Episode 50: Uthman Bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah & Abu Bakr Attempts to Leave
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 Uprising against the Boycott
There were a few people who opposed the boycott. Gradually, opposition grew and the people gathered together to speak out against it. Hisham went to Zuhair bin Abi Umayyah bin Mughirah. Hisham questioned his acceptance of the boycott, whilst his family suffered. Zuhair said he was unhappy, but felt helpless. He felt they needed a third person to oppose the boycott. Mu’tim bin Adi was approached and they discussed the same issue. Mu’tim also disagreed with the boycott. These three influential people approached Abul Bukhtari and they go together to Zama bin al-Aswad, who also joins the opposition. They all agreed to gather together and make a stand at the Haram. This is the start of the abolition of the boycott discussed in the previous episode.
Uthman bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah
Scholars say that the first return of the companions from Abyssinia occurred after the boycott. They heard rumours that the Makkans had accepted Islam and thought it was safe to return, but the harsh reality was that things were just as dangerous for the Muslims. It was the tradition at the time that if a respectable man would grant his protection to someone, that person would be saved from violence or harm.
Uthman bin Mazh’un, an early companion of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), was looking for protection. Walid bin al-Mughirah granted this to him and announced it to the community at the Ka’ba. However, Uthman could not reconcile that he was being protected by someone who did shirk, but his fellow Muslim brethren were suffering. Thus, he publicly returned the protection, saying he was happy with Allah as his protector. A heated conversation ensued between Uthman and a poet from the Quraysh, resulting in Uthman being struck and suffering injury to his eye. Walid commented that if he maintained his protection, Uthman’s eye would have been fine, but Uthman retorted that the sacrifice was worth it if it was for the sake of Allah, and the other healthy eye was in need of injury for this cause. Uthman felt he needed no greater protection than the Almighty Allah.
Abu Bakr (RA) Attempts to Leave
With everything that had happened, Abu Bakr (RA) went to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with a heavy heart to seek his permission to go to Abyssinia. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gave his permission. Abu Bakr (RA) packed his things and had travelled a day or two outside Makkah, where he met Ad-Dughna, the chief of Banu Kinanah. They had an alliance with Quraysh. Questioning where Abu Bakr (RA) was going, he explained that his people had forced him out, having made his life difficult. Ad-Dughna was shocked to hear this, as he knew the good Abu Bakr (RA) had contributed to society. Ad-Dughna advised him to return to Makkah under his protection, and the Quraysh were reprimanded for their actions. The good we do in society is the biggest statement of our beliefs.
Abu Bakr (RA) would pray at the front of his house and people would come to listen to his prayers and recitation: they would often cry and soften to what they heard. Quraysh complained to Ad-Dughna, saying that Abu Bakr (RA) was causing problems by encouraging the ‘weak-minded’ to gravitate towards him. Subsequently, Abu Bakr returned the protection extended by Ad-Dughna, satisfied instead with the protection of Allah. Within the next few days, Abu Bakr (RA) had dust thrown over him by an ignorant young man, and the Quraysh taunted him that this was brought on by his own actions. Abu Bakr (RA) sought patience by reflecting on the patience and forbearance shown by Allah to his servants, despite their disbelief and disobedience.