Madina: The New Matrix

The end is contained in the beginning. Madina is the starting point of civic Islam, the city where men and women put everything of the shari’a and sunna into practice for the first time, revealing the fullest proof of their luminous reality. This module examines early Madina as the matrix of Muslim civilisation.

The course will cover the life of Madina in the first century with respect to its family and tribal life, its economy, markets, crafts and scholarship, and its politics, governance and other institutions. We will examine the transformation that took place in Madina as the locus of power shifted first to Kufa in Iraq, then Damascus and later Baghdad, and the role that Madina came to play in the Muslim world.

– 31st Aug – Madina: The New Matrix – Abdassamad Clarke FFAS, Dean

As the context in which much of the dīn was revealed, the sharī‘a put in place and the Sunna practised, the city of Madina has not been well understood. It remained the political centre of Islam during the first three caliphates and after that continued as a major locus of learning and, more importantly, of everyday communal embodiment of the dīn. An appreciation of its life and culture is vital for a complete understanding of the Book and the Sunna, just as a proper grasp of our current society is an essential requirement for putting them into practice. 


Abdassamad Clarke

Lecturer

Abdassamad Clarke FFAS is Dean of MFAS. He is from Ulster and was formally educated in Edinburgh in mathematics and physics. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973 and later studied Arabic, tajwid and other Islamic sciences in Cairo. He has a number of translations of classical Arabic works, and is also the editor and co-author with Abdurrahman I. Doi of the revised edition of Shariah: The Islamic Law. He is currently imam and teacher at the Ihsan Mosque, Norwich, UK.

32B • Islamic History 3 • Early Madina • Lecture 01 • Madina - A New Matrix • 31.08.13 from The Muslim Faculty on Vimeo.



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين وسلّم




Title: Madina – A New Matrix

Author:  Abdassamad Clarke

Publication date: 31st August 2013

Assalamu alaykum. Welcome to the Muslim History Programme of the MFAS. This is the first of 12 sessions which make up the Early Madina module. The lecture will last approximately 40 minutes during which time you should make a written note of any questions that may occur to you for clarification after the lecture. 


Abstract

We will seek to approach first of all in this paper the nature of the ‘city’ in general and then look at some examples in history before trying to grasp what the nature of the Madinan phenomenon was.

Lewis Mumford wrote:

The city is the form and symbol of an integrated social relationship: it is the seat of the temple, the market, the hall of justice, the academy of learning. Here in the city the goods of civilization are multiplied and manifolded; here is where human experience is transformed into viable signs, symbols, patterns of conduct, systems of order. Here is where the issues of civilization are focussed.”1


Aims of the Course

1. to make the location within which and the people among whom the revelation happened clear in order to give us clarity about the revelation itself. That will enable us to understand the revelation within our own situation and how to act by it. Carl Schmitt observed that nihilism is the separation of order and location. We can only understand the first Islamic order by understanding its location and its time. We can only implement our own Islamic order if we understand our location and our time.

2. to rescue Madina from our preconception that it is merely the passive setting within which the dīn was revealed and to show its significance as the society trained by the Messenger of Allah a under the Divine gaze both for its particular role in taking the dīn forward and out of Arabia and for its status as a model or blueprint for an illuminated society whenever and wherever needed.

3. to rescue Madina from that approach to Maliki fiqh which reduces its significance to its ‘amal – the ‘practice of the People of Madina’ which is one of the distinctive usul of the Maliki madhhab. Some Maliki scholars distance themselves from seeing any meaning in the city of Madina or in the Madinan ethos and to ridicule such an idea and to reduce Maliki fiqh to an abstract set of procedures with their technical terms and resulting fatwas.

Madina is the inheritance of all Muslims and cannot be copyrighted by any one movement however exalted and learned.

My intention in the following section is to look at the human being and the city and the role of the city in history prior to Islam.

Nas – Human Beings

The Arabic word for human beings – nas – is ordinarily given two etymological roots: nasiya – he forgot, and anisa he was, or became, sociable, companionable, conversable, inclined to company or converse, friendly, amicable. In other words, what defines us as humans apart from our primordial forgetfulness is not our individuality but our social natures which is reflected on a more mundane level by the division of labour:

The power of the individual human being is not sufficient for him to obtain (the food) he needs, and does not provide him with as much as he requires to live. Even if we assume an absolute minimum of food...that amount of food could be obtained only after much preparation...Thus, he cannot do without a combination of many powers from among his fellow beings, if he is to obtain food for himself and for them. Through cooperation, the needs of a number of persons, many times greater than their own number, can be satisfied. (Ibn Khaldun)

The City

This cooperation or in Aristotle’s words ‘partnership’ is most concentratedly displayed in the city. 

Aristotle says: 

“It is clear that all partnerships aim at some good, and that the partnership that is most authoritative of all and embraces all the others does so particularly, and aims at the most authoritative good of all. This is what is called the city or the political partnership” (1252a3) (See also III.12)

But as much as we are considering cities per se, we are considering in a more focussed sense social orders, the dynamic sets of transactions that make up city life, and particularly social orders formed and guided by revelation. Let the word ‘city’ stand as shorthand in place of such social orders.

One of the earliest social orders schooled by the Divine that we know of was not a city but a ship, the Ark of Nuh e which Allah commanded Nuh e to build:

وَٱصْنَعِ ٱلْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا

Build the Ark under Our supervision and as We reveal.” (11:37)

Imām Mālik later connected that first social order to the one to whose safeguarding and furtherance he dedicated his life, the Sunna. Ibn Wahb narrated that Imām Mālik said:

 السنة سفينة نوح من ركبها نجا ومن تخلف عنها غَرِق2

“The Sunna is the Ark of Nuh: whoever embarks on it is saved, but whoever hangs back from it is drowned.”

With this pivotal insight, Imām Mālik named the complex of dynamic relations that make up a city ‘Sunna’. Clearly, Imām Mālik is not talking about the Sunna as most of our contemporaries think of it as issues of dress code or the length of the beard, although we do not necessarily dismiss those issues lightly.

Madina

In considering al-Madina al-Munawwara or al-Madina – THE City, our first task is to understand the name itself. Ordinarily it is taken to derive from the root letters mim, dāl and nun and thus to mean simply ‘city’. A second derivation is that it comes from the root dāl, ya  and nun with the complex of meanings of debt, credit and dīn – life-transaction, reckoning, recompense, and overwhelming, and this latter can give the sense of Madina as a female slave. It is well said that the letter mim is one of place and that thus the sense is of ‘the place of the dīn’ and what that means is a subject of this talk.

Exceptional People, Group Feeling and the City

“Dynasties are prior to towns and cities. Towns and cities are secondary (products) of royal authority.” Ibn Khaldun

The main thrust of what we want to pursue is the sense of Madina as city. Ibn Khaldun saw royal authority as the expression of the group feeling of a people. Thus a people achieve their fullest self-expression under the leadership of exceptional individuals. We must challenge the static image of a physical city and replace it with a dynamic image of all the living actions and transactions that make up civic life including that dynamic exchange between city and country. City and country are not two terms in opposition; they are two dynamic ends of a spectrum, of the same process. So we are talking about a social order or a social dynamic.

Exceptional Individuals – Kings

Let us explore the meanings of terms such as ‘king’ and ‘royal’ to dispel the prejudices that we all have. Carlyle gives two etymologies for ‘king’: to ken or know, i.e. the king is someone with knowledge, and someone who ‘can’, i.e. he is capable and able to do and to act. The Oxford Dictionary says that it is also related to ‘kin’. ‘Royal’ is related to Latin ‘rex’ and thus to regere "to keep straight, guide, lead, rule”. Rex is also related to ‘rich’ and thus we have names such as ‘Frederick’ and ‘Richard’. So, wealth, power, leading, guiding, leading straight, rule, kin and royalty are all related.

Thus the foundation of a city is associated with an exceptional figure who encapsulates the group feeling of his people and so is able to energise and direct them, mastering the wealth necessary, to build a city as an expression of their creative genius. While Ibn Khaldun is famous for his outline of the cycles of history and in particular the role of the Bedouin, i.e. the wild people of the country, the deserts and the mountains, he saw the city and its culture, art, crafts, knowledges and sciences as being the purpose of the whole. So the foundation of a city is a fundamental historical human act of a group of people.

Balad

We need to look at another cognate term for city to get this in focus: balad is from a root meaning he remained, stayed, dwelt and abode. The noun, balad, means country, land, region, province, district or territory but also city, town or village. So how do we reconcile these two sets of meanings? The city is not merely a circumscribed area of dwellings, workplaces, places of worship and recreation but it includes the entire surrounding area that feeds it, or fed it until recently, when through all the extensions of technology and transportation, the balad of every city now extends to include the entire world, or to remind ourselves of Marshall McLuhan: we now live in a global village. 

Makka

A city such as Makka, which had no logical hinterland of support, had a hinterland that extended, through the summer and winter caravans of trade, to China, India and East Africa on the one hand and to the Roman and Persian Empires on the other. It is right to speak of Makka at this point since its foundation is in the time of Ibrāhīm e thus making it the primordial city. 

Ibrāhīm experienced the great early cities and civilisations of mankind in the land called Mesopotamia or Iraq. He emigrated from there because of the kufr of the people and established the city of Makka. Thus he is the first of our exceptional figures who establish cities, although he is the most unlikely of exceptional figures having no royal authority and not expressing the group feeling of any obvious tribe, and yet he is to be the progenitor of peoples with exceptional group feeling. Unique in history “إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةًIbrahim was a community in himself” (16:120). And Makka is the most unlikely of all cities with no natural advantages such as rivers, access to the sea or agricultural lands. Rather it would seem that its greatest advantage was the desert itself that would protect it and its inhabitants including a line descended from Ibrāhīm from the tyrannical polities that then existed and others that were to emerge in later centuries. And that is a theme which will reappear later in our schema.

Athens

Athens is a city whose origins are very ancient and which are usually described in mythological terms as was the norm in pre-literate peoples. It is significant for us in that at a later stage in its history, they began to use democratic institutions and the philosophers appeared and along with their reflections on Being, their attempts to formulate the ideal polis – city state. Plato’s Republic was really a city. Although they are connected in our minds, the philosophers were often not complimentary about democracy, but perhaps they were, nevertheless, a manifestation of another aspect of the same phenomenon. It was that very democratic tradition of Athens that would sentence Socrates to death, so the cosy relationship that is painted as subsisting between democracy and the life of the rational mind is far from true. Nevertheless, Athens bequeathed us these two quite different traditions both of which have gone to shape the world in which we live. When they said ‘state’ they really meant ‘city-state’, and so we do not really understand what they wrote about the state in the way that they intended.

Quds

In parallel with that history, the fractious Children of Israel enjoyed a stormy relationship with their prophets and thus with their Lord. At first it was a dynamic that was guided by revelation: the revelation to the prophets. Starting with the captivity in Egypt and the Exodus, in essence we have a tribal society in an age of tribes, yet surrounded by great city-states, the Hittites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the Egyptians. Under the Prophet Sulayman e the Israelites made an attempt at establishing a godly city, i.e. a dawla, by founding the Temple in Jerusalem, but for a variety of reasons, including the Israelites’ continual acts of rebellion against their revelation, setting up idols or marrying or fornicating with the women from the surrounding pagan tribes, the attempt failed with first the Babylonian assault on the city and their carrying the Israelites into captivity.  

To a modern mind making a connection between political and military defeat or success and a people’s moral condition seems arbitrary but it was clear to thinkers such as Sun Tzu who included that moral condition as one of the fundamental aspects to be considered militarily. 

After restoration at the time of Cyrus the Great, whom many think is another possible contender for being Dhu’l-Qarnayn, and then even further lapses, the Romans in 70CE utterly extirpated the city and many of its inhabitants, dispersing the rest throughout the Empire.

Rome

In the 8th century BCE, the city of Rome was, according to myth, founded by Romulus after fighting with and killing his twin Remus. Thus fratricide lay at the heart of the city’s foundation. So there is a people with a group feeling and yet there are contending figures for that group feeling, a split and a killing. It is a story with echoes of the two sons of Adam. 

Later, Rome would appear to become an empire almost accidentally, that is if one does not take into account their tenacity and their engineering which was so prominent in many of their sieges. With its patrician values, its landed figures would wage war when they had to and then return to their estates. Increasing conflicts with the largely Celtic peoples of Europe took them as far afield as the Iberian Peninsula.

The standing army

Gaius Marius (157-86 BC), married to Julia who was to become aunt to Gaius Julius Caesar, stepped forward and transformed the Roman army, which had previously consisted of patrician property owners whose real interests were in defending their estates, into a permanent standing army of salaried figures from the masses, professional soldiers whose chance to rise in the world lay in their fighting skills.3

Julius Caesar would take this professional fighting force and initiate the changes that would take the old Republic of Rome on the road to Empire with a concerted initiative to conquer and extend its territories, taking in the Celtic Gauls, the Germans, the Dacians and people as far afield as the Egyptians and the Children of Israel.4

The Masses

Faced with the eternal problem of empires, what to do with conquered, defeated and subject peoples, Rome enslaved many and incorporated many into its cities as citizens. To be a Roman citizen became highly prized in the ancient world and gained one admittance to a polity that extended from the North of England right down to the borders of Arabia. However, that brought its own problems. Rome extinguished its subject people’s indigenous cultures but allowed them to retain those bits that corresponded to Roman culture. Thus, the various gods, or names for God, of the defeated were correlated with names from the Roman Pantheon and people could worship in the appropriate temple. 

One consequence of this breaking of the existing clan and tribal orders was to bring into existence a new phenomenon: the masses of the great Roman cities. This has continued to affect us right until today with the extension of what is still a Roman order all over the earth. And the management of the masses has always been a foremost concern in this power form. Then it was achieved by ‘Triumphs’ to celebrate great military victories, and the famous ‘bread and circuses’. Now we have as part of the circus the rituals of electoral democracy.

Christianity and the Fatra

With the Israelites defeated and subject peoples under the Roman thumb and with Roman temples with large idols established in their sacred city, we come to the event of Sayyiduna ‘Īsā e. During his prophethood, which lasted for one or two years, he travelled constantly and would not stay in the cities, because they were occupied by the idolatrous Romans. 

After his departure, his revelation was subverted by the pro-Roman Paul who directed all his missionary activity at Greeks and Romans but neglected to tell them they were bound by the shari’a of Mūsā e. Thus, what had been a revelation for which Roman polytheism was anathema came in a matter of a couple of centuries to be the state religion introducing the great interregnum in prophethood, the fatra, a period of around six centuries when the world was without revelation, although with a Christian order in some disarray caught between utterly sincere ascetic devotees, saints and scholars and an institutionalised church that was a direct manifestation of Roman political power. 

The Genetic Thread

In the Israelite dispensation, prophethood had been genetically inherited and the Israelite Umma had been a tribe or confederation of tribes. Now it was cut-off. Neither Ya nor ‘Īsā had married and had children and there was never again to appear a prophet from that line in spite of the passage of aeons.

But one genetic thread remained even though it had been dormant for centuries. Quraysh were the last remaining genetic branch of prophethood, being descended from Ibrāhīm and Ismā‘īl e although in the many ensuing centuries no prophet had appeared among them, nor during the long interregnum, not until that day when the Messenger of Allah a was given revelation in the cave of Hira. 

Yet, when later during the khilāfah of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, he and the Companions reflected on the calendar and how to move from the cumbersome dating of things according to remarkable events that had taken place in certain years, they all unanimously concurred with ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib’s suggestion that the real beginning of Islam was the Hijra or emigration from Makka to Madina. As the figure around whose image recidivist adherents of the significance of genetic inheritance would consolidate, ‘Alī g did not choose an obvious candidate such as the date of birth or death of the Messenger of Allah a or the date of the revelation of the Qur’ān but the date that represented an astonishing world transition: the Hijra. To understand that, we will have to now finally advance to look at Madina itself.

Madina

When we talk of Madina we do not mean the static city of buildings and pathways but the people of the city and their complex of dynamic relationships in kinship, marriage, trade, professions, governance and worship.

We saw that a previous social order had been schooled by revelation, with successes and failures, but that finally it had gone down to defeat. Now in Madina a very new order was under the tutelage of revelation, a process that would last ten years but which arguably would be extended further by the very fact of the Qur’ān being an enduring revelation to the end of time. 

Static and Dynamic

Bear in mind the difference between static and dynamic and their significance for our subject. For the static view, whose most extreme advocates are today’s wahhabi/salafi movements, a shari’a and sunna were laid down in Madina to be followed forever afterwards necessarily arousing in certain other people today the fear of ‘putting the clock back’ and so generating an interminable dialectic between groups loosely labelled traditionalist and modernist. 

In the dynamic view, certain immutable parameters were certainly laid down, the prohibition of the great wrongs such as idolatry, usury, adultery, murder, theft, embezzling the property of the orphan, fleeing from the battlefield and intoxication, as well as the obligation of the acts of worship, care for family and parents, but in between a dynamic process was taught and a generation was taught an approach to life and law. 

Thus for the former adherents of a static view, fiqh is a set of categories and body of judgements to be learnt, but for the adherents of a dynamic view it is a process facilitated by men and women who have the very meaning of the word fiqh: understanding.

So what was created in those ten years was not the ‘Sunna’ or the ‘Shari’a’ but a body of people who were dynamically increased in good character and trained to go forward and meet new peoples, new situations and new challenges. This was the supreme example in all history of tarbiya. The Prophet a acted as murabbi, fostering the good character and growth of his new community, as individuals, families, clans, tribes and as a society, people who when the time came were able to step forward and take the whole situation forward.

This polarity of static vs dynamic would much later work some controversy and create trouble in the modern age with the much misunderstood debate about whether ijtihad was over or could legitimately be continued. But that is a topic for another day.

Sunna

We have already seen from Imām Mālik that this Madinan societal way is the Sunna, akin to the Ark of Nuh e, and not simply the practice of the Prophet a but in a much more dynamic and social manner. We have already seen demonstrated in a paper by Ustadha Aisha Bewley that the early view of all the Muslims had been of the Sunna as a societal norm and that our modern understanding of Sunna as the practice of the Prophet a alone was derived from the understanding of ash-Shāfi‘ī. However, it is not that it is wrong because of course the Muslims took the Sunna from him, but it became the practice of the whole society and that was what was called the Sunna. The Prophet a himself carefully distinguished between his own practice some of which was not for others to follow such as fasting continuously and those things in which he had been sent to be emulated in.

Imamate and Taqleed

So how does this transmission of Sunna take place. Individually, the core of the prophetic tarbiya lies in the concept of imamate and taqlid. Rather than being outward forms, these indicate the most primordial dimension of the human being, as every parent experiences with their children. Children faultlessly imitate what their parents ‘do’ even if quite usually it contradicts what they ‘say’. Thus many a generational conflict builds around this fundamental discord. Wagner brilliantly illustrates this in the encounter between father and daughter, in this case Wotan and Brünnhilde. The latter sees clearly what her father wants and ‘wills’ even though he forbids her to do it. She chooses, as his loving daughter, to do what she knows he desires with all his being rather than the thing which for various reasons he commands her to do. This leads to their estrangement. 

Tarbiya

Upbringing or tarbiya, is built on this genuine core element of the human being. The parent is imam to the child, but not in a self-conscious role-playing manner. In Madina and the Madinan way this core behavioural science is restored. The Prophet a had in common with all the prophets and messengers three core attributes: sidq, amana and tabligh. He was truthful in what he said no matter how trivial the words and even when jesting, trustworthy in what he did in that everything he did was in obedience to Allah and he faithfully conveyed to mankind everything he had been charged with, not keeping any of it back for any familial, intellectual or esoteric élite. 

As Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki, may Allah be merciful to him, remarked: it was enough for someone to see him one time to be by virtue of that a Companion5. In that seeing, something happened and those men could not but imitate him a. His example was infectious. Thus the Sunna passed from him to them, and if it had not it would have remained an unattainable ideal. What has to be grasped is that this was the most ordinary city of average people. They were in no way an élite. If they could understand it and put it into practice anyone could.

The Hijra was the flight from Makka, the city of genetic inheritance. In the intransigence of Quraysh and the consequent flight of the Messenger of Allah a, the last of the prophets and the messengers, a new dynamic was born in history and it was born in Madina.

Taqreer

An element to be understood here is what is called taqreer. The Sunnah comprises those things the Messenger of Allah a did and this is the strongest type, most importantly what he did regularly without leaving it out, clearly intending it as a Sunna for his community. Then there are those things that he a said, those things he commanded, recommended or prohibited. Finally, there is his confirmation of something done in his presence or his silence and thus implicit endorsement. Taking a step back from an atomistic understanding of separate discrete actions, we would have to take cognisance of the very nature of the society in which these actions and this endorsement took place. There was a reason for the flight to this particular city since there was already something basically healthy in it. As Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi famously remarked: “Islam is not a culture but a filter for culture”. The Messenger of Allah a filtered the existing culture of Madina. The alcohol went. Sharp practice in the market went. Adultery went. Much that was wholesome remained and became a part of ‘amal or Sunna.

The Madinans

Who were the Madinans? They were the descendants of the Azd tribe of Yemen who had left Ma’rib around the time of its great dam’s final collapse. This Yemeni provenance is important. The Messenger of Allah a said: 

“The people of Yemen have come to you. They are the finest and softest of hearts. Iman is Yemeni and wisdom is Yemeni. Boasting and prideful arrogance are in the owners of camels, whereas tranquility and dignity reside in the owners of sheep and goats.” (From Abū Hurayrah. Al-Bukhārī narrated it in Kitab al-Maghazi, the chapter on the arrival of the Ash’aris and the people of the Yemen)6

This description of the people of Yemen applies to the Ansar of Madina whose provenance was Yemen. This softness of heart was the fertile soil in which the revelation could cause fruitful growth. And it did. There is one particular aspect that was very significant then and whose resonance can still be felt in Madina today: the very different relationship between men and women and the tender concern and compassion for children, in contrast to the stern patriarchal attitudes of many of the Arabs then and now. This was embodied in one core sane ‘institution’: the Prophetic family and the Madinan family, which was not a nuclear family and indeed not even an extended family, but, in the designation of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi, an ‘open family’.

Conclusion

Tempting as it to draw conclusions, those must wait for our twelfth lecture. In the meantime, a very varied and distinguished set of lecturers will flesh out our sketchy picture of Madina concentrating on those early generations and the transformation of Madina from the great capital city of the khilāfah into a regional provincial city that was yet still home to the children and grandchildren of the greater number of the Companions. 

Dr. Amjad Hussain will concentrate on detailing the story of the tarbiya there which was to grow into the educational system for which Muslims were famous. Dr. Yasin Dutton will give a portrait of the élite knowledge tradition both in Qur’ānic studies and fiqh and the Sunna. Ustadha Aisha Bewley will give a lecture on a topic of particular interest to her: governance. Dr. Adi Setia will look at trade and commerce. Our Director of Studies, T. S. Andersson will look at crafts and trades, Rashad Ali at law and order, Hajj Asadullah Yate at the various institutions and modalities by which the poor, the weak, the orphan and the widow were cared for, Mahmud Manning will examine the actual layout of the physical city and the nature of its dwellings to see the interplay with the culture of the city, Idris Mears will look at the familial and tribal structure and I will examine jihad in shā’Allāh.

That brings us to the end of today’s lecture. The subject of our next lecture is Governance and it will be delivered by Ustadha Aisha Bewley. Thank you for your attention. Assalamu alaykum.

References



1 Mumford, The Culture of Cities, p.3.

2( تاريخ دمشق لابن عساكر14/9)و(تاريخ بغداد7/336) و(ذم الكلام واهله للهروي 4/124-رقم885)

3 I had until recently thought that this necessitated the existence of banking and bank loans, but have since discovered that neither the Roman Republic nor the Empire engaged in public debt except in very exceptional circumstances. “Public debt existed neither in Greece nor in Rome. As Hamilton commented, ‘that was one of the rare phenomena that was never rooted in Graeco-Roman Antiquity’.” Jean Andreau, Banking and Business in the Roman World Key,  1999, page 143.

4 Julius Caesar contracted what John Buchan characterised as the largest debt of the ancient world during his Gallic Wars, which Buchan regarded him as conducting entirely with a view to gaining power in Rome. The debt in part paid for large ‘Triumphs’ to woo the masses, the first time that the masses had figured in political life.

5 Whereas the next generation, the Followers, are only counted as Tabi’in through long association with one or more of the Companions

633939 - أتاكم أهل اليمن هم أرق أفئدة وألين قلوبا الإيمان يمان والحكمة يمانية والفخر والخيلاء في أصحاب الإبل والسكينة والوقار في أهل الغنم
( ق - عن أبي هريرة ) ( أخرجه البخاري كتاب المغازي باب قدوم الأشعريين وأهل اليمن ( 5 / 219 ) . ص )

This lecture is the introduction to the Early Madina module of the Muslim Faculty of Advanced Studies programme on Muslim History, whose next lecture is “Governance” by Ustadha Aisha Bewley on 7th September.