in category Beliefs

Did Allah reveal only Imaan and Tawheed in Mecca to the Messenger?

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Masters in Education from Nottingham University in the UK. Also studied Masters in Islamic Studies and Islamic Banking & Finance. Political activist with interests in Geopolitics, History and Phil ...
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In a Nutshell: Far from revealing only imaan or tawhid, the revelation in Mecca covered rules of conduct, social life and ruling along with credal beliefs.

A review of the Qur'anic verses and the Sunnah revealed in Mecca illustrates this well:

Denying Revelation

عَنِ الۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَۙ مَا سَلَـكَكُمۡ فِىۡ سَقَرَ قَالُوۡا لَمۡ نَكُ مِنَ الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ وَلَمۡ نَكُ نُطۡعِمُ الۡمِسۡكِيۡنَۙ وَكُنَّا نَخُوۡضُ مَعَ الۡخَـآئِضِيۡنَۙ وَ كُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِۙ

"(When they are asked) what put you into hellfire? They will say, 'We lied about the Day of Judgement...'" (Qur'an 74:46)


فَاصۡبِرۡ عَلٰى مَا يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ قَبۡلَ طُلُوۡعِ الشَّمۡسِ وَقَبۡلَ غُرُوۡبِهَا​ ۚ وَمِنۡ اٰنَآىٴِ الَّيۡلِ فَسَبِّحۡ وَاَطۡرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرۡضٰى وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيۡنَيۡكَ اِلٰى مَا مَتَّعۡنَا بِهٖۤ اَزۡوَاجًا مِّنۡهُمۡ زَهۡرَةَ الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا ۙ لِنَفۡتِنَهُمۡ فِيۡهِ​ ؕ وَرِزۡقُ رَبِّكَ خَيۡرٌ وَّاَبۡقٰى‏ وَاۡمُرۡ اَهۡلَكَ بِالصَّلٰوةِ وَاصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡهَا​ ؕ لَا نَسۡـئَلُكَ رِزۡقًا​ ؕ نَحۡنُ نَرۡزُقُكَ​ ؕ وَالۡعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقۡوٰى

So be patient over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied. Do not turn your eyes covetously towards the embellishments of worldly life that We have bestowed upon various kinds of people to test them. But the clean provision bestowed upon you by your Lord is better and more enduring. And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for righteousness. (Qur'an 20:130-132)

عَنِ الۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَۙ مَا سَلَـكَكُمۡ فِىۡ سَقَرَ قَالُوۡا لَمۡ نَكُ مِنَ الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ

"(When they are asked) what put you into hellfire? They will say, "We were not of those who prayed..."" (Qur'an 74:42-43)


وَاكۡتُبۡ لَـنَا فِىۡ هٰذِهِ الدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِى الۡاٰخِرَةِ اِنَّا هُدۡنَاۤ اِلَيۡكَ ​ؕ قَالَ عَذَابِىۡۤ اُصِيۡبُ بِهٖ مَنۡ اَشَآءُ​ ۚ وَرَحۡمَتِىۡ وَسِعَتۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ​ ؕ فَسَاَكۡتُبُهَا لِلَّذِيۡنَ يَتَّقُوۡنَ وَيُؤۡتُوۡنَ الزَّكٰوةَ وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ بِاٰيٰتِنَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ اَ لَّذِيۡنَ يَتَّبِعُوۡنَ الرَّسُوۡلَ النَّبِىَّ الۡاُمِّىَّ الَّذِىۡ يَجِدُوۡنَهٗ مَكۡتُوۡبًا عِنۡدَهُمۡ فِى التَّوۡرٰٮةِ وَالۡاِنۡجِيۡلِ يَاۡمُرُهُمۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَيَنۡهٰٮهُمۡ عَنِ الۡمُنۡكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبٰتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيۡهِمُ الۡخَبٰۤـئِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنۡهُمۡ اِصۡرَهُمۡ وَالۡاَغۡلٰلَ الَّتِىۡ كَانَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ​ ؕ فَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا بِهٖ وَعَزَّرُوۡهُ وَنَصَرُوۡهُ وَ اتَّبَـعُوا النُّوۡرَ الَّذِىۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ مَعَهٗ ۤ​ ۙ اُولٰۤـئِكَ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ‏

"And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter. Certainly we have turned unto You." He said: My Punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My Mercy embraces all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who are al-Muttaqoon, and give zakat; and those who believe in our ayaat; those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, he commands for them al-Ma'roof; and forbids for them al-Munkar; he allows them as lawful al-Tayyibat, and prohibits them as unlawful al-Khaba'ith, he releases them from their heavy burdens, and from the fetters that were upon them." (Qur'an 7:156-157)

عَنِ الۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَۙ مَا سَلَـكَكُمۡ فِىۡ سَقَرَ قَالُوۡا لَمۡ نَكُ مِنَ الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ وَلَمۡ نَكُ نُطۡعِمُ الۡمِسۡكِيۡنَۙ

"(When they are asked) what put you into hellfire? They will say, "We were not of those who prayed and we did not feed the poor..."" (Qur'an 74:42-44)

Familial Ties

Ibn Abbasah al-Sullami (ra) was one of the early companions to accept Islam. As part of his conversion story he narrated some of the things the messenger told him about his call:

تُ وَبِأَىِّ شَىْءٍ أَرْسَلَكَ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَرْسَلَنِي بِصِلَةِ الأَرْحَامِ وَكَسْرِ الأَوْثَانِ وَأَنْ يُوَحَّدَ اللَّهُ لاَ يُشْرَكُ بِهِ شَىْءٌ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَهُ فَمَنْ مَعَكَ عَلَى هَذَا قَالَ ‏"‏ حُرٌّ وَعَبْدٌ ‏"‏قَالَ فَذَهَبْتُ إِلَى أَهْلِي وَقَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ وَكُنْتُ فِي أَهْلِي فَجَعَلْتُ أَتَخَبَّرُ الأَخْبَارَ وَأَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ حِينَ قَدِمَ الْمَدِينَةَ حَتَّى قَدِمَ عَلَىَّ نَفَرٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ يَثْرِبَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ فَقُلْتُ مَا فَعَلَ هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي قَدِمَ الْمَدِينَةَ فَقَالُوا النَّاسُ إِلَيْهِ سِرَاعٌ وَقَدْ أَرَادَ قَوْمُهُ قَتْلَهُ فَلَمْ يَسْتَطِيعُوا ذَلِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ
"He said: I am a Messenger.
I asked: Who is a Messenger?
He said: (A Messenger in the sense) I have been sent by Allah.
I said: What is you have been sent with?
He said: I have been sent to maintain familial ties, destroy all idols and to proclaim the oneness of Allah (in a manner that) nothing is to be associated with Him.
I said: Who is with you in this? He said: A free man and a slave." (Muslim 1812)


In the discussion between the Roman ruler Heraclius and Abu Sufian:

Heraclius said, “What does he order you to do?” I said, “He tells us to serve Allah and Allah alone and not to serve anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our kin.” (Bukhari)

Vain Talk

عَنِ الۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَۙ مَا سَلَـكَكُمۡ فِىۡ سَقَرَ قَالُوۡا لَمۡ نَكُ مِنَ الۡمُصَلِّيۡنَۙ وَلَمۡ نَكُ نُطۡعِمُ الۡمِسۡكِيۡنَۙ وَكُنَّا نَخُوۡضُ مَعَ الۡخَـآئِضِيۡنَۙ وَ كُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِۙ

"(When they are asked) what put you into hellfire? They will say, "we indulged in vain talk with those who indulged in vain talk..."" (Qur'an 74:45)


After Muhammad (saw) warned Abu Lahab of hellfire, Abu Lahab told his son Utayba that he would never speak to him again unless he divorced Umm Kulthum, so Utayba did (Tabari). Her maternal brother, Hind ibn Abi Hala, asked Muhammad (saw):

"Why did you separate Umm Kulthum from Utayba?"

Muhammad (saw) replied, "Allah did not allow me to marry her to a person who is not going to Paradise." (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isaba vol. 6 no. 9013)

Good and Bad Acts

Whilst seeking support from tribal leaders after the death of his uncle the Messenger of Allah was taken to Bani Sheeban bin Thalabah. Abu Bakr who accompanied him on these discussions. The dialogue between Abu Bakr and one of their leaders Mafruq is revealing.

The tribal leader Mafruq asked the question "What do you preach my brother?"...
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." (Qur'an 16:90)

Jafar ibn Abi Talib summarises what he understood from revelation to the Negus Najashi of Abyssinia around year 5 of revelation:

جعفر بن أبي طالب أيها الملك، كنا قوماً أهل جاهلية، نعبد الأصنام، ونأكل الميتة، ونأتي الفواحش، ونقطع الأرحام، ونسيء الجوار، ويأكل القوي منا الضعيف، فكنا على ذلك، حتى بعث الله إلينا رسولاً منا، نعرف نسبه وصدقه وأمانته وعفافه، فدعانا إلى الله لنوحده ونعبده، ونخلع ما كنا نعبد نحن وآباؤنا من دونه من الحجارة والأوثان، وأمرنا بصدق الحديث، وأداء الأمانة، وصلة الرحم، وحسن الجوار، والكف عن المحارم والدماء، ونهانا عن الفواحش، وقول الزور، وأكل مال اليتيم، وقذف المحصنات، وأمرنا أن نعبد الله وحده، لا نشرك به شيئاً، وأمرنا بالصلاة والزكاة والصيام، فصدقناه وآمنَّا به، واتبعناه على ما جاء به من الله، فعبدنا الله وحده، فلم نشركْ به شيئاً، وحرمنا ما حرم علينا، وأحللنا ما أحل لنا، فعدا علينا قومنا، فعذبونا، وفتنونا عن ديننا، ليردونا إلى عبادة الأوثان من عبادة الله تعالى، وأن نستحل ما كنا نستحل من الخبائث، فلما قهرونا وظلمونا وضيقوا علينا، وحالوا بيننا وبين ديننا، خرجنا إلى بلادك، واخترناك على من سواك، ورغبنا في جوارك، ورجونا أن لا نظلم عندك أيها الملك

"O king, we were an ignorant people: we worshipped idols, we would eat from the flesh of dead animals (i.e., animals that died not through slaughtering, but due to some other cause), we would perpetrate lewd acts, we would cut off family ties, and we would be bad neighbours; the strong among us would eat from the weak (i.e., would oppress the weak and eat from their labour).

We remained upon that state until Allah sent to us a Messenger, whose (noble) lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and chastity we already knew (to be impeccable). He invited us unto Allah - to believe in His Oneness and to serve Him; to abandon all that we and our fathers served besides Allah... He commanded us to speak truthfully, to fulfill the trust, to join ties of family relations, to be good to our neighbours, and to refrain from forbidden deeds and from shedding blood. And he forbade us from lewd acts, from uttering falsehood, from (wrongfully) eating the wealth of an orphan, from falsely accusing chaste women of wrongdoing. And he ordered us to serve Allah alone and to not associate any partners with Him; and he commanded us to pray, to give zakat and to fast.

He enumerated for Najashi the teachings of Islam. (He said,) 'And we believe him and have faith in him. We follow him in what he came with. And so we serve Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him in worship. We deem forbidden that which he has made forbidden for us and we deem lawful that which he made permissible for us. Our people then transgressed against us and tortured us.They tried to force us to abandon our deen and to return from the servitude of Allah to the servitude of idols; they tried to make us deem lawful those abominable acts we used to deem lawful (during the days of ignorance). Then, when they subjugated us, wronged us, and treated us in an oppressive manner, standing between us and our deen, we came to your country and we chose you over all other people." (Seerah Ibn Hisham; Musnad Ahmed)

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:

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 and we will not disobey him in what was right..." (Fiqh al-Seerah, p. 168)


فَلَا تُطِعِ ٱلْكَفِرِينَ وَجَهِدْهُم بِهِۦ جِهَادًۭا كَبِيرًۭا ‎

"So (do) not obey the disbelievers and strive (jihad) against them with it, a great striving..." (Qur'an 25:52)

"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. ... 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)


A review of the above evidences suggests the Messenger (saw) was conveying and the companions (ra) most of the important sharia rules along with credal beliefs.

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