ISLAM BEING INTRODUCED TO ARABIAN TRIBES AND INDIVIDUALS
In Dhul Qa‘dah, the tenth year of Prophethood, i.e. July 619, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , returned to Makkah to resume his activities. The time for pilgrimage to Makkah was approaching so he hastened to introduce people both tribes and individuals to Islam and call upon them to embrace it, just as it was his practice since the fourth year of his Prophethood.
On the authority of Az-Zuhri, of the tribes that Islam was introduced to, we could speak of Banu ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘ah, Muharib bin Khasfa, Fazarah, Ghassan, Murrah, Haneefah, Saleem, ‘Abs, Banu Nasr, Banu Al-Buka’, Kindah, Kalb, Al-Harith bin Ka‘b, Udhrah and people of Hadrmout. Islam was not introduced to them in one single year but rather repeatedly from the fourth year till the last pre-migration season of pilgrimage. They however, remained obdurate and none of them responded positively.
The following is a resume of aspects relating to the Prophet’s appeals as regards the new faith he was preaching:
When Banu ‘Amir returned to their habitations, they narrated the story to an elderly man who had lingered behind because he was too old. They told him, “A young man of Quraish of Bani ‘Abdul Muttalib, claiming that he is a Prophet, contacted us, asked for support and invited us to embrace his religion.” The old sheikh was struck by the news, and wondered if there was no way of making amends for the loss of that opportunity and swore, “He is really Ishmaelite (he descends from Ishmael). He is the Truth (he is a real Prophet). How did it happen that you misjudged his words?”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was not dismayed at all. He persisted in his mission for the fulfillment of which he had been commissioned to strive despite all odds. He did not confine his efforts to the tribes but also conducted contacts with individuals from some of whom he was able to receive a favourable response. Moreover, later in the same season, some of them did believe in his Prophethood and entered the fold of Islam. The following list included some of those early converts:
- He visited a sept of Banu Kalb known as Banu ‘Abdullah. He called them to Allâh’s Message and entreated them to accept it for the sake of Allâh Who had chosen a beautiful name for their father, but without avail.
- He called on Bani Haneefah in their habitation, but received very repugnant treatment.
- He addressed Bani ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘ah in their encampment, calling them to abandon idolatry and join him. One of them called Buhairah bin Firras, answered him back: “Should we give you allegiance and Allâh give you power over your opponents, will you give us right to inheritance and succeed you in power?” The Prophet replied: “The whole affair lies in Allâh’s Hands. He gives the power to whomever He desires.” The man commented: “Do you expect us to incur the wrath and vengeance of the Arabs without the least hope of leadership? We can in fact readily dispense with your offers.”
HOPE INSPIRING BREEZES FROM THE MADINESE:
It was during the pilgrimage season, in the eleventh year of Prophethood, that the Islamic Call found the righteous seeds through which it would grow up to constitute tall trees whose leaves would foster the new faith and shelter the new vulnerable converts from the blows of injustices and high-handness of Quraish. It was the Prophet’s wise practice to meet the delegates of the Arabian tribes by night so that the hostile Makkans would not debar him from achieving his objectives. In the company of his two truthful Companions ‘Ali and Abu Bakr, he had an interesting talk regarding Islamization with Bani Dhuhal, but the latter suspended their conversion. In pursuit of the same objective, the Prophet and his Companions passed by ‘Aqabat Mina where they heard people talking. They went at their heels until they encountered six men from Yathrib, all of whom from Khazraj tribe: As‘ad bin Zurarah, ‘Awf bin Harith, Rafi‘ bin Malik, Qutbah bin ‘Amir, ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir and Jabir bin ‘Abdullah. The last two being from Aws and the former four from Khazraj.
The Madinese always heard the Jews say that a Prophet was about to rise, for the time for a new dispensation had arrived. Him they would follow and then smite their enemies as the children of ‘Ad and Iram had been smitten.
“Of what tribe are you?” asked the Prophet. “Of the tribe of Khazraj,” they replied. “Are you the allies of the Jews?” The Prophet enquired. They said: “Yes.” “Then why not sit down for a little and I will speak to you.” The offer was readily accepted for the fame of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had spread to Madinah and the strangers were curious to see more of the man who had created a stir in the whole area. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) presented to them an expose of Islam, explained its implications, and the responsibilities that fell upon the men who accepted it. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) concluded his talk, they exchanged among themselves ideas to the following effect: “Know surely, this is the Prophet with whom the Jews are ever threatening us; wherefore let us make haste and be the first to join him.”
They, therefore, embraced Islam, and said to the Prophet, “We have left our community for no tribe is so divided by hatred and rancour as they are. Allâh may cement our ties through you. So let us go and invite them to this religion of yours; and if Allâh unites them in it, no man will be dearer than you.”
The handful of Madinese converts remained steady to the cause and they preached the Islam with full zeal and devotion with the result that they succeeded in winning adherents for Islam from amongst their fellow citizens and hardly was there a house in Madinah not talking curiously and enthusiastically about the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) .
MARRIAGE OF THE PROPHET (Peace be upon him) to ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her):
In Shawwal of the same year, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) concluded a marriage contract with ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) ‘the truth verifier’, when she was six of age and consummated his marriage with her in Shawwal, the year 1 A.H. in Madinah when she was nine.
- Swaid bin Samit . He was an intelligent discreet poet from Yathrib (Madinah). During his stay in Makkah for pilgrimage (or lesser pilgrimage), he encountered the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who invited him to embrace Islam. At this invitation, Swaid imparted to the Prophet some sound words from Luqman’s wisdom. The Prophet approved of that wisdom but told the man that he had something far better. He recited some verses from the Qur’ân, the man listened meditatively and the words appealed to his originally pure nature and accepted Islam as his faith at once. He was killed in the battle of Bu‘ath. That was in the eleventh year of the Prophethood.
- Eyas bin Mu‘adh. He was still a youth from Aws tribe. He came as a member of delegation seeking alliance with Quraish against another rival tribe dwelling in Madinah, Al-Khazraj. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) met them and advised them to follow a better course than that they had in mind. He introduced himself and Islam to them, apprised them of his mission and narrated some verses from the Noble Qur’ân. Eyas’s heart immediately absorbed the Divine Message and agreed with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) . Abul Haisar Anas bin Rafi‘, a member of the delegation disapproved of the boy’s behaviour and silenced him by hurling some dust into his face. The people then left Madinah after having failed in establishing alliance with Quraish. Shortly after arrival in Madinah, the boy breathed his last acclaiming Allâh’s Name and celebrating His Glory.
- Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari. He used to live in the suburbs of Yathrib. News of the Islamization of Swaid bin Samit and Eyas bin Mu‘adh reached him and constituted a turning point in his life per se. He sent his brother to Makkah for more details about the Prophet’s intentions. The man came back and reported to Abu Dhar that the ‘said man’ enjoined good and forbade evil. Abu Dhar was not satisfied and decided that he himself should go out and probe the real situation. After some attempts to identify the person of the Prophet(Peace be upon him) , he managed to meet him though not without some difficulties due to the antagonistic atmosphere within which the proponents of the new faith were trying to work their way. No sooner than Abu Dhar was exposed to the real nature of Islam, he embraced it. Despite the Prophet’s earnest plea not to divulge his new move, Abu Dhar went directly to the Holy Sanctuary where he publicly declared that he had testified to the Oneness of Allâh and Prophethood of Muhammad. The heathens all around hurried and began beating him. He almost died when Al-‘Abbas intervened warning against killing someone whose tribe was in full command of the strategic commercial caravan routes leading to Makkah. Thevent recurred in the following morning with the same man to come to the scene and rescue him.
- Tufail bin ‘Amr Ad-Dausi. He was an honest poet and chief of Ad-Daus tribe inhabiting an area close to Yemen in South Arabia. He arrived in Makkah in the eleventh year of Prophethood. Great reception ceremonies were accorded to him on his advent. The Makkans soon started to inculcate in his ears all sorts of antipathy against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) . They even alleged that he had caused the most horrible societal schism, dividing all sorts of social life even the family ties were subject to his schemes and plans of dissension. They even warned him against speaking or even listening to him. The man overpowered by these pleas, complied by their requests. He even stuffed his ears with a piece of cotton in order not to hear any word of his. However, when this tribesman entered the mosque, he saw Muhammad (Peace be upon him) observing his prayer and out of curiosity, he approached him for it was a Divine Will to hear the Prophet’s sound and appealing words. The temptation to hear more was irresistible so he followed the Prophet (Peace be upon him) into his house, briefed him on his advent and all the story of the people of Quraish. The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) recited some verses of the Noble Qur’ân and the man managed to taste something exceptionally beautiful and discern the truth latent within. He embraced Islam and testified that there was no god but Allâh and that Muhammad was His Messenger. He then said that he was an influential man among his people and that he would call them to profess Islam, yet he wanted the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to equip him with a supportive sign that would ease his future task. It was in fact a Divinely bestowed light in his whip. He called his father and wife to embrace Islam and they did respond. His people lagged a little but he exhorted them fervently and was fully successful. He and seventy or eighty of his followers emigrated to Madinah after the Trench Battle. He was a perfect fighter in the cause of Allâh and was martyred in Al-Yamama events.
- Dhumad Al-Azdi. He came from Azd Shanu’a in Yemen, specialist in incantation. He arrived in Makkah to hear the fools there say that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was out of his mind. He decided to practise his craft on the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , who on seeing him said: “Praise is to Allâh, we entertain His praise and seek His help. Whomsoever Allâh guides, none will lead astray, and whomsoever Allâh leads astray, none will guide. I testify there is no god but Allâh and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.” Dhumad heard the words and requested the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to echo them again, and he was granted his wish thrice. Here he said: “I have heard the soothsayers, sorcerers and poets, but never have I experienced the sweetness of your words.” He then gave a pledge of a sincere convert.