REPOST – These Days Are Considered by Sheikha Fatimah to be the Days of Feasting Ramadan, not Fasting Ramadan; Back to the Battle of Uhud; Muhammed, the Warrior Prophet; Do Not Trust Bow and Arrow Guys;  A Modern Fairy Tale; Spread Joy; Photos of Apartment Walls and the New Home of a Quran

Many of the days preceding the famed Saudi Arabia Sojourn are spent in seclusion, purposefully. Alone, all alone (not in a the wide, wide sea as this is Edmonton and there is not a sea or be seen. It resembles many days of my 2023 Ramadan However, I am eating – it is my feasting, not my fasting Ramadan. I am at peace – travel plans are progressing favorably. Moreover, and more importantly, I do trust in the guidance and wisdom of Allah (SWT) 

Yesterday’s blog found us at the Battle of Ehud. We remain their today, reading in greater detail the pages of Chapters 52-54 of Martin Lings Muhammad: The Life Band on the Earliest Sources. The preceding chapters described the battle scene, the brilliant strategy of the Prophet (PBUH) was betrayed by the greed of the some soldiers – the bow and arrow guys. 

Here is what went tragically wrong. 

The Muslims continued to advance until at one point the enemy lines were broken altogether. The way to their camp was thus laid open, and there was a huge forward of would be plunderers. Now the fifty chosen archers were at some distance to the left of the Prophet. Between him and them the ground down to the plain and then rose up to the point of vantage at which he had placed them. They could see the first lines, and the sight of their fellows about to enrich themselves, as they thought with enemy spoils was too much for many of them. In vain their commander reminded them of the Prophet’s order not to leave their post on any account. They replied that the Prophet had not meant them to stay there forever,The battle was now finished, they said and the disbelievers rooted. About forty of them sped down the slope in the direction of the camp leaving Abud Allah as the head of a staunch but fatally depleted nuclear of bowmen. (p.188.) 

To make a long story short, things did not go well after that. Up until then the Meccan army had been of no avail but they came into the fray. The Muslims were driven back step by step and the whole battle moved towards Uhud in the direction of the Prophet.” 

A recent book has been written about the Prophet’s understanding of warfare and strategy . 

The review from Wikipedia (who is always us): The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War is a 2022 biographical book by British-New Zealand Islamic scholar Joel Hayward about the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s understanding of warfare and strategy. 

The book is summarized in the following manner. 

“Hayward has been noted for weaving “together classical Islamic knowledge and methodologies and the source-critical Western historical method to make innovative yet carefully reasoned sense of complex historical issues”.[3] The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War is his latest book to use this approach.[4] The book eschews the traditional Islamic explanation that Muhammad excelled at warfare simply because he was a prophet and was therefore good at everything. Hayward argues that this incomplete explanation ignores Muhammad’s agency and hides his human aptitude and brilliance. Muhammad, he argues, was himself an astute and skilled strategist and warrior who understood the necessity of warfare as well as its transformational power.[5] At 457 pages, it took Hayward “about a decade of on-and-off work to complete

That is impressive, 457 pages could be described as a BB (Brief Book) or, in this instance, a BAB (Brief Awesome Book).

Wikipedia brings us a wealth of reviews: 

A five-star BookViral review states: “Joel Hayward sets aside religious fervor and hearsay in his impeccably and intensively researched book, The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War. Rather than offering sentimentality and thinly veiled assumptions, it represents a comprehensive and evidence-based historical account of the Prophet Muhammad … Hayward’s tireless study is evidenced in his superbly executed academic writing, as he brings together the threads of past documentation and artifacts, shaping his words into a fully rounded account. With the fascinating backdrop of customs, practices and beliefs of the peoples of that time period, Hayward brings the Prophet Muhammad to life, focusing on his motivations and movements as he wielded great strength and power throughout the east, fighting alongside his soldiers in his God-ordained role. … Complete with comprehensive and extensive referencing, The warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War is unreservedly recommended as a historically accurate fully researched work detailing the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad.[7]

Charlotte Walker of LoveReading wrote: “Referenced in detail and using extant sources, … it comes complete with chronology of the Prophet’s life, glossary, maps and a table of Islamic Raids and Campaigns to further help the reader get to grips with the subject . … The Warrior Prophet is an “engaging read for those interested in military history as well as those looking to expand their knowledge of Islam and the Prophet.”[8]

A five-star review in The Online Book Club described the book as “highly insightful and informative”, with a detached and historical critical methodological approach that analyzed Muhammad within the context of seventh-century Arabia, and thus provided “in-depth knowledge and enlightenment.”[9]

In a five-star review, Philip Zozzaro of the Manhattan Book Review called The Warrior Prophet “convincing and thought-provoking” and stated that “Hayward contributes a well-researched and annotated study” that “doesn’t narrowly focus on wins and losses for Muhammad and his disciples but also delves into the guiding philosophies that Islam teaches. Hayward’s book will open the eyes of history devotees as well as those who are well-versed in the life of the esteemed prophet/leader.” 

By the way, there is a Wikipedia: List of the Biographies of Muhammed. I have this to say about that:

Me: I have got a lot of reading to do! 

Alter Ego: The list is never ending! 

Me: I know!!! But the good news is this: I am a fast reader, I am retired and the extensive winters found in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada make hibernation a sheer necessity. 

This is almost a modern fairy tale An old woman from Saskatchewan travels to Saudi Arabia. Rather accidentally takes a photograph which is enlarged and ‘improved’ by Noah at  London Edmonton Drugs. Blessed with curiosity the old woman explores the written word to learn of the significance of the sight. She then writes about it (in boring detail) sharing it with the world through her blog. A fairy tale has to have a happy ending, this is it.  

The Hadith of the Day on my Muslim Assistant App is “Every good action is a charity and it is good action to meet a friend with a smiling face” (Bukhar). 

A most encouraging Instagram post appeared. It was downloaded and spent to special people in my life. I sent the link to myself with the subject line spred joy:

I received a response from a very important, accomplished woman (who shall remain anonymous) loved my sending of it to her. 

Me: I love this and thank you for your love of it too. I do make others happy so it is so inspiring to hear it is beloved by Allah (SWT) 

She: That’s true. Thank you for sharing this content, it makes me happy and feel at peace. 

Me: That makes me feel happy. The happiness and peace multiply. I am coning to Saudi Arabia for about a month, traveling on Qatar Air, of course. 

She: That is a pleasure to know! I hope you enjoy your stay in KSA.

Upcoming photographs will reveal the ever changing art appearing on the walls of my apartment. Photos of UAE friends have been replaced by a series of stunning sunsets, all taken from the top floor of this apartment building. 

The second photo is the east facing wall of my prayer room. Two photographs added – cloud formations taken in Riyadh. It the time they seemed to be a sign of some sort. The photos were unable to capture the beauty, the immensity, the sense of being beckoned. The tablee, purchased recently at Alberta Craft Council, houses two of my Qurans.  

News of another Quran finding a new home. For the past month and a half  I have had the intense privilege of receiving the services of an excellent physiotherapist at the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic located at the Kaye Medical Clinic at the University of Alberta. His guidance, his knowledge and my dutiful performance of the exercises he provided has made Saudi Arabia a possibility. Every week I have shown progress, minimal left knee swelling, left knee bends almost as well as the right. There is a Prayer and Meditation Room, near the Sports Medicine Clinic. I visit it weekly . here were two ‘Holy Bibles’ there but no Quran. Now there is one. A  Prayer and Meditation room and the gifted Quran will also be shown.