My dear Brothers, this topic is so vast that I can not truly encapsulate it in these few minutes. Also, considering the fact that most of us have already listened to or read this chapter of Islām’s history, I will confine myself to only one aspect of it or rather I should say to one facet of this diamond.
The messengers of Allāh are always noble and worthy of respect. All of society bears witness to their honesty and decency. However, when they convey the message of truth to the world, those who worship evil oppose them and try to humiliate them.
It was only 25 days after the attack made by the As-hāb al-Fīl (People of Elephants) that a child was born in the deserts of Mecca. His mother, Hadrat Āmina declared that during her pregnancy, she witnessed, “a light, coming out of her body and spreading all over the world.” My dear brothers, perhaps it was an indication from Allāh, the Almighty, that just as He destroyed those who wished to demolish the House of Allāh, now very soon through the birth of this child, named Muhammadsa, God will lay the foundations of his last and the most perfect religion, and whosoever, will try to destroy it God will crush him, just as he crushed the people with the elephants.
In 570 AD, according to some researchers on the April, 20 571 AD, Abdul Mutālib, Muhammadsa’s grandfather, enthusiastically went to see his newly born grandson. A gleeful mother, put the baby in his lap and disclosed that she had dreamt of a name Muhammad for the baby. Abdul Mutālib’s emotional state made him hurry towards Ka`bah, to thank God Almighty, for such a great favour, he announced that the child be called Muhammad.
This child was going to face continuous and inconceivable hardships. When the very first believer of Islām, the venerable spouse of the Holy Prophetsa, Hadrat Khadijara, introduced him to her cousin Warcca Bin Naufal, an old man who lost his sight and abandoning idolatry, had joined the Christianity. The Holy Prophetsa explained to him, how the first Qur’ānic revelation came to him. Warcca said, “Certainly this is the same angel which appeared to Moses. If only I were physically strong enough, if only I could live to see the days when your own people will expel you from your homeland. Astonished, the Holy Prophetsa questioned, “Will my people will expel me?” He replied, “No prophet has ever come, who is not contested by his own people. If I am still alive, I will fully stand by you and will support you.” (Sahīh Bukhārī)
Sir William Muir writes:
“This new religion be erased from the earth. Its followers be prevented through force. Once the Quraish engaged themselves against Islām, their hostility never stopped and their rage continued increasing.”
The people of Mecca tried to erase this religion of Islām from the earth. They thought, if they can work against the protection and sympathy of Abu Tālib, then Muhammadsa will be isolated and Islām will be wiped out. They sent delegations on three separate occasions towards Hadrat Abu Tālib to convince him to stop preaching. Due to these serious threats from the Quraish, Hadrat Abu Tālib was under pressure. He promised the first delegation that he will convince his nephew Muhammadsa, not to propagate against their idols. The second time the rage of the delegation was much higher. So Hadrat Abu Tālib Said,
”My dear nephew, these people have become furious, they may even kill you... I have become older and I don’t have sufficient power to defend you against the whole nation.” The Holy Prophetsa responded, “My dear uncle, I ask you not to give up your people. I ask you not to stand by me. You may simply declare that I am no more in your protection. God has entrusted me a mission, and for its accomplishment, even if I have to sacrifice my life, I will not hesitate for it. My life is dedicated for this mission. The threats of life cannot prevent me from telling the truth. So I can not stop my Mission.
By God, if these people place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left, even then I can not desist from this mission. I must go on doing so until I die. I will continue it until God Himself accomplishes it or I sacrifice my life for this cause.” After saying this, the Holy Prophetsa tried to leave. His uncle called him back, his eyes were filled with tears and he said, “My dear nephew continue your mission! Let my people give me up. I will support you as long as I am alive and as long as I can.” (Hishām and Zarqāni)
The third time the delegation went to convince Abu Tālib they took Ammara bin Walid with them and said he is among the best youngsters of Quraish. You may exchange him against Muhammad. You may adopt him if you like. Abu Tālib responded, “What justice! I take your lad and nourish him and you take my nephew to kill him? By God it can never happen!”
The Meccans then tried to force those who had already accepted Islām to abandon the Holy Prophetsa. They thought, this way this religion will lose all its value. It opened the door of severe persecution of individual Muslims. Hadrat Uthmānra, Hadrat Zubairra, Saeed bin Zaidra, Abdullāh bin Massoudra, Abu Zar Ghaffarira, Bilal bin Ribahra, all were inhumanly persecuted but not a single person among them abandoned their faith.
The companions of the Holy Prophetsa were persecuted so hardly that one day Hadrat Khabbab bin Alaratra and other companions thought of explaining their sufferings to the Holy Prophetsa. They said,
“O Prophet of Allāh, things have become intolerable why don’t you curse these disbelievers. His face became red with anger and he said:
“Look there were people before you whose flesh was taken off with iron combs so much so that their bones were exposed, but they resisted and stayed faithful to their religion. Also there were people before you, who were cut into two pieces, but they stood patiently. God will certainly accomplish His mission... hasten not.”
On another occasion a companion said. “O Prophet of Allāh, we were respectful when we were idolaters. Since we have accepted Islām we have become less than ordinary people and have lost all our honour. Allow us to defend ourselves. The Holy prophetsa responded, “I am told to pardon you should not engage yourself in bloodshed.”
Our Holy Prophetsa suffered a lot trying to accomplish his mission. It is very saddening to studying this chapter of his life.
On one occasion he was praying in the courtyard of Ka`bah, a person named Uqba bin Abi Moīt stood up and put a mantle round his neck and twisting and dragged him so hard that the eyes of our beloved master seemed to come out. The faithful Abu Bakrra came to his aid saying, “Will you kill someone whose crime is not more than, that he says God is His master?”
Hadrat Abdullāh bin Masudra narrated, “Once the Holy Prophetsa was observing worship in Baitullāh. Abu Jahal and his companions were present there. One of them said how funny will it be if someone would bring the entrails of the slaughtered camel and lay it on Muhammad’s back while he is prostrating. Then Abadallāh bin Abi Moīt, a most unfortunate person, brought filthy and heavy entrails of camel and laid them on the back of the Holy Prophetsa while he laid prostrate. At that time, all the chiefs were witnessing the scene they could not control their laughter. Realizing what was happening, his daughter, Hadrat Fatimara, hurried, to take the heavy load off the back of Holy Prophetsa. (Sahīh Bukhārī)
On yet another occasion he was passing through a street and a group of street boys followed him. They went on slapping his neck and telling the people that it is he who calls himself a prophet.
The Holy Prophetsa’s house was stoned from surrounding houses. Once he related to Hadrat `Ā’ishara, I lived between two of the worst neighbours, Abu Lahab and Ouqba bin Abi Moīt. They not only threw animal filth on my door but also all kinds of garbage was found in front of my home. One day, while removing the filth he said, “O Abd Munaffe! How nice you are as neighbours.”
On one occasion he came home covered with dust. His daughter started crying while removing it. The Holy Prophetsa comforted her and said, “Don’t cry my daughter God himself will protect your father, one day all these sufferings will disappear.”
Dear brothers, falsehood always tries to hinder and obstruct the mission of truth, but truth is always victorious.
Once Hadrat Fatimara came back home crying and said she had heard the chiefs of Mecca swearing by Lat and Uzza in Ka`bah that they will kill Muhammad anywhere they find him. Hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “My dear daughter please fetch me water for ablution. Having made his ablutions he went to Ka`bah while all those chiefs were sitting there. Seeing him coming, they all said, “here he comes.” But nobody had the courage to attack the Holy prophetsa. Then the Holy Prophetsa himself went towards them and threw handful of dust towards them and loudly said, “[Their] faces are humiliated.” Ibn Abbāsra related that anybody who received that dust was killed during the day of Badr. (Bahiqui)
Once Abu Jahal, a Meccan Chief declared, “If I find Muhammadsa praying in Ka`bah I will kill him,” the Holy Prophetsa responded with confidence, “If he tries to do so, then the angels will deal with him.” (Sahīh Bukhārī)
Once the Holy Prophetsa was resting on Safa, a hill near Ka`bah, Abu Jahal passed by, and started insulting him. The Holy Prophetsa did not respond. A woman slave of household of Hadrat Hamzara witnessed the distressing scene. Hadrat Hamzara, uncle of Holy Prophetsa, a brave man feared by all his townsmen, returned home from a hunt in the jungle and entered the house proudly, his bow hung on his shoulder. The woman had not forgotten the morning scene. She was disgusted to see Hamza enter his home this way. She taunted him, saying that, he thought himself brave, and went about armed, but knew not what Abu Jahal had done to his innocent nephew, in the morning? When he heard of Abu Jahal acts, he could not hold back. He headed straight for the Ka`bah where Abu Jahal was sitting with other chiefs of Mecca. He took his bow and struck Abu Jahal hard. Count me from today a follower of Muhammad! You abused him this morning because he would say nothing? If you are brave, come out and fight me. Abu Jahal was dumbfounded. His friends rose to help but, afraid of Hamza and his tribe, Abu Jahal stopped them. (Hishām &Tabrī)
When all plans failed the opponents of Islām thought of making some propositions to our Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.
They came to him and said, “If you want abundance of wealth, we can provide you as much as you desire. If you intend to be our chief we are ready to accept you as our chief. If all of this is because of any sickness that you are suffering, we are ready to cure you on our own expense. If you wish to marry a nice girl we may arrange for you any girl you like.”
The Holy Prophetsa listened to them quietly. When they were finished he said, “My dear Quraish, I don’t desire any of these things. I am nothing but a Prophet of God sent to you. I have a message of God for you. My heart is overwhelmed with compassion for you. If you listen to me, it will be good for you. And if you reject my message, then, I will wait for the God Almighty’s decree for you. The Holy Prophetsa having delivered the message left the place. After his departure Abu Jahal said, “O Quraish have you seen how Muhammad has rejected all of your propositions. He will never stop disturbing our society. If it is so, by God, I too, will never stay quiet until I break the head of Muhammad.”
The next day Abu Jahal took a huge stone and waited Holy Prophetsa in the courtyard of Ka`bah to kill him. But when the Holy Prophetsa passed by, he could not even move. He stood like a statue. He simply did not have the courage to attack the Holy Prophetsa.
My dear brothers, for 13 long years this representative of truth bore all kinds of cruelties with patience.
During the seventh year of prophethood, persecution intensified and became more and more serious. But Muslims stood firm on the path they had chosen. Their hearts were as frim as ever. Their faith was steadfast. Their devotion to the one God was on the increase and so was their hatred for the national idols of Mecca. The conflict had become more serious than ever. The Meccans, convened on, they set an all out boycott of the Muslims. The Meccans were to have, no normal dealings with Muslims. They were neither to buy from them, nor to sell anything to them. The Muslims were compelled to take shelter in a lonely place. Without money, without means and without reserves, the Holy Prophetsa and his companions suffered untold hardships under this boycott. For three long years there was no slackening of it. Then at last a divine sign manifested. One day The Holy Prophetsa told his uncle, “I have seen in a dream that the boycott document hung in Mecca was completely consumed by worms, except the word Allāh.“ Hadrat Abu Tālib made straight for the Ka`bah, where the chiefs of Mecca were sitting. He asked them, “How long should such a cruel pact continue. Muhammad says, that God has informed him that the pact is consumed except the word Allāh.”