Rajab, the Month of Victory
Rajab is known by the most of Muslims people in the world as the month of the Isra’ and Mi’raj (miraculous flight from Mecca to Jerusalem) of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘ Alaihi Wasallam. A journey of God’s servants in the night, as solace caused left by his lover, Khadija, and his protector, Abu Talib. The journey that has dakwah mission (the proselytizing or preaching of Islam) from the apostles before to the last apostle, Muhammad (PBUH). The resulted of the journey was obligations of the five daily prayers. The journey was considered as the symbol of the first victory for Muslims, as the heir to the Masjid al-Aqsa.
The first Muslim victory in liberating Masjid al-Aqsa Mosque passed without bloodshed. Eighteen years later, Omar bin Khattab followed his predecessor in freeing Masjid al-Aqsa, also without bloodshed. Omar gave a promise to the people of Elijah (al-Quds) at that time was controlled by the Romans. This agreement was known as “al-‘Uhdah al-‘Umariyah”.
In these days, we’re commemorating a battle in the great Islamic conquests of the first Qibla. We also imitated a model of a conquering hero, who works hard to take the nation out of crisis. He was Yusuf ibn Ayyub, known as an-Nashir Shalahuddin al-Ayyubi in the battle of Hittin.
Muslims before his reign were complained about the injustice and corruption existed everywhere. When he took over the Egyptian ministry, with thanks to the grace of God, he took a significant positive step in uniting Muslims. He shouted the creed of belief improvement. Because the most of Muslim’s faith at the time were broken. Saladin saw the danger of the belief and morality damage as well as divisions among Muslims.
For the first step in fixing belief, he established the Muslim school law of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Before Saladin led, Egypt controlled by Daulah Fathimiyah Shiite wing. That was noot easy to change the Shiite sect into Ahlus Sunnah as the credo of Fathimiyah had been rooted for over two hundred years. Even now, there are still many people who stances Shiites in Egypt.
After Saladin succeeded with the first step, it moves toward the second step, which brought together the Muslim territories. With that way he could deal with the enemies of Islam in a row, there was no dissension in the ranks.
He was dealing with Aleppo Governor (Halb) who would not open the area. He also found a lot of obstacles until he faces attempted murder. However, God saved him from the trials.
That’s Saladin exerted his great effort to unify Muslims people. After the Muslims united, then he began to confront the enemy Crusaders consisting of all European countries. They gathered in a large number of troops to move against militants. Between the Crusaders and Saladin’s troops there were a lot of battles. However, Saladin’s troops won the battle more. Among them was the battle at Hittin then followed by the conquest of al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Among the famous incident in the liberation of al-Quds was the cease-fire between Saladin and Arnat, a leader of the Crusade in the Karak area. One of the points in the ceasefire was the permissibility of Islamic caravan moved to Egypt and Sham without any hindrance. However, this point was betrayed by Arnat. They blocked the Muslims caravan and confiscated all goods and arrested the youths. More than that, they humiliated the Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam. Arnat said, “If you believe in Muhammad, then call him now to set you free.” It happened in the 572 H.
When Saladin knew the betrayal and harassment to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam, his anger was culminated for Allah and His Messenger. He vowed, if Allah wins this battle, he himself would kill Arnat with his hands.
Saladin and his troops prepared and spiritualized their souls. After deliberation carried out in accordance with Allah instructions in His words, “and consult them in various matters … ” (Surah Al ‘Imran: 159). They agreed to fight the enemies after Friday prayers. When exit, they shouted Takbeer, kneeling before Allah while pleading the victory.
The two forces were met and the battle was very formidable. Allah the Almighty fulfilled His promise as Allah says, “if you support Allah , He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” (Surat Muhammad:7). And the words of Allah, “and incumbent upon Us was support of the believers.” (Surat ar-Rum:47). God has written the victory for Muslims and this was a big victory. After the battle was over, Saladin did gratitude prostration for the victory that Allah has given. He was looking for Arnat who had insulted the Prophet. After the meeting, Saladin offered him to convert to Islam but refused. Then Saladin was fulfilling his vow.
Great victory in the liberation of Masjid al-Aqsa was happened on the 27th of Rajab 583 H / October 2nd, 1187 M. Month of Rajab is the victory month in the liberation of Masjid al-Aqsa. The first victory in the Isra’ event, then eighteen years later, Omar conquered the city, and the Saladin released it from the Crusaders in the same month.
Lessons from the story above, although Muslims currently living in crisis and internal & external conflict, in the midst of suffering that embrace the nation from all sides, we see the shine of hope from the pain side to give new spirit and optimism that can find the way out of Muslims dissension.
Indeed, the egression was formed from the faith, impartiality to Allah, and ready to face the enemies of Allah. Rajab month is the momentum of victory. The victory begins with strong faith in Allah, and the unity among Muslims that cannot be broken down by irresponsible issues. After the faith and unity combined, then there is no power that can defeat it. May Allah always gives us the victory and able to pray at the Masjid al-Aqsa.
Salman Alfarisy, Lc.