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Seal of the Prophet and his Message - The Tactics of the Enemy

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When the enemies of Islam saw that their power was crumbling in the face of the new order of monotheism and realized that Islam was felling all their idols, both material and mental, just like an axe felling trees, they first resorted to threats. When they saw that threats were useless, they tried by means of promises and the award of privileges to turn the Prophet back from the path on which he had embarked.

But these efforts, too, proved fruitless as he rejected with disgust all their promises of power and wealth, with all the firmness demanded of the bearer of a heavenly mission. He proclaimed: "I swear by God that if you were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I would never abandon my mission until the religion of God spreads over the globe or I lose my life in propagating it." 23

Ya'qubi writes as follows in his history: "The Quraysh told Abu Talib that his nephew was vilifying their gods, accusing them of insanity and proclaiming that their ancestors were in error. They asked him to tell the Prophet that they would give him all of their wealth if he would abandon his preaching. Muhammad, upon whom be peace, answered: 'God did not raise me up as a Prophet in order that I might accumulate the wealth of this world; rather, He raised me up to convey His message to mankind and to call men to Him.'"

Then the enemy changed its tactics once more, and employed every conceivable weapon against this movement in order to destroy the newly constructed edifice of Islam.

Old enemies made peace with each other in order to destroy the Prophet. By attempting to blacken the fair name of the Prophet and sully his reputation, they wished both to quench the fire of hatred they felt in their hearts and to neutralize his summons and call.

Everywhere they proclaimed that he was a magician, a sorcerer, a madman, a poet, and they stirred up the ignorant against him. This is the same satanic strategy that the enemies of truth always use in order to undermine and defeat great personalities.

The Quran makes it plain that this strategy was not peculiar to the Age of the Prophet of Islam. It proclaims: "Never was a Prophet raised up for earlier peoples without men saying that he was a sorcerer or mad. Is this a legacy of denial they have transmitted from one age to the next? No, these people are themselves rebellious and transgressors." (51:52-53)

The Prophet, however, consistently refrained from adopting an attitude of anger toward his enemies. Although their fanatical prejudice, their shortsightedness, their blind traditionalism, and their calumnies increased the difficulties that he was facing, they were never able to arouse his anger. Instead, he sought always to bring them to see the truth, by means of spiritual instruction.

Neither pressure nor promises, neither deprivation nor difficulty, were able to shake the determination of the Prophet. Nor did the spreading of cunning and baseless accusations yield any result, for the compelling logic of the Quran and its re-echoing melody were too profound and too exalted not to leave an effect on the mind of whoever heard it; or to captivate and transform them. Even enemies were sometimes compelled to admit the truth.

Tabarsi writes in his commentary on the Quran: "When Walid, the celebrated sage of the Arabs, heard the Prophet recite the verses of Surah Fussilat, he was profoundly affected. The Banu Makhzum gathered around him and he described the Quran to them as follows: 'It has a distinctive charm and a unique beauty. Its branches are laden with fruit and roots are blessed. It is an elevated form of speech, higher than all others.' Thus he spoke and went on his way, and the Quraysh thought he had embraced the religion of Muhammad, upon whom be peace." 25

Although the Prophet had vast resources of patience, he was sometimes distressed by the foolish conduct of his people. He would go into a corner until Divine command summoned him back to his grave responsibilities, for to desist for a single instant in striving toward the sacred goals that had been set for him was impermissible; he had to shun all rest and retreat. (See 74:1-4)

One of the distinctive factors enabling the Prophets to succeed in the movements they launched was their steadfastness and power of endurance. The Quran mentions the method followed by the Prophets in their struggles as follows: "Ishmael, Idris and Dhu 'l-Kifl were all steadfast and patient in fulfilling their missions." (21:98)

All the envoys of God endured hardship and suffering when they were faced with denial and rejection, but they remained steadfast until the aid of God secured them their triumph.
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14. Sirat ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 162.

15. Ibid., p. 179.

16. Tarikh-i Tabari, Vol. I, pp. 33-34.

17. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 1138.

18. Sirat ibn Hisham, Vol. I.

19. Mas`udi, Muruj adh-Dhahab, Vol. I, p. 400.

20. Tarikh-i Tabari, Vol. II, p. 1172; Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, Vol. II, p. 40; Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, p. 111.

21. Halabi, Sira, p. 334.

22. Sirat ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 338.

23. Ibid., p. 278.

24. al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, Vol. II, p. 17.

25. Majma' al-Bayan, Vol. I, p. 387.