From Taif to Makkah
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had suffered some personal losses in the death of his beloved wife Khadija and his loving Uncle, Abu Talib. After the passing of Abu Talib, the Makkans had become more hostile towards the Muslims and showed no restraint, even against the Prophet (pbuh). The prophet (pbuh) decided to visit Taif in the hope that they would be more responsive to the message of Islam than the Makkans were. However, the people of Taif also refused to listen to the prophet (pbuh) and refused to accept his teaching. After a few days, they chased the prophet (pbuh) from the city causing him and Zayd to be injured during their escape.
Zayd was the prophet’s only companion during the visit to Taif. as they both rested against the wall of a vineyard, two Makkans noticed them. They took compassion on these blood-soaked and exhausted people and sent some grapes by the hands of their servant, Addas. Addas was impressed but also curious with Muhammad (pbuh) who started eating by saying the Bismillah. Addas began a conversation with the prophet (pbuh) and very soon he became sure that Muhammad (pbuh) was actually a prophet. Later when his masters rebuked him, he replied, “There is no person on the face of this Earth better than Muhammad!”
Muhammad (pbuh) did a dua to Allah and then they moved on towards Makkah. The Angel Jibrael came to the prophet (pbuh) with the Angel in charge of mountains. The Angel Jibrael told prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that if he so wished he would command the Angel of mountains to bury the city between two mountains. Although the prophet (pbuh) had suffered a great deal in the hands of these people, he replied that maybe their offspring would accept Islam and would proclaim the religion of truth. Due to the kind nature of Muhammad (pbuh), the city was saved from destruction.
On the journey back to Makkah, the prophet (pbuh) and his companion rested for a while in a place called Nakhlah and the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recited the Qu'ran. As he recited the verses of the Qu'ran, he did not realise that even in the darkness of the desert, there was an audience listening to and admiring these verses. Later on, a few verses of the Qu'ran were revealed which told the prophet (pbuh) that a group of Jinn had come and had marvelled at these beautiful words. The Jinn had gone and spoke to their companions about these verses. This audience of Jinn then sat, filling the valley, listening to the beautiful recital.
When Muhammad (pbuh) reached near the city of Makkah, he stopped off at Mount Hira on the outskirts of Makkah. He then sent guides to some of the nobles of Makkah, asking them if they would offer him protection when he entered Makkah. All the nobles refused but Al Mu’tim bin Adi, one of the leaders of Makkah volunteered to protect the prophet (pbuh). He sent a message to the prophet (pbuh) asking him to enter the city and go straight to the Ka'bahand he would extend his protection to him.
Muhammad (pbuh) entered Makkah and proceeded straight to the Ka'bah. Mu’tim was waiting with his family and friends, fully armed and ready for battle. The prophet (pbuh) proceeded to the Ka'bahand offered a short prayer by reading two rakats and then the group accompanied Muhammad (pbuh) to his house. Mu’tim announced to the people at the Ka'bahthat he was offering Muhammad (pbuh) his protection and if anyone would dare to harm the prophet (pbuh) they would have to face the consequences. The prophet (pbuh) entered the city without being harmed and was returned to the relative safety of his house.
Abu Jahl was very concerned and sent for Mu’tim. He asked him if this protection he was offering Muhammad (pbuh) was a sign that he had accepted Islam. Mu’tim replied his actions were no more then protection for Muhammad (pbuh) and not an acceptance of Islam. Abu Jahl was relieved by this reply and told Mu’tim not to worry because he would offer Muhammad (pbuh) protection instead.
So Muhammad (pbuh) returned from Taif and resumed his duties in preaching and teaching the message of Islam. The Hajj season was at hand and he began to speak to the people about Islam and encouraging them to face the true realities of this life. He told them to stop worshipping the idols and to worship only Allah. In this year’s Hajj, there were no great conversions to Islam or any major events. However the prophet (pbuh) was successful in his mission with some people turning towards Islam and listening to the message.
There were many tribes the prophet (pbuh) spoke and he had many dialogues. The tribes as a whole did not accept Islam. In many cases, they listened to the prophet’s message and reflected on his words. Although many would accept part of it, they did not want to leave the religion of their forefathers; after all they had travelled to Makkah to pay homage to these Idols. The prophet (pbuh) was not deterred by this and made the point of speaking to as many groups or individuals as he could.
One tribe he spoke to was the Bani Amir bin Sa’sa’ah. They listened to the Prophet (pbuh) and they were impressed with his powerful words and messages. They said that they would support the prophet (pbuh) because this message could potentially conquer all Arabia and would surely succeed with their support. Their chief then offered the prophet (pbuh) their acceptance of Islam with the condition that their tribe would be the rulers, or successors, after the prophet (pbuh). The prophet (pbuh) replied that he could not fulfil that condition because only Allah decides who should rule and not man.
The Bani Amir bin Sa’sa’ah then revoked their offer saying they wouldn't stand up for and sacrifice for Islam if they were not guaranteed to be the rulers after the prophet (pbuh)! They had not truly accepted or understood Islam. The message of Islam is that this world is temporary and the next world is permanent – humans should work with the aim of being successful in the next life not to gain power and fame in this life.
The situation and safety of the Muslims had deteriorated; none of the Muslims were free from the Makkan ill behaviour and persecution. Even Abu Bakr was so fed up with the torture by the Makkans that at one point he was ready to leave Makkah. Now Abu Bakr was a gentle person who had been very well respected, even before Islam came, and everyone knew of his kind and gentle nature. You would not think that such a person would suffer from any kind of abuse no matter what the circumstances were.
The prophet (pbuh) was talking about the toughest times they had to endure. He said that the Quraish did not have an effect on him as they did after the death of Abu Talib. Their lives were made a misery and there was no one that could stop this aggression and stand up for the Muslims as Abu Talib had done. The Makkans showed no compassion or restrain when they dealt with the Muslims.
Another difficult year had lapsed and the Muslims were under the yoke of the Makkans. However, Hajj season was coming up very soon and this time there would be many tribes coming to Makkah to visit the Ka'bah. The prophet (pbuh) was ready to invite the people to the truth of tawheed and fulfil his mission. However, unknown to the prophet (pbuh), there would be a certain group of people who were going to listen attentively to the message. They would take this message to heart and adopt its teachings into their lives.
The pilgrims poured into Makkah as they had done since the time of Ibrahim (as) many centuries earlier. However, these pilgrims did not come to worship the one true god for who this great house was originally built. Instead they would worship the many idols, which littered the holy sanctuary.
As the tribes entered Makkah and performed their Hajj, the prophet (pbuh) made arrangements to speak to these tribes and individuals about Islam. The prophet (pbuh) would speak to these people at night away from the eyes and ears of the Makkans. Many of the tribes would refuse to speak to the prophet (pbuh) but some of them did listen to the prophet (pbuh). There would be a handful of people who would accept the message whilst the majority of them would reject Islam. Often the prophet (pbuh) was accompanied by some of his close companions such as Abu Bakr, Umar or Ali.
The prophet spoke about Tawheed, dedication of one life to the worship of Allah and shunning the worship of everything besides Allah. This proposition was very difficult for the people to accept let alone follow. Makkah was a great city because of the many people coming to visit those very idols that the prophet (pbuh) was preaching against! The people were often filled with pride for their forefathers and were unwilling to accept that their forefathers be wrong!
The prophet (pbuh) would continue to preach Islam, in amidst this sea of idol worship. One of the many tribes that was visiting the Ka'bahand performing the Hajj was a group from Yathrib. The prophet (pbuh) was at a place called Aqabah in Mina when he over heard some people talking. The prophet (pbuh) went to them and asked if he and his companions, Abu Bark and Ali, could join their company.
The group of six Arabs were from the Khazraj tribe and they had already heard about prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from the Jews and the other Arabs. They were a little curious to see this man who had caused such a stir in Makkah, who was much talked about throughout Arabia. The Jews in Madina had often spoken about a prophet who would come and conquer the Arabs. The group invited the prophet (pbuh) and his companions to sit with them. They listened to the prophet (pbuh) talking about Allah; the need to worship Allah alone; the teachings and responsibilities of Islam.
The group were very impressed by the beauty and simplicity of the message and accepted Islam straight away. They decided that they would speak to the Aws tribe who were their bitter enemy in Yathrib. They thought that maybe they too would accept Islam, which would bring an end to the feuds that often erupted between the two tribes.
With this hope of unity in Yathrib and zeal of spreading Islam through their community, this group of six young men departed company. What would happen to this small group of six? Would they be successful in Yathrib or would they suffer the same response as the Muslims had received in Makkah? What affect would this small group of new converts have and what contribution would they make to Islam, only time would tell.
There was another major event that was going to take place. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would be taken on a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to the high heavens. During this journey, he would see many incredible things and speak to some of the greatest people that came before him.
This journey was the Isra and the Miraj but that’s another story, inshallah next week.