The Prophet's Night Journey To Jerusalem And His Hiding In A Ravine Belonging To Abu Talib

The Messenger of Allah was transported by Allah from Mecca to Jerusalem, (see Qur'an. 17 :1) . Gabriel carried him thither on al-Buraq (a celestial horse), and showed him the prayer chambers of the prophets before him. After the Prophet had led them all in prayer, Gabriel brought him back to Mecca. On his way back, the Prophet passed by a caravan belonging to the people of Quraysh. They had with them water in a vessel, from which he drank, and poured out the rest. They also lost one of their camels and went out in search of it.

Next morning Muhammad recounted to the people of Quraysh: "Allah transported me by night to Jerusalem where He showed me the signs and stations of the prophets. I have also passed by a caravan in such and such a place, where they lost one of their camels. I drank from a vessel of water which they had, and poured out the rest of the water." Abu Jahl said: "You have now an opportune moment; ask him, therefore, how many columns and lamps are in Jerusalem! " They thus said to him: "O Muhammad, here is someone who has been to Jerusalem! " Describe for us its columns, lamps, and prayer chambers! " Gabriel came and suspended an image of Jerusalem before the Prophet's eyes, and he told them whatever they wished to know about the holy city. When he had informed them, they said: "Let us wait until the caravan returns and we question the people about what you have told us:" "The sign of the truth of what I have said is that the caravan will appear at sunrise led by a red camel carrying two white sacks", the Prophet said.

Next morning, they went out looking towards the hill outside the city and saying: "The sun shall soon rise." As they were thus wondering, the caravan appeared, led by a red camel, just as the disk of the sun was becoming visible. They asked the men with the caravan about the things which the Messenger of Allah had told them. The men answered: "It is true, it was as he said. We lost a camel in such and such a place; we left water by night, but when we woke up next morning, the water was all poured out." Yet, all this only increased the people of Quraysh in their stubbornness.

They then all gathered in their assembly hall and prepared a written pledge neither to share food with the sons of Hashim, nor to speak to them. Nor would they transact any trade with them, or intermarry with them. They would not even socialize with them in any way, until they turned Muhammad over to them that they might kill him. They agreed to be as one hand against Muhammad, either to assassinate him, or kill him openly.

When Abu Talib learned of all this, he gathered the sons of Hashim, forty men in all, and went into a secret ravine. Abu Talib swore to them by the Ka'bah, the haram, the rukn and the station (maqam of Abraham) that if even a thorn was to prick Muhammad, "I will steadfastly fight against you all, 0 sons of Hashim." Abu Talib fortified the ravine and set up guards over it night and day. At night he kept guard himself with his sword, while the Messenger of Allah slept. Then he had him get up and sleep in another spot, guarded by his own sons and the sons of his brother. They watched over the Prophet during the day as well.

In the end, they endured much hardship. Thus it was that no one of the Arabs entering Mecca dared buy from or sell anything to the family of Hashim, for fear that his wealth would be seized. To that end, Abu Jahl, al-`As ibn Wail as-Sahmi, an-Nadr ibn al-Harith ibn Kaladah and `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt used to go out to the roads leading to Mecca, and anyone they saw carrying goods, they forbade to trade with the sons of Hashim. Otherwise they threatened to seize his wealth. Khadijah, however, had much wealth, which she spent in caring for the Messenger of Allah while he was in the ravine. Mut'im ibn `Adiyy ibn Nawfal ibn `Abdi'lMuttalib refused to sign the pledge, saying: "This is wrongdoing." The document was, nonetheless, sealed with forty seals, representing all the notables of Quraysh. They then hung it in the Ka'bah. Abu Lahab also concurred with them in this action.

During the special seasons (when fighting was banned), the Messenger of Allah would go around the Arab tribes and plead with them: "If you would protect me, I would recite to you the Book of my Lord, and your reward with Allah shall be Paradise." Abu Lahab would follow close behind him and say: "Do not accept his offer! He is my brother's son. He is a magician and a liar." Thus it went on, and the sons of Hashim remained in the ravine for four years, having no security except during special seasons, nor could they buy or sell anything except during these seasons. There were two seasons held in Mecca every year: that of the `umrah (lesser pilgrimage) during Rajab, and the pilgrimage season in Dhi'l-Hijjah (the 7th and 12th months respectively). Hence, only when either of these two special seasons come did the sons of Hashim leave their ravine to buy and sell. Then no one of them dared venture out till the next season. They therefore suffered much hardship and hunger.

The people of Quraysh sent a message to Abu Talib, saying: "Turn Muhammad over to us that we may kill him; then we would make you king over us." In response, Abu Talib recited a long poem, in which he says:

When I saw that these people had no love,having cut off all ties and means of friendship;(I said): Do you not know that we do not regard our son as a liar,Nor does he utter vain words.Pure is he, that for the sake of his face prayers for rain are answered;Generous towards orphans is he, and a protection for widows.The errant of the clan of Hashim crowd around him;For with him they find bounty and generous gifts.You lie, by Allah's house! We shall never abandon Muhammad;Rather we shall wield the sword and strive to protect him. 

We shall never betray him, until we fall slain before him;For his sake we shall neglect our sons and wives.By my life! I have been charged with great affection for Ahmad!I loved him with the love of a faithful lover.I have sacrificed willingly my soul for him and protected him;I have defended him with all that is precious,Even the bones of my breast!He remains an object of beauty in this world for its inhabitants;A harsh match to anyone showing enmity toward him is he, and the ornament of every assembly.

He is clement, wise, unwavering and not foolish;Friend of the Lord of Truth, never indulging in vain disputation.Thus the Lord of human servants has strengthened him with His victory;He caused a religion to prevail whose truth knows no falsehood.When they heard this poem, they despaired of convincing Abu Talib.

Abu 'l-`As ibn Rabi', who was the Messenger of Allah's son-in-law, used to bring by night camels laden with wheat and dates to the entrance of the ravine and call out loudly to them, so that they would rush in, and the sons of Hashim would have provisions. The Messenger of Allah used to say: "Abu 'l-`As has established a tie of marriage with us and has honoured well this marriage relation. He brought laden camels to us when we were besieged and delivered them to our ravine by night."

When the Messenger of Allah had spent four years in the ravine, Allah sent against the hostile document of the Quraysh an earthworm which licked clean all words of unkindness to next of kin, and all wrongdoing and oppression. It only spared the name of Allah.

Gabriel came down to the Messenger of Allah and told him about it. The Messenger of Allah then told Abu Talib, who went to the men of Quraysh as they assembled in the mosque. When they saw him they said: "Abu Talib has finally given in; he has now come to turn his nephew in." He drew near and greeted them with the salutation of peace. They all rose up and received him with deference. They then said: "O Abu Talib, we know that you wish our friendship and return to our society! You will turn your nephew over to us." He answered: "No, by Allah, it is not for this that I have come to you. Rather my nephew tells me - and he utters no lies - that Allah has told him that He sent an earthworm against your hostile document, which ate every word of unkindness to next of kin, of wrongdoing and oppression. It only spared the name of Allah. Bring your document, and if what he says is true, then fear Allah and abandon your wrongdoing, oppression and unkindness toward blood relations. If, on the other hand, what he says is false, I will turn him over to you. If you wish, you may kill him, or if you wish you may spare his life." They brought the document down from the Ka'bah, still bearing forty seals. When it was brought before them, every man saw his seal. When, however, they .opened it, they found no letters except the phrase: `in your name, O Allah.' Abu Talib then pleaded with them saying: "O people, fear Allah and desist from what you are doing! " But the people dispersed, and no one spoke a word. Abu Talib then returned to the ravine and recited his poem rhyming with the letter `b' and which begins as follows:

Who shall endure standing on guard till night's end,Or the retreat which your divided people have decreed.In the document there was indeed a lesson;Anyone knowing about it would surely marvel.Allah had Himself erased from it their rejection of faith and insolence,As well as their hostility toward him who proclaimed the truth openly.Thus what they said came to nought,For anyone inventing falsehood only tells lies.Yet the son of Abdullah has been truthful among us,in spite of our people's wrath.

Do not think that we shall betray Muhammad; For neither our honour nor fidelity would permit it!A strong Hashimite hand shall protect him;He whose deeds among men are the best of deeds.

Then some of the sons of `Abd Manaf and the sons of Qusayy, as well as other men of Quraysh who were born to women of the sons of Hashim - among whom was Mut'im ibn `Adiyy ibn `Amir ibn Lu'ayy, an old man of great wealth and many children, and Abu 'l-Bakhtari ibn Hisham and Zuhayr ibn (Abi) Umayyah al-Makhzumi and other of their notables - said: "We dissociate ourselves from this document." Abu Jahl likewise said: "This is a matter which was decided in the dark." Thus the Prophet and those who were with him were able to leave the ravine.

Two months later, Abu Talib died. Khadijah also died soon after. These were two grave occurrences which the Messenger of Allah had to endure, and he was greatly saddened. He went in to see Abu Talib while he was breathing his last. He said: "O uncle, you cared for a child until he grew up. You supported him when he was a grown man, and cared for him as an orphan. May Allah, therefore, reward you on my behalf with the best reward. Give me a word (that is, the shahadah) that I may intercede with it on your behalf with my Lord." Abu Talib replied: "O son of my brother, were I not to fear the reproach of people after me, I would have gladdened your heart." Saying this he died.

Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid, and Abu Talib died in the same year. [37] Thus afflictions followed one another for the Messenger of Allah after the death of Khadijah and Abu Talib - for she was a true helper (wazir) to him in Islam, and he found comfort in her. Abu `Abdillah ibn Mandah reported in the Kitabu'l-Ma`rifah that Khadijah died three days after Abu Talib. [38] al-Waqidi claimed that they all left the ravine three years before the Migration. In that year Khadijah and Abu Talib died within the space of thirty-five nights.

The Prophet Offers Himself To Neighboring Arab Tribes. The Allegiance Of The Ansar To Him, And The Event Of Al-`Aqabah

It is reported in the book entitled Dala'ilu'n-Nubuwwah [39] on the authority of az-Zuhri (a well-known traditionist), that the Messenger of Allah used to offer himself as a prophet to the Arab tribes every year during the pilgrimage season. He used to speak to the chief of every tribe, requesting only that they give him shelter and protection. He said: "I shall not ask anyone of you to do anything he does not wish to do. For anyone of you who accepts what I have come to call you to, it is well. But I shall not compel anyone who would refuse. I only ask that you protect me from those who wish to kill me, so that I might convey the messages of my Lord - and Allah decrees what He wills for me and those who will follow him." Yet no one of them accepted him. Everyone he spoke to of these tribes would say: "The people of this man know best his claims. Do you think that a man can reform us when he has corrupted his own people, and who have therefore, abandoned him? "

When Abu Talib died, trials increased greatly as never before for the Messenger of Allah. He thus turned to the tribe of Thaqif in the city of at-Ta'if in the hope that they might give him shelter. He sought three men, who were the notables of Thaqif in those days. They were brothers: `Abd Yalayl ibn `Amr, Habib ibn `Amr and Mas'ud ibn `Amr. He offered himself to them and told them of the trials that had afflicted him at the hands of his people. One of them exclaimed: "I swear that I would even steal the curtains of the Ka'bah, if Allah had truly sent you with anything! " The other said: "Could not Allah send someone other than you?" The third exclaimed: "By Allah, I shall never speak to you henceforth. By Allah, if you are truly the Messenger of Allah, you would be of too great honour for me even to speak to you. If, on the other hand, you lie concerning Allah, you would be too evil for me to speak to you." They mocked him and revealed to their people their conversation with him.

The men then placed people in two lines in his way. When the Messenger of Allah passed between the two lines, he did not lift his feet or put them down but that they pelted them with stones. They repeated this until his feet bled. He escaped from them with his feet gushing blood, and ran to one of their gardens and took shelter under a tree, sad and suffering much pain.

`Utbah ibn Rabi `ah and Shaybah ibn Rabi `ah were in the garden. He therefore did not wish to remain with them, as he knew their great hostility to Allah and His Messenger. When they saw him, they sent to him a servant of theirs called `Addas who was of the people of Naynawa (Nineveh), with grapes. When `Addas came to him, the Messenger of Allah asked: "From which land are you?" He answered: "I am of the people of Nineveh." He said to him: "So you are from the city of the righteous man Yunus (Jonah) son of Mitts (Matthew)." `Addas asked him: "How do you know who Yunus was? " The Messenger of Allah, who never looked down at anyone so much as not to convey to him the message of his Lord, answered: "I am the Messenger of Allah. Allah, exalted be He, informed me of the account of Yunus ibn Mitts." When he had told him what Allah had revealed to him concerning Yunus ibn Mitts, `Addas fell prostrate before Allah and began to kiss the Prophet's feet while they continued to gush blood. When `Utbah and Shaybah saw what their servant was doing, they kept silent. But when he returned to them they asked: "Why did you prostrate yourself before Muhammad and kiss his feet, while we never saw you do so to any of us?" He answered: "He is a righteous man who told me things which I recognized concerning a messenger whom Allah had sent to us, whose name was Yunus ibn Mitts." They laughed and said "Let him not tempt you away from your Christianity, for he is a deceitful man." The Messenger of Allah then returned to Mecca.

`Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim (al-Qummi) reports that when the Messenger. of Allah returned from the city of at-Ta'if and approached Mecca with the intention of performing the `umrah (lesser pilgrimage), he did not wish to enter Mecca where he had no protector. He saw a man of the Quraysh who had secretly embraced Islam and said to him: "Go to al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq and tell him that Muhammad asks you to protect him until he performs the circumambulations ( tawaf , around the Ka'bah) and the running (sa`i) between the two hills of as-Safa and al-Marwa, for he has come to perform the `umrah." The man went to al-Akhnas and conveyed to him what the Messenger of Allah had said. al-Akhnas answered: "I am not of the Quraysh, but only an ally, and an ally cannot offer protection. I fear that they would violate my protection, and that would be an insult." The man returned to the Messenger of Allah and told him. The Messenger of Allah was hiding in the ravine of Harra' with Zayd ibn al-Harithah. He said to the man: "Go to Suhayl ibn `Amr and ask him to protect me only until I circumambulate the House (that is, the Ka'bah) and perform the sa`i (running between as-Safa and al-Marwa)." The man went and told Suhayl, but he answered: "No, I will not." The Messenger of Allah sent the man to Mut'im ibn `Adiyy (ibn `Amir) to make the same request. When the man went to him he asked: "Where is Muhammad?" The man, however, did not wish to tell him where the Prophet was. He rather answered: "He is nearby." Mut'im said: "Go to him and say that I shall give you protection. Come, therefore, and circumambulate and run as you wish."

The Messenger of Allah entered the city. Mut'im said to his sons, his sister, and to his brother, who was called Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy: "Take up your arms, for I have offered Muhammad protection! Stay around the Ka'bah until he performs the circumambulation and running." There were ten men in all who took up arms. Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, then came in to the mosque. Abu Jahl saw him and said: "O people of Quraysh, here is Muhammad alone. His supporter has died; do with him, therefore, as you please." Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy said to him: "O uncle, do not speak, for Abu Wahb (that is, Mut'im) has offered Muhammad protection." Abu Jahl went to Mut`im and asked: "Are you a protector, or one who has abandoned his religion for another?" He answered: "I am only a protector." Abu Jahl said: "In that case your protection will not be violated."

When the Messenger of Allah had finished his circumambulation and running, he came to Mut'im and said: "O Abu Wahb, you have protected and done well! Release me now from your protection." Mut'im replied: "What would prevent you from remaining in my protection?" He answered: "I detest remaining in the protection of an Associator for more than one day." Mut'im then exclaimed: "O people of Quraysh, Muhammad has released himself from my protection! "

'Ali ibn Ibrahim (al-Qummi) reported that As'ad ibn Zurarah and Dhakwan ibn `Abd Qays, both of whom were of the Khazraj tribe of Medina, came to Mecca during one of the pilgrimage seasons. At that time a state of war, which had already lasted for a long time, existed between the Aws and Khazraj (both of which were Medinan tribes). The people did not lay down their arms by day or night. In the last engagement between them on the day of Bu'ath [40], the Aws tribe had prevailed over the Khazraj. As'ad ibn Zurarah and Dhakwan came to Mecca for the `umrah of the sacred month of Rajab seeking an alliance against the Aws tribe. As'ad ibn Zurarah was a friend of `Utbah ibn Rabi `ah. He thus came to him as a guest and said: "A long period of war has prevailed between us and our people. We have come, therefore, seeking alliance against them." `Utbah answered: "Your dwellings are far from ours, and we have an important preoccupation which prevents us from undertaking any other." As'ad asked: "What is your preoccupation, when you live securely in your sacred city? " "A man has appeared among us who claims that he is the Messenger of Allah", answered `Utbah. He continued: "This man has declared our minds foolish, and insulted our gods. He has also corrupted our youths and dissolved our unity." "Who is he?" As'ad asked. `Utbah replied: "He is the son of `Abdullah son of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib. He is of a family that is of high honour and status among us." As'ad and Dhakwan as well as all the people of the Aws and Khazraj tribes used to hear from the Jews of an-Nadir, Qurayzah and Qaynuqa' - who lived among them - that: "The time has come when a prophet shall appear in Mecca, whose migration shall be to Medina. With him we shall slay you all, O people of the Arabs! "

When As'ad heard all this from `Utbah, the things which he had heard from the Jews came back into his mind. He thus asked: "Where is he?" `Utbah answered: "He is sitting in the Ka'bah. They do not come out of their ravine except during the pilgrimage season. As for you, do not listen to him or speak to him, for he is a sorcerer who would bewitch you with his words." All this took place at the time when the men of Hashim were besieged in the ravine. As'ad said: "What shall I do when I have come for the `umrah and it is necessary for me to circumambulate the House? " He answered: "Plug your ears up with cotton."

As'ad then went into the sanctuary, having stuffed his ears with cotton. He circumambulated the House while the Messenger of Allah was sitting in the sanctuary with some of the men of Hashim. He looked at the Prophet and passed him by. As he passed by, however, performing the second circumambulation, he said to himself: "Truly, there is no one more foolish than I ! Should all this occur in Mecca, and I know not what it is so that I might go back to my people and tell them? " He thus took the cotton out of his ears, threw it away and addressed the Messenger of Allah, saying: "Have a happy morning!" This was the greeting of the Arabs before Islam. The Messenger of Allah turned to him and said: "Allah has given us another greeting instead which is better than this one; it is the greeting of the people of Paradise: `as-Salamu `alaykum' [peace be upon you] ." As'ad said: "You must have come recently to this! What do you call men to, O Muhammad?" He replied: "To the witness (shahadah) that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah! I enjoin upon you that: `You associate nothing with Him, and that you act kindly towards your parents.

Do not kill your children for fear of poverty, for We shall provide both for you and them. Do not come near vile transgressions, be they disclosed or hidden, and do not kill a soul, which Allah has made unlawful except with justice. With all this you have been charged that perhaps you may understand. Do not come near the wealth of an orphan except in the fairest manner, until he reaches the age of discretion. Give full and just measure and weight. Yet We do not charge a soul except in accordance with its capacity. When you speak, speak justly, even if it be against one who is nearest of kin. Fulfil Allah's covenant. You are enjoined to all this, that perhaps you may recollect.' " [41]

When As'ad heard this, he exclaimed: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, having no associate, and that you are the Messenger of Allah! O Messenger of Allah, may my father and my mother be a ransom for you! I am of the city of Yathrib (Medina), of the Khazraj tribe. All relations between us and our brothers of the Aws tribe are cut off. If Allah were to re-establish them by means of you, I would find no one more honoured than you. Another man of my people is accompanying me. I trust that he too will enter into this matter, and that Allah will set our affairs right through you. By Allah, 0 Messenger of Allah, we often heard reports of you from the Jews. They used to announce to us your coming forth and inform us of your characteristics. I trust that our abode shall be the abode of your migration, and that with us shall be your dwelling. The Jews have informed us of this. Praise be to Allah Who led me to you! By Allah, I came only to seek some alliance against our opponents. Yet Allah has given us something better than the purpose for which I came."

Dhakwan then came, and As'ad told him: "This is the Messenger of Allah whom the Jews announced and of whose characteristics they informed us. Come, therefore, and declare your Islam." Dhakwan thus accepted Islam and said: "O Messenger of Allah, send with us a man who would teach us the Qur'an and call the people to your message." The Messenger of Allah sent Mus'ab ibn `Umayr, a youth who had lived in luxury with his parents, who preferred him over all their other children, and who had never left Mecca. But when Mus'ab became a Muslim, his parents disowned him, and he remained with the Messenger of Allah in the ravine until the signs of exhaustion were visible on his changed face. The Messenger of Allah ordered him to go with As'ad, as he had learned much of the Qur'an. Dhakwan then left for Medina with As'ad accompanied by Mus'ab ibn `Umayr.

When As'ad and Dhakwan came to their people, they told them about the Messenger of Allah and his message. From every family one or two men accepted Islam. Mus'ab lived with As'ad ibn Zurarah, and every day he would go around the assemblies of the men of Khazraj calling them to Islam, but only the youths would accept his call. There was a man called `Abdullah ibn Ubayy who was a notable of the Khazraj tribe. They all agreed to appoint him as king over them because of his honourable status and generosity. They had made a crown for him which they then presented to him, seeking by this mediation in their long hostilities, for he had not fought on the side of his people of the Khazraj in the war of Bu'ath, nor had he supported them against the Aws tribe. He had said, rather, "You commit wrongdoing towards the Aws tribe, and I will not support wrongdoing." Thus both the Aws and Khazraj accepted him.

When As'ad returned, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy did not like what he and Dhakwan brought back with them. He was, for this reason, indifferent. As'ad then said to Mus'ab: "My maternal uncle Sa'd ibn Mu'adh is one of the chiefs of the Aws tribe. He is a wise and honourable man, and is well respected among the people of `Amr ibn `Awf. If he were to enter into Islam, our cause would triumph. Let us, therefore, go to their dwellings." Thus, Mus'ab went with As'ad to the quarter of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and sat at one of their wells. A number of their youths gathered around him (Mus'ab), while he recited the Qur'an to them. When Sa'd ibn Mu'adh learnt of this, he said to Usayd ibn Hudayr, who was also one of their notables: "I have heard that Abu Umamah, As'ad ibn Zurarah has returned with a man of Quraysh to corrupt our youths. Go, therefore, to him and order him to desist." Usayd ibn Hudayr went to them, and As'ad, looking at him, said to Mus'ab: "This is an honourable man, and if he joins our cause, I have hope that it will be strengthened. Exert yourself with him in the cause of Allah."

When Usayd came near them, he said: "O Abu Umamah, your uncle says that you should not come to our assembly, nor should you corrupt our youths. Beware of the men of the Aws, for your own safety! " Mus'ab said: "Would you not sit down that we may put before you a cause, which you may join if you so wish; otherwise, we shall remove from you anything you may dislike." He sat down, and Mus'ab recited to him a Surah of the Qur'an. Usayd asked: "What do you do when you join this cause? " Mus`ab answered, "We purify ourselves, wear two clean garments, proclaim the profession of faith (shahadah) and pray two rak'ahs. Usayd threw himself with his clothes into the well; he came out, he wrung his garments and said: "Put it before me!" Mus'ab thus taught him the profession of faith that, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." Usayd repeated the shahadah and offered two rak'ahs of prayers. He then said to As'ad: "O Abu Umamah, I shall now send your uncle to you; I shall use every persuasion to make him come to you." Usayd then went back to Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, and when the latter looked at him, he said: "I swear that Usayd has returned to us with a different face from that with which he left us."

Sa'd ibn Mu'adh then went to them, and Mus'ab recited to him: Ha mim, a revelation from the All-merciful, the Compassionate [Qur'an 41:1- 2] . "By Allah," the two men exclaimed, "we saw Islam in his face even before he uttered a word! " He sent for two clean garments from his home; he proclaimed the two shahadahs and offered two rak'ahs of prayer. He then rose, took Mus'ab by the hand and took him to his home. He said to him: "Declare your cause and do not fear anyone!" Then Sa'd went and stood before the people of `Amr ibn `Awf and exclaimed: "O people of `Amr ibn `Awf, let there be Do man, woman, virgin or married woman, neither old man, nor youth but that they should come forth; this is not a day of hiding or seclusion! " When they had all gathered, he said: "What is my status with you?" With one voice they said: "You are our master who is obeyed among us, nor shall we-oppose you in anything! Command us then to do whatever you wish." He said: "It shall be unlawful for me to speak to your men, women or children until you bear witness that, `There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.' Praise be to Allah Who has honoured us with that (faith). He (Muhammad) is the one of whom the Jews informed us." There was not a house of the people of `Amr ibn `Awf but that a man or woman of its inhabitants then accepted Islam. He then said to Mus'ab ibn `Umayr: "Declare your cause and call the people openly to it." Thus, Islam spread widely in Medina. All the notables of the two tribes (that is, the Aws and Khazraj) entered into Islam, because of what they remembered of the reports of the Jews.

The Messenger of Allah was then informed of the coming of the Aws and Khazraj into Islam, for Mus'ab had written to him concerning this matter. But anyone of the Quraysh who had accepted Islam was beaten and tortured by his people. For this reason the Messenger of Allah ordered all such people to migrate to Medina. They used to escape secretly one man at a time and when they arrived in Medina, the people of the Aws and Khazraj opened their homes to them and received them with hospitality and kindness.

It is reported that when the people of the Aws and Khazraj came to Mecca (for the pilgrimage), the Messenger of Allah came to them and pleaded: "Would you protect me so that I may recite to you the Book of your Lord, and that your reward with Allah be Paradise? " "Yes, O Messenger of Allah", they answered. "You shall have whatever you wish for yourself and your Lord." He then said to them: "Your appointment with me shall be at the `Aqabah (a place outside Mecca) on the middle night of the nights of tashriq (that is, the three days following the Day of Sacrifice, which concludes the pilgrimage rites)." After they had performed the pilgrimage rites, they returned to Mina (one of the stations of the pilgrimage), many of them having accepted Islam, but the majority still adherents of their old religion. Among them on that journey was `Abdullah ibn Ubayy. The Messenger of Allah said to them on the second day of the days of tashriq, "Gather all of you in the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib, which is in the `Aqabah. Let each one come alone stealthily so that you wake up no one who is asleep."

The Messenger of Allah was staying in the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib along with Hamzah, `Ali and al-`Abbas. Forty men of the people of the Aws and Khazraj gathered together with him at the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib. When they had all settled down, the Messenger of Allah repeated his former plea: "Would you protect me so that I may recite to you the Book of your Lord, and that your reward with Allah be Paradise?" As'ad ibn Zurarah, al-Bard' ibn Ma'rur and `Abdullah ibn Hizam all answered: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah, lay upon us whatever conditions you wish for yourself and your Lord." The Messenger of Allah went on: "You shall protect me as you would protect yourselves, and protect my family as you would your families and children." They enquired: "What shall be our benefit from all this?" He answered: "You shall have Paradise. You shall also rule over the Arabs and non-Arabs in this world, and you shall be kings." "We accept", they all concurred.

Then al-`Abbas ibn Nadlah of the Aws tribe arose and spoke to the people thus: "O people of the Aws and Khazraj, do you know full well where are you going? You are indeed headed for warfare with peoples both red and white (an expression indicating great scope and variety), as well as with the kings of this world! If you think that you will abandon him whenever calamity befalls you, then do not imperil him. For even though the people of the Messenger of Allah have opposed him, still he lives here in security and honour." `Abdullah ibn Hizam, As'ad ibn Zurarah and Abu 'l-Haytham ibn at-Tayyihan said: "Why should you be dismayed by such words, O Messenger of Allah? Rather, we shall ransom your blood with our blood and your soul with our souls. Lay down, therefore, whatever conditions you wish both for yourself and for your Lord! "

The Messenger of Allah demanded: "Appoint for me twelve chiefs from among you who would guarantee all this for me, just as Moses took from among the Children of Israel twelve chiefs. [42] They said: "Rather, choose them yourself if you so wish." Gabriel pointed them out to him. Thus the Prophet, chose nine -of the Khazraj pointing to each man: As'ad ibn Zurarah, al-Bard' ibn Ma'rur, `Abdullah ibn Hizam, Abu Jabir ibn `Abdillah, Rafi` ibn Malik, Sa'd ibn `Ubadah, al-Mundhir ibn `Amr, `Abdullah ibn Rawdhah, Sa'd ibn ar-Rabi` and `Ubadah ibn as-Samit. Of the Aws tribe, he chose: Abu'lHaytham ibn at-Tayyihan - who was a man from Yemen and an ally of the people of `Amr ibn `Awf - Usayd ibn Hudayr and Sad ibn Khaythamah.

When they had all come together to pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, Satan cried out among the people of Quraysh saying: "O people of Quraysh and all you Arabs, behold Muhammad and the apostates with him at `Aqabah pledging their allegiance to him that they may wage war against you! " His voice was so loud that it was heard by all the pilgrims who were in Mina. The people of Quraysh were greatly stirred up so that they rushed to arms. The Messenger of Allah heard the clamour, and ordered the Helpers (al-Ansar) : "Disperse!" But they all said: "O Messenger of Allah, if you were to command us to rush at them with our swords, we would do so." The Messenger of Allah replied: "I was not commanded to do this. Allah has not permitted me to wage war against them." They persisted, saying: "O Messenger of Allah, would you then come out with us? " "I must wait for Allah's Command", he answered. 

All the people of Quraysh to the last one came forth, heavily armed. Hamzah went out with his sword, accompanied by 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and stood at the `Aqabah. When they saw Hamzah, they asked: "To what purpose have you all gathered together?" He answered: "No, we have not gathered together; nor is there anyone here. By Allah, no one shall go through this `Aqabah, but that I shall smite him with my sword! " They thus turned back and went to `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and said: "It has reached us that your people have pledged allegiance to Muhammad that they will wage war with him against us! " But `Abdullah swore to them that his people had done nothing of the sort, that he had no knowledge of it and that they had not informed him of any such intention. The people of Quraysh believed him; the Ansar went their way, and the Messenger of Allah returned to Mecca.