The Eleventh Year of Prophethood: The Aqabah Meeting
It was night. A group of six people from Medina, who were in Mecca visiting the Kaabah, encountered the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- near Aqabah. They were instantly struck by the heavenly glow of the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- appearance, at which moment the drops of divine compassion began dripping into their hearts, bringing to life the buds of love within, giving them a joy beyond description. Meanwhile, the Light of Being -upon him blessings and peace- approached to offer them an invitation to Islam, just as he did with others, in accordance with his duty of prophethood.
“Shall we sit awhile and talk?” he proposed.
The six fortunate men from Medina were more than ready for the opportunity to talk to such an awe-inspiring man. Like moths drawn to a light, they quickly formed a circle around the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-.
Reciting some passages from the Quran, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- called them to Islam, urging them to accept the happiness of both worlds.
The Medinans had heard from their forefathers of a future prophet, of whom they were also frequently reminded by their Jewish neighbors. Thus, when they heard firsthand the call of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, they said to one another in a sense of urgency:
“He must be the Prophet the Jews have been threatening us with. We cannot let the Jews beat us to believing him.”
It only took another look at the Gracious Messenger’s -upon him blessings and peace- glowing face, which they had admired from the first moment they had set their gazes on him, for the Medinans to wholeheartedly embrace the call. They said the shahadah at once.
The Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- then asked them whether they would help if he was to migrate to Medina with the Muslims. They replied that the long lasting hostilities between the Medinan tribes of Aws and Khazraj had reached a boiling point, owing to which they could not be of much help if the Muslims were to migrate that very year. But they asked for a year’s delay to assess the situation. With the promise to pass the word of call to the Medinans, they pledged to return for pilgrimage in a year’s time.
The small delegation of Medinans returned home with an entirely different air of joy. Cleansed of the dirt of ignorance, they were now relieved of a burden from their shoulders and were feeling as light as birds. As soon as they came back to Medina, they began explaining the cause of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to the locals and inviting them to Islam, so much so that there was not a single house left in Medina in which the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- was not spoken about.
 See Ibn Hisham, II, 38; Ibn Saad, I, 219; Haythami, VI, 40.
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