The Last Expedition

The pride of the Byzantine State caused it to deny the Muslims their right to live. The arrogance of the Byzantine even caused them to kill those agents of theirs who had embraced Islam. An evidence of this was the killing of Farwah bin `Amr Al-Judhami (May Allah be Pleased with him), who was an agent of theirs at Ma`an.

Allah’s Messenger began to mobilize a great army in the month of Safar, 11 A.H., under the command of Usamah bin Zaid bin Harithah. He was given the orders to have the horses of the Muslims tread on the lands bordering alBalqa’ and ad-Darum of Palestine. His aim was to frighten the Byzantines and to implant confidence into the hearts of Arabs who were settled at the borders of the Byzantines. His other purpose was to deliver a message to everyone that the Church’s brutality will not go unanswered.

The leadership of Usamah was a subject of criticism, due to his very young age, which caused the people to delay in joining this expedition. Allah’s Messenger addressed the people saying:

``It is no wonder that you now contest his leadership, for you had previously contested the leadership of his father. By Allah, his father, who was one of the most beloved people to me, was quite efficient for leadership; and this son of his is one of the most beloved individuals to me after his father.’’

The people began to be inclined towards Usamah and join his army. The number of volunteers in his army was enormous. The army departed from Madinah and stayed at a place called Jurf, which is three miles from Madinah. The anxiety-provoking news about the sickness of Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), however, delayed the expedition again in order to know what Allah had willed as regards His Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

It was Allah’s Will that Usamah’s expedition would be the first one dispatched during the caliphate of the virtuous Abu Bakr (May Allah be Pleased with him).

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