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History

Renouncing the Polytheists

The polytheists, who stuck to worshipping idols, persisted in their belief and in carrying on with their rituals. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) made up his mind to prevent them from performing their rituals around the sacred House of Allah. They had the lewd habit of circumambulating the House stark naked. There was no need by now to allow such obscene practices after the glorious victory of Islam, the destruction of the idols and the acceptance of Islam into Mecca.

In the 9th year of Hijra, during the occasion of hajj, the surah of al-Tawbah was revealed, which eliminated the remaining traces of polytheism and put an end to their presence in Mecca. The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) ordered Abu Bakr to communicate the chapter to the remaining polytheists, who would come to perform hajj according to their unpleasant traditional way.

Abu Bakr was half-way to his destination when the Faithful archangel Jibril (a.s.) ascended to order the Messenger (s.a.w.) to send Imam Ali bin Abi-Talib (a.s.) on the assignment instead. Immediately, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) sent a letter to Abu Bakr asking him to hand the first letter, containing al-Tawbah chapter, to Imam Ali (a.s.). Abu Bakr complied with the order of the Prophet (s.a.w.) but sadly returned to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and asked: Was something revealed concerning me?

No, the Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, but I was my self ordered to communicate this message, or a man from my household. 103

Imam Ali(a.s.) headed for Mecca. At Mina, he stopped and recited the holy chapter, then he called at the top of his voice:

No one is allowed to enter the Ka'ba other than faithful souls nor a naked one is allowed to circumambulate the House. Anyone with whom the Prophet of Allah has made a covenant of amnesty, his covenant is valid right to the end of the stated time. But as for who is without such a covenant make with him a covenant of 4 months time. 104

By this announcement the last page of polytheism at Mecca was turned over. The Ka'ba returned to Allah. Inside it, none apart from Allah was served, nor any rites other than Islam's were performed.

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103. Khasa'is al-Nisa'i, p.20, Sahih al-Tirmithi, vol. 2, p.283; Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 13, p.283; Al-Dur Al-Manthoor, al-Suyooti; Tafsir Bin Jarir, vol. 10, p.46; Mustadrak Al-Sahihain, vol. 3, p.51, and others. For more information, see Fada'il al-Khamsah min al-Sihah al-Sittah, vol. 2, p.343-57.

104. Hayat Muhammed, Muhammed Hussein Haikal; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 21, Chapter of how surah of al-Bara'ah was revealed.

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