, Jushm
and others gathered their entire forces in the battlefield in order to crush the reformative Revolution, but
they utterly failed in their evil designs. The defeat of 'ignorance' at Hunain paved the way for making the
whole of Arabia the 'Abode of Islam' (Dar-ul-Islam). The result was that hardly a year had passed after the
Battle of Hunain, when the major portion of Arabia came within the fold of Islam and only a few
upholders of the old order remained scattered over some corners of the country.
The second event that contributed towards making Islam a formidable power was the Campaign of Tabuk,
which was necessitated by the provocative activities of the Christians living within or near the boundaries
of the Roman Empire to the north of Arabia. Accordingly, the Holy Prophet, with an army of thirty
thousand marched boldly towards the Roman Empire but the Romans evaded the encounter. The result
was that the power of the Holy Prophet and Islam increased manifold and deputation from all corners of
Arabia began to wait upon him on his return from Tabuk in order to offer their allegiance to Islam and
obedience to him. The Holy Quran has described this triumph in Surah An-Nisa: "When the succor of
Allah came and victory was attained and you saw people entering the fold of Islam in large numbers...
Campaign to Tabuk, off Alim disc
The Campaign to Tabuk was the result of conflict with the Roman Empire, that had started even before
the conquest of Makkah. One of the missions sent after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to different parts of
Arabia visited the clans which lived in the northern areas adjacent to Syria. The majority of these people
were Christians, who were under the influence of the Roman Empire. Contrary to all the principles of the
commonly accepted international law, they killed fifteen members of the delegation near a place known as
Zat-u-Talah (or Zat-i-Itlah). Only Ka'ab bin Umair Ghifari, the head of the delegation, succeeded in
escaping and reporting the sad incident. Besides this, Shurahbil bin Amr, the Christian governor of Busra,
who was directly under the Roman Caesar, had also put to death Haritli bin Umair, the ambassador of the
Holy Prophet, who had been sent to him on a similar minion.
These events convinced the Holy Prophet that a strong action should be taken in order to make the
territory adjacent to the Roman Empire safe and secure for the Muslims. Accordingly, in the month of
Jamadi-ul-Ula A.H. 8, he sent an army of three thousand towards the Syrian border. When this army
reached near Ma'an, the Muslims learnt that Shurahbil was marching with an army of one hundred
thousand to fight with them and that the Caesar, who himself was at Hims, had sent another army
consisting of one hundred thousand soldiers under his brother Theodore. But in spite of such fearful news,
the brave small band of the Muslims marched on fearlessly and encountered the big army of Shurahbil at
M'utah. And the result of the encounter in which the Muslims were fighting against fearful odds (the ratio
of the two armies was 1:33), was very favorable, for the enemy utterly failed to defeat them. This proved
very helpful for the propagation of Islam. As a result, those Arabs who were living in a state of
semidependence in Syria and near Syria and the clans of Najd near Iraq, who were under the influence of
the Iranian Empire, turned towards Islam and embraced it in thousands. For example, the people of Bani
Sulaim (whose chief was Abbas bin Mirdas Sulaimi), Ashja'a, Ghatafan, Zubyan, Fazarah, etc., came into
the fold of Islam at the same time. Above all, Farvah bin 'Amral Juzami, who was the commander of the
Arab armies of the Roman Empire, embraced Islam during that time, and underwent the trial of his Faith
in a way that filled the whole territory with wonder. When the Caesar came to know that Farvah had
embraced Islam, he ordered that he should be arrested and brought to his court. Then the Caesar said to
him, "You will have to choose one of the two things. Either give up your Islam and win your liberty and
your former rank, or remain a Muslim and face death." He calmly chose Islam and sacrificed his life in the
way of the Truth.
No wonder that such events as these made the Caesar realize the nature of the danger that was
threatening his Empire from Arabia. Accordingly, in 9 A.H. he began to make military preparations to
avenge the insult he had suffered at M'utah.
The Ghassanid and other Arab chiefs also began to muster armies under him. When the Holy Prophet,
who always kept himself well-informed even of the minuet things that could affect the Islamic Movement
favorably or adversely, came to know of these preparations, he at once understood their meaning.
Therefore, without the least hesitation he decided to fight against the great power of the Caesar. He knew
that the show of the slightest weakness would result in the utter failure of the Movement which was facing
three great dangers at that time. First the dying power of 'ignorance' that had almost been crushed in the
battlefield of Hunain might revive again. Secondly, the Hypocrites of Al-Madinah, who were always on the
look-out for such an opportunity, might make full use of this to do the greatest possible harm to it. For
they had already made preparations for this and had, through a monk called Abu Amir, sent secret
messages of their evil designs to the Christian king of Ghassan and the Caesar himself. Besides this, they
had also built a mosque near Al-Madinah for holding secret meetings for this purpose. The third danger
was of an attack by the Caesar himself, who had already defeated Iran, the other great power of that
period, and filled with awe the adjacent territories. It is obvious that if all these three elements had been
given an opportunity of taking a concerted action against the Muslims, Islam would have lost the fight it
had almost won. That is why in this case the Holy Prophet made an open declaration for making
preparations for the Campaign against the Roman Empire, which was one of the two greatest empires of
the world of that period. The declaration was made though all the apparent circumstances were against
such a decision: for there was famine in the country and the long awaited crops were about to ripen: the
burning heat of the scorching summer season of Arabia was at its height and there was not enough money
for preparations in general, and for equipment and conveyance in particular. But in spite of these
handicaps, when the Messenger of Allah realized the urgency of the occasion, he took this step which was
to decide whether the Mission of the Truth was going to survive or perish. The very fact that he made an
open declaration for making preparations for such a campaign to Syria against the Roman Empire showed
how important it was, for this was contrary to his previous practice.
Usually he took every precaution not to reveal beforehand the direction to which he was going nor the
name of the enemy whom he was going to attack; nay, he did not move out of Al-Madinah even in the
direction of the campaign.
All the parties in Arabia fully realized the grave consequences of this critical decision. The remnants of the
lovers of the old order of 'ignorance' were anxiously waiting for the result of the Campaign, for they had
pinned all their hopes on the defeat of Islam by the Romans. The 'hypocrites' also considered it to be their
last chance of crushing the power of Islam by internal rebellion, if the Muslims suffered a defeat in Syria.
They had, therefore, made full use of the Mosque built by them for hatching plots and had employed all
their devices to render the Campaign a failure. On the other side, the true Believers also realized fully that
the fate of the Movement for which they had been exerting their utmost for the last 22 years was now
hanging in the balance. If they showed courage on that critical occasion, the doors of the whole outer
world would be thrown open for the Movement to spread. But if they showed weakness or cowardice, then
all the work they had done in Arabia would end in smoke. That is why these lovers of Islam began to make
enthusiastic preparations for the Campaign. Everyone of them tried to surpass the other in making
contributions for the provision of equipment for it. Hadrat Uthman and Hadrat Abdur Rehman bin Auf
presented large sums of money for this purpose. Hadrat Umar contributed half of the earnings of his life
and Hadrat Abu Bakr the entire earnings of his life. The indigent Companions did not lag behind and
presented whatever they could earn by the sweat of their labor and the women parted with their
ornaments. Thousands of volunteers, who were filled with the desire of sacrificing their lives for Islam,
came to the Holy Prophet and requested that arrangements for weapons and conveyance be made for
them so that they should join the expedition. Those who could not be provided with these shed tears of
sorrow; the scene was so pathetic that it made the Holy Prophet sad because of his inability to arm them.
In short, the occasion became the touchstone for discriminating a true believer from a hypocrite. For, to
lag behind in the Campaign meant that the very relationship of a person to Islam was doubtful.
Accordingly, whenever a person lagged behind during the journey to Tabuk, the Holy Prophet, on being
informed, would spontaneously say, "Leave him alone. If there be any good in him, Allah will again join
him with you, and if there be no good in him, then thank Allah that He relieved you of his evil company".
In short, the Holy Prophet marched out towards Syria in Rajab A.H. 9, with thirty thousand fighters for
the cause of Islam. The conditions in which the expedition was undertaken may be judged from the fact
that the number of camels with them was so small that many of them were obliged to walk on foot and to
wait for their turns for several had to ride at a time on each camel. To add to this, there was the burning
heat of the desert and the acute shortage of water. But they were richly rewarded for their firm resolve and
sincere adherence to the cause and for their perseverance in the face of those great difficulties and
When they arrived at Tabuk, they learnt that the Caesar and his allies had withdrawn their troops from
the frontier and there was no enemy to fight with. Thus they won a moral victory that increased their
prestige manifold and, that too, without shedding a drop of blood. In this connection, it is pertinent to
point out that the general impression given by the historians of the campaigns of the Holy Prophet about
the Campaign of Tabuk is not correct. They relate the event in a way as if the news of the mustering of the
Roman armies near the Arabian frontier was itself false. The fact is that the Caesar had begun to muster
his armies, but the Holy Prophet forestalled him and arrived on the scene before he could make full
preparations for the invasion. Therefore, believing that "discretion is the better part of valor," he withdrew
his armies from the frontier. For he had not forgotten that the three thousand fighters for the cause of
Islam had rendered helpless his army one hundred thousand strong at M'utah. He could not, therefore,
even with an army of two hundred thousand, dare to fight against an army of thirty thousand, and that,
too, under the leadership of the Holy Prophet himself. When the Holy Prophet found that the Caesar had
withdrawn his forces from the frontier, he considered the question whether it would be worthwhile to
march into the Syrian territory or to halt at Tabuk and turn his moral victory to political and strategic
advantage. He decided on the latter course and made a halt for twenty days at Tabuk. During this time, he
brought pressure on the small states that lay between the Roman Empire and the Islamic State and were
at that time under the influence of the Romans, and subdued and made them the tributaries of the Islamic
State. For instance, some Christian chiefs Ukaidir bin Abdul Malik Kindi of Dumatul Jaiidal, Yuhanna bin
D'obah of Ailah, and the chiefs of Maqna, Jarba' and Azruh also submitted and agreed to pay Jizyah to the
Islamic State of Al-Madinah. As a result of this, the boundaries of the Islamic State were extended right up
to the Roman Empire, and the majority of the Arab clans, who were being used by the Caesar against
Arabia, became the allies of the Muslims against the Romans. Above all, this moral victory of Tabuk
afforded a golden opportunity to the Muslims to strengthen their hold on Arabia before entering into a
long conflict with the Romans. For it broke the back of those who had still been expecting that the old
order of 'ignorance' might revive in the near future, ether they were the open upholders of shirk or the
hypocrites who were hiding their shirk under the garb of Islam. The majority of such people were
compelled by the force of circumstances to enter into the fold of Islam and, at least, make it possible for
their descendants to become true Muslims. After this a mere impotent minority of the upholders of the
old order was left in the field, but it could not stand in the way of the Islamic Revolution for the perfection
of which Allah had sent His Messenger.
Surah 17 al Israa, ayah 6,7, and 13.
Romans took over the lands, Syria including Palestine, around BC 65. The Jewish feudal kings held power
under them, but they did not have power for long. Titus in 70 A.D destroyed the temple again and
completely. He was son of Emperor Vespasian, and at the time of the destruction was titled Ceasar as heir
to the throne, he himself was Emperor only from 79 to 81 a.d.
From the Spirit of Palestine book (page 17) Pompey's Roman conquest of Jerusalem in BC63. The local
princes installed by the Romans were puppets, Herod included, who rebuilt the Temple- bringing us the
current wall identified as the 'Wailing Wall'
Sahih al Bukhari
Volume 6 number 290: Narrated Abdullah
Five (great events) have passed: the Smoke, the Moon, the Romans, the Mighty grasp and the constant
Punishment which occurs in "So the torment will be yours forever. " (25.77)
Volume 6 number 297:
Narrated Masruq
While a man was delivering a speech in the tribe of Kinda, he said, "Smoke will prevail on the Day of
Resurrection and will deprive the hypocrites their faculties of hearing and seeing. The believers will be
afflicted with something like cold only thereof." That news scared us, so I went to (Abdullah) Ibn Mas'ud
while he was reclining (and told him the story) whereupon he became angry, sat up and said, "He who
knows a thing can say, it, but if he does not know, he should say, 'Allah knows best,' for it is an aspect of
knowledge to say, 'I do not know,' if you do not know a certain thing. Allah said to His prophet, 'Say (O
Muhammad): No wage do I ask of you for this (Qur'an), nor I am one of the pretenders (a person who
pretends things which do not exist.)' " (38.86)
The Qur'aish delayed in embracing Islam for a period, so the Prophet invoked evil on them, saying, 'O
Allah! Help me against them by sending seven years of (famine) like those of Joseph.' So they were
afflicted with such a severe year of famine that they were destroyed therein and ate dead animals and
bones. They started seeing something like smoke between the sky and the earth (because of severe
hunger). Abu Sufyan then came (to the Prophet) and said, "O Muhammad! You came to order us for to
keep good relations with kith and kin, and your kinsmen have now perished, so please invoke Allah (to
relieve them)." Then Ibn Mas'ud recited: "Then watch you for the day that the sky will bring forth a kind
of smoke plainly visible...but truly you will return (to disbelief)!" (44.10-15) Ibn Mas'ud added, Then the
punishment was stopped, but truly, they reverted to heathenism (their old way). So Allah (threatened
them thus): "On the day when we shall seize you with a mighty grasp." (44.16) And that was the day of the
Battle of Badr. Allah's saying "Lizama" (the punishment) refers to the day of Badr. Allah's Statement:
"Alif-Lam-Mim, the Romans have been defeated, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious." (30.1-3)
(This verse) indicates that the defeat of Byzantine has already passed.
Volume 6 number 345
Narrated Abdullah
Five things have passed, i.e. the smoke, the defeat of the Romans, the splitting of the moon, Al-Batsha (the
defeat of the infidels in the battle of Badr) and Al-Lizam (the punishment).
Volume 6 number 349
Narrated Abdullah
Allah sent (the Prophet) Muhammad and said: "Say, No wage do I ask of you for this (Qur'an) nor am I
one of the pretenders (i.e. a person who pretends things which do not exist)." (38.68) When Allah's
Apostle saw Quraish standing against him, he said, "O Allah! Help me against them by afflicting them
with seven years of famine similar to the seven years (of famine) of Joseph. So they were afflicted with a
year of drought that destroyed everything, and they ate bones and hides. (One of them said): And they ate
hides and dead animals, and (it seemed to them that) something like smoke was coming out of the earth.
So Abu Sufyan came to the Prophet and said, "O Muhammad! Your people are on the verge of destruction!
Please invoke Allah to relieve them." So the Prophet invoked Allah for them (and the famine disappeared).
He said to them, "You will revert (to heathenism) after that." 'Abdullah then recited:
"Then watch you for the Day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke plainly visible...but truly you will
revert (to disbelief)." He added, "Will the punishment be removed from them in the Hereafter? The smoke
and the grasp and the Al-Lizam have all passed." One of the sub-narrators said, "The splitting of the
moon." And another said, "The defeat of the Romans (has passed)."
Volume 6 number 350
Narrated Abdullah
Five things have passed: Al-Lizam, the defeat of the Romans, the mighty grasp, the splitting of the moon,
and the smoke.
Volume 7 number 119
Narrated Ibn Abbas
I had been eager to ask 'Umar bin Al-Khattab about the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet
regarding whom Allah said "If you two (wives of the Prophet namely 'Aisha and Hafsa) turn in repentance
to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes)," (66.4) till 'Umar
performed the Hajj and I too, performed the Hajj along with him. (On the way) 'Umar went aside to
answer the call of nature, and I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler full of water, and when
'Umar had finished answering the call of nature, I poured water over his hands and he performed the
ablution. Then I said to him, "O chief of the Believers! Who were the two ladies from among the wives of
the Prophet regarding whom Allah said: 'If you two (wives of the Prophet) turn in repentance to Allah
your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes)?' " (66.4) He said, "I am astonished
at your question, O Ibn Abbas. They were 'Aisha and Hafsa." Then 'Umar went on narrating the Hadith
and said, "I and an Ansari neighbor of mine from Bani Umaiyya bin Zaid who used to live in Awali-alMedina, used to visit the Prophet in turn. He used to go one day and I another day. When I went, I would
bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the Divine Inspiration and other things, and
when he went, he used to do the same for me. We, the people of Quraish used to have the upper hand over
our wives, but when we came to the Ansar, we found that their women had the upper hand over their men,
so our women also started learning the ways of the Ansari women.
I shouted at my wife and she retorted against me and I disliked that she should answer me back. She said
to me, 'Why are you so surprised at my answering you back? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet answer
him back and some of them may leave (does not speak to) him throughout the day till the night.' The (talk)
scared me and I said to her, 'Whoever has done so will be ruined!' Then I proceeded after dressing myself,
and entered upon Hafsa and said to her, 'Does anyone of you keep the Prophet angry till night?' She said,
'Yes.' I said, 'You are a ruined losing person! Don't you fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of
Allah's Apostle and thus you will be ruined? So do not ask more from the Prophet and do not answer him
back and do not give up talking to him. Ask me whatever you need and do not be tempted to imitate your
neighbor (i.e., 'Aisha) in her manners for she is more charming than you and more beloved to the
Prophet.' " Umar added, "At that time a talk was circulating among us that (the tribe of) Ghassan were
preparing their horses to invade us. My Ansari companion, on the day of his turn, went (to the town) and
returned to us at night and knocked at my door violently and asked if I was there. I became horrified and
came out to him. He said, 'Today a great thing has happened.' I asked, 'What is it? Have (the people of)
Ghassan come?' He said, 'No, but (What has happened) is greater and more horrifying than that: Allah's
Apostle has divorced his wives.' "
'Umar added, "The Prophet kept away from his wives and I said 'Hafsa is a ruined loser.' I had already
thought that most probably this (divorce) would happen in the near future. So I dressed myself and
offered the morning prayer with the Prophet and then the Prophet entered an upper room and stayed
there in seclusion. I entered upon Hafsa and saw her weeping. I asked, 'What makes you weep? Did I not
warn you about that? Did the Prophet divorce you all?' She said, 'I do not know. There he is retired alone
in the upper room.' I came out and sat near the pulpit and saw a group of people sitting around it and
some of them were weeping. I sat with them for a while but could not endure the situation, so I went to
the upper room where the Prophet was and said to a black slave of his, 'Will you get the permission (of the
Prophet ) for 'Umar (to enter)?' The slave went in, talked to the Prophet about it and then returned saying,
'I have spoken to the Prophet and mentioned you but he kept quiet.' Then I returned and sat with the
group of people sitting near the pulpit. but I could not bear the situation and once again I said to the slave,
'Will you get the permission for 'Umar?' He went in and returned saying, 'I mentioned you to him but he
kept quiet.' So I returned again and sat with the group of people sitting near the pulpit, but I could not
bear the situation, and so I went to the slave and said, 'Will you get the permission for 'Umar?' He went in
and returned to me saying, 'I mentioned you to him but he kept quiet.' When I was leaving, behold! The
slave called me, saying, 'The Prophet has given you permission.'
Then I entered upon Allah's Apostle and saw him lying on a bed made of stalks of date palm leaves and
there was no bedding between it and him. The stalks left marks on his side and he was leaning on a
leather pillow stuffed with date-palm fires. I greeted him and while still standing I said, 'O Allah's Apostle!
Have you divorced your wives?' He looked at me and said, 'No.' Isaid, 'Allahu Akbar!' And then, while still
standing, I said chatting, 'Will you heed what I say, O Allah's Apostle? We, the people of Quraish used to
have power over our women, but when we arrived at Medina we found that the men (here) were
overpowered by their women.' The Prophet smiled and then I said to him, 'Will you heed what I say, O
Allah's Apostle?' I entered upon Hafsa and said to her, 'Do not be tempted to imitate your companion
('Aisha), for she is more charming than you and more beloved to the Prophet.' The Prophet smiled for a
second time. When I saw him smiling, I sat down. Then I looked around his house, and by Allah, I could
not see anything of importance in his house except three hides, so I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Invoke Allah
to make your followers rich, for the Persians and the Romans have been made prosperous and they have
been given (the pleasures of the world), although they do not worship Allah.' Thereupon the Prophet sat
up as he was reclining. and said, 'Are you of such an opinion, O the son of Al-Khattab? These are the
people who have received the rewards for their good deeds in this world.' I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Ask
Allah to forgive me.'
Then the Prophet kept away from his wives for twenty-nine days because of the story which Hafsa had
disclosed to 'Aisha. The Prophet had said, 'I will not enter upon them (my wives) for one month,' because
of his anger towards them, when Allah had admonished him. So, when twenty nine days had passed, the
Prophet first entered upon 'Aisha. 'Aisha said to him, 'O Allah's Apostle! You had sworn that you would
not enter upon us for one month, but now only twenty-nine days have passed, for I have been counting
them one by one.' The Prophet said, 'The (present) month is of twenty nine days.' 'Aisha added, 'Then
Allah revealed the Verses of the option. (2) And out of all his wives he asked me first, and I chose him.'
Then he gave option to his other wives and they said what 'Aisha had said." (1) The Prophet had decided to
abstain from eating a certain kind of food because of a certain event, so Allah blamed him for doing so.
Some of his wives were the cause of him taking that decision, therefore he deserted them for one month.
See Qur'an: (66.4)
3.The World of Islam by E Harder
4.The Roman conquest of Britain , History of Britain series
5.Romans, the book and disc by Interfact
6. internet sources
7. Alim disc
***Islam info. Romans taught us about the water wheels:
Islam inherited the millennial experience in various forms of technology from the peoples who entered
the fold of Islam and the nations which became part of Dar al-Islam. A wide range of technological
knowledge, from the building of water wheels by the Romans to the underground water system by the
Persians, became part and parcel of the technology of the newly founded order. Muslims also imported
certain kinds of technology from the Far East such as paper which they brought from China and whose
technology they later transmitted to the West. They also developed many forms of technology on the basis
of earlier existing knowledge such as the metallurgical art of making the famous Damascene swords, an
art which goes back to the making of steel several thousand years before on the Iranian plateau. Likewise
Muslims developed new architectural techniques of vaulting, methods of ventilation, preparations of dyes,
techniques of weaving, technologies related to irrigation and numerous other forms of technology, some
of which survive to this day.