وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ وَاخۡفِضۡ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَIbn Athir reports when the ayah was revealed, the Messenger (saw) became very worried and sat at home like a sick man. His aunts came to visit him and he said to them:
And warn your closest clan and lower your wing to the believers who follow you... (Qur'an 26:215-216)
"I do not have any complaint of sickness. However, Allah ordered me to warn my close relatives."Ali (ra) said the Messenger (saw) then told him:
They said, "Well, call them, but do not invite Abu Lahab, for he will not respond to you."
"God has commanded me to warn my clan of near kindred. I was troubled by this, for I knew that when I broached the matter to them they would respond in a way which I would not like. I kept silent until Gabriel came to me and said, "Muhammad, if you do not do what you are commanded, your Lord will punish you." So prepare a measure of wheat for us, add a leg of mutton to it, fill a large bowl of milk for us, and then assemble the Banu Abd al-Muttalib for me so that I may speak to them and tell them what I have been commanded to tell them." (Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p.321; Ibn Hisham, Seerah Rasul Allah, p. 119)Ali (ra) prepared a banquet and invited around 45 members of his clan Bani Hashim with some from Bani Al-Muttalib bin Abd Manaf also in attendance including Abu Talib, Hamzah, al-Abbas and Abu Lahab. The Messenger (saw) spoke to them and everyone left abruptly after eating with Abu Lahab responding by saying:
"These are your uncles and cousins, speak to the point, but first of all you have got to know that your kinspeople do not have the power to withstand all the Arabs and I am the most fitting person to stop you. You also should know your relatives are sufficient for you. If you remain steadfast in what you are doing, it will be easier for them than to face the other clans of Quraish supported by the other Arabs. Verily, I have never heard of anyone who has incurred more harm on his kinspeople than you." The Messenger kept silent and said nothing in that meeting. (Fiqh al-Seerah, pp. 77)He invited a second time and said:
"A leader does not lie to his family. By Allah, besides Whom there is no other god, I am Allah's Messenger to you in particular and to the mankind in general. By Allah, you shall die even as you fall asleep; you shall be resurrected even as you wake up; you shall be called to account for what you are doing; and then it will be paradise forever or hell forever." (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 77-78)All of those in attendance rejected his proposal however his uncle Abu Talib told him he would provide him with protection (ijaara):
"O Bani Abd al-Muttalib, I don't know of any Arab youth who came to his people with a notion better than I came with. I came to you with the goodness of this world and the Hereafter. Allah (swt) ordered me to call you to Him. Who is going to support me regarding this matter, so that he will be my brother, my agent (wasi) and my successor (khalifah) among you?" (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 322, Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh, Vol. 1, p.259; Seerah Rasul Allah, p.119)
Tabari also narrates it with the wording, "Then he said, 'Banu Abd al-Muttalib, I have been sent to all men in general and to you in particular. Now that you have seen what you have seen, which of you will swear an oath of allegiance (bayah) to me to become my brother, my companion and my inheritor?" (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 322)
"We love to help you, accept your advice and believe in your words. These are your kinspeople whom you have collected and I am one of them and the fastest to do what you like. Do what you have been ordered. I shall protect and defend you, but I can't quit the deen of Abdul-Muttalib."Ibu Ishaq stated Abu Talib spoke the following verses on that subject:
Abu Lahab then said to Abu Talib, "I swear by Allah this is a bad thing. You must stop him before the others do."
Abu Talib however answered, "I swear by Allah to protect him as long as I am alive." (Fiqh al-Seerah, pp.77-78)
By God, they'll never get their group to you until I'm laid to rest, buried in the ground.Ismail ibn Iyas ibn Afif, a trader visiting Mecca adds further detail to what the Messenger (saw) presented. Ismail was speaking with Abbas, the Messenger's uncle, when he saw a man, a woman and child praying near the Ka'bah. On enquiring about them, Abbas told him it was his nephew Mohammad, his wife Khadija and cousin Ali (ra). Having been amongst those who had attended the banquet he summarised what he understood as the message:
Carry on with your work that is beyond reproach; rejoice, and may you be content in doing so.
You invited me, and I knew you were advising well; you spoke the truth, and you were ever trustworthy.
You offered a deen I knew to be the best deen of mankind.
Were it not for blame and anger, you'd find me giving it my favour openly. (Ibn Kathir, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 1, p.337)
The man was Muhammad ibn Abdullah, his nephew, who believed Allah had sent him as a Messenger and the treasures of the emperors of Rome and Persia would be opened for him … Ismail (ra) later said he wished he believed that day, as he would have been the fourth in Islam. (Ibn Ishaq, al-Seerah wa al-Maghazi, pp. 137-138)This is supported by ahadith of other early converts like Ibn Abbassa who having heard rumours asked how many followed the messenger and were told just a few.
قُمۡ فَاَنۡذِرۡ وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرۡClimbing mount Safa, the Messenger (saw) called the tribes of Quraysh to gather and began warning them and their family members of the impending day of judgement. He was rudely interrupted by his uncle Abu Lahab and Surah Masad was subsequently revealed condemning him and his wife for their behavior towards him:
Arise and warn and magnify your Lord... (Qur'an 74:2)
He said: "O sons of so and so, O sons of so and so, O sons of Abd Manaf, O sons of Abd al-Muttalib. If I were to inform you there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain, would you believe me?"
They said: "We have not experienced any lie from you."
He (saw) said: "Well, I am a warner to you before a severe torment"
Abu Lahab then said: "May you be destroyed! Is it for this you have gathered us?" (Muslim 208)
Abu Talib, your nephew has reviled our gods, denounced our deen, derided our traditional values and told us that our forefathers were misguided. Either curb his attacks on us or give us a free hand to deal with him, for you are just as opposed to him as we are, and we will deal with him for you. (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p.322; Seerah Rasul Allah, p.120)In discussions between themselves they suggested various ideas to explain away his call when they saw they had no means of attacking him physically. They considered accusing him of sorcery, soothsaying, and madness, and of being a poet to distance those whom they feared might listen to him. The elites also attempted to bribe the messenger with wealth, women and power, pressurise him and negotiate with him. On one occasion they sent Utbah to discuss with him who came back saying:
"I heard speech that, by Allah, I have not heard the like of ever before. By Allah, it is not poetry; nor is it magic or soothsaying. Oh Quraysh, obey me and let me decide on the course of action we should take. Do not stand between this man and that which he is upon. Leave him be. For by Allah, the speech I heard from him will become great news indeed. If the Arabs get him, then it means others will have taken care of him for you. But if he is victorious over the Arabs, then his kingdom will be your kingdom and his honour will be your honour. Of all people, you will be the most highly favoured with him.'' Quraysh said: "By Allah, he bewitched you with his words..." Utbah said, "This is my opinion regarding him, but do as seems most befitting to you." (Ibn Ishaaq, al-Siyar wa al-Maghazi)The elites repeatedly rejected his message, humiliating and mocking him and his companions, saying:
قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مُلُوكُ الْأَرْضِ وَمَنْ يَغْلِبُ عَلَى كُنُوزِ كِسْرَى وَقَيْصَرَ، وَيُصَفِّرُونَ بِهِ وَيُصَفِّقُونَEven on the deathbed of his uncle around year 8, he received similar treatment:
The kings of the earth have come who will own the treasures of Persia and Rome. They would then wolf-whistle (in mockery). (Bayhaqi, Dala'il an-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2, p. 317)
"Oh my uncle! All I want these people to do is to accept a single statement that would make the Arabs serve them and make the non-Arabs pay them jizyah."
Taken aback they exclaimed, "Only one statement! By the oath of your father, we are prepared to accept ten such statements! What is this statement?"
Abu Talib also asked, "Oh my nephew! What is this statement?"
The Messenger (saw) replied, "Laa Ilaaha Illallah."
Upon hearing this, they hastily stood up and brushing down their clothing, they said, "Does he make all the gods into one god... This is something very strange." (Ahmed, Nisa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi Hatim)
While the Messenger was praying in the Hijr of the Ka'ba, Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ait came. (Bukhari 3856)
The Messenger used to perform tawaf around the House (Ka'ba) holding the hand of Abu Bakr. (Ya'muri, Uyun al-Athar, Vol. 1, p. 123; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, Vol. 7, p. 168)When the companions had grown to around 38 men in number, Abu Bakr urged the Messenger (saw) to proclaim Islam openly:
"He replied, 'Oh Abu Bakr, we are only few in number.' However, Abu Bakr kept urging until the Messenger (saw) did appear openly. Then the Muslims separated off into different areas of the mosque, each man in his own tribe, and Abu Bakr arose to address the assembly, while the Messenger remained seated. He was the first man to make a speech calling people to God and to His Messenger. The polytheists were angry at Abu Bakr and the Muslims and caused violent fights all over the mosque. Abu Bakr was trampled underfoot and beaten." (Ibn Kathir, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 1, p.319)As the message spread and increasing numbers of individuals began believing the messenger, Quraysh started to persecute many of these people. The Messenger (saw) encouraged some to migrate to Abyssinia where a just King (Negus) ruled. It is unclear if this was to avoid persecution, as none of the poor or slaves migrated, or if this was a backup plan in case dawa failed in Mecca as suggested by Sallabee.
Some of our foolish people left the deen of their people and did not embrace the King's deen. Instead, they invented a new deen with which neither we nor you are acquainted. (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 134)and Jafar (ra) in response stated:
O King, we were a people living in ignorance: we worshipped idols, ate carrion, committed all manner of indecencies, treated our relatives and neighbours badly, and the strong among us oppressed the weak.A similar itinerary was narrated when the Medinites took a pledge with the Messenger (saw) in year 11, suggesting the myth of tawheed dominating the Meccan phase of revelation to be incorrect:
Then Allah sent to us a messenger from among us, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and chastity we knew well. He invited us to believe in Allah's unity and not to associate partners with him, and to give up the worship of idols. He ordered us to be truthful in our speech, to fulfil our trust, to be kind to our kith and kin, to love our neighbours and keep away from the forbidden things and bloodshed. He forbade us immorality, lying and embezzling the orphan's wealth. He ordered us to establish prayer and fast. (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 134; Ahmed)
On the night of the first pledge of Aqabah, we pledged to the Messenger of Allah (saw) we will not associate any partners with Allah, we will not steal, we will not commit adultery, we will not kill our children, we will not make false accusations before our hands and feet and we will not disobey him in what was right... (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 168)
فَاصْدَعْ بِما تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَEvery related narration mentions the Messenger (saw) organised his companions and paraded them around the Ka'bah in full view of Quraysh and their followers creating shock and controversy. It was no longer an individual effort any more - the elites could be targeted by an individual, however their support based required a collective effort. (Tastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyah, Vol. 1, p. 134)
Publicly proclaim what you are commanded and turn away from the polytheists (Qur'an 15:94-95).
Declare what you have been commanded means: separate their solidarity and their public opinion (or power) by calling them to tawheed as they would be separated: some of them would accept, that would lead to breaking the jama'ah (solidarity) of the disbelievers. (Qurtubi, al-Jami' li-Ahkam al-Qur'an, Vol. 10, p. 61; Shawkani, Fath al-Qadeer, Vol. 3, p. 173)
When the Messenger (saw) called to Allah in his time of weakness and loneliness, he used to say: 'Allah has sent me and promised me He will make my deen overcome all other deens. My authority will defeat the power of Rome and Persia. I will defeat all kings and my kingdom and that of my followers will spread all over the earth.' (Qadi Abd al-Jabar, Tathbit Dala'il an-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2, p. 314)Allah encouraged he seek support elsewhere:
وَقُلْ رَّبِّ اَدۡخِلۡنِىۡ مُدۡخَلَ صِدۡقٍ وَّ اَخۡرِجۡنِىۡ مُخۡرَجَ صِدۡقٍ وَّاجۡعَلْ لِّىۡ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡكَ سُلۡطٰنًا نَّصِيۡرًاIbn Kathir cites:
And pray: "My Lord! Cause me to enter wherever it be, with Truth and cause me to exit, wherever it be, with Truth and support me with authority from Yourself." (Qur'an 17:80)
Hasan al-Basri explained this ayah, His Lord promised to take the kingdom and glory of Persia and give it to him, and the Kingdom and glory of Byzantium and give it to him. Qatadah said, 'The Messenger of Allah knew he could not achieve this without the authority and power, so he asked for authority to help him support the Book of Allah, the laws of Allah, the obligations of Allah and to establish the Deen of Allah...'So he began approaching dozens of tribes seeking mana'ah (protection) and nusrah (support) for Islam would ask the tribes to adopt his worldview of tawheed, help him convey it and defend him against any enemy, secure his dawa and implement its teachings.The first tribe the Messenger (saw) approached was Ta'if:
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 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 a 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." (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 327)When they rejected him, he asked his uncle Abbas (ra) to help him identify influential tribes and would visit them with him at their homes and marketplaces. Abu Bakr (ra), an expert in Arabian lineages, would often accompany him, evaluating tribes that could support the responsibility and security of the dawa.
Abu Bakr asked, 'What are your numbers? Can you provide mana'ah? How does war look like with your enemies?'His uncle, Abu Lahab, would often walk behind him, shouting; "'Do not obey him. He is an apostate and a liar!" The tribes would invariably reply: "Your family and relatives know you best" and reject him.
(Assured they could provide mana'ah) he (saw) said, 'Testify there is no god but Allah, with no association; 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)
'The kings may hate this message you invite us to...'Bayharah bin Firas from the tribe of Amir bin Sa'sa'a was willing to support him but wanted power after his death as did other tribes - the messenger rejected such conditions:
The Messenger (saw) would reply, 'What do you think if I tell you that you will wait for a short period of time and Allah will give you their countries and wealth, and marry you with their women?' (al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 3, pp. 176-177)
Bayharah said, "By God, if I could take this young man from Quraysh I could conquer all the Arabs with him... Do you think that if we follow you and God gives you victory over your opponents we shall have the command after you?"Finally, a group called Khazraj from Medina accepted Islam and invited their tribe and came the next year taking the pledge. They said:
He replied, "Command belongs to God, who places it where He wills."
Bayharah said, "Are we to expose our throats to the Arabs in your defense and when you are victorious the command will go to someone else ? We do not need your deen." So they refused him. (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 330)
'"We have left our people behind with so much enmity and evil among them. Perhaps Allah will unite them through you. We shall return to them and invite them to your affair, and we shall explain to them this faith which we have accepted from you. If Allah unites them under you, then there will be no man dearer to us than you!" Then they returned to their country, having believed and trusted.' (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 167)Musab (ra) was sent to Medina on the request of the Medinites to help reunite the warring clans of Aws and Khazraj there and invite leaders and laymen to Islam and prepare the polity for a new way of life. As a result of their activities and of the early Muslims there, within a year Medina transformed from a society tense with rivalries, hatred and division to people turning in unity to Islam.
When they went back to their people in Medinah, they told them about the Messenger and summoned them to Islam, so that it spread among them, and there was not a single dwelling among the dwellings of the Ansar in which the Messenger was not spoken of. (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 332)Musab was able to win over tribal leaders including Sad bin Muadh of the Banu Abd al-Ashhal through a discussion, who in turn won over his tribe to Islam:
At the people's assembly he said, "Banu Abd al-Ashhal, what do you recognize my position to be amongst you?" They replied, "You are our chief, the best of us in judgement and the most blessed of us in spirit." Then he said, "It is forbidden to me to speak to any man or woman of you until you believe in God and in His Messenger." By that evening there was not a man or woman in the dwellings of the Bani Abd al-Ashhal who had not accepted Islam.A number of junior elites rebelled against the two obstinate leaders of al-Aws and al-Khazraj, ibn Ubay and Abu Amir, helping bring about support amongst their peoples for Islam through a secret pledge they undertook with the messenger shortly before the migration:
Mus'ab remained with him calling people to Islam until there was not a dwelling place among the dwellings of the Ansar in which there were not Muslim men and women, except for some dwellings..." (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 334)
Abbas commented, '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 him 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.'Throughout his call the messenger was prohibited from using violence, reiterated even at the point he received a pledge of allegiance from the Ansar:
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. (al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 136)
Al-Abbas bin Ubada said, 'Oh Messenger of God, by Him who sent you with the truth, if you wish tomorrow we will fall on those at Mina with our swords!'Abu Jahl bin Hisham, while waiting outside the door of the Messenger (saw) to kill him shortly before hijra observed to his companions:
The Messenger (saw) replied, 'We have not been ordered to do that; go back to your caravans.' (Ibid, p. 138)
"Muhammad claims if you follow him in his deen, you shall be the kings of the Arabs and non-Arabs, after your death you shall be brought back to life and your lot shall be gardens like the gardens of Jordan. He also claims if you do not do this, you shall meet with slaughter from him and after your death you shall be brought back to life and your lot shall then be a fire, in which you shall burn." The Messenger came out, took a handful of dust and said, "Yes, I do say that and you are one of them... (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 337)The Messenger (saw) and his companions finally migrated to Medina where the first Islamic state was established by the Ansar with military force:
When the Messenger (saw) came to Medina, he stayed in the upper part of the town in the quarter named for the Bana 'Amr b. 'Awf. He stayed among them for 14 nights, then sent a message to the chiefs of the Banu al-Najjar who came wearing their swords. It's as if I can still see the Messenger (saw) riding his camel with Abu Bakr mounted behind him and the chiefs of the Banu al-Najjar all around him until they reached the courtyard of Abu Ayub's house... (al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 2, p. 200; Ibn Saad, Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 262)
The first one to see the Messenger (saw) was a Jewish man who loudly shouted, 'O Bani Qeelah (Ansar) this is your forefather for whom you are waiting.' Ansar went out armed with their weapons. (al-Fusul fi Seerah al-Rasul, p. 117)
Muslims surged to their weapons and met the Messenger (saw) at Harrah and they were five hundred men of Ansar. (Ibn Hiban, al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah wa Akhbar al-Khulafa, Vol. 1, p. 139)
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