NOTIFICATION TO VARIOUS TRIBES AND INVITING THEM TO ISLAM

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After returning from Ta’if, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- kept a low profile for a while. Soon after, he resumed his call, only to find the idolaters acting more brutally than ever. The Almighty then commanded the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to meet other Arab tribes and invite them to Islam.

Thus, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- took the opportunity provided by the months of pilgrimage to address those visiting Mecca for the fairs of Ukaz, Majannah and Zhu’l-Majaz, first reading them the Quran before extending an invitation to Islam. Members of the tribes whose camps the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- personally visited to ask for assistance in carrying out the duty given to him by the Almighty included the Banu Amir, Muharib, Fazara, Ghassan, Murrah, Hanifah, Sulaym, Abs, Banu Nasr, Banu Baqqa, Kind, Kalb, Harithah, Uzra and Hudarimah.[1]

Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him-[2] narrates:

“During the month of pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- would present himself to the pilgrims while standing at Arafa and say, ‘Is there anyone who will take me to his tribe? Quraysh has prevented me from communicating the word of my Lord.’” (Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 19-20/4734)

But no tribe was putting its hand up to accept the invitation to protect and assist the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. While some simply turned cold shoulders and acted rudely, others debated with the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- as to why his own tribe had left him without support, when they, out of all people, knew him best. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- continued inviting them to the path of Truth regardless.[3]

Before even stepping foot inside Mecca, any pilgrim or fairgoer from the Mudar tribe, Yemen or elsewhere would be cautioned, “Don’t you let the young man of Quraysh turn you away from your religion!”[4]

At some point, the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- went to the Thalabah clan in Mina. Once, he told them of being the Messenger of Allah, he was asked by Mafruq ibn Amr, one of their leaders:

“To what do you invite people, brother?”

With Abu Bakr –Allah be well-pleased with him- standing by his side shading him from the sun, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- took a seat next to them and said the following to Mafruq:

I invite you to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, who is One without any partners, and that I am his messenger; and also to protect and help me until I carry out to completion what I have been commanded by Allah. Quraysh has disputed the Divine command; they have denied His messenger and have preferred error over truth. But Allah stands in need of no one and deserves all the praise!

“My brother, what else do you invite to?” Mafruq asked.

Then the Noble Prophet read aloud the following ayah from Chapter al-Anaam:

“Say: Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you. Do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, and do not slay your children for fear of poverty– We indeed provide for you and for them– and do not draw nigh to indecencies, apparent and concealed, and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined upon you that you may understand. And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner until he attains his maturity, and give full measure and weight with justice- We do not impose on any soul a duty except to the extent of its ability; and when you speak, then be just though it be against a relative, and fulfill Allah’s covenant; this He has enjoined you with that you may be mindful. And know that this is My path, the right one, therefore follow it, and follow not other ways, for they will lead you away from His way; this He has enjoined you with that you may guard against evil. (al-Anaam, 151-153)

So, my brother, tell me; to what else do you invite?” asked Mafruq after a brief pause. “If what you have said were words of men I surely would have made them out by now.”

Thereupon the Messenger of Allah quoted:

“Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful.” (an-Nahl, 90) 

“My brother from Quraysh! You indeed invite to the best of morals and conduct! From what I can see, your people are slandering you in calling you a liar!” Mafruq exclaimed. Hani and Muthanna, other leaders of the clan, lent Mafruq their support. But they said they could not accept the offer until they consulted the other leaders of their tribes, stating moreover that they had made a pact of alliance with the Persians, who would not be happy if they heard of such a deal.

So even though they accepted in their consciences, the clan in the end declined the offer of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- out of fear of getting into trouble.[5]

Tariq ibn Abdullah –Allah be well-pleased with him- narrates the following:

“I once saw the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- at the Zhu’l-Majaz Fair, wearing a red shirt, calling out, ‘People… Say La ilaha illallah and be saved!’

Behind him was another man, throwing rocks at the Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, shouting in his wake, ‘Do not listen to him! He is a liar!’

The stones had left the feet of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in blood. Not knowing till then who the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- was, I asked those around me.

‘A young man from the sons of Abdulmuttalib’, they replied.

‘What about the man throwing stones?’

‘His uncle Abu Lahab!’” (Hakim, II, 668; Ibn Athir, Usd’ul-Ghabah, III, 71)

Another account of the hardships the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had to endure in the way of inviting people to Islam was given by Mudrik al-Azdi –Allah be well-pleased with him-:

“I was performing pilgrimage with my father. Once we stopped over at Mina, we came across a large group.

‘I wonder why they have gathered’, I said to my father.

‘…For the man who has abandoned the religion of his tribe!’ he replied.

When I looked towards the direction my father was pointing to, I saw the Messenger of Allah. We could hear him say loud and clear, ‘People, say La ilaha illallah and be saved!’

Some were spitting at him and throwing dirt at his face; others were hurling abuse. This continued until midday. Then a girl, whose neck was slightly exposed, came with a jug of water and a handkerchief. She was crying. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- drank from the water, washing his hands and face. Afterward lifting his head, he said:

‘Cover your neck with your headscarf, my dear. And don’t ever think that they can kill or dishonour your father!’

”I later found out she was his daughter Zaynab.” (Ibn Athir, Usd’ul-Ghabah, V, 130; Haythami, VI, 21)

Zaynab, Fatimah and the other daughters -Allah be well-pleased with them- of the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- spent their childhood and youth in the weakest days of Islam, when Muslims were subjected to the harshest treatment. Zaynab and her sisters -Allah be well-pleased with them- would always find themselves sharing the pains suffered by the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and the Muslims. When their father set out from home to call people to Islam, they would either wait anxiously by the door or follow him, step by step, to ensure no harm befell him.

They were also by their father’s side mourning the passing away of their dear mother Khadijah -Allah be well-pleased with her-. Never did the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- undergo any hardship without his daughters shedding tears by his side. Fatimah -Allah be well-pleased with her- would be there wiping the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- blood, while Zaynab -Allah be well-pleased with her- would be in his wake with some water to wash his face. They led a difficult life indeed.

Included among the many tribes the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- called to Islam at the Ukaz Fair were the sons of Amir ibn Sa’saa.

“Are you willing to give me refuge and protect me, as the Messenger of Allah, until I am able to pass on the commands of my Lord to people and complete my duty? I will not force anyone among you”, he asked them.

“We will neither drive you out, nor believe you. We will only protect you until you complete your mission”, they responded.

At that point a certain person from their tribe, named Bayhara, turned up. Having found out the identity of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, he had already been thinking how he would be able to gain supremacy over the entire Arabs, if only he could win the Prophet over.

“Say we pledged allegiance to you and Allah made you victorious over your enemies, would kingship be ours after you are gone?” he impudently asked the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-.

“All affairs belong to Allah. He elects whomever He wishes!” the Light of Being -upon him blessings and peace- replied.

“So you are asking us to put our bodies inn the line of fire against all the Arabs for you and then expect us to wait and see who is given kingship if you are victorious? That’s a raw deal!” Bayhara remarked, before shouting to his clan:

“I have not seen a bargain worse than yours in this entire fair. Go ahead and draw the hostility of the entire Arabs. But know that his tribe knows him best. Had they seen any goodness in him, they would have been sure to lay claim to him before you ever did!”

With the pendulum having swung his way, he then turned once again to the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-:

“Leave this place immediately!”

When the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- got to his feet to mount his camel, the wretched Bayhara poked the camel’s chest, causing the camel to spring and the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to fall.

Seeing the horrific treatment of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, Dubaa bint Amir, a Muslim woman present, screamed in a sense of urgency, “For heaven’s sake, sons of Amir! How can you stand seeing the Messenger of Allah abused right in front of your eyes without moving a finger?”

Thereupon, three men stood up and disciplined Bayhara, for which they earned the good wishes of the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-:

“Grant them your blessings, o Allah!” he prayed.

So great were the blessings of this prayer, that not only were the three men eventually guided, they all breathed their last as martyrs.

The tribe had a leader, prevented by old age to visit Mecca for pilgrimage, who was told about the encounter by his returning tribesmen. The moment he heard what had happened, he put his hands on his head in despair, telling them off with regret:

“How on earth will you make up for such a lost opportunity? I swear to God that nobody from among the sons of Ismail has ever falsely claimed to be a prophet! How could you not see he was telling you the truth? What on earth were you thinking?”[6]

In spite of all the abuse he had to cope with, the Gracious Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- was meanwhile continuing to call the remainder of the other tribes at the fair to the path of truth.

[1] See Ibn Saad, I, 216-217; Ahmed, III, 322, 492; Ibn Kathir, III, 183-190.

[2] Jabir ibn Abdullah –Allah be well-pleased with him- was born in Medina sixteen years prior to the Hegira. Abdullah ibn Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him-, his father, is the first Companion martyred at the Battle of Uhud. Forced to remain behind to look after his nine sisters, Jabir had not been able to participate in any battles while his father was alive. Following his death at Uhud, however, Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him- took active part in nineteen battles with the Messenger of Allah –upon him blessings and peace-. He was the youngest participant at the Second Aqabah Pledge. The Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had great affection for him. Time and again the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- would take Jabir behind him on the saddle while on camelback, and visit him while ill. Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him- struggled to pay off the debts his father had left behind. The creditors, most of whom were Jews, were urging immediate payment. To make matters worse, there was not much harvest that year. So the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had all the harvested dates piled in heaps; and with the scale in his blessed hands, he began repaying the creditors, one by one. Not only was Jabir’s entire debt –Allah be well-pleased with him- paid back, as a Divine miracle, the dates had not decreased.

One of the mukthirun, the seven Companions with the most hadith narrations under their names, Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him- narrated 1540 hadiths. He once heard about Abdullah ibn Unays narrating a hadith, about the state of people upon resurrecting from the graves; a hadith Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him- nonetheless wished to hear firsthand. Not in the least deterred by the fact that Abdullah had long moved to Damascus, Jabir bought a camel, mounted it and departed from Medina, reaching Damascus following a month’s journey where he listened to the hadith straight from Abdullah ibn Unays’ mouth. Towards the end of his life, Jabir –Allah be well-pleased with him- lost his sight, finally passing away in Medina in 697 (H. 78), at the age of 94. He was the last Companion to pass away in Medina.

[3] Ahmed, III, 322; Ibn Saad, I, 216.

[4] Hakim, II, 681/4251.

[5] Ibn Asir, Usdu’l-Ghâba, V, 250-251; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, III, 187-189.

[6] Ibn Hisham, II, 33-34; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, III, 184; Ibn Hajar, al-Isâba, IV, 353.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect, Erkam Publications

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