Episode 26: an unsuccessful conspiracy
The emigration of Muslims to Madinah frightened the Makkahns. For they fully understood that the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him had already established a base with a large number of adherents in a foreign territory beyond their reach, and if he were also to join them there, then they would be rendered helpless, deprived of all authority over him. They held a council in Dar al-Nadwa where all the chiefs of the Quraysh had assembled to deliberate on the possible solutions to the problem. They debated and scrutinized the various suggestions and finally decided unanimously that each clan should provide a young, courageous and blue-blooded warrior so that all of them would fall upon Muhammed to jointly kill him. Thus, the responsibility of shedding his blood would lie equally on all the clans, and no single clan whatsoever would then be held responsible for it and ‘Abdu Munaf
for sure, would not dare take up a hatchet against all the people. Determined to slay the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him, the pagans dispersed to execute their treacherous scheme. But the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him was warned of their wicked plan by the All-Knowing God and thus, had asked ‘Ali instead to lie on his bed and wrap himself in his mantle, assuring him that no harm would come to him. The shrewd and determined gang stood outside the Prophet’s house with scimitars, prepared to attack the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him as he emerged. When Muhammed peace be and blessings upon him came out, he threw a handful of dust. God instantly obscured their eyesight and the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him went through their ranks, sprinkling the dust over their heads and reciting the Soorah Ya Sin:
"And we have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not.” [Qur'an 36:9]
He passed right through them but nobody was able to see him. Then, there came a man who asked them, “What are you waiting for?” When they replied that they were waiting for Muhammed, he said, “May God confound you! He has already gone away.” They peeped through the chink of the door and saw ‘Ali sleeping on the bed wrapped in the Prophet’s mantle. They had mistaken him for the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and decided to wait till morning when ‘Ali got up from the bed. All of them were abashed by the incident. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. Pp. 480-83).
A strange inconsistency
The unbelieving Quraysh of Makkah were bitterly set against the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. Yet they were absolutely convinced of his truthfulness and trustworthiness, nobility and magnanimity. If anybody in Makkah apprehended loss or misappropriation of his property, he usually deposited it with the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him had thus a number of things committed to his care. He, therefore, charged ‘Ali to return these to their owners before leaving Makkah. Of a fact, such strange behavior from Quraysh and such noble behavior from the Prophet at such a critical moment is a testimony to the nobility of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him as well as to the callousness of Quraysh. “We know well how their talk grieveth thee, though in truth they deny not thee (Muhammed) but evil-doers flout the revelations of Allah.” [Qur'an 6:33]
The fact that the polytheists trusted Allah's Messenger peace be and blessings upon him with their possessions, even though they were fighting against him and insisting upon his death, is an evidence that the enemies of the mission, deep in their hearts, believed in the righteousness, honesty, and nobility of the reformer. They believed that he was better off than them in his behavior and that his heart was purer than theirs. But the insensitivity or indifference of their hearts, their stubbornness, and their resolute grip towards their errant customs and beliefs, aptly known as resistance to change, lured them to fight against him, harm him and finally conspire to kill him.