Episode 17: TRIBES INVITED TO ISLAM
Thereafter the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him started convening the
members of different tribes who came to Makkah for the pilgrimage. He used to
explain to them the doctrine of Islam and to solicit support in his mission. He
often told the tribesmen. “O ye people, I have been sent to you as the Messenger
of God peace be and blessings upon him for asking you to worship Him, to call on
you to associate nothing with Him and to renounce everything you have elevated
as His co‐equal. Believe in God and His Prophet peace be and blessings upon him
and protect me until I have explained that which God has sent to me.” Whenever
the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him counseled any tribe and finished
talking to it, Abu Lahab usually stood up to say, “O ye people, this fellow
wants you to cast off your obedience to Al‐Lat and Al‐Uzza and your allies, the
Jinn and to exchange your Gods from the wickedness and innovation he has
brought. Don’t take orders from him nor pay any heed to him. (Ibn Hisham, Vol.
Risky Path of Islam
The way leading to Allah and Islam was becoming ever more dangerous. Makkah had become so unsafe and vulnerable for the Muslims that acceptance of Islam meant taking one’s life in one’s hand. The story of Abu Dharr Ghifari’s conversion to Islam as told by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas shows how perilous it had become even to call upon the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him in those days. “When Abu Dharr heard of the advent of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him , he said unto his brother: ‘Proceed to that valley and enlighten me about the man who claimeth to be a Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and to receive communication from Heaven. Listen to some of his sayings and then return unto me.’ So the brother went forth, reached the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and heard some of his sayings. Thereafter, he returned to Abu Dharr and said unto him: ‘I found that he enjoineth the highest principles of morality and that his speech is not poetry.’ ‐ But (Abu Dharr) said: You have not been able to satisfy me.
“Thereupon he took some provisions, together with an old waterskin full of water, and proceeded to Makkah. Then he went to the mosque (K’aba) and began exploring for the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him for he knew him not and was reluctant to ask about him and thus he spent part of the night. Thereupon ‘Ali saw him and recognized the same to be a stranger and when Abu Dharr met ‘Ali, he went with him (to the latter’s house). Until daybreak, neither of the two asked any questions of each other. Then once again he (Abu Dharr) went with his waterskin and his provisions to the mosque and allowed that day to pass ‘til evening without finding the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him, although the latter saw him from there. Then he returned to his resting‐place. While in there, ‘Ali passed by him and said: “Is it not time that a man should know his abode?” And his remarks made him rise and finally brought him to his house, with neither of the two asking any questions of each other, too. And on the third day ‘Ali did likewise, and he (‘Abu Dharr) stayed with him. Thereafter ’Ali said: “Will you not tell me what had brought you here?”
Abu Dharr answered: “I will do so only if you promise me that you will guide me right”, whereupon ‘Ali agreed outright. After that, Abu Dharr told him all. Then, ‘Ali said: “Behold, it is true, and he is indeed the Prophet (peace be and blessings upon him) of God! Tomorrow morning, you follow me. If indeed I see any danger for you, I will stop as if to pass water; but if I go on, then follow me and enter in whichever place I do.” Abu Dharr did so, following ‘Ali until he finally found the Prophet’s house and entered in it together with him ‘Ali. Then he listened to some of the Prophet’s sayings and embraced Islam on the spot. Thereupon the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him said unto him: “Return unto your people and inform them about me and await my bidding.”
After which, Abu Dharr said: “By Him in whose hand is my soul, indeed I shall loudly proclaim the truth among them!”
Then he left and went to the mosque and called out at the top of his voice. He proceeded to say: “I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and that Muhammed is His Prophet peace be and blessings upon him.” Thereupon, the people of Makkah broke upon him, beat him and then threw him into the ground. At such juncture, Al‐‘Abbas came, knelt down to see him and said to the people: “Woe unto you, know ye not that he belongeth to the tribe of Ghifar and that your merchants’ road to Syria passeth through their country?”
Thus, Al‐‘Abbas rescued him from them. That incident did not stop Abu Dharr from doing the same thing again, prompting the people (of Makkah) to impose themselves over him anew, whereupon Al‐Abbas came once more to his redemption.” (Al‐Bukhaari, Section: Abu Dharr’s conversion to Islam).