Monthly Archives: July 2013

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Boycott in Makkah & its Annulment

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Boycott in Makkah & its Annulment


Episode 48: Boycott in Makkah & its Annulment

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Boycott in Makkah

The Quraysh resolved to become harsher in their opposition to Islam. They felt the only solution was to kill the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Abu Talib gathered Banu Abu Muttalib and rallied them to protect Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), even if they disagreed with what he said. He advised they all move to a valley owned by him on the outskirts of Makkah, called Shib Abu Talib. This was to protect the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and show solidarity.


Quraysh started a complete social boycott of Banu Abdul Muttalib: they would not marry, sit, talk, visit or do business with anyone from the group, until they agreed to hand over the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for execution. They wrote a physical agreement that was non-negotiable.


The boycott lasted 3 years- the conditions were so severe and eventually the suffering of these people became so dire, you could hear the children screaming from the pangs of hunger. Many died due to starvation and sickness. The general sentiment in Makkah was an increasing intolerance of what was going on- they started to discuss this wretched agreement and how inhumane it was against people they loved.


Abu Talib lived 3 years on high alert. Every night, he would make the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) switch sleeping places. Sometimes he would be so nervous, he stay up all night long, or he fixed a rotation that someone would stay up guarding the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). After making him switch, he sometimes would still come in the middle of the night and make him switch again.


Abu Lahab had decided he was not with Abu Talib and the family and joined the Quraysh. He suffered a horrible ending to his life. He became senile, suffered a stroke and lost control of his bodily functions. His family made him live in a shed separately and servants were made to care for him. He would scream and cry all night. He died alone and the servants were asked to dispose of his remains- they left him to be consumed by wild dogs.


A compassionate nephew of Khadija (RA) and her servant took some food towards the valley. They ran into Abu Jahl and he was upset by what he saw: he threatened to beat and humiliate them for trying to help the outcast group. Khadija’s (RA) nephew tried to reason with him, but Abu Jahl refused to listen. A third man arrived and a brawl started amongst the group as they started to attack Abu Jahl. Hamza (RA) came along with some believers and broke up the fight, saving Abu Jahl. They did not want any blame for the death of Abu Jahl, as well as recognising the need to stop senseless violence.



There was a growing sentiment amongst the Quraysh that what was happening was wrong. Abu Talib came to negotiate with Quraysh. He said the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had made dua and Allah had sent insects down upon the agreement that hung bound in leather in the Ka’ba: they specifically had eaten away wherever the name of Allah or Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was written. He asked them to bring the agreement: if what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had reported was true, the boycott would be nulled. If it was untrue, he promised to hand over Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and they could do whatever they wished with him. However, the agreement was found exactly how it had been reported by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The agreement was torn up and the people were asked to return. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made dua against Mansoor bin Ikrimah, who wrote the boycott, and his hand became paralysed.

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Christian Delegation Accepts Islam in Makkah

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Christian Delegation Accepts Islam in Makkah


Episode 47: Christian Delegation Accepts Islam in Makkah

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The Christian Delegation

The prominence of the Muslims in and around the Arabian peninsula was increasing. A Christian delegation from the an-Najd region, in the northern part of Arabia, came to explore the message of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his 5th year of Prophethood. Consisting of 20 men, they had a long conversation with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Once they had asked everything they wanted, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked for permission to speak: he presented the message of Islam to them, as well as reciting Quran. The whole delegation attested to the truth of the message. They reported their priests had told of their scriptures detailing the imminent arrival of a warner, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) fit that description.


When returning home, they encountered Abu Jahl with a group of Quraysh. He was irate that more people were joining Islam and cursed the group. He accused them of being the most foolish delegation, apostating from their religion and cheating their tribe at home. The delegation left expressing greetings of peace, as they did not want to reciprocate his ignorant behaviour.


In light of these events, the following ayahs were revealed:

28: 51 And We have [repeatedly] conveyed to them the Qur’an that they might be reminded.

28:52 Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it – they are believers in it.

28:53 And when it is recited to them, they say, “We have believed in it; indeed, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed we were, [even] before it, Muslims [submitting to Allah ].”

It is amazing the effect a few ayahs had upon the delegation. Their lives had changed forever and they became propagators of Islam. This was because they came to the message already in submission. Certain things are a reality e.g. the Quran is the basis of an Islamic revival within the hearts of individuals and communities. This has certain prerequisites, however, which we sometimes overlook. It is our responsibility that we come to the Quran with an open mind and heart to benefit maximally from it. We must reassess ourselves if we find we are reading the whole Quran without it impacting our character and actions in the slightest.

28:54 Those will be given their reward twice for what they patiently endured and [because] they avert evil through good, and from what We have provided them they spend.

28:55 And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, “For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant.”

Now the Quraysh leadership were highly agitated: extreme action was needed to deal with this ever expanding message of Islam.

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Political Unrest in Makkah

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Political Unrest in Makkah


Episode 46: Political Unrest in Makkah

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
With Umar (RA) and Hamza (RA) accepting Islam, the Muslims now prayed publicly in congregation at the Haram. Umar (RA) insisted on praying publicly as a student of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), talking through issues out loud. He asked the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), ‘Do we not believe in the truth?’, ‘Is not what they believe in wrong?’, ‘Do we not have Allah on our side?’ He appealed as to what prevented the Muslims from praying publicly. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) concurred with these thoughts and also felt the time was right to do this. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not lack courage before this- he had placed a burden of belief on the followers themselves. The question is what are we willing to do for the Deen? The Ummah is a combination of the truth, which remains constant, and our actions. So, they all prayed in congregation at the Haram, but the Quraysh could not do anything.

The Quraysh leadership called a meeting. They did not know how to deal the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his followers. They decided to go back to a previous strategy and talk to his uncle, Abu Talib. They asked for him to reason with his nephew. When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) became emotional, Abu Talib agreed to continue his support.

The Quraysh wanted to approach Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) directly and asked what he wanted: they offered the materials of this life, whereas all he wanted was for Islam to be recognised as a legitimate faith. He said, ‘I do not want position or money. Allah has sent me with a message and I present this to you. If you take this, I am here to tell you you will reap the rewards of Allah here and in the next life. If you reject this, your matter is between you and Allah and he will settle it’.

The Quraysh agreed to accept his message as a legitimate message, but they wanted him to recognise their beliefs as valid as well, but the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) declined this. Chaos broke out in the meeting. The Quraysh started to demand miracles from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), asking for rivers in the arid desert and lush greenery. Another told him to raise up his forefather Qusayy bin Kilab, who established Quraysh as a power in Arabia. The Quran notes their irrational requests:

(8:32) And [remember] when they said, “O Allah , if this should be the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from the sky or bring us a painful punishment.

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sat quietly through this meeting, responding calmly and respectfully. He realised this was pointless and left.

Abu Jahl declared his intent to smash the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) head when he was prostrating at the Haram. To date, he had not done this, as the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) family would come after him in retaliation, but he encouraged all the leaders to support him. Abu Jahl was ready with his rock: as he held it above his head, he went pale and his knees shook. He walked away and sat down again. Abu Jahl said, ‘I swear I saw a huge camel, ferocious, like a demon. It had sharp teeth. It appeared out of nowhere and kept growing’. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that this was Jibreel (AS). The following was revealed:
(5:67) O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Umar bin Al-Khattab Accepts Islam

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Umar bin Al-Khattab Accepts Islam


Episode 45: Umar bin Al-Khattab Accepts Islam

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This episode recounts the acceptance of Islam by Umar bin al-Khattab (RA).

Umar (RA) went to the Ka’ba and heard some people talking about the issues they were having with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He decided to deal with the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself and thus went searching for him. He held his sword in his hand, demonstrating his intent to take action. On the way, he ran into Nuaym bin Abdullah, a Sahaba, who asked Umar (RA) what his intentions were. Umar (RA) expressed his desire to kill the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Nuaym did not want to cause problems, but he also wanted to protect the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He tried to phase Umar (RA) by asking him if Banu Abd Manaf would let Umar (RA) walk freely if he killed the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Unphased by this, Nuaym had to try a different strategy: he then suggested that Umar (RA) dealt with his own family first, disclosing that his brother-in-law, Saeed bin Zayd, and sister, Fatimah, had accepted Islam.


Umar (RA) proceeded immediately to his sister’s house. On reaching the door, he heard three voices reciting the Quran. The third person present was Khabbab ibn al-Aratt. On hearing it was Umar (RA) at the door, Khabbab immediately hides. The Quran pages are still out, while Umar (RA) pounces on his brother-in-law, asking who the third person was and questioning his acceptance of Islam. Fatima tries to grab him, but he strikes her and she starts bleeding. She finally admits they accepted Islam and tells Umar (RA) to go ahead and kill them both for this. Seeing his sister bleeding, Umar (RA) calms down. He asks about the Quran, but Fatima snatches away the pages, saying he cannot touch them. Umar (RA) reassures her he does not want to destroy them, but to read them. Fatima says he is not pure and makes him clean up, before handing Umar (RA) the pages: he starts reading surah 20, Ta-Ha.


Putting down the pages, Umar (RA) asks to be taken to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) immediately to accept Islam. Khabbab comes out of hiding and congratulates Umar (RA), reporting that only the night before, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made dua to Allah to aid Islam through Abu Jahl or Umar bin al-Khattab. They reach Dar al-Arqam and Umar (RA) knocks. A few Sahaba were present: they looked and saw Umar (RA) with his sword at his side. Hamza (RA) says to let him in, saying that if he comes with good, they would do whatever needed to take care of him, but if he comes seeking something bad, then he would kill him with his own sword. Umar (RA) enters and expresses his wish to accept Islam. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exclaimed the Takbeer and the rest of Sahaba cry out the Takbeer too.


Umar (RA) goes to his uncle Abu Jahl’s house to inform him of his Islam. Abu Jahl is disgusted and calls him a fool. Umar (RA) went to the Haram and a group attacked him on account of his Islam. Some reports say he fought for an hour. Then an old man stood up and dispersed the crowd, asking why they were concerned about his path and warning of retaliation from his family.


Umar (RA) suggested that they needed to pray openly at the Haram. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) agreed and they gathered at the Ka’ba, with Hamza and Umar protecting the group. The Muslims were not able to pray near the Ka’ba until Umar (RA) accepted Islam.


We should never judge or underestimate the potential in someone. Some earlier converts could never have imagined Umar (RA) accepting Islam. For instance, a Sahabi reports she was preparing to emigrate to Abyssinia and Umar (RA) saw her packing. He asked if she was planning to go somewhere and she responded she was going as the people had oppressed the Muslims. Umar (RA) looked at her, and said ‘May Allah be with you’. She saw some softness she had never seen before. As he walked away, it seemed he was sad. Her husband asked if she was hopeful of him accepting Islam, commenting that the donkey of Khattab would accept the religion before his son; how wrong he turned out to be.

Main menu