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Calling the Relatives

Three years passed before Allah ordered His Prophet (s.a.w.) to take advantage of the prevailing tribal atmosphere and call his relatives to Islam.

And warn your nearest relations, And be kind to him who follows you of the believers, But if they disobey you, then say: Surely I am clear of what you do..

Holy Qur'an (26:214-216)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) invited his relatives, numbering 40, to a feast. Before the Prophet could broach the subject to them, his uncle Abdul-Uzzah bin Abdul-Muttalib, also Abu-Lahab warned the Prophet (s.a.w.) from going on with the task of spreading the new faith. The invitation was a failure and the guests hastened to leave, and so the chance slipped out of the Prophet's hands.

Once again, after the passage of many days, the Prophet (s.a.w.) invited his relatives to a feast. His guests being satisfied, he addressed them:

O sons of Abdul-Muttalib, Allah has sent me, as His Messenger, to all people and particularly to you. He ordered me: 'And warn your nearest relations'. I invite you to accept two short sentences. They are easy on the tongue, but in the balance of action they are heavy and difficult. By them you will be the masters of the Arabs and non-Arabs. Nations will yield to you. Enter paradise and be saved from hell. They are the testimony of: There is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. Whoever answers me and helps me in this affair and in carrying it on will be my brother, trustee helper, inheritor and the successor after me.

Murmuring rose from among the people. Abu-Lahab condemned and warned the Prophet (s.a.w.) from carrying out his mission. Abu Talib expressed his full support to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said to him:

Proceed with your task you are charged with. By Allah, I will protect you and prevent others from harming you. 24

Ali, the youngest of all, come to his feet and said in a resonant voice:

O Messenger of Allah, I will help you in this affair.

But the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered him to sit down.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) repeated, once again, his proposal, and no one except Ali responded. The third time when Ali answered the Prophet (s.a.w.), he said to him:

Sit down. You are my brother, trustee, helper, inheritor, and the successor after me. 25

The people stood up and, upon leaving they said to Abu Talib mockingly:

Today, be happy at entering your nephew's religion. He made your son a commander over you! 26

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24. Al-Kamil, vol. 2, p.24. al-Bihar, vol. 18, p.164. Fiqh al-Sirah, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali, p.102.

25&26. This tradition is related by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan (Practices) and al-Dala'il (The Signs); Al-Tha'labi and al-Tabari in their Qur'anic exegesis of Surah of al-Shua'ra'. Al-Tabari in his History, vol. 2, p.217. Ibn al-Athir in al-Kamil, vol. 2, p.22; Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah (Life of the Prophet), vol. l, p.381: Ahmed bin Hanbal, vol. l, p. 11 and p.59; al-Nisa'i in al-Khasa'is (Attributes), p.6, Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, Tradition No. 6008, and other books. It is related in slightly different words.

Adapted from the book: "Muhammad The Messenger of Allah"