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[VIII]-Madina, the new Islamic center

When the Messenger of Allah was secure in Madinah and Islam had been strengthened, the people would join him at prayer without a call. He disliked the way the Jews and Christians used horns and bells to announce their calls to prayer. Then Allah honoured the Muslims with the adhan. One of them saw the method in a dream. The Messenger of Allah confirmed it and prescribed it for the Muslims. He chose Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi to call the adhan. He was the mu'adhdhin of the Messenger of Allah and thus became the Imam of all the mu'adhdhins until the end of time.

 The Hypocrites

Islam spread throughout Madinah and some of the rabbis and Jewish scholars also became Muslims. They included a learned rabbi named Abdullah ibn Salam whose acceptance of Islam annoyed other Jews. At that time the Jews were feeling anxious. They envied Islam, but at the same time they were frightened of it. Hence a group of hypocrites emerged. Their leader was Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, whose power was not questioned before the arrival of Islam, but now his people were flocking to the new faith. He and others like him who were greedy for power became open enemies of Islam while others became secret hypocrites.

 The Qiblah

The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem for sixteen months after he came to Madinah but he wanted to turn to the Ka'bah. Muslims, as Arabs, had grown up with both love and esteem for the Ka'bah. They did not consider any other house equal to it nor any qiblah equal to the qiblah of Ibrahim and Isma'il. They all would have preferred to turn towards the Ka'bah. They found that the qiblah towards Jerusalem was an irritation, but they declared, 'We hear and obey' and 'We believe it. All is from our Lord.' They always obeyed the Messenger of Allah and submitted to the commands of Allah whether or not that was what they wanted.

First Allah tested their hearts for taqwa and their submission to the command of Allah. Then He turned His Messenger and the Muslims towards the Ka'bah.
Qur'an says:

'Thus We appointed you a midmost nation that you might be witnesses to the people and that the Messenger might he! a witness to you; and We did not appoint the direction you were facing, except that We might know who followed the Messenger from him who turned on his heels it was a difficult thing except for those whom Allah has guided.' (2: 143)

The Muslims turned to the Ka'bah out of obedience to Allah and His Messenger and it became the qiblah of the Muslims for all time to come. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims turn their faces towards it when they pray.

 The Quraysh are still hostile

When Islam was firmly established in Madinah, and the Quraysh knew that it was flourishing and spreading, they became hostile towards the Muslims. Allah commanded the Muslims to be steadfast and patient, saying, 'Restrain your hands and establish the prayer.' (4: 77)

When the Muslims were strong and secure, they were given permission to fight but were not obliged to do so. Allah said, 'Leave is given against those whom war is made (to fight) because they were wronged. Allah is able to help them.' (22: 39)

 The first expeditions

The Messenger of Allah began to send delegations to visit other tribes and districts. Most of the time there was no war, only skirmishes. Even this much activity worried the idol-worshippers but their anxiety encouraged the Muslims to emerge triumphant.

The Messenger of Allah went on the raid of Abwa, the first he himself undertook. It was followed by other raids and expeditions.

 The fast

In the second year of the hijrah, fasting was made obligatory. Allah revealed, 'O you who believe, the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you - perhaps you will be God-fearing.' (2: 183)

He says, 'The month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was sent down to be a guidance to the people and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Discrimination. Let those of you who are present at the month last it.' (2: 185)