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The Opposition Mosque
The story of the Opposition mosque is the first registered act of violence between muslims.  People think that violence between muslims, like what we have seen in Iraq, Gaza, Pakistan, ... is a recent phenomenon. Unfortunately it isn’t.

The first registered act of violence was initiated by Muhammad himself. The story is one more sad event, during the starting phase of Islam, that muslims are generally not aware of.  It is yet another example of violence committed without justification, negotiation or legal proceedings.

The story is written on p 609 and 610 of Ibn Ishaq under the title “Opposition Mosque”.
Ibn Ishaq reports:


The apostle went on until he stopped in Dhu Awan a town an hour’s daylight journey from Medina.  The owners of the mosque of opposition had come to the apostle as he was preparing for Tabuk, saying, ‘We have built a mosque for the sick and needy and for nights of bad weather, and we should like you to come to us and pray for us there.’ He said that he was on the point of travelling, and was preoccupied, or words of that effect, and that when he came back if God willed he would come to them and pray for them in it.
Our Comments:

Ibn Ishaq narrates that some people made a mosque and they said they had good intentions. Those good intentions are stated in the story by Ibn Ishaq and in the quranic verses that refer to this event.
They asked Muhammad to pray in it, which would be considered as a blessing. It is similar like the inauguration of a church by a bishop or a cardinal, but in this case by their Prophet himself. As he was on his way to yet another war, Muhammad told he would pass by on his way back.
When he stopped in Dhu Awan news of the mosque came to him,
“News came to him” means that he received a revelation through the Angel Gabriel. The following verses from the Quran were revealed:
9.107 And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity - to disunite the Believers - and in preparation for one who warred against Allah and His Messenger aforetime. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good; But Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars.
9.108  Never stand thou forth therein. There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure.
Muhammad is obviously the only person who heard Gabriel saying that the people of the mosque had bad intentions. For his followers this is enough proof. For honest legal proceedings allowing the accused to defend themselves, there should be more that this.  Especially for the founder of a religion that claims to bring “justice”.
What is interesting is that the Quran claims in 9.107 that the people built a mosque as a preparation to fight Muhammad. This is indeed very strange. It is like claiming that the Saudis built a church in Rome in order to attack the Vatican. And then they ask the Pope to inaugurate this church. And the Pope has the Church burnt down while people are inside and claims Jesus had appeared to him in a dream and told him to do because the Saudis have bad intentions. Few people will believe the Pope.
and he summoned malik b. Al-Dukhshum, brother of B. Salim b. ‘Auf, and Ma’n b. ‘Adiy (or his brother ‘Asim) brother of B. Al-‘Ajlan, and told them to go to the mosque of those evil men and destroy and burn it.  They went quickly to B. Salim b. ‘Auf who were Malik’s clan, and Malik said to Ma’n, ‘Wait for me until I can bring fire from my people.’  So he went in and took a palm-branch and lighted it, and then the two of them ran into the mosque where its people were and burned and destroyed it and the people ran away from it.  A portion of the Quran came down concerning them: “Those who chose a mosque in opposition and unbelief and to cause division among believers’ to the end of the passage.
The twelve men who built it were: Khidham b. Khalid of B. ‘Ubayd b. Zayd, one of B. Amr b. ‘Auf; his house opened on the schismatic mosque; Tha’laba b. Hatib of B. Umayya b. Zayd; Mu’attib b. Qushayr; Abu Habiba b. Al-Azar, both of B. Dubay’a b. Zayd; ‘Abbad b. Hunayf, Brother of Sahl of B. ‘Ar b.’Auf; Jarmiya b. ‘Amir and his two sons Mujammi’ and Zayd; Nabtal b. Al-Harith; Bahzaj; and Bijad b. ‘Uthman, all of B. Dubay’a; and Wadi’a b. Thabit of B. Umayya b. Zayd, the clan of Abu Lubaba b. ‘Abdu’l-Mundhir.
Some background information concerning this case and the validity or invalidity of the claim that those people had bad intentions might have got lost in history. But there is also no information about any legal proceedings that, if they had actually taken place, one could reasonably assume would be part of the story by Ibn Ishaq.  
This story was yet another example of the efficient judicial system that Muhammad was running. The people concerned were not heard, there were no court proceedings, no witnesses and the orders of Muhammad were executed without further questioning or dissent. The “case” was closed within hours.
This episode only strenghtened his move to become the undisputed leader of Arabia.

Did Muhammad have this episode in mind when he said: “I have been made victorious by terror”?