Rafed English

Resonance of the Prophet's Call

The followers of the new religion start to grow, and so does the concern of the Quraysh towards them. The elders of Quraysh send Abu Talib, the trusted uncle of the Prophet to him, asking him to stop his call for this new religion, and in return they would give him whatever he would want. "If you want wealth, we will give you as much as you want, if you want women we will marry you the most beautiful women of Arabia, and if you want position and status we will make you the owner-king over us." When Abu Talib conveys the message of the elders of Quraysh to his nephew-prophet, the Messenger of Allah replies, "I swear by the Almighty that if they put the Sun in my right hand and the Moon in my left on condition that I desist from this affair I would not leave it until Allah causes it to prevail or I die in the process." Then the Messenger of Allah began to weep and rose and made to leave, but Abu Talib called him and said: 'Come back my nephew. Say what you like my nephew, for by Allah I will never hand you over to them ever.'

The Quraysh realised that it is dealing with a true and determined prophet. From then on, open hostility towards this new religion, its prophet, and its followers started to increase. Lady Khadijah dedicates all her wealth and resources for the cause of her prophet-husband's mission. The extent of this hostility reaches blatant persecution of the followers of the new religion and its prophet.

'Neutralise the Messenger and his Message' Then the Quraysh plotted amongst themselves about the companions of the Messenger of Allah who had entered Islam with him from amongst the tribes. Each tribe pounced upon any of its own who were Muslims by tormenting them and forcing them from their religion. Abu Talib protected the Messenger of Allah, and seeing what the Quraysh were doing to the sons of Hashim and Abdul-Muttalib, he called for them to protect the Messenger of Allah just as he was protecting him. So they gathered with him and stood up with him, except for Abu Talib's brother Abu Lahab and his sons who had assisted the Quraysh against the Prophet.

Then the Quraysh openly decided to kill the Messenger of Allah. When this news reached Abu Talib he gathered the sons of Hashim and Abdul-Muttalib and took the Messenger of Allah to his quarter and protected him from those who sought to kill him.

The Quraysh imposes total and complete embargo against the Prophet and his followers in all its forms; social, economic, political, etc. No citizen of Mecca is allowed to buy from or sell to them, no one is allowed to marry anyone of them, or even befriend or socialise with them, not even help them. Nor should a peace settlement be accepted from them ever, nor should they be shown mercy until they hand over the Messenger of Allah to be killed.

The Quraysh agreed to draw up a document to this effect, and one of them wrote this document in his own hand, which subsequently was afflicted by paralysis, and then they hung the document inside the Ka'bah.

The Prophet and many of his followers, and members of the Hashim clan withdrew to Abu Talib and entered the Abu Talib Quarter known as She'b Abu Talib, which had become their virtual open-top prison. Their condition deteriorated as time went by, and although some friends of sympathisers managed to smuggle in some help to the Muslims, but this was few and far between. There they remained in the quarter for three years until they were exhausted. The voices of the children could be heard from the quarter crying of hunger. They also increased the pressure on those who had entered Islam but had not entered the quarter. The trials became grave and the Muslims were severely shaken. It is reported that Ali son of Abu Talib used to secretly leave the quarter in disguise and fetch foodstuff to the besieged, carrying it on his back, into the quarter.

On one of the divine revelations made to him, the Messenger of Allah informed his uncle Abu Talib that Allah had sent woodworms to their document that had eaten every word except the name of Allah. Having heard this Abu Talib said: 'No by the falling stars, you have not lied to me.'

Abu Talib set out with a group of the clan of Abdul-Muttalib until he reached the vicinity of the Ka'bah, which was full of the people of Quraysh. He spoke and said to them:

'Something has occurred which may be a cause for a settlement between you and us so bring out your document. They said: 'The time has come for you to accept and recant. Only one man has caused the split between us and you, and you have put your people in jeopardy because of him.'

Abu Talib said: 'I propose a matter for you in which there is fairness. My nephew has told me and he has not lied to me, that Allah distances Himself from this document and has erased all your treachery and enmity and all that remains written is His name. If it is as he has said then by Allah, we will never hand him over to you until the last of us dies. If what he has said is false then we will hand him over to you so that you may kill him or spare him as you wish.'

They said: 'We agree.' Then they opened the document and found it as they had been told but some of them clung to their falsehood and obstinacy and said: 'This is sorcery from your companion.'

Then some of those who had made the pact spoke and tore up the document.

Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

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