After Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his Companions migrated to al-Madeenah, and the Islamic state was established through the efforts of the Muhaajirs and the Ansaar, and upon the foundation of tawheed, then the greatest importance continued to be given to tawheed. The Aayaat of the Qur'aan continued to be sent down with it, and the directions and the orders of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) revolved around it.
(1) Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) did not suffice even with all this. Rather he used to take pledge of allegiance from the greater Companions, not to mention the others, upon it from time to time. Whenever the opportunity arose, he would take their pledge of allegiance upon it. Allaah, the Most High, says,
"When the Believing women come to give you their pledge that they will not associate anything in worship with Allaah; nor steal; nor commit fornication; nor kill their children; nor attribute to their husbands children which are not theirs; nor disobey you, O Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم), in that which is good and commanded by Allaah; (and not wail over the dead), then accept their pledge and ask Allaah to forgive them. Indeed Allaah forgives those who repent to Him and is Most Merciful to them." 
Even though this Aayah is with regard to the women's pledge, Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) also used to take pledge from the men upon its contents.
From 'Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was in an assembly (of his Companions) and said, 'Swear allegiance to me with the pledge that you will not associate anything in worship with Allaah, and that you will not steal, nor commit fornication, nor kill your children, (and upon the Aayah which was taken as a pledge from the women [60:12]). So whoever fulfils this pledge from you, then he will be rewarded by Allaah. And whoever falls into sin with any of that and is punished for it, then it is an expiation for it. And whoever falls into any of these sins and Allaah conceals his sin, then it is up to Allaah: if He wills He may forgive him, and if He wills He may punish him.'" 
Also Ibn Katheer quotes a large number of ahaadeeth that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) used to take pledge from the women upon that which this Aayah contains.  From these ahaadeeth is that of 'Aa'ishah; the hadeeth of Umayyah bint Ruqayqah;  the hadeeth of Umm 'Atiyyah;  the hadeeth of Salmaa bint Qays, one of the maternal aunts of the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم);  and the hadeeth of Raa'itah bint Sufyaan al-Khuzaa'iyyah.  Then he (i.e. Ibn Katheer) said, "And Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) used to take this pledge from the women repeatedly." Then he quoted the hadeeth of Ibn 'Abbaas,  and other ahaadeeth.
He also used to take this pledge repeatedly from the men. This is indicated by the hadeeth of 'Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit which has preceded, and also by the hadeeth of 'Auf ibn Maalik al-Ashja'ee, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "We were with Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and numbered nine, eight or seven people, so he said, 'Will you not give your pledge to Allaah's Messenger?' So we said, 'We have already given you our pledge, O Messenger of Allaah!' Then he said, 'Will you not give your pledge to Allaah's Messenger?' So we stretched out our hands and said, 'We will indeed give you our pledge, O Messenger of Allaah, but what will our pledge be?' He said, 'That you will worship Allaah and not worship anything else besides Him; the five obligatory Prayers; that you obey (and he said a word quietly); and that you do not ask the people for anything.' So I have as a result seen some of those people, their whip would fall down from their hand (while riding) and he would not ask anyone to pick it up for him." 
(2) He (صلى الله علیه وسلم) used to send callers, teachers, judges and governors, to kings and tyrants, and to various areas, calling to tawheed. From Anas, radiyallaahu 'anhu, the servant of Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم), "The Prophet of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) sent letters to Kisraa (Chosroes), and Caesar, and the Najaashee (Negus) and to every tyrant ruler calling them to Allaah. And this Negus was not the one whom the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) prayed Funeral Prayer for."  This point is shown very clearly by the text of his letter to the Caesar, and that his purpose was to call to tawheed. Its text is:
"In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
From Muhammad, the Slave of Allaah and His Messenger, to Hiraql, the Emperor of the Byzantines.
Peace and safety are for those who follow the Guidance. To proceed. I invite you with the call of Islaam. Accept Islaam and you will be safe, and Allaah will grant you a double reward. But if you turn your back upon it, then you will carry the burdens of the sins of your subjects." 
And he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said,
"Whoever calls to guidance then there is for him a reward similar to the reward of those who follow him, nothing being reduced from their reward. And whoever calls to misguidance, then there is a burden of sin upon him similar to the sin of those who follow him, nothing being reduced from their sins."
"O People of the Book, come to a word of justice between us, that we will single Allaah out with all worship and will not worship anything besides Him and disassociate ourselves from everything that is worshipped besides Him. Nor will we take one another as lords besides Allaah by obeying one another in that which involves disobedience to Allaah. So if they turn away, then say, 'Bear witness that we are Muslims, submitting to Allaah and making our worship purely and sincerely for Him and not worshipping anything else besides Him.'" 
When the letter reached the Caesar he sent for Aboo Sufyaan ibn Harb and some riders of Quraysh. They were at that time trading in the area of Palestine/Syria, and were within the time of the truce period agreed between Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and the unbelievers of Quraysh. So they came to Caesar at Jerusalem and he asked Aboo Sufyaan a number of questions. From them was that he asked, "What does he (i.e. Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم)) command you?" Aboo Sufyaan said, "I replied, 'He says, "Worship Allaah alone and do not worship anything else besides Him and abandon the saying of your fathers. He orders prayer, truthfulness, chastity and joining ties of relationship."'" 
(3) Furthermore he used to organise armies to fight Jihaad in the path of Allaah in order to establish and raise high the word of tawheed, "He who fights in order that Allaah's Word is the highest then he is the one who is fighting in the Path of Allaah."
From Buraydah ibn al-Husayyib, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "When Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) appointed the chief of a raiding party or an army, he used to counsel him to have taqwaa of Allaah concerning himself and with regard to good treatment of the Muslims with him, and he said, 'When you meet your enemy from the mushriks then call them to accept one of three things, whichever of them they agree to, then accpet it and leave them alone: (i) Invite them to accept Islaam. If they accept that then accept it from them, and leave them alone. Invite them in that case to leave their homes and to migrate to the land of the Muhaajirs... (ii) But if they refuse (to accept Islaam), then ask them to pay the jizya tax. If they agree to that then accept that from them and leave them alone. (iii) But if they refuse then seek the aid of Allaah and fight them. And if you besiege a fortified place and they ask you to allow them to surrender upon the judgement of Allaah, then do not allow them to surrender upon that since you do not know what Allaah's judgement concerning them is. Rather allow them to surrender in accordance with what you judge in the matter. Then decide as you wish concerning them.'" 
Like the hadeeth of Buraydah is the hadeeth of an-Nu'maan ibn Muqarrin al-Muzanee, radiyallaahu 'anhu, which is indicated by Muslim, Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah, who all said, "'Alqamah said: I narrated it to Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan. He said: Muslim ibn Haysam narrated to me, from an-Nu'maan ibn Muqarrin from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) with its like.
(4) Furthermore he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) sent Mu'aadh to Yemen as a Governor, a judge and a teacher. Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said to him, "You are a going to a people from the People of the Book, so let the first thing you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, (and in a narration: that they should single Allaah out with all worship), and I am the Messenger of Allaah. So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allaah has made five Prayers obligatory upon them in each day and night. So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allaah has obligated upon them a charity which is to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they obey you in that, then beware of taking the best parts of their wealth, and beware of the supplication of the oppressed, because there is no screen between it and Allaah." 
There is no doubt that he used to give this same advice to all the callers, governors and judges whom he sent out.
(5) Jihaad was prescribed for the establishment of tawheed and to purify the earth from the scourge of shirk. Allaah, the Most High, says:
"Fight the Mushriks until there remains no worship of anything besides Allaah, and all worship is for Allaah alone and His religion is uppermost. So if they desist from shirk and enter into Islaam then let there be no transgression except those that worship others along with Allaah" 
Ibn Jareer (at-Tabaree), rahimahullaah, said in his Tafseer (2/194-195): "Allaah, the Most High, says to His Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم),
Meaning so that there is no shirk with Allaah, and no one besides Him is worshipped; and worship of the idols, false gods and those set up as rivals is extinguished. And worship and obedience is for Allaah alone to the exclusion of idols and images... Qataadah said, 'So that there is no shirk.' He quotes his chain of narration with this explanation from Qataadah, Mujaahid, as-Suddee and Ibn 'Abbaas. He said, 'What is meant by Deen (religion) which Allaah mentions in this place is: Worship and obedience to Allaah in what He orders and forbids.' He said, 'With this meaning there occurs the saying of al-A'shee: He caused the (tribes of) ar-Ribaab to submit and become obedient when they hated obedience - Achieving it through continual fighting and attacks.'
Then he quoted his chain of narration of ar-Rabee' who said concerning,
Meaning: "Until none but Allaah is worshipped," which is the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah). That is what Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) fought for and called to."
From Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "I have been ordered to fight the people until they say laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah). So whoever says: laa ilaaha illallaah, then his wealth and his person is safe from me, except due to any right of it, and his reckoning is with Allaah." 
Also the Chief of the Believers 'Umar, radiyallaahu 'anhu, said to Aboo Bakr, the Khaleefah of Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم), when he resolved to fight the apostates and also those with them who refused to hand over the zakaat, 'Umar, radiyallaahu 'anhu, said, "How can you fight those people when Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'I have been ordered to fight the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, so whoever says this then his wealth and his person are safe from me except due to any right of it, and his reckoning is with Allaah.'" So Aboo Bakr, radiyallaahu 'anhu, said, "By Allaah, I will fight those who seek to separate between the Prayer and the zakaat. Indeed the Zakaat is a right due upon wealth. By Allaah, were they to hold a single young goat from me which they used to pay to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم), I would fight them for it." 
From Jaabir ibn 'Abdillaah, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "I have been ordered to fight the people until they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.' So when they say that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah then their blood and their property are safe from me except due to a right pertaining to it, and their reckoning is with Allaah." Then he recited,
"Indeed We have only sent you, O Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم), as an admonisher to them. You are not to force them to believe against their will."  
From Ibn 'Umar, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "I have been ordered to fight the people until they bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and they establish the Prayer, and pay the zakaat. So if they do that then their blood and their wealth are safe from me except due to its right, and their reckoning is with Allaah." 
So it may be noticed that the ahaadeeth of 'Umar, Aboo Bakr, Aboo Hurayrah and Jaabir are restricted to mentioning the matter of tawheed and do not mention the other matters. So perhaps the reason for this is the very great concern which the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) gave to this matter so that he would mention it to them time after time on its own, as an indication of its greatness and importance. Also because of the fact that he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) realised that they understood that all the other affairs of Islaam follow on from it, and are required by it and are from its rights, particularly the pillars of Islaam and eemaan.
I say, because of the fact that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) often used to mention only that which related to 'aqeedah, 'Umar used this saying as an evidence. Then the reply of Aboo Bakr to support his stance, was to make a direct analogy between the Zakaat and the Prayer, "By Allaah, I will fight anyone who makes a difference between the Prayer and the Zakaat..." So if he knew the narration as it was reported by Ibn 'Umar he would have used that as a clear and decisive proof.
Also if 'Umar knew of the narration as reported by his son he would not have raised any objection to the saying of Aboo Bakr. Then if those present at the time, included Aboo Hurayrah, knew the naration of Ibn 'Umar, then they would have mentioned it to the two Shaykhs.  So perhaps the reason behind this was indeed as we have said, the great importance which the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) gave to 'aqeedah, and his propogation of it, and the frequency with which he spoke about it.
Then also because the most prominent and most important aspect of the teachings which the Prophets conveyed from their Lord was Tawheedul-Uloohiyyah (singling out Allaah with all worship), and this was the greatest reason for strife between the Prophets and their enemies.
Furthermore the most significant of the aspects of falsehood and misguidance, against which the Prophets ('alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam) fought, and which the Mushriks who denied the truth of their message furiously fought to defend, in every nation was: the worship of images and idols, and the building of tombs upon the graves of the pious and the Prophets, and veneration of them, and making offerings to them, and attachment of people's hearts to them, both of the rulers and the ruled, an attachment of hope and fear, desiring and anticipating that they would intercede for them with Allaah, enabling the accomplishment of their wishes. This was indeed major shirk which will not be forgiven, so we must mention, along with that which we have already quoted whilst speaking about the methodology of the Prophets, particularly when we spoke concerning Ibraaheem, the Imaam of the Pious and the destroyer of the worthless idols, something about the full scale war which Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) waged against major shirk which was seen in his smashing the idols physically and by blocking up all the ways which Satan uses to lead his followers to worshipping them and taking them as rivals to Allaah, by using the terms 'gods' or awliyaa' (pious ones beloved to Allaah) or hiding beneath any of the misleading titles they use.
So from this war which is clearly seen in the Qur'aan and was waged by the Messenger of the One Who sent the Qur'aan, is the saying of Allaah, the Most High,
"Have you seen, O Mushriks, (the idols:) al-Laat, al-'Uzzaa, and the other one Manaat, the third of them.  You prefer and love the male offspring for yourselves and then falsely attribute daughters, which is something you hate for yourselves, to Allaah. This is indeed an unjust division. Rather these idols are mere names which you Mushriks and your forefathers have invented. Allaah has sent down no proof for that. Rather they follow only conjecture and their own deisres, even though clear guidance has come to them from their Lord proving the futility of worshipping these idols and that worship is the right of Allaah alone." 
So this is a clear statement of contempt for the idols which they worshipped, and war against them. Also, Allaah, the Most High, says,
"So shun the filth of worshipping idols and shun false speech. Worshipping Allaah alone in tawheed making worship purely for Him, and not worshipping anything besides Him. And whoever worships anything else along with Allaah, then he is like one who fell down from the sky and was ripped to pieces by the birds, or like one cast by the wind in a far distant place." 
Allaah, the Most High, says,
"O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, stone altars erected for sacrifice and divining-arrows are an abomination from the handiwork of Satan. So shun all of that so that you may be successful." 
And from 'Amr ibn 'Abasah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, and his hadeeth has preceded, and in it there occurs, "I said, 'Did Allaah send you as a Messenger?' He said, 'Yes,' I asked, 'With what message did he send you?' He replied, 'That Allaah should be singled out and worshipped in tawheed, and that nothing should be worshipped besides Him, and to smash the idols and to join ties of relationship.'" 
Also in the hadeeth of Ja'far which has preceded there occurs, "...until Allaah sent a Messenger to us from amongst us. We knew his lineage and his truthfulness and his chastity. He called us to single out Allaah in tawheed and to worship Him alone, and to renounce the stones and idols and whatever we and our fathers used to worship besides Him..." 
In the hadeeth of Aboo Sufyaan and his conversation with Heraclius, the King of the Byzantines, there occurs, "He says, (i.e., the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم)), 'Worship Allaah alone and do not worship anything along with Him, and renounce what the forefathers say...'" 
In the hadeeth of Aboo Umaamah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, there occurs, "Indeed Allaah sent me as a mercy for the worlds, and as a guide for the worlds, and my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, ordered me to destroy all musical instruments and flutes, and idols and the cross, and such things from the days of Ignorance..." 
Then the leaders of Quraysh went out of their minds in anger, unable to put up with the attack of Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) against their idols, whether it was concerning the Qur'aan sent down to him, or his da'wah in secret, or his da'wah in the open. This was something about which there could be no indulgence, and it was something which had to be due to his true and sincere call.
From Ibn 'Abbaas, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said, "When Aboo Taalib became ill a group of Quraysh entered upon him, amongst them Aboo Jahl, and they said, 'The son of your brother abuses our gods, and does such and such, and says such and such. So if only you were to send a message forbidding him.' So he sent a message and the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) came and entered the house... Aboo Taalib said to him, 'O son of my brother! Why is it that your people complain about you? They claim that you abuse their idols and say such and such?!' They spoke a great deal against him, and Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) spoke and said, 'O Uncle! I only desire that they should say a single phrase which if they say it, then the Arabs will become obedient to them and the non-Arabs will pay the Jizyah tax to them.' So they were very surprised at what he said and they said, 'A single phrase? Yes, by your father, even ten.' So they asked, 'And what is it?' Aboo Taalib said, 'And which saying is it, O son of my brother?' So he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.' So they stood up, shaking their clothes saying, 'Does he declare that worship should be for a single God?! this is something bizarre.'" 
Also from Jaabir, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "The Quraysh gathered together one day and said, 'See who is the most knowledgeable of you with regard to sorcery, divining and poetry, then let him go to this man who splits our united body, causes schism between us and abuses our religion. So let him speak to him and see how best to reply to him.' So they said, 'We do not know anyone but 'Utbah ibn Rabee'ah.' So they said, 'Then it is to be you O Abul-Waleed.' So 'Utbah went to him and said, 'O Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم)! Are you better or 'Abdullaah?'  Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) remained silent. 'Are you better or 'Abdul-Muttalib?'  Again Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) remained silent. So he said, 'If you claim that they are better than you, then they certainly worshipped the idols which you abuse. If however you claim that you are better than them, then speak so that we may hear what you have to say. Indeed we have never seen a youngster who has boded evil for his people more so than yourself. You have split our unity and caused schism in our affair, and you have abused our religion and shamed us in front of the Arabs. It has spread amongst them that there is a sorceror within Quraysh, and a diviner within Quraysh. By Allaah we do not expect that we will have to wait for the time it takes a new-born to cry out before we will fight amongst oursleves with swords and wipe oursleves out. O man, if it is poverty that is your problem, then we will gather wealth for you until you will be the richest man of Quraysh. If it is that you have a need to marry, then choose whichever of the women of Quraysh you like and we will marry you ten of them.' So Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'Have you finished?' He said, 'Yes.' So Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said:
"In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Haa Meem. This Qur'aan is the Revelation sent down by the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy ....
until he reached
"In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Haa Meem. This Qur'aan is the Revelation sent down by the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy .... So if these mushriks turn away from the proof which We have made clear to them, O Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then say, 'I warn you of a terrible punishment like that which befell 'Aad and Thamood.'" 
'Utbah said, 'Enough! Enough! Do you have nothing other than this?' He said, 'No.' So he returned to Quraysh and they said, 'What has occurred?' He said, 'I didn't leave anything which I thought that you would wish to say except that I said it to him.' They said, 'Did he respond to you?' He said, 'No, by the one who caused the Ka'bah to be built, I did not understand anything which he said except that he warned you of a terrible punishment like that of 'Aad and Thamood.' They said, 'Woe to you, the man speaks to you in Arabic and you don't understand what he says?!' He said, 'No, by Allaah, I did not understand anything that he said except for his mention of the terrible punishment.'" 
So this war was fought with words and the soul, with biting attacks and belittlement and derision, by overcoming the falsehood and ignorance of the Mushriks. At the same time, establishing the proof against them so that whoever went to destruction did so aware of the clear proof, and those who lived did so upon the clear proof. So from the results of this war, and from the results of this clear declaration was that Allaah guided many of the Arabs from the Quraysh and from the other tribes, and from Aws and the Khazraj. Allaah granted them clear discernment and they realised the reality of tawheed and its status. They also knew the vileness of committing shirk with idols or anything else, and also, at the same time, its seriousness and evil consequences for the Mushriks in this world and the Hereafter.
So these were the great and good fruits which came as a result of the Jihaad of Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his Companions and their steadfastness in the field of true da'wah to Allaah, and their intensive striving against the idols and false objects of worship. Then when Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) took tawheed to a new practical level which was to physically annihilate, smash and eradicate the idols and purify the earth from them, being fully aware of their seriousness, since they are the primary source of danger for every generation of mankind since the dawn of history until the end of history, just as the leader of those upon the true and straight religion said:
"And keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols, O my Lord, they have indeed caused the misguidance of many people." 
Therefore the greatest Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) resolved to carry out the task of purifying the earth from idols, and to level the graves since tombs are the partner of the idols in causing the misguidance of mankind.
From 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) entered Makkah and there were three hundred and sixty idols erected around the Ka'bah. So he began striking them with a stick which he had in his hand and was saying, 'The truth has arrived and falsehood has perished. The truth has arrived and falsehood cannot begin or return.' " 
Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) prepared an attachment to go from al-Madeenah to the tribe of Khath'am to attack Dhul-Khalasah, which they did. From Jareer ibn 'Abdullaah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "There was a house  called Dhul-Khalasah, or the Yemeni Ka'bah or the Shaamee Ka'bah, and the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said to me, 'Will you not relieve me of Dhul-Khulasah?' So I set out with a hundred and fifty riders of the Ahmas tribe. So we broke it down and killed whomever we found there. Then I came to the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and informed him, so he made supplication for blessing for us and for the tribe of Ahmas." 
The wording used by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and Ahmad is, "Will you not relieve me of Dhul-Khalasah?" See the wording used by the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم)?! It was as if the existence of idols deprived him of sleep and disturbed him, so that he could not settle or be at ease.
So I am amazed at the situation of many callers today who see the manifestation of shirk in front of their eyes, yet it does not cause them any concern whatsoever and they do not give any attention to it. Indeed what is even worse is that they complain about those who criticise it and who feel pained by this evil state of affairs which remains from the days of ignorance.
Also, from Abut-Tufayl 'Aamir ibn Waathilah who said, "When Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) conquered Makkah he sent Khaalid ibn al-Waleed to some date palm trees where al-'Uzzaa was to be found. It was constructed around three trees, so he cut them down and destroyed the building. Then he came to the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and told him, but he said, 'Go back, for you have done nothing.' So Khaalid returned, and when the keepers of the shrine saw him they fled to the hills, saying, 'O 'Uzzaa! O 'Uzzaa!' So Khaalid came and found a naked woman with bedraggled hair, casting dust upon her head. So Khaalid transfixed her with the sword and killed her. Then he returned to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and informed him, so he said, 'That was al-'Uzzaa.' " 
Also Manaat was the idol worshipped by Aws and Khazraj and those who followed their religion in Yathrib. So Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) sent Aboo Sufyaan to demolish it, or it is said, 'Alee ibn Abee Taalib.  Furthermore Thaqeef requested that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) leave the major idol, al-Laat, and not destroy it for three years. Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) refused. So then they asked him to leave it for a year, but he continued to refuse. Finally they asked him to leave it for a month only after their arrival, but he refused to leave it for any period of time. What they wanted by this was to remain safe from the initial reaction of their foolish people, their womenfolk and their offspring... but Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) refused except that he should send Aboo Sufyaan ibn Harb and al-Mugheerah ibn Shu'bah to destroy it. 
From 'Uthmaan ibn Abil-'Aas, "That Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) ordered that the mosque of Taa'if be built in the place where their idol formerly stood."  Ibn Jareer said,  "They extracted its name from the name of Allaah, so they said, 'al-Laat' seeking to make it feminine, and High is Allaah and far removed from their saying." He then reports with his chains of narration from Qataadah, Ibn 'Abbaas, Mujaahid and Ibn Zayd that al-Laatta was the title of the man who used to produce a broth to feed the pilgrims. Then when he died they became devoted to his grave, and worshipped it. Imaam al-Bukhaaree said, Muslim ibn Ibraaheem narrated to us that Abul-Ashab narrated to us that Abul-Jawzaa narrated to us from Ibn 'Abbaas, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, with regard to Allaah's saying (in Soorah an-Najm)  "al-Laat was a man who used to mix broth for the pilgrims." 
From Thumaamah ibn Shufayy who said, "We were with Fudaalah ibn 'Ubayd in the land of the Romans at Rhodes and a companion of ours died. So Fudaalah gave orders concerning the grave, and it was levelled, then he said, 'I heard Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) ordering that they be levelled.'" 
From Jaabir ibn 'Abdulaah, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said, "Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) forbade that graves should be plastered, or that they should be sat upon, or that anything should be built upon them." 
From Aboo Marthad al-Ghanawee who said, "I heard Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) say, 'Do not pray towards graves, and do not sit upon them.'" 
From Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'O Allaah, do not make my grave an idol which is worshipped. Allaah's Wrath is severe against people who take the graves of their Prophets as places of Prayer.'" 
Then this heedfulness and attention given by the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) to the dangers of idols and tombs continued right to the final moment of the life of the sincere and trustworthy Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم). From Jundub ibn 'Abdullaah al-Bajalee, radiyallaahu 'anhu, who said, "I heard Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) five days before he died, saying, 'I am free before Allaah of having taken a single special and beloved friend from amongst you, since Allaah has taken me as a special beloved friend just as He took Ibraaheem as a special beloved friend. And if I were to take a special beloved friend from my ummah, then I would have taken Aboo Bakr as a special beloved friend. Indeed the peoples who came before you used to take the graves of their Prophets and the Pious from them as places of Prayer. But do not take the graves as places of Prayer, since I forbid you from that.'" 
Also at this point of death, and after having chosen the company of the highest Angels, his greatest preoccupation was with the danger of the trial which graves and tombs caused to this ummah, most of whom are in ignorance of the attention and importance which the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) gave to this, and are ignorant of the danger of this devastating trial.
From Usaamah ibn Zayd, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said during his illness which he died from, "Enter my Companions upon me." So they entered upon him and he was covering his face with a Ma'aarifee  cloak, he uncovered his face and said, "Allaah's curse is upon the Jews and the Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as places of Prayer." 
So now we ask the question: Since it is the case that the call of the Messengers, 'alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam, comprised all that is good, and warned against all that is evil, then why is it that we see in what Allaah relates in His Book, and we find in the Sunnah and the Seerah of our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم) that their call to tawheed, and the war which they waged against shirk and its manifestations, and its causes and means, took up a very large part of their call, and occupied a great deal of their lives, to the point that it was as if it was their sole preoccupying concern?
But as for their stance with regard to the tyrannical and despotic rulers, then that was a secondary matter since shirk is the greatest of all oppression, and because their goal was to make the people slaves and worshippers of their Lord, the Perfect and Most High, it was not merely to remove one ruler and replace him with another. Allaah, the Most High, says:
"Indeed Allaah does not forgive association of anything in worship with Him, but He forgives what is lesser than shirk to whomever He pleases." 
"Indeed whoever associates anything in worship with Allaah then Allaah has forbidden Paradise for him, and his abode will be the Fire." 
"And whoever worships anything else along with Allaah, then he is like one who fell down from the sky and was ripped to pieces by the birds, or like one cast by the wind to a far distant place." 
So intellect, wisdom and the natural way therefore necessitates that the starting point is to wage war against the danger of shirk, and that the call of the Prophets and their followers should continue fighting it for as long as anything of it remains, or any form or manifestation of it continues. So if a nation is afflicted by matters damaging to its 'aqeedah, and shirk which destroys its 'aqeedah, and also is beset by economic and political problems, then where is wise treatment of the problems to begin?! As for the Prophets, then they did not begin except with applying their full efforts to treating problems facing 'aqeedah. Then beginning by seeking to treat the most dangerous problem is a matter about which all humans with intellect agree upon. So, for example, if a person with intellect saw a snake and an ant moving towards a person, then his intellect would lead him to hasten to repel or kill the snake due to the greater danger which it poses to a person. It is not possible that he would divert his attention to the ant, nor even to a thousand such ants. Also if a number of people possessing intellect saw that a fierce lion and a number of rats attacked them all at once, then they would all strive together to prevent the attack of the lion and they would forget all the rats, even if a group of frogs came with them. And if a group of travellers came to a point where they had no choice but to take one of two roads: the first passed by volcanoes which were emitting flames and fire, and flinging out rocks and boulders. Then the second road passed through areas of thorny bushes, and sun-baked ground and was subject to the heat of the sun. Then anyone with intellect would not choose except to take the second road.
So now let us think about the most severe problems and ills. I mean the problems in political affairs, social affairs and economic affairs, and the worst of these is corruption in matters relating to rulership and judgement. Then let us weigh this against corruption in matters of 'aqeedah. So are these two things equal in weight with Allaah and with the Prophets, or is it the case that one is more severe, dangerous and worse in its consequences?!! So in the scale of Allaah and the scale of the Prophets the most dangerous of these two, and the one which has the greater demand for attention throughout the ages, and with all the Messengers, is shirk and its manifestations, whose evil and corruption cannot be matched by any other evil no matter how great. So upon this we repeat and say, "All of the Prophets began with correction of matters of 'aqeedah, and by waging war upon shirk and its manifestations," and this is what is demanded by wisdom and intellect and that is due to the following reasons:
Firstly, that corruption relating to matters of the 'aqeedah of the people: shirk, false superstitions and beliefs, and the various types of misguidance, is thousands of times more dangerous than the corruption resulting from the corruption in rulership and other affairs. Indeed if we do not say and firmly believe this then we have without knowing it discredited and belittled the Messengers, and we seek Allaah's refuge from misguidance. Indeed this corruption encompasses the ruler and the ruled. So the rulers themselves in every time and place, except for the Believers from them, humble themselves to the idols, false-gods and tombs. They construct them, protect them, worship them and present offerings to them. They firmly believe that they have some supernatural power over and above their own authority. So they hold that these things cause harm and benefit for them due to the unseen power and authority which they think they possess, or at the very least they think they can intercede with Allaah in order for their problems to be reduced. The clearest example of the submission of the rulers to the idols is the example of the despot who claimed divinity, the Pharaoh, who said, boasting:
"I am your Lord, the Most High." 
And he said:
"I know of no other god for you besides me." 
Since the leaders of his people said to him:
"Will you leave Moosaa and his people to cause mischief in the land when they have abandoned worship of you and worship of your gods?" 
Also Namrood, the king of the Chaldeans who claimed lordship for himself. When Ibraaheem, 'alayhis-salaam, broke the idols, Namrood sought to burn Ibraaheem to take revenge for these idols, because they were the gods which he worshipped. Likewise the kings of India and Persia worship idols and worship fire. The kings of Rome in the past and the present-day rulers of Europe and America worship the cross and worship images. And how many of the past and present-day rulers of the Muslims are afflicted by the trial caused by the dead, so that they build tombs over them, and their hearts are attached to them in love, hope and fear. They fall into that which Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) feared for his ummah and which he warned against. So the seriousness and the soundness of the methodology will therefore be clear to you, and also the importance of the firm stance taken by the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) with regard to idols and tombs. Furthermore the wisdom of Ibraaheem will become clear to you, and the depth of his thinking and its extent when he made the enduring call which resounds in all corners and in every generation.
"And keep me and my sons far removed from worshipping the idols. O my Lord, they have caused the misguidance of many of the people. So whoever follows me in what I am upon (eemaan in Allaah, making worship purely for Allaah and disassociation from the worship of idols) then he is from my people (upon my way and religion), and whoever disobeys me, then indeed You are the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." 
So you see Ibraaheem, who was fully upon the truth and the right way, seeking Allaah's refuge from the evils and danger of the idols, and not seeking His refuge from the evils and danger of the rulers, despite the level of their corruption and their danger.
Secondly, the people were upon a single religion (Islaam), upon guidance, but then they diverged from it, so Allaah sent the Prophets as bringers of good tidings of reward for the obedient Believers, and warners of Allaah's punishment for the disobedient unbelievers.
Allaah, the Most High, says:
"We do not send Our Mesengers except with good news for the obedient that Paradise and success on the Day of Resurrection is the reward for obedience to Me, and with a warning for those who disobey and reject My commands that We will punish them, so that they may die aware of that. So whoever believes the Messengers and acts righteously in this world by following what they are upon then there will be no fear upon them when they meet their Lord, nor will they grieve about what they left behind in the world." 
And Allaah, the Most High, says:
"Messengers who were sent with the good news of Allaah's reward for those who obey Allaah, do as He commands and believe in His Messengers, and warners of Allaah's punishment for those who disobey Allaah, contravene His commands and disbelieve in His Messengers, so that those who disbelieve in Allaah and worship others besides Him may have no excuse to avoid punishment after the sending of the Messengers." 
Allaah's Mesenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "There is no one to whom granting excuse is more beloved than Allaah, therefore He sent the bringers of good-tidings and the warners." 
Allaah, the Most High, says:
"So are the Messengers charged with anything but to clearly convey the Message?" 
Allaah, the Most High, says:
"The Messenger's duty is but to clearly convey the Message." 
Allaah, the Most High, says:
"So if you deny Our Messenger, O people, and reject his command for you to worship your Lord and to free yourselves from the worship of idols, then nations before you denied their Messengers who called them to the truth, so Allaah sent His punishment upon them and will do the same with you. The Messenger's duty is but to clearly convey the Message." 
So this duty of warning and bringing good tidings and conveying the Message is a very exalted, sublime and lofty duty. It is enough in this regard that it was the duty of the Prophets and fully concorded with their lofty station, since it the hardest and the greatest task taken up by mankind. It was then taken up by their inheritors from the true and sincere callers who follow their methodolgy, therefore Allaah's Mesenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "The people who are most severely tried are the Prophets, then those most like them, then those most like them." We have also already mentioned the extent of the difficulties faced by the caller to tawheed and that others are unable to persevere in this sphere.
Thirdly, Allaah, the One free of all imperfections, and the Most High, did not start by commanding and making it a duty upon them, as is seen from the stories of their lives, that they should establish states and cause the downfall of others, and this is perfect wisdom since the call to establish a state attracts the seekers of this world, and those who seek after self-elevation and positions of power, and those who have personal goals and grudges, and aspirations and ambitions.  So these types of people quickly respond to the call to establish a state which they think will enable them to attain their goals, their desires and their ambitions.
Due to the like of these considerations, and Allaah knows best, and due to other reasons known by Allaah, the Creator, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, the calls of the Prophets and their methodologies were far removed from using these flashy and attractive slogans or those which clearly appeal to short-term ambitions and desires. Rather they followed a methodology which is wise, unblemished and noble. It involves being tried and tested. So they are followed upon this way and believed in by every true and sincere person free of selfish ambitions and personal goals. Such a person does not desire through his eemaan, his tawheed and his obedience to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) except Paradise and the Pleasure of his Lord. He does not fear except from His Anger and His severe punishment. Therefore they are only followed generally by the poor, the needy and the weak. Allaah, the Most High, says, quoting what the people of Nooh said:
"They said, 'Are we to believe in you, O Nooh, and affirm what you call us to, when it is only the lowly people who follow you?'" 
He said concerning the people of Saalih:
"The heads of the people who haughtily rejected Faith said to those who they held to be lowly, to those who believed in and followed Saalih and what he came with, 'Do you really know that Saalih is one sent by Allaah?' They said, 'We indeed attest and believe in the truth and guidance which Allaah has sent him with.' The haughty ones said, 'We deny and disbelieve that which you believe in.'" 
Also amongst the questions which Heraclius asked Aboo Sufyaan was, "Is it the noble of the people who follow him or the weak amongst them?" Aboo Sufyaan replied, "Rather it is the weak amongst them." So Heraclius said, "I asked you 'Is it the noble of the people who follow him or the weak amongst them,' and you mentioned that it is the weak amongst them, and it is they who are the followers of the Mesengers." So the call to establish a state is far far easier, and people respond more quickly to it since most people are seekers after this world and followers of desires.
Also because of the reasons, the consequences and the difficulties in the way of the calls of the Messengers we find that they are not followed except by a small number of people. So Nooh remained, for nine hundred and fifty years,  calling to Allaah, yet despite this: "None but a few believed along with him." 
From Ibn 'Abbaas, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said, "Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'The nations were presented before me, and I saw a Prophet and with him was a small group of people, and I saw a Prophet along with one man or two men, and a Prophet accompanied by nobody. Then I saw a huge crowd of people and I thought that they were my ummah. So it was said to me, "This is Moosaa and his people. But rather look to the horizon." So I looked and saw a huge crowd, so it was said to me, "This is your ummah, and from them are seventy thousand who will enter Paradise without any reckoning."'" 
As for Ibraaheem, the chosen and beloved Friend of Allaah, who refuted and silenced the mushriks with irrefutable and clear proofs. Allaah says regarding him and those who believed along with him:
"So Loot belived in him and attested to the truth of what he came with, and Ibraaheem said, 'Indeed I will emigrate (to the land of Shaam) for the sake of my Lord. Indeed He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.'" 
With regard to Loot and those who were saved from the punishment along with him, and perhaps they were his daughters alone:
"So We brought out those who were Believers from the town, and We did not find there except a single household of Muslims." 
But none of this diminishes the rank of the Prophets by the slightest degree, rather they are upon the highest rank and are the noblest and most distinguished of the people and the most honourable. They stand above all the people in manhood, bravery, excellence of language and eloquence, and in their clarity of explanation, their sincerity and sacrifice.
They also established their duty of calling to tawheed, propagating the Message, giving the good tidings and the warnings, and they fulfilled this in the most complete manner. So the fact that they had few followers or some of them had no followers, is purely the fault of the nations which refused to accept the call since, in their view, they did not satisfy their lowly goals. Then it may be that they respond to his call, or a large number of them do so, and so they gain a state, as a goodly fruit due to their eemaan, their affirmation of what the Prophet came with, and their righteous actions.
They thus establish the obligation upon them of fighting Jihaad to raise up the Word of Allaah, and of following and applying the Sharee'ah and the prescribed punishments and other matters prescrbed for them by Allaah. This is what happened with our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his noble Companions. Allaah crowned their eemaan, their righteous actions, and their exemplary perseverance when facing the harm and oppression of the mushriks, by aiding them and making their Deen uppermost, and by establishing them upon the earth as Allaah, the Most High, says:
"Allaah has promised those who truly believe (have true eemaan) amongst you, and act in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, that He will grant them rulership upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their religion for them grant them authority to practice the religion which He chose for them and ordered. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear, providing that they worship and obey Me, not associating anything else in worship with Me." 
Then sovereignty was offered to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) in Makkah but he refused and he continued calling to tawheed and waging war against shirk and the idols. So when Quraysh became troubled by the call of Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) they sent 'Utbah ibn Rabee'ah and he came to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and said, "O son of my brother, you know the excellence you hold amongst us with regard to your position in the tribe and your lineage, but you have brought a matter which is very serious for your people. Because of it you have split their united body, caused their youth to behave foolishly and you have abused their idols with it, and their religion. You have also declared their fore-fathers to be infidels because of it. So listen to me and I will offer you some things which you may consider, and hopefully some of them will be acceptable to you." So Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, "Speak, O Abul-Waleed, I will listen." He said, "O son of my brother, if what you desire by this matter that you have come with is wealth, then we will gather wealth for you from our wealth until you are one of the richest of us. And if you wish by it for high position, then we will give you such authority that we will not do anything without your approval, and if you wish by it for sovereignty, then we will make you sovereign over us. But if it is the case that what comes to you is a demon which you see and cannot get rid of, then we will seek after a medical cure for you and will expend our money until we can get you cured of it. Since a demon may take hold of a person until he is cured and relieved of it," or as he said. Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was listening to him, then he said, "Have you finished, O Abul-Waleed?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then listen to me." He said, "I will do so." He said:
"In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Haa Meem. This Qur'aan is the Revelation sent down by the Most Merciful, the Bestwoer of Mercy. A Book whose Aayaat are made clear, a recital in pure Arabic for those who know (the pure Arabic language), bringing them good tidings of Paradise if they believe in it and act upon it, and as a warning to those who disbelieve in it and do not act in obedience to Allaah, that they will receive punishment and dwell forever in Hell in the Hereafter. But most of them turn away haughtily and refuse to listen to it." 
Then Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) continued reciting it to him. When 'Utbah heard it he remained silent and sat with his hands behind his back, resting upon them and listening. So when Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) came to the Aayah of prostration in it he prostrated and then said, "You have heard what you have heard O Abul-Waleed, so now it is up to you..." So 'Utbah went back to Quraysh and when he sat with them they said, "What has happened with you, O Abul-Waleed?" He said, "What happened is that I heard the like of which, by Allaah, I have never heard. By Allaah, it is not sorcery, nor poetry, nor divining. O Quraysh, obey me and let the decision be mine. Leave the man and let him continue in what he is upon. Keep away from him since, by Allaah, his saying which I heard will come to have great importance. So if the (other) Arabs kill him, then you will be rid of him due to the action of others, and if he conquers the Arabs, then his sovereignty is your sovereignty, his power is your power and you will be the ones fortunate with regard to him." They said, "By Allaah, he has performed magic upon you with his tongue, O Abul-Waleed." He said, "This is my opinion with regard to him, you may do whatever you see fit." 
Ibn Ishaaq reports with his chain of narration to Ibn 'Abbaas that a group of Quraysh gathered and made an offer close to the offer made by 'Utbah and his saying to Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم). So he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) answered them by saying,
"I am not afflicted by what you say. I have not come with that which I have come with seeking your wealth, nor seeking status above you, nor sovereignty over you, but rather Allaah has sent me as a Messenger to you, and has sent down a Book to me, and has ordered me to be a bringer of good tidings and a warner to you. So I have conveyed to you the revealed Messages from my Lord, and I have sincerely advised you. So if you accept what I have brought to you then you will have your share in this world and the Hereafter. But if you refuse to accept it from me then I will patiently await Allaah's Order, until Allaah judges between me and you..." 
Likewise Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) rejected the request of one of the tribes that they should be in charge of the affairs after his death, if the report is authentic. Ibn Ishaaq said that az-Zuhree narrated to me that Allaah's Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) came to Banoo 'Aamir ibn Sa'sa'ah and called them to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and presented himself to them. So a man from them called Bayharah ibn Firaas said, "By Allaah, if I were to take hold of this young man from Quraysh I would devour the Arabs with him," then he said, "If we give you our pledge of allegiance upon your affair, then Allaah gives you victory over those who oppose you, then will we be in authority after you?" He said, "The affair is for Allaah, He places authority wherever He wills." So he said to him, "Are we to risk our necks before the Arabs for you, then when Allaah grants you victory, authority will be for other than us?! We have no need of your affair." So they rejected him. 
 Soorah al-Mumtahinah (60):12.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 1/21/no.17 and 5/151 no.233), and Muslim (Eng. trans. 3/924-925 nos. 4235-4238), and an-Nasaa'ee (7/128).
 See Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 6/385 no.414)
 Reported by Ahmad (6/357) and an-Nasaa'ee (7/149).
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 6/386 no. 415).
 Reported by Ahmad (6/379-380, 422-433) and its chain of narration contains Saleet ibn Ayyoob about whom al-Haafidh ibn Hajr said, "Maqbool," (i.e. acceptable if supported), and adh-Dhahabee said in al-Kaashif (1/388), "Declared reliable by some," so it is hasan due to its supports.
 Musnad Ahmad (6/365).
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 6/388 no.418).
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/498 no.2270), Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 2/431 no.1638) and others...
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 3/971 no.4382), at-Tirmidhee (no.2716), and Ahmad (3/336) from the hadeeth of Jaabir with the wording, "And Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) sent letters five years before he died to Kisraa and Caesar, and to every tyrant ruler."
 i.e. his followers from the weak and others, since he became a reason for their continuing upon shirk. This is from Allaah's Justice, and His way with regard to the rulers, that they carry their own burden of sin and also the burden of sin of those who follow them in deviating from tawheed and the truth, and fighting against it. Allaah, the Most High, says: "They will bear the burden of their own sins in full on the Day of Resurrection and the sin of those whom they lead astray." [Soorah an-Nahl (16):25].
 Soorah Aal-'Imraan (3):64. Both of them are part of a single hadeeth reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 1/7 no.6) and it is a long hadeeth, abridged, and Ahmad (1/262).
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 3/943 no.4294), and Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 2/722 no.2606) and others.
 Reported al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 5/445 no.634 and 9/348 no.469) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 1/14-15 nos. 27-28).
 Soorah al-Baqarah (2):193.
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 1/16 no.30) and at-Tirmidhee (no. 3341) and Ibn Maajah (no. 3928).
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 9/46 no.59) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 1/15 no.29).
 Soorah al-Ghaashiyah (88):21-22.
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 1/17 no.32), at-Tirmidhee (no. 3341) and Ibn Maajah (no. 3928).
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 1/25 no.24) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 1/17 no. 33).
 i.e. Aboo Bakr and 'Umar.
 Translator's Note: Al-Laat had its origin in a man of the tribe of Thaqeef who used to mix gruel for pilgrims in the times of ignorance near to a certain rock in Taa'if. Then after his death the people built a tomb around the rock, upon his grave. They then worshipped this and gave it the name al-Laat which they invented by twisting the name of Allaah. Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) sent al-Mugheerah ibn Shu'bah and Aboo Sufyaan to destroy it. They did so and in its place the mosque of Taa'if was built.
As for al-'Uzzaa, then it was in the form of a tree surrounded by a curtained building in a palm grove between Taa'if and Makkah. The Quraysh used to venerate it. An-Nasaa'ee reports in his Tafseer (2/357 no.567) that when Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) conquered Makkah he sent Khaalid ibn al-Waleed to it. He found that it was built around three trees, so he cut them down and destroyed the building. He then went to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and informed him, but he said, "Return for you have done nothing." So he returned and saw the keepers of the idol fleeing into the hills saying, "O 'Uzzaa!" So Khaalid came and found a naked female with dishevelled hair, throwing dust upon her head. So he struck her with his sword and killed her, then he returned to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and informed him. So he said, "That was al-'Uzzaa."
As for Manaat then it was situated at Mushallal, near to Qudayd, between Makkah and al-Madeenah. It was venerated by various tribes in the times of ignorance. Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) sent 'Alee to demolish it in the year of the Conquest of Makkah. Ibn Ishaaq said in his Seerah, "The Arabs took other structures besides the Ka'bah, buildings which they worshipped and venerated just as they honoured the Ka'bah. These shrines had keepers and guards, and offerings would be made to them just as with the Ka'bah. The people would also make tawaaf around them and make sacrifices there..." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer and Tayseerul-'Azeezil-Hameed, (p.177)).
 Soorah an-Najm (53):19-23.
 Soorah al-Hajj (22):30-31.
 Soorah al-Maa'idah (5):90.
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/395 no.1812) as has preceded.
 Reported by Ahmad (1/202 and 5/290) and is hasan as has preceded.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 1/7 no.6) as has preceded.
 Al-Haithumee says in Majma'az Zawaa'id (5/72), "Reported by Ahmad and at-Tabaraanee and its chain contains 'Alee ibn Yazeed (i.e. al-Alhaanee) who is weak." [Translator's Note]
 Musnad Ahmad (1/362) and Tirmidhee (no.3232) and its chain of narration contains Yahyaa ibn 'Umaarah and it is said: Ibn 'Abbaad who is mentioned by Ibn Hibbaan in ath-Thiqaat. Ibn Hajr says in Tahdheebut-Tahdheeb (11/259), "Acceptable (if supported)," and refer to, at-Taqreeb (2/354). Adh-Dhahabee says in al-Kaashif (3/224), "Declared reliable by some." It is also reported by Ibn Jareer (23/165) with his chain of narration to al-A'mash: 'Abbaad narrated to us: from Sa'eed ibn Jubayr: from Ibn 'Abbaas, and I do not find any biography for 'Abbaad. Its chain of narration also contains weakness, but may be suitable to be supported to the level of hasan...
 i.e. the father of Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). [Translator's Note]
 i.e. the grandfather of Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). [Translator's Note]
 Soorah Fussilat (41):1-13.
 Al-Muntakhab min Musnad 'Abd Ibn Humayd (no.1141) and Musnad Abee Ya'laa al-Mawsulee (no.1812) both of them from Aboo Bakr ibn Abee Shaybah: 'Alee ibn Muhammad narrated to us: from al-Ajlah: from adh-Dhayyaal ibn Hurmulah al-Asadee: from Jaabir, radiyallaahu 'anhu, from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer (7/151), after quoting the hadeeth with his chain of narration from 'Abd ibn Humayd and Aboo Ya'laa: "Al-Baghawee reports it in his Tafseer with his chain of narration from Muhammad ibn Fudayl: from al-Ajlah, who is Ibn 'Abdullaah al-Kindee, and he is declared somewhat weak from adh-Dhayyaal..." However al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajr) says about him in at-Taqreeb (1/46), "Generally acceptable Shee'ee from the seventh level." Adh-Dhahabee said in al-Kaashif (1/99), "He was declared reliable by Ibn Ma'een and others and declared weak by an-Nasaa'ee and was a Shee'ee." As for his Shaykh, adh-Dhayyaal, then al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajr) says of him in Ta'jeelul-Manfa'ah (p.84), "He reports from Jaabir and Ibn 'Umar and al-Qaasim ibn Mukhaymirah. Fitr ibn Khaleefah, Husayyin, al-Ajlah and Hajjaaj ibn Arlhat narrate from him. And Ibn Hibbaan declared him reliable." The rest of the narrators of the chain are reliable.
 Soorah Ibraaheem (14):35-36.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 3/369 no.658 and 5/406 no.583 and 6/206 no.244) and Muslim (Eng, trans. 3/978 no.4397) and Tirmidhee (no.3138) and Ahmad (1/377).
 i.e. a house like a shrine, which contained idols.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 5/450-452 no.641-643), Muslim (Eng. trans. 4/1320 nos. 6052-6054), Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 2/777 no. 2766) and Ahmad (4/360-362).
 Reported by an-Nasaa'ee in his Tafseer within al-Kubraa, as occurs in Tuhfatul-Ashraaf (4/235): 'Alee ibn al-Mundhir related to us: Ibn Fudayl related to us: al-Waleed ibn Juma'i narrated to us... And this is a hasan chain of narration.
 The Seerah of Ibn Hishaam (1/85-86).
 Ibn Hishaam's Seerah (2/540-541), Ibn Jareer (3/140), al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (5/32), Uyoonul-Athar of Ibn Sayyidun-Naas (2/228) and Zaadul-Ma'aad (3/499-500).
 Ibn Maajah (no.743) and Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 1/117 no.450) and its narrators are reliable except for Muhammad ibn 'Abdullaah ibn 'Iyaad, who is acceptable if supported.
 In his Tafseer (27/58-59) and it occurs in Ibn Hishaam's Seerah (pp.78-79), and he speaks at length about the idols of the Arabs and the things which they used to worship, and the form which their worship took.
 "Have you considered al-Laat and al-'Uzza" [Soorah an-Najm (53):19].
 Al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. (6/361 no.382).
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/459 no.2114), Aboo Daawood (Eng .trans. 2/915 no.3213) and an-Nasaa'ee (4/88).
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/459 no.2116), Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 2/916 no.3219) and an-Nasaa'ee (4/87 and 88).
 Reported by Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/460 no.2122) and Aboo Daawood (Eng. trans. 2/917 no.3223).
 Reported by Maalik in al-Muwattaa (Eng. trans. no.416) in mursal form, and Ahmad (2/246): Sufyaan narrated to us: from Hamzah ibn al-Mugheerah: from Suhayl ibn Abee Suhayl ibn Abee Saalih: from his father: from Aboo Hurairah, radiyallaahu 'anhu, from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). It is also reported by Ibn Sa'd in at-Tabaqaat (2/240-241) by way of Maalik and (2/241-242) by way of Sufyaan from Hamzah. It is also reported by Aboo Nu'aym in al-Hilyah (7/317) by way of Sufyaan from Hamzah.
 Reported by Muslim (Eng .trans. 1/269 no.1083) and others.
 Ma'aafir is a tribe in Yemen.
 Reported by Ahmad (5/214) and at-Tirmidhee in al-Kabeer (1/127 no.393) and at-Tayaalisee in his Musnad (p.88 no.634). Its chain of naration contains Qays ibn ar-Rabee' al-Asadee about whom al-Haafidh says, "Generally acceptable, but his memory deteriorated when he grew old and his son entered into his narrations things which were not from it." Its chain also contains Kulthoom al-Khuzaa'ee about whom al-Haafidh says, "Acceptable if supported." However it is suitable as a witness.
 Soorah an-Nisaa (4):48.
 Soorah al-Maa'idah (5):72.
 Soorah al-Hajj (22):30-31.
 Soorah an-Naazi'aat (79):24.
 Soorah al-Qasas (28):38.
 Soorah al-A'raaf (7):127.
 Soorah Ibraaheem (14):35-36.
 Soorah al-An'aam (6):48.
 Soorah an-Nisaa (4):165.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. (9/378 no.512) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 2/782 no.3572) and Ahmad (4/238) and ad-Daarimee (no.2233).
 Soorah an-Nahl (16):35.
 Soorah an-Noor (24):54.
 Soorah al-'Ankaaboot (29):18.
 As has happened with many political calls, and from the latest of them the call of the Ikhwaanul-Muslimeen who have been joined by the like of those called "the free officers" and many people with self interest.
 Soorah ash-Shu'araa (36):111.
 Soorah al-A'raaf (7):75-76.
 Soorah al-'Ankaaboot (29):14.
 Soorah Hood (11):40.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 7/407 no.606 and 8/359 no.549) and Muslim (Eng. trans 1/141 no.625) and Ahmad (1/271).
 Soorah al-'Ankaaboot (29):26.
 Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat (51):35-36.
 Soorah an-Noor (24):55.
 Soorah Fussilat (41):1-4.
 Reported by Ibn Ishaaq in his Seerah, he said, "Yazeed ibn Abee Ziyad narrated to me: from Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazee who said: It was related to me that 'Utbah ibn Rabee'ah..." And he reported the narration: as-Seerah of Ibn Hishaam (1/293-294). It also has a supporting witness in the hadeeth of Jaabir which is reported by 'Abd ibn Humayd and Aboo Ya'laa which has preceded.
 As-Seerah of Ibn Hishaam (1/295-296): Ibn Ishaaq said: A person of knowledge narated to me: from Sa'eed ibn Jubayr and 'Ikrimah the mawlaa of Ibn 'Abbaas: from 'Abdullaah ibn 'Abbaas, radiyallaahu 'anhumaa, who said, "A group of Quraysh gathered: 'Utbah ibn Rabee'ah, Shaybah ibn Rabee'ah and Aboo Sufyaan..." And this strengthens the previous narration, each of them supporting the other.
 Ibn Hishaam's Seerah (1/424-425) and as-Seeratun-Nabawiyyah of adh-Dhahabee (pp.189-190).