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.