Today, I remember Ibn Hisham. I remember history. Today, I remember al-Waqidi. I remember al-Tabari. I remember the war. The war of the Coalition; the coalition for corruption, the coalition for sleaze and scum.
In the battle, the forces of the darkness were mobilized against that of Islam. They formed a strong military alliance. It was a war in which all resources were mobilized in order that a final blow could be dealt against Islam. Nothing was considered too small; nothing was too big. The alliance featured the big and the small, the powerful and the powerless. The alliance was huge and intimidating; it featured the lion and the elephant; Mr Tortoise did not fail to stage a presence. The reason for the alliance was in the season; the season inhered in the reason. It was a coalition the like of which had not been seen before.
Once again, the Islamic war chest could not compare with the resources at the disposal of the enemy. The army of the Coalition exceeded ten thousand battalions. The Muslims’ army did not exceed three thousand men that were poorly kitted for war. This is true. Hardly does the truth thrive based on quantity. Number does not matter, except in democracy, where the battle is between the forces of light and darkness. The irony of democracy is that it thrives not on the quality of the heads but on their quantity.
Eventually they came. The forces of darkness. The coalition of corruption. They gathered together from all parts of Arabian Peninsula. They have gathered together from all parts of Nigeria. They have gathered together under the umbrella. Under the canopy. Of sleaze and scum. Of dirt and slum. Billions of Naira belonging to the nation. Stashed away in the ravine. In the closet. In the wild. In the underground. Millions of dollars. Of the commonwealth. Futures of the nation. Of the youth. Stolen away. In a season of humongous corruption. Season of pestilence. In preparation for the war. The war that later came to be known as the war of the coalition. The war that has the potentials of becoming the war of the coalition.
Thus they besieged Madinah for about one month. Yes. They besieged the city. But they never entered it. They desired to enter the city of the Prophet but could not. They could not enter the city simply because the latter had been protected. It was protected physically. By the ditch dug by the companions. Spiritually. By He in whose hands laid the forelocks of those who desired to destroy the city. They could not have entered a city under the constant surveillance and protection of the Almighty. Such has been the history of the world. It has always been and will forever be that of a struggle between right and wrong, between light and darkness.
Thus says history that the coalition shall be formed. It has indeed been formed. Of Amala politicians. The coalition is now in range. Of Tuwo intellectuals. The coalition is now set. Of Akpu preachers and Isi-Ewu lickers. It is set against our memory. Against our recent history. The assumption on their part is that we are lacking in memory. Or rather that we are suffering from nostalgia. Nostalgia for the recent past. Of motion without movement. Of failed roads; failed infrastructure. Of stomach infrastructure.
The war did not just start. The leaders of the Jewish tribes of Bani Nuzayr and Bani Wa’il were responsible. These were leaders of the iniquitous groups in Madinah. They had to vacate the city in order that it may be free of their iniquitous ways. They left the city by force. But they planned to take it back by force. Forces of darkness never tire of maintaining the status quo. To be at war with evil forces is to engage in a never ending battle. Shaytan does not go on leave; it does not go on vacation. The Coalition of corruption is never permanently vanquished. Each time it is vanquished it rises up again.
Their planning was that the leaders of the tribe of Bani Nuzayr, like Salam bin Abil Haqiq and Hay bin Akhtab should arrive in Makkah along with some individuals belonging to the tribe of Wa’il. After having established the contact, the chiefs of Quraysh, spoke to them thus: “Muhammad has made you and us his targets and compelled the Jews of Bani Qaynuqa’ and Bani Nuzayr to quit their homeland. You people of Quraysh should rise and seek help from your allies and we have seven hundred Jewish swordsmen (Bani Qurayzah) who will rush to assist you. The Jews of Bani Qurayzah have ostensibly concluded a defence pact with Muhammad but we shall persuade them to ignore the pact and join you.”
All coalitions are invalid without pacts or deeds of agreement. But how might we describe a coalition of lions and foxes, a coalition of cats and mouse, a pact between the hyena and the chicken?
(To be continued)