When the Messenger (saw) first received revelation, he was not asked to call people to a new faith as individuals. The revelation was for a nation, community or polity to accept and reorient their entire collective way of life.
Tufayl al-Dausi's Conversion Story
Tufayl al-Dausi (ra) was one of the Daus tribal elites. He visited Mecca in the first year of revelation where Quraysh warned him about listening to the Messenger (saw).
Tufayl however managed to hear the Messenger (saw) reciting the Qur'an in the prayer in front of the Ka'ba, then followed him until he entered his home. He knocked on the door and asked the Messenger (saw) to explain his deen so he could decide whether to accept it or not. The Messenger (saw) did so, reciting some verses of Qur'an to him, following which Tufayl (ra) then accepted Islam
Ibn Hisham narrated the story as follows:
أَنَّهُ قَدِمَ مَكَّةَ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِهَا فَمَشَى إِلَيْهِ رِجَالُ قُرَيْشٍ ، وَكَانَ الطُّفَيْلُ رَجُلا شَرِيفًا شَاعِرًا لَبِيبًا ، فَقَالُوا لَهُ : إِنَّكَ قَدِمْتَ بِلادَنَا وَهَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِنَا فَرَّقَ جَمَاعَتَنَا ، ... وَإِنَّا نَخْشَى عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى قَوْمِكَ مَا قَدْ دَخَلَ عَلَيْنَا فَلا تَكْلِمَنَّهُ وَلا تَسْمَعَنَّ مِنْهُ ... قَالَ : فَغَدَوْتُ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ ، فَإِذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي عِنْدَ الْكَعْبَةِ ، فَقُمْتُ قَرِيبًا مِنْهُ فَأَبَى اللَّهُ إِلا أَنْ يُسْمِعَنِي بَعْضَ قَوْلِهِ ، فَسَمِعْتُ كَلامًا حَسَنًا ... فَمَكَثْتُ حَتَّى انْصَرَفَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى بَيْتِهِ ، فَتَبِعْتُهُ حَتَّى إِذَا دَخَلَ بَيْتَهُ دَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَقُلْتُ : يَا مُحَمَّدُ ... فَاعْرِضْ عَلَيَّ أَمَرَكَ ، قَالَ : فَعَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَيَّ الإِسْلامَ وَتَلا عَلَيَّ الْقُرْآنَ فَلا وَاللَّهِ مَا سَمِعْتُ قَوْلا قَطُّ أَحْسَنَ مِنْهُ ، وَلا أَمْرًا أَعْدَلَ مِنْهُ ، فَأَسْلَمْتُ وَشَهِدْتُ شَهَادَةَ الْحَقِّ
"He (Tufayl) entered Mecca when the Messenger (saw) was still there. He was an honoured, intelligent poet and leader. He met some Meccans who told him, 'You came to our city and this man (Muhammad) has divided our solidarity... We are afraid that your tribe could be inflicted with what we experienced. So, neither speak nor listen to him.'
Tufayl said, 'The next morning, I entered the Ka'ba while the Messenger (saw) was praying in front of the Ka'ba.
I got closer to him and Allah willed nothing but to let me hear some of his revelations that I found good.
I stayed until the Messenger (saw) left the Masjid and reached home. I followed him and then asked him … O Muhammad, explain your matter to me. The Messenger (saw) presented Islam and recited the Qur'an to me.
By Allah, I have not listened to a better saying or notion before. I then embraced Islam and testified the testimony of Truth.'" (Ibn Hisham. As-Sirah al-Nabawiyah, Vol. 1, p. 382)
Tufayl giving Dawa
Tufayl then followed the same collective approach of the Messenger's (saw) dawa. After taking the shahadah, he told the Messenger (saw) he is an honoured and obeyed leader in his qawm and he could reorient his people.
The Messenger (saw) welcomed his passion and prayed to Allah to assign him with a miracle could help him convince his people. Allah assigned him with a glowing face like an incandescent lamp. Tufayl (ra), then, began calling his people until they all eventually accepted Islam.
Ibn Hisham narrated the end of his story and the fruits of his dawa, as follows:
ثُمَّ قَدِمْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِمَنْ أَسْلَمَ مَعِي مِنْ قَوْمِي ، وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِخَيْبَرَ ، فَنَزَلْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ بِسَبْعِينَ أَوْ ثَمَانِينَ بَيْتًا مِنْ دَوْسٍ ، ثُمَّ لَحِقْنَا بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِخَيْبَرَ
"I (Tufayl) came to the Messenger (saw) with those who accepted Islam of my qawm. The Messenger (saw) was in the siege of Khaybar, so I entered Medina with seventy to eighty homes of (my) Daus. We then followed the Messenger (saw) in the siege of Khaybar." (Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah al-Nabawiyah, Vol. 1, p. 383)
Tufayl al-Dausi (ra) was a tribal elite who heard the Messenger (saw) praying and reciting the Qur'an in front of the Ka'ba. He then visited the Messenger (saw) in his home and asked him to explain Islam to him, consequentially, he accepted Islam and converted his tribe.
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