When the Messenger (saw) first received revelation, he was commanded to deliver a call to his society (qawm) who promptly rejected him. He then critiqued the fundamental polytheistic values of his society, ancestral traditions and social practices resulting in his message being fiercely opposed by the tribal leaders. To bring about societal change, the Messenger (saw) needed allies who could protect him against power. His uncle Abu Talib played this role for the first ten years.
Given the potential power of Mecca, resting on its housing the ka'bah and thus an ability to form military alliances with many tribes, it was a prime candidate for an Islamic polity. It appears for this reason the Messenger (saw) spent a long time in attempting to win it over. I discuss this in further detail here.
Seeking Man'ah and Nusrah (Living and protecting the deen and helping convey it)
The Messenger's (saw) aim seemed to be tripartite - Mana'ah and Nusrah on the basis of Tawheed which refers to a nation (qawm) living by and protecting the deen (mana'ah) and helping convey it via diplomacy and war (nusrah).
Seeking of mana'a (personal protection) was not peculiar to himself - previous messengers also sought it or had it. For example, the Qawm (people) of Shu’aib (as) said to him:
Had it not been for your group of people, we would have certainly stoned you (Qur'an 11:91).
That was despite subjecting him to ridicule and other forms of harm. As for Lut (as) who was a stranger and foreigner to the Qawm he had been sent to, then he did not even have this limited protection. For that reason, he said:
Would that I had strength (men) to deal with you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support (Qur'an 11:80)
The Prophet (saw) said:
The one commissioned to undertake this task was a man possessing power and man’ah (protective
force/capability) among his qawm like Abu Zam'ah (Bukhari)
The Prophet (saw) stated:
“Lut said: “Would that I had strength (men) to deal with you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support”. He had sought refuge in a powerful support, however he meant his Asheerah (clan). Thus, Allah did not send a Prophet after him except that he sent him in a Dhurwah of his people”.
Abu ‘Umar said: (This means) Thus, Allah did not send a Prophet after him except that he sent him in a man’ah (protection) of his people]." (Ahmed 2/533/10916)
Moreover, it was a notion widely understood at the Messenger's time, an example being the narration of Abdullah ibn Masood:
Abdullah bin Mas’ud related the Prophet (saw) was praying at the Ka`bah whilst Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, “Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and place it upon the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?” The most wretched of them got up and fetched it. He then waited until the Prophet (saw) prostrated and then placed it upon his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do anything. If only I had possessed man’ah (protective force)! He (Abdullah) said: They started laughing and some of them leaned upon others (in laughter). (Bukhari)
We don't know exactly when the Messenger (saw) started seeking the mana'ah and nusrah from the other tribes but there appear to be two phases:
In total, the seera books suggest he approached around 40 tribes.
After an extensive reading of the seera, the earliest discussions with tribes in Mecca (other than Quraysh) appear before the revelation of the verse "Proclaim what you are commanded and turn away from the unbelievers" (Qur'an 15:94) around the fifth year of ba'thah.
It was narrated by Samarqandi in his tafseer:
"The Messenger (saw) wanted to go out to ritual places in the days of hajj to call people, but his critics prevented him and sent a man on each road answering the strangers about the Messenger (saw) saying: 'He is a sorcerer and soothsayer.' They then said: 'This is what we will do every year.'
This distressed the Messenger (saw)." (Samarqandi, Bahr al-Ulum, Vol. 2, p. 263)
There are also other narrations of the Messenger (saw) meeting with al-Aws tribe (from Medina) before the war of bu'ath (at least five years before the hijra). When Aus and her allies were defeated several times so some junior elites came to Mecca to form a treaty against the Khazraj. Whilst Quraysh initially agreed, however, al-Waleed ibn al-Mughirah (or Abu Jahl in some narrations) opposed any agreement be made telling Quraysh to break the alliance. (Samhudi, Wafaa al-Wafaa, Vol. 1, p. 385). The Messenger (saw) heard of them and went to them and presented himself and his dawa to them. One of them (Iyas ibn Muaz) accepted him as was a Messenger and his proposal was good (and probably with a couple of them), however, their leader (Abu al-Haisar Anas ibn Rafi) rebuked them and refused to accept the Messenger's (saw) proposal. This was soon followed by the war of Bu'ath. (Samhudi, Wafaa al-Wafaa, Vol. 1, p. 388) Ibn Ishaq narrated the Messenger (saw) went to them and said:
"Do you want (to see a matter) better than what you came to?"
They said: "what is this?"
He said I am the Messenger of Allah to the servants (of Allah) calling them to serve him and associate none with him and he revealed a book to me."
He then mentioned the matter of Islam to them and recited the Qur'an upon them.
Iyas ibn Muaz who was young: O people, this is by Allah better than what you came for.
Abu al-Haisar Anas ibn Rafi took and a bunch of dust and hit the face of Iyas ibn Muaz and said: "What you said is not important, we have certainly come for other than this."
Iyas stopped talking and the Messenger left them and they went back to Medina. It was followed by the battle of Bu'ath between al-Aws and al-Khazraj.
Iyas passed away shortly after. People of his tribe who attended his last moments told me they were hearing him repeating (probably the Islamic forms) of tahleel, praising and tasbeeh until he passed away. So, they wondered about him being a Muslim." (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3, p. 189)
It is narrated that the Messenger (saw) used to shout asking the tribal leaders undertaking pilgrimage rituals for protection:
"Can any man carry me to his people, because Quraysh has prevented me from conveying the Words of my Lord." (Abu Dawud 3734, Tirmidhi 2934, Ibn Majah 201 and Ahmed Vol. 3, p. 390)
Thus the Messenger (saw) would go to the marketplaces presenting Islam and calling tribal leaders to adopt Islam as a way of life and provide him with protection and support. The Messenger (saw) used to ask them whether their number, lineage, troops, history of war and strength of their men could carry such responsibility or not.
This process of presenting Islam and the Messenger (saw) to other tribes seeking nusrah and man'ah seems to start earlier (around the fifth year of ba'thah) but it was not outside Mecca and not as extensive as it was in the tenth year after the death of Abu Talib when the Meccan leaders started to harm the Messenger (saw) and oppose his dawa - resulting in being locked out of Meccan society. As the Messenger (saw) said:
"Quraysh did not harm me with something I hate except after the death of Abu Talib." (Ibn Hisham, al-Seera al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 1, p. 417, Tabari, Tarikh at-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 344, Bayhaqi, Dala'il al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2, p. 350, Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, Vol. 1, p. 235)
At this stage, it seemed Allah ordered the Messenger (saw) to start seeking mana'ah and nusrah from other tribes not restricting himself to Mecca but visiting them in their territories with the following verse:
"And say, "My Lord! Cause me to enter a sound entrance and help me to a sound exit and make for me a helping authority." (Al-Isra` 17:80)
"When Allah ordered his Messenger (saw) to present himself to the Arab tribes ..." (Abu Na'eem, Ma'rifat al-Sahabah, 6384)
So the Messenger (saw) continued presenting himself to tribes visiting Mecca, but he now also approached them in their homes, asking them to help him delivering his call and defending him against any enemy and securing his dawa and implementing its teachings i.e., mana'ah and nusrah.
Tribe of Thaqeef in Taif
Shortly after Abu Talib passed away, the Messenger (saw) went to Ta'if tribe asking them for protection. Taif was the next most powerful tribe in Arabia after Quraish. Ibn Ishaaq narrated:
"The Messenger (saw) went out to Ta'if seeking the support (nusrah) and the protection (mana'a) of Thaqeef (a clan in Taif) against his tribe and their embrace of what he received from Allah (swt)." (Ibn Hisham, as-Seera al-Nabawiyyah, Vol.1, p. 419)
Ibn Saad mentions he stayed there for ten days and there was no leading person whom he did not approach and talk to. (Ibn Saad, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 238)
As part of this, he initiated discussions with three leaders of Thaqeef (Abd Yalil, Mas'ud and Habib) who eventually rejected his call and ordered their followers to stone the Messenger (saw) when returning to Mecca.
"He sat down with them and called them to God, and spoke to them of the requests which he had come to them to make, (that is,) that they should come to his aid in defense of Islam and take his side against those of his own tribe who opposed him. One of them said, "If God has sent you, I will tear off the covering of the Kabah"; another said, "Could God find no-one but you to send ?" and the third said, "By God, I shall never say a single word to you, for if you are a messenger from God as you say, you are too important for me to reply to you, and if you are lying against God, it is not right for me to speak to you." (Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 327)
Imam Kinani narrated:
"He stayed in Ta'if leaving no one of their leaders except he went to him and spoke with him. They did not accept his message for fear of (harm might inflict) their youths." (Kinani, al-Mukhtasar al-Kabir, p. 39, Ya'muri, Uyun al-Athar, Vol. 1, p. 155)
When they rejected him, he asked his uncle al-Abbas (ra) to help him identify influential tribes and would visit them with him at their homes and marketplaces where the tribal leaders stayed.
The Messenger (saw) on his return from Taif was able to secure protection for himself however the experience seemed to have left him shaken. He then asked for help from Abu Bakr and his uncle al-Abbas (ra) to show him the best tribes that could provide him with protection.
Abu Bakr (ra) was an expert in Arabian lineages (as narrated by Ibn Kathir in his seerah). The Prophet (saw) would accompany him when seeking the mana'ah from the tribes. Abu Bakr would evaluate if a given tribe could support the responsibility of dawa. Abu Bakr used to ask the tribes about their ancestors. Sometimes he would tell the Messenger (saw) certain tribes were useless because they had no respectable ancestors. Abu Bakr advised him regarding one tribe:
بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمّي، هَؤُلَاءِ غُرَرٌ فِي قَوْمِهِمْ
"They are with no respected clan among their people." (Sohili, al-Rawd al-Aneef, Vol. 4, p. 35)
They also used to ask the tribe about their number, protection, war, men and others and if they were able to carry the responsibility, the Messenger (saw) would show himself in the scene and present the Message of Islam and ask them for protection and support. Ibn Hisham narrated:
فَقَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ كَيْفَ الْعَدَدُ فِيكُمْ ... كَيْفَ الْمَنَعَةُ فِيكُمْ؟ ... كَيْفَ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ عَدُوّكُمْ؟… فَتَقَدّمَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: "أَدْعُو إلَى شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إلَهَ إلّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنّي رَسُولُ اللهِ وَإِلَى أَنْ تُؤْوُونِي، وَتَنْصُرُونِي
"Abu Bakr asked (the tribe), 'what are your numbers? … Can you provide mana'ah? … How does war look like with your enemies?' … (after the Messenger was assured they could provide the mana'ah) … The Messenger (saw) then said, 'I call to testify there is no god but Allah, with no association with Him; I am the Messenger of Allah. I ask you to provide me with shelter and support.'" (Sohili, al-Rawd al-Aneef, Vol. 4, p. 36)
Other tribes that accepted the Prophet's offer said they could not afford to fight Persia and Rome because of alliances with them, the Messenger and Abu Bakr would leave them as they were seeking unconditional protection and support. (Ibn Kathir, al-Seera al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 160)
Al-Abbas (ra) took him to the marketplaces at the outskirts of Mecca where the tribal leaders stayed, explaining to him their strengths and weaknesses. Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated:
"The Messenger of Allah (saw) asked me, 'I don't find any protection with you nor your brother. So, could you accompany me to the marketplace to quickly see the status of the tribes of people.' (The marketplace) was were the Arabs assembled… (then he presented him the powerful aspects and strengths in each tribe)." (Ibn Kathir, al-Seera al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 159)
This narration also demonstrates the Messenger (saw) was seeking collective protection of his religion, not the mere protection of himself against death because his uncles and others already provided him with ijaarah (physical protection) whilst the tribe rejected the deen and its demands.
The Messenger (saw) would then focus on visiting the marketplaces of the Arabs for the next few years, asking anyone who could carry him to their people, willing to provide him with support and protection. Darami narrated:
"The Messenger (saw) used to present himself to the Arabian tribes calling them to no one but Allah, that they associate none with him, and give him (the Prophet) support and believe in him." (Darami, al-Seera al-Nabawiyyah, Vol. 1, p. 102)
Ahmed narrated the Messenger (saw) used to shout out in marketplaces:
"Who would provide me with shelter? Who would provide me with support till I convey the Message of my Lord and he will be granted Heaven?" (Musnad Ahmed Vol. 3, p. 322; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, Vol. 7, p. 222)
The Messenger (saw) used to ask certain questions to people who welcomed him:
وكَيْفَ العَدَدُ؟ … فَكَيْفَ المَنَعَةُ؟
"How much are your numbers? … What mana'ah could you provide?" (Asbahani, al-Mustakhraj, Vol. 1, p. 74)
In another narration, the Messenger (saw) asked some tribes to provide him with protection and support even if they disliked his message. Asbahani narrated the Messenger (saw) used to say:
"I would not compel any of you to accept something; rather whoever loves what I call for, he could accept and whoever dislikes it, I would not compel him (to accept).
I want you to protect me in conveying the Message of my Lord (swt) until Allah accomplish for me and my followers what he wills." (Asbahani, al-Mustakhraj, Vol. 1, p. 72)
Tribe of Kinda
The tribe of Kinda was the first one suggested by Abbas.
Abbas told the Messenger (saw): 'These are Kinda and those who mix with them. They are the best of those from Yemen who make the pilgrimage. Those are the homes of Bakr b. Wa'il; those belong to the Bani Amir bin Sa'sa'ah. Choose for yourself.'
The Messenger (saw) began with Kinda, asking them, 'From whom are you?'
'From Yemen,' they replied.
'From which tribe?' he asked.
'Would you like to achieve good?'
'How would that be?' they asked.
'You would bear witness that there is no god but God, and would engage in prayer and believe in God's message."'
Kinda replied, 'If you are successful, will you grant us power after yourself?'
The Messenger (saw) replied, 'Power rests with God; He places it where He wishes.'
They responded, 'We don't need what you bring... have you come to us to keep us from our gods and have us go to war with the Arabs? Remain with your people. We have no need of you!' (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, pp. 106-7)
Tribe of Bakr bin Wa'il
The Messenger (saw) then left them and went to Bakr bin Wa'il.
He asked, 'Who are these people?' 'They are part of Bakr bin Wa'il...'
'How many are they?' he asked.
'Very numerous,' he was told.
'How would their protection be?' he asked.
They replied, 'We border on Persia; we have no protection from them or for them.'
He told them, 'Grant God custody over yourselves and He will keep you safe until you descend upon their homes, marry their women and enslave their children. Then give praise to God three and thirty times, then give thanks to Him three and thirty times, and say He is most great four and thirty times.'
'Who are you?' they asked.
'I am the Messenger of God,' he replied. Then he left.
When he had left, his uncle Abu Lahab had been following him and telling people, 'Do not accept what he says.'
When he passed by them, they asked, 'Do you know this man?' He replied, 'Yes, he's from our elite. What about him makes you ask?'
They told him what he had offered them, saying, 'He claims to be the Messenger of God.'
Abu Lahab commented, 'Take no account of whatever he says. He's crazy, and talks off the top of his head.'
'We saw that,' they commented, 'when he spoke as he did about Persia!' (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 107)
Tribe of Amir ibn Sa'sa'ah
Banu Amir ibn Sa'sa'ah was a powerful tribe who accepted to provide him with protection and victory (mana'ah and nusrah) however stipulated leadership be within their tribe after his death. Ibn Hisham narrated their condition:
What do you think if we gave you the bay'ah (oath) on your matter (the deen) then Allah gave you victory over your enemies, Will the leadership be ours after you?
The Messenger (saw) said: 'This matter is to Allah gives it to whomever He wills.'
They objected: 'Should we protect you - the act that may cost us our life - against the Arabs and when victory comes, others will take the leadership! We don't need your matter (deen)'.
And they rejected him.
When the pilgrims dispersed, the Banu Amir bin Sa'sa'ah went back to one of their shaykhs who was so old that he was unable to participate in the pilgrimage with them. On returning to him they would tell him what had happened during the pilgrimage. In this particular year he asked them on their return what had happened during the pilgrimage, and they said, "A young man from the Quraysh, one of the Banu Abd al-Muttalib, who claimed that he was a prophet, came to us and called upon us to defend him, stand with him, and bring him back with us to our country." The old man put his hand to his head and said, "Banu Amir, is there any way we can put this right? Can we regain our lost opportunity? By him in whose hand my soul rests, no descendant of Ishmael has ever falsified this. It is indeed the truth! What happened to your ability to judge him? (Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, pp. 424-427)
Tribe of Sheeban bin Thalabah
The Messenger of Allah was taken to Bani Sheeban bin Thalabah. Abu Bakr (ra) who accompanied him was aware of the lineage of tribes recommended them for their suitability saying:
"May my parents be sacrificed for you, none besides them are more honourable than this tribe."
The dialogue between Abu Bakr and one of their leaders, Mafruq is most revealing.
Abu Bakr asked Mafruq, "What is your number?" Mafruq replied "We are one thousand in number and one thousand is no little figure." Abu Bakr continued "What about the Mana'a (power/defence) amongst you?" Mafruq answered "We always struggle, for every nation is bound to struggle." Abu Bakr further enquired "What about the result of the battles between you and your enemies?" Mafruq responded, "When we fight we are in one of our furies and the battle is enraged... We prefer our horses to our children and we prefer weapons to milking animals. So far as the victory is confirmed it is from Allah." Hearing this exchange and their suitability to offer him support, the Prophet immediately invited the tribe to Islam saying, "I call you to witness that there is no God but Allah, that I am is His Messenger, and that you shelter me and protect me until I discharge the duty placed upon me by Allah."
Mafruq asked the question "What do you preach my brother?" To which the Messenger recited verses from Surah al-Anam. Mafruq enquired, "Tell me something more about your preaching, O my Qurayshi brother! By Allah this speech is not of any who inhabits the earth. If it were theirs we would recognise them."
The Messenger recited, "Allah commands justice and the doing of good. And giving help to kith and kin. Allah forbids evil deeds, Munkar and rebellious actions. He admonishes you so that you may take heed." [TMQ 16:90]
The discussion expanded to include Hani ibn Qabisah who was their religious leader and Muthanna bin Haritha, their commander of war. However the ensuing discussion showed that despite their many qualities they were unsuitable to offer support. Muthanna explained to the Messenger of Allah "We have a treaty with Kisra (Emperor of Persia) due to which we are staying here (i.e. their land between the valleys of Yamamah and Samawah). According to the treaty we are not authorised to raise any new movement or give asylum to any such person who initiates a new movement. It is possible that your mission might be disliked by the Emperor... If you need our help (and shelter) against those in Arabia, we are ready for that."
The Prophet rejected their offer, "I think you do not show any reservation in replying to me... The one who supports Allah’s deen, should protect it from all sides." Clasping the hand of Abu Bakr, the Messenger of Allah (saw) arose and left the assembly.
The rejection of Bani Sheeban bin Thalabah reveals the Messenger (saw) was not seeking refuge from attack only, for this tribe were willing to offer him sanctuary from Quraysh. It was to seek support from peoples who were capable of offering protection from all sides. This is also indicative of how he had a global vision and designs on dominance over all other deens, with ambitions even on the great Persian Empire of that day.
The Messenger (saw) said, 'Supposing it were only shortly after now that God were to award you their lands and properties and furnished you their young women, would you then praise God and revere Him?'
Al-Nu'man bin Shurayk replied, 'Would to God you could accomplish that, Quraysh brother!'
The Messenger (saw) then recited to them, 'We have sent you as a witness, to bring good news and to warn, and to invite unto God, with His permission, and as a light-giving lantern.' (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 113)
Tribe of al-Absi
The Messenger (saw) came to the tribe of al-Absi at their homes at Mina while they were staying there near the first jamra. He was riding on his mount with Zayd bin Haritha seated behind him. He called out an invitation to them, but they did not respond.
"We had heard of him and of his preaching at the fairs; he stood and made a presentation and invitation to us, but we did not respond. We had with us Maysara bin Masruq al-Absi and he said to us, 'I swear by God, if we had believed this man and had taken him off to inside our territory, we would have triumphed. I swear by God, he will succeed and ultimately achieve all his objectives.'
But our people replied, 'Leave us alone. You'll not involve us in that over which we have no power.'
'The Messenger (saw) had high hopes of Maysara and spoke to him. Maysara replied, 'How fine, how enlightening your words are! But my people oppose me. All a man has is his own people. And if they don't stand by him, then enmity is more extensive.'
So the Messenger (saw) left and people went off to their families..." (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 114)
Tribe of Hamazan
Once a man of Hamazan accepted his call and asked him to accompany him to his tribe, so the messenger asked him:
"Do your people have protection (to provide)?" (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3, p. 179)
The man however became afraid and wanted to consult his tribe first and return the next year - however the Bay'ah of al-Aqabah with the people of Medina was already established.
Tribes of Aus and Khazraj from Yathrib
Five years before hijra and before the battle of Bu'ath, the Medinan tribe al-Aws lost several battles against al-Khazraj. A group of five junior elites came to Mecca to seek an alliance with Quraysh against Khazraj. They failed to come to an agreement but some met with the Messenger (saw) and believed in him despite their leader rejecting the Messenger's proposals.
The next year the Messenger (saw) met a group of six junior elites from al-Khazraj attending hajj. They discussed between themselves arguing this was the man the Jews and Christians were waiting for - the one who could unify their tribes and resolve their conflicts. They believed him, accepted Islam and returned to their tribe. The Messenger (saw) did not return with them given the political instability of Medina. Ibn Hisham narrated regarding their response:
فَأَجَابُوهُ فِيمَا دَعَاهُمْ إلَيْهِ، بِأَنْ صَدَّقُوهُ وَقَبِلُوا مِنْهُ مَا عَرَضَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ، وَقَالُوا: إنَّا قَدْ تَرَكْنَا قَوْمَنَا، وَلَا قَوْمَ بَيْنَهُمْ مِنْ الْعَدَاوَةِ وَالشَّرِّ مَا بَيْنَهُمْ، فَعَسَى أَنْ يَجْمَعَهُمْ اللَّهُ بِكَ، فَسَنَقْدَمُ عَلَيْهِمْ، فَنَدْعُوهُمْ إلَى أَمْرِكَ، وَتَعْرِضُ عَلَيْهِمْ الَّذِي أَجَبْنَاكَ إلَيْهِ مِنْ هَذَا الدِّينِ، فَإِنْ يَجْمَعْهُمْ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ فَلَا رَجُلَ أَعَزُّ مِنْكَ. ... حَتَّى إذَا كَانَ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ وَافَى الْمَوْسِمَ مِنْ الْأَنْصَارِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ رَجُلًا، فَلَقَوْهُ بِالْعَقَبَةِ فَبَايَعُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.
"They accepted what he called them for; they believed and accepted Islam. They told him 'We have left our people with incomparable hatred and evil among them, so Allah may reunite them via you. We will go to them and call them to your matter and what we accepted of the deen you presented to us. If they became reunited by you, no one would be more honoured than you … In the next year, twelve of al-Ansar (helpers) came to al-Aqabah and undertook the bay'ah.'" (Ibn Hisham, al-Seera al-Nabawiyah, pp. 427-431)
It seems the Muslims of al-Khazraj met the Muslims from al-Aws as a year later, both came and pledged an oath with the Messenger (saw) (the first bay'ah of al-Aqabah or bay'ah al-nisa). They asked the Messenger (saw) to send someone to help them to unify the tribes and teach Islam to the new converts. The Messenger (saw) sent Musab ibn Umayr (ra) and within a year he had managed to unite the Aus and Khazraj winning over the junior elites. They came to Mecca the following hajj, pledged an oath of war with the Messenger (saw) following which the hijra was ordered and the first Islamic state was established in Medina.
When this group met to pledge allegiance to the Messenger of God (saw), Abbas bin Ubada al-Ansari, of the Bani Salim bin Awf, said, 'Oh Khazraj, do you know what it is you are pledging this man?'
'Yes,' they replied.
He continued, 'You are pledging to go to war against all kinds of people. If you think that if you suffered great losses to your wealth and had your leaders killed, you would give him up, then do it now or suffer the punishment of this
life and the next. If you think you will keep faith with h i in what he has called upon you to do, despite loss of wealth and your leaders being killed, then do accept him. For he is, by God, the best in this world and the next.'
They replied, 'We will take him regardless of loss of wealth or the death of our leaders. But what will we receive in return for this, oh Messenger of God, if we keep faith with you?'
'Paradise,' he replied.
'Then hold out your hand,' they asked.
He did so and they pledged allegiance to him. (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 136)
The Messenger (saw) began approaching other tribes with a renewed seriousness after the rejection of Quraysh and the death of his uncle Abu Talib, seeking mana'ah (protection) and nusrah (support) for his deen.
He used to accompany his uncle al-Abbas or Abu Bakr and Ali (ra) who could guide him to the Arabian tribes, identifying their influences and strength. He visited them in their homes, marketplaces and in the Hajj seasons.
The Messenger used to ask the tribe who would be supposed to carry the responsibilities of dawa to Islam about their troops, number of fighters, the protection they could provide, their forefathers, previous wars and other things to ensure the capability to defend Islam against its enemies.
Bayhaqi, Dala'il al-Nubuwah
Darami, as-Seera al-Nabawiyyah
Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam
Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari
Ibn Hisham, as-Seera al-Nabawiyyah
Ibn Ishaq, as-Seerah wa al-Maghazi
Ibn Kathir, as-Seera al-Nabawiyyah
Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah
Ibn Saad, Tabaqat
Sohili, al-Rawd al-Aneef
Tabari, Tarikh at-Tabari
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