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VI- Prophet's Biography

Up to Revelation

Message to Immigration

Battles to Victory of Islam

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Lesson 91
Muslims Suffering Harms

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[21] Quraysh harms the Prophet (SAWS)

 When Quraysh realized that they were not able to avert Abu-Tâlib and the others from supporting the Prophet (SAWS) and protecting him, that the Prophet’s message is spreading widely, and that the number of believers is increasing; they resorted to harming him. They tempted their foolish to ridicule the Prophet (SAWS) and hurt him, especially when he prayed at the Ka`bah.

 Abu-Jahl attempted to break the Prophet’s head, peace be upon him, while he was prostrating, but Allah (SWT) protected him. When Abu-Jahl came close to the Prophet, he could not control himself, so the rock which was in his hand fell down. He went back frightened to his people, his face getting pale, saying that he saw a dreadful camel, that he never saw anything like it before, and that it was about to eat him.

 Abu-Jahl tempted `Uqbah ibn abu Mu`ayt to throw a camel’s waste at the back of the Prophet, peace be upon him, while he prostrated. And he did. No one of the Muslims was able to remove it, until the Prophet’s daughter Fâtimah (May Allah be pleased with her) came and removed it.

 The dissolute Abu-Jahl prohibited the Prophet (SAWS), from praying at the Ka`bah. One time when he saw the Prophet praying there, he told him: “didn’t I forbid you from this?” the Prophet answered him in a very strong way and threatened him. Abu-Jahl then replied: “How could you threaten me when I have the most people around me.” Abu-Jahl meant that people gather around him in large numbers because of his great status.

 Allah then revealed these verses, what can be translated as: “Not at all! Indeed in case he does not refrain, We will indeed trail him by the forelock, A lying, sinful forelock. So let him call upon his assembly! We will call upon the guards of Hell.

Not at all! Do not obey him, and prostrate yourself, and draw near (to Allah).” (TMQ, Al-`Alaq: 15-19).  

 And while the Prophet (SAWS) was praying at the Ka`bah, the dissolute `Uqbah ibn abu Mu`ayt  wrapped his cloth around the Prophet’s neck, strangling him severely. Abu-Bakr came and pushed him away saying “Would you kill a man because he says: My Lord is Allah, and he has come to you with clear signs (proofs) from your Lord?”

 Once a man came to the gathering of Quraysh complaining that Abu-Jahl has delayed paying back his debt. The people told him: “Muhammad can help you.” Their intention was to ruin things more between the Prophet (SAWS) and Abu-Jahl. The man went to the Prophet (SAWS), and asked him to help him to get his debt from Abu-Jahl. The Prophet (SAWS) accompanied the man to Abu-Jahl’s house and he knocked the door. 

Abu-Jahl asked “who is it?”  The Prophet answered: “Muhammad.” Abu-Jahl opened the door frightened, his face getting pale. The Prophet then said: “Give this man his right.” Abu-Jahl said: “You will not leave until you get it.” And at once he gave the money back to him. The people from Quraysh were surprised from the outcome of the incident, which was not what they intended.

 They witnessed their friend being defeated. Abu-Jahl told them: “I swear by Allah, when they knocked my door, I have heard a voice that made me so frightened, then I saw a monster camel that I have never seen anything like it in my life”.

 Abu-Lahab was the Prophet’s uncle, but he was more cruel to him than people who are not his relatives. In addition, Abu-Lahab was the Prophet’s neighbor. He and his wife used to throw dirt in front of his door.

 The following were people who hurt the Prophet, peace be upon him: Al-`Â s ibn Wâl As-Sahmy, who was the father of `Amr ibnul-`Âs, Al-Aswad ibn `Abd Yaghűoth Az-Zahry, who was from Banu Zuhrah: the maternal uncles of the Prophet (SAWS), Al-Aswad ibnul-Muttalib Al-Asady, who was the cousin of Khadîjah, the Prophet’s wife, Al-Walîd ibnul-Mughîrah, who was the uncle of Abu-Jahl, And An-Nadr ibnul-Hârith Al-`Abdary. None of those people accepted Islam. Allah made them all perish as non-believers. Some were killed in the battle of Badr and others suffered from deadly diseases.  Allah is All-Mighty, Possessor of Retribution.

At this time Hamzah ibn `Abdul-Muttalib, the uncle of the Prophet (SAWS) accepted Islam after a woman slave teased him about the way Abu-Jahl hurt his nephew. He felt so angry and went to that dissolute saying: “how could you insult Muhammad when I am following his religion!?” Then Allah guided Hamzah to the light of Islam, and he was one of the strongest Muslims against the enemies of Islam, that is why he was called “The lion of Allah”.

[22] What Quraysh offered the Prophet (SAWS) to renounce calling to Allah.

 When the unbelievers in Quraysh realized that harming the Muslims is not an effective method to stop spreading Islam, they had a meeting to discuss what they should do to make the Prophet (SAWS) renounce his way. They agreed to send one of the most honored men in Quraysh, `Utbah ibn - Rabî`ah Al-`Abshamy, to present to the Prophet (SAWS) some offers so he would stop calling to Allah. So he went to the Prophet (SAWS) when he was praying at the mosque.

 He told him: “my nephew, you are from the best of our ancestry, and you brought to your people a grave matter, that separated them. You scorned their intellect and faulted their gods, their religion and their forefathers. If your goal from this is wealth, we will collect money from all of us and make you the richest among us. And if you seek honor, we will make you our leader and we will not make any decision without you. If you want to be a king, we will make you our king. And if you have been inflicted with jinn, we will seek treatment for you and spend all our money till you recover.”

 When `Utbah presented all his offers, the Prophet (SAWS) read to him Surat Fussilat until he reached the verse that can be translated as, Yet in case they veer away, then say, “I warn you of a (stunning) thunderbolt like to the (stunning) thunderbolt of cهd and Thaműd.” (TMQ, Fussilat:13)

" Here `Utbah held the Prophet’s mouth, begging him to stop. 

 When `Utbah went back to his people, he said: “O People of Quraysh, I have heard words that I have never heard like before. I swear they are not poetry, priesthood nor magic. So obey me and stay away from the man. I swear that his words will be of prominence. So if the Arabs hurt him, then you got rid of him without effort. And if they believe him, you will have a glory with him.” They said “Muhammad has bewitched you!”

 When these offers did not work, Quraysh used other means. They suggested to the Prophet (SAWS) to join them in their worship and they will participate with him in his worship. Allah (SWT) revealed to him Sűrat al-Kâfirűn (The Disbelievers). When they despaired from this too, they asked the Prophet to eliminate from the Holy Qur'an what enrage them, like insulting their idols and like the severe threatening. Then Allah (SWT) revealed to him what can be translated as “Say, “In no way (can) I exchange it of my own accord. Decidedly I closely follow (nothing) except what is revealed to me.” (TMQ, Yâ-Sîn: 15

 When they realized that all of these attempts did not work, they used an approach of challenging him with rather impossible requests. They said to him “if you are honest, show us a miracle that we request, we want the moon to be split into two pieces“ When Allah (SWT) made this possible and visible, they became more stubborn and continued asking the Prophet, peace be upon him, stubborn and obstinate questions such as: "And they have said, “We will never believe you till you make a fountain to gush forth from the earth for us;  Or (till) you have a garden of palms and vine (s); then you make rivers to erupt forth amidst it abundantly (Literally: with “all manner of” eruption). Or you make the heaven to fall down, as you have asserted, on us in lumps, or you come up with Allah, and the Angels and their (dependent) tribes. Or you have a home of wonderful decoration, or you ascend into the heaven, and we will never believe your ascent till you keep sending down on us a book that we (can) read.” (TMQ, Al-Isrâ': 93-95).

He answered them the way that Allah ordered him to do, as in the verse that means, "Say, All Extolment be to my Lord! Have I been anything except a mortal, as Messenger?”.

 When all their methods failed, the Quraysh resorted back to harming the Prophet (SAWS) and the believers, and they took on everything in their power to hurt them. 

[23] Quraysh hurts the believers

 As the Prophet (SAWS), suffered when he started calling to Islam in public, so did his companions. Each tribe was harming its Muslim members. The Muslims persevered and endured this treatment patiently. They did not forsake their religion. On the contrary, they persisted on their beliefs until Allah the Almighty gave victory to His religion.

 Among the ones who have suffered for the sake of Allah, was Bilâl ibn Rabâh, . He was a slave of Umayyah ibn Khalaf Al-Jumahy. He used to wrap a rope around his neck and leave him to the children to play with. Umayyah also used to take him out in the extremely hot weather, and have a huge rock placed on his chest. Abu-Bakr As-Siddîq, may Allah be pleased with him, bought him and set him free for the sake of Allah.

 And among them also, was `Âmir ibn Fuhayrah. He would be tormented to the extent that he was not aware of what he was saying. He was a slave of Safwân ibn Umayyah. As-Siddîq bought him and set him free too.

 And among them also was a woman called Zinnîrah. She was tormented until she became blind. That only increased her faith. May Allah be pleased with her.

 And among those who also suffered was `Ammâr ibn Yâsir, his brother, his father and his mother. They were tormented by fire. The Prophet, peace be upon him, passed by them once while they were tormented and said: “be patient, O family of Yâsir, Paradise is your promised reward”. The parents of `Ammâr died from the torment, may Allah be pleased with them. `Ammâr was forced to utter the words of disbelief,  seemingly  so as to be set free.Allah revealed the verse, what can be translated as: Excepting him who has been compelled and his heart is (still) composed with belief.” (TMQ, An-Nahl: 106)

 In general, all the early Muslims have suffered for the sake of Allah, but this did not make them forsake their religion. Rather, their faith was strengthened. And they said: "Allah is The Reckoner enough for us, and how excellent is The Ever-Trusted Trustee!” (TMQ, Âi-`Imrân: 173).   

And when the Prophet (SAWS) peace be upon him, saw the suffering of his companions and their inability to defend themselves, because of their small numbers and lack of preparedness, he asked them to immigrate to Abyssinia, until Allah changes the situation in Makkah.

Ten men and five women immigrated, among them, in the lead, was the companion `Uthmân ibn Affân  and his wife Ruqayyah, the daughter of the Prophet (SAWS). They stayed there for three months, then they got back to Makkah. None of them could enter Makkah except under the protection of one of theirdignitaries.

 At this time `Umar ibnul-Khattâb  accepted Islam. He was about twenty six or seven then. When he accepted Islam, the unbelievers said: “Today, those (Muslim) people have regained justice, to our loss .”

 When Quraysh ran out of tricks to use, they offered Banu `Abd-Manâf double the blood money to deliver the Prophet, peace be upon him, to them. Banu `Abd-Manâf refused this offer. Then Quraysh offered to give Abu-Tâlib a young man from their tribe in exchange for his nephew. He refused saying: “How ironic, you want to give me your son to raise and I give you mine to kill!”

 When the unbelievers of Quraysh ran out of ideas to stop Islam, and when they failed in changing the Prophet and the believers through harming them, they agreed to boycott Banu `Abd-Manâf and drive them out from Makkah, to make it so hard for them. They cut all transactions with them: no buying nor selling with them until they deliver the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to be killed. To insure that; they wrote this boycotting  onto a sheet and posted it inside the Ka`bah.

 Banu `Abd-Manâf , the Muslims among them and the unbelievers alike, turned to Abu Tâlib and entered with him to his mountain pass. The unbelievers blockaded them for about three years, till they ran out of food and had nothing to eat but the leaves of the trees.

[24] Immigration to Abyssinia

After the Prophet (SAWS) entered the mountain pass, he advised his companions to immigrate to Abyssinia.  Hence, 83 men emigrated, accompanied by seventeen of their women and some of their children. All of them were of the clans of Quraysh. They stayed abroad until the siege of the Prophet (SAWS) and of the clan of `Abd-Manâf came to an end.

 When they reached Abyssinia, they were received by a fair tolerant king who allowed them to publicly declare their religion and safely perform it. When Quraysh knew this, they sent an envoy with presents to the Negus and his patriarchs, asking him to drive away those immigrants. However, the Negus refused to do so.

 Instead, he sent for the immigrants to ask them about their religion. Ja`far ibn Abu-Tâlib (R.A.) spoke to him. Jaafar described to him their situation before Islam, and how Islam guided them to leave paganism, to worship Allah only, and to acquire good manners.

 Ja`far then read the first part of Surat Maryam (Chapter of the Holy Qur’an) which included the story of the birth of Jesus. Afterwards, the Negus said, "That is like what Jesus said." He then questioned them about the Quraysh's claim that the Muslims insult Jesus. Ja`far replied, "Our religion told us that Jesus is a Prophet, Allah's slave, and came by the word "Be" of Allah to the Virgin Maryam "Mary". The Negus replied, "Jesus is no more than this." Then, he told the immigrants to feel safe. The gifts of Quraysh were returned and they went back to their people with disappointment and humiliation.

 Abu-Bakr (R.A.) wanted to immigrate to Abyssinia because of the great oppression he faced by his people. However, Ibnud-Dighnah met him and told him, "Abu-Bakr, your likes should never escape,I will protect you." Abu-Bakr changed his mind, and Ibnud-Dighnah went around in Quraysh telling people that "Abu-Bakr should never be driven away. How can you drive away a man who gives to the poor, is good to his relatives even when they turn their back on him, entertains his guests, and helps everyone?" Hence, Quraysh agreed to the words of Ibnud-Dighnah for he was an eminent man. Abu-Bakr stayed home where he built a masjid (mosque) to worship Allah and read the Qur'an. 

 The Qurayshi men and women watched and listened to him with amazement. As a result, Qurayshi polytheists were startled and they asked ibn ud-Dighnah to no longer protect Abu-Bakr if he does not give up what he was doing. Ibnud-Dighnah therefore asked him to practice his worship secretly. Yet, As-Siddîq (a title of Abu-Bakr, meaning: most faithful) told him, "I return your protection. I am in sereneity with Allah’s neighbourhood”. He continued to worship Allah publicly, enduring the abuse of Quraysh with great patience, for Allah is with the patient ones.  

[25] Tearing away the boycott sheet

 When the siege became too hard for the clan of Banu `Abd-Manâf to bear, a group of eminent Qurayshis were sympathetic.  These Qurayshis stood beside them, went to the Ka`bah (House of Allah in Makkah), and tore the sheet after it had been worn to shreds by rodents, as the Prophet (SAWS) had told them. Nothing was left of it except the word "Allah."

 Afterwards, they were able to leave the mountain pass. The Prophet (SAWS) carried on advocating Islam, and the number of Muslims continued to increase. Their enemies could not offend them, but things changed when the Prophet's supportive uncle, Abu-Tâlib, died during the tenth year of the Islamic Message.