The Quraysh Admit The Miraculous Qualities Of The Qur'an

The Messenger of Allah never ceased to insult the gods of the Associators, nor did he cease reciting the Qur'an to them. But they used to say: "This is only the poetry of Muhammad." Some of them also said: "It is rather oratory discourse."

There was an old man called al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah who was a judge among the Arabs, whom they brought difficult cases. They likewise used to recite their poems to him in order that he might judge among them. Whatever he judged to be good, that was chosen by all. He had many sons, who never left Mecca. He also possessed ten slaves, every one of whom had one thousand dinars to use as capital in trade. At that time he alone owned a qintar, [the skin of a bull filled with gold]. al-Walid was one of those who mocked the Messenger of Allah and he was the uncle of Abu Jahl ibn Hisham.

The people went to al-Walid and asked: "O Abu `Abd ash-Shams, what is this which Muhammad is uttering? Is it magic, soothsaying, or oratory?" He replied: "Let me hear his words." He thus came to the Messenger of Allah while he was sitting in the Ka'bah and said: "O Muhammad, recite for me some of your poetry! " He answered: "It is not poetry, but rather the word of Allah, with which He sent His prophets and apostles." al-Walid insisted: "Recite some of it to me." The Messenger of Allah then recited: "In the name of Allah, the All-merciful, the Compassionate. " When al-Walid heard the name ar-Rahman (the All-merciful), he mockingly said: "Do you call us to follow a man of Yamamah who is called ar-Rahman?" The Prophet answered: "No, rather I call men to Allah, Who is the All-merciful, the Compassionate." He then recited the beginning of "Ha mim: as-Sajdah ", (Surah 41) until he reached verse (13)

But if they turn back, say: "I have warned you of a great catastrophe like the catastrophe of Ad and Thamud. " When al-Walid heard this, he trembled and every hair on his head and in his beard stood on end. He then rose and went to his home, and did not return to the people of Quraysh. The people said to Abu Jahl, "O Abu 'l-Hakam, (that is, al-Walid) has abandoned his religion for the religion of Muhammad! Do you not see that he has not returned to us? He must have, therefore, accepted his claim and gone to his home." The people of Quraysh became exceedingly saddened by this. Abu Jahl went to al-Walid the next day and said: "O uncle, you have brought low our heads and disgraced us!" He answered: "How have I done that, O son of my brother?" "Have you turned to the religion of Muhammad?" he asked. "No", answered al-Walid, "I did not do so. Rather, I stand by the religion of my people and my forefathers. I have, however, heard great words which cause skins to shudder." Abu Jahl asked: "Is it poetry?" "No, it is not poetry", answered his uncle. Abu Jahl asked further: "Is it oratory discourse?" al-Walid answered: "No, for oratory discourse is of connected rhymed prose; yet this is free prose whose different parts do not resemble one another. It is possessed of great beauty." Abu Jahl insisted: "So it is oratory." "No", answered his uncle. Abu Jahl asked: "What is it then?" al-Walid said: "Let me think about it for a while."

The next day, the people asked al-Walid: "O Abu `Abd ash-Shams, what do you say?" He answered: "Say it is magic, for it has truly attracted the hearts of the people." Thus, Allah sent down concerning him in the Qur'an - Leave me to deal with him whom I have alone created, and whom I have granted great wealth and sons, constantly present with him . . . and so on to Allah's saying: Over it (that is, Hell) stand nineteen (angels) [Qur.74:11-30].

In a tradition related by Hammad ibn Zayd on the authority of `Ikrimah (a slave and pupil of Ibn `Abb5s and a well-known traditionist), he reported that al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him to recite some verses of the Qur'an. He recited: "Allah surely commands justice and doing good, and giving (of one's wealth) to near relatives. He likewise forbids lewdness, indecency and insolence. He thus admonishes you, that perhaps you may remember" [Qur'an. 16:90] . al-Walid said: "Recite the verse once more!" He did, and al-Walid exclaimed: "By Allah, it indeed is possessed of great sweetness and adorned with great beauty. Its top is indeed fruitful, and its bottom is like a palm-tree laden with fruits! Nor can any mortal utter such speech."

How Allah Protected Muhammad Against The Mockers

It is related that those who mocked the Messenger of Allah were five: al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah, al-`As ibn Wail as-Sahmi, al-Aswad ibn al-Muttalib, who was also known as Abu Zama'ah, al-Aswad ibn `Abd Yaghuth of the tribe of Zuhrah and al-Harith ibn at-Tulatilah al-Khuza`i. It is said that al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah passed one day by the Messenger of Allah, while the angel Gabriel was with him. Gabriel addressed the Prophet, saying: "Here comes al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah, who is one of the mockers." "Yes", he answered. Then al-Walid passed by a man of the tribe of Khuza'ah, sharpening his arrows at the door of the mosque. He accidentally stepped on some of them, a silver went into the bottom of his foot, and blood gushed out. Gabriel pointed to that spot, and blood continued to flow until it stained the bed of his daughter. Frightened, the girl cried out: "O maid, the mouth of the water skin has come untied! " "This is not the water of the water skin", said al-Walid, "it is the blood of your father. Call together for me my sons and the sons of my brother, for I am about to die." When they all gathered, he made his will, and immediately breathed his last.

Al-Aswad ibn al-Muttalib passed one day by the Messenger of Allah. Gabriel pointed to his eyes and he became blind, and soon after died. al-Aswad ibn `Abd Yaghuth also passed by the Prophet one day; Gabriel pointed to his stomach, and he drank so much water that his belly swelled until it burst. al-`As ibn Wail passed also by the Prophet, and Gabriel pointed to his foot. Soon a splinter went into the bottom of his foot and came out of the top. His foot swelled up, and soon he died. at-Tulatilah passed by the Prophet, and Gabriel spat in his face. The man then went out into the Tihamah mountains (in the vicinity of Mecca), where he was hit by a burning sand storm. He was burnt and turned black. When he returned home. his family would not let him in, saying, "You are not of this family." He went away and was afflicted with great thirst. He thus drank until his stomach burst, and he died. All this happened in fulfilment of Allah's saying: We have surely protected you against the mockers [Qur'an. 15:95].

The Migration To Abyssinia And An-Naiashi's Assent To Muhammad's Prophethood

When the people of Quraysh intensified their harsh treatment of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, he ordered some of his Companions to migrate to Abyssinia. He delegated Ja'far son of Abu Talib to take charge of them, and he set out with seventy men until they took to sea. When the people of Quraysh knew of their departure, they sent `Amr ibn al-`As as-Sahmi and `Umarah ibn al-Walid to an-Najashi (Negus) .of Abyssinia, requesting him to return the men to the people of Quraysh. They were also instructed to tell the King that these men had gone against the wishes and traditions of their people.

`Umarah was a handsome and wealthy man. `Amr ibn al`As set out with his wife. When they boarded the ship, they became intoxicated with wine. `Umarah then said to `Amr ibn al-`As : "Tell your wife to kiss me!" The latter answered: "Glorified be Allah! Is this possible?" `Umarah waited until `Amr got drunk, then he pushed him overboard. `Amr was on the edge of the ship; thus he held on to the edge, and people rushed to his rescue. When `Amr saw what `Umarah had done to him, he said to his wife, "Kiss him! ", which she did.

When they reached Abyssinia, they went straight to an-Najashi bearing presents for him. `Amr addressed him saying: "O King, these people have gone against our religion and sought refuge with you. Return them, therefore, to us! " The King sent for Ja'far and said to him: "These men are requesting that I return you all to them." He answered: "O King, ask them, are we their slaves?" "No", answered `Amr, "rather they are free and noble men." "Ask them," Ja'far continued, "do we then owe them debts which they have come to claim from us?" `Amr answered: "They owe us no debts which we have come to claim." Ja'far continued:

"Have they come then to avenge any blood of theirs that we had wrongfully shed?" `Amr answered: "They have shed no blood for which we come to exact vengeance or blood money." Ja'far asked: "What then do you want from us?" `Amr said: "They have opposed us in our religion and the religion of our forefathers and insulted our gods. They have corrupted our youths and spread dissension among us. Return them to us, therefore, that our unity might be restored." Ja'far then addressed the King saying: "O King, we have opposed them in order to follow a prophet whom Allah has raised among us. He commands us to repudiate equals to Allah, and that we abandon chance games by means of arrows. He enjoins prayers and almsgiving upon us. He has prohibited wrongdoing, oppression and the unlawful shedding of blood. He has prohibited adultery, usury, and eating the flesh of dead animals which have not been properly slaughtered, as well as eating blood. He has enjoined decency and good works upon us, and that we show kindness to near relatives. He forbids grave immorality, indecency and insolence."

The King said: "It is with such (teachings) that Allah also sent Jesus son of Mary! " Then addressing Ja`far, he continued: "Do you know by heart any of the revelations which Allah sent down to your prophet?" "Yes", he answered. "Recite then! " the King demanded. Ja'far recited the Surah of Maryam (Surah 19). When he reached the words - Shake down towards you the branch of the palm-tree, and it shall drop down before you ripened dates ready to be picked. Eat and drink, therefore, and be of good cheer [Qur'an. 19 : 25 - 26 ] - an-Najashi wept and exclaimed: "By Allah this is the truth!" `Amr protested: "O King, this man has abandoned our religion; give him to us that we may take him back to our country! " an-Najashi lifted his hand and slapped him saying: "If you utter any evil against him, I will kill you!" `Amr finally said: "O King, if this is what you say, then we shall not interfere with him."

A young maid stood by an-Najashi keeping flies away from him. She kept her eyes on `Umarah ibn al-Walid, as he was a handsome young man. When they went to their lodgings, `Amr said to him: "Why do you not send a message to the King's maid?" `Umarah sent a message to her, and she answered him. `Amr said: "Tell her to bring you with her some of the King's perfumes. She did so, and `Amr ibn al`As took the perfume. He had kept in his heart what `Umarah had done to him when he attempted to throw him overboard. Thus, he took the perfume and went to an-Najashi, and said to him: "O King, it is fitting that we take cognition of the King's honour and magnanimity toward us, and that we do not betray him in his own realm. Yet, my companion who is with me has sent messages to your maid and tempted her. She even brought him some of your perfumes." He then showed the King the perfume. an-Najashi was exceedingly angry and was about to kill `Umarah. But he changed his mind and said: "It is not right that I kill him, for they entered our realm under a pledge of protection." He thus called his magicians and said to them: "Do something to him that would be worse than death! " They took him and injected mercury into his generative organ. He lost his mind, so that he lived with the wild beasts and shunned human company. [33]

The people of Quraysh sent men to bring `Umarah back home. The men lay in wait for him until he came with wild beasts to drink at a spring. Thus they caught him, but he continued to struggle and scream in their hands until he expired. `Amr, however, returned to the people of Quraysh and recounted to them his story.

As for Ja'far, he remained in Abyssinia enjoying the best of hospitality and honour. He remained there until he heard that the Messenger of Allah had established a truce with the people of Quraysh and that peace had prevailed between them and the Muslims. He then returned with a large company of people. He arrived to find that the Messenger of Allah had conquered Khaybar (a Jewish settlement near Medina).
A son was born to Ja'far by Asma', daughter of `Umays. an-Najashi also had a son, whom he called Muhammad. Asma' gave an-Najashi's son of her own milk to drink (thus making him a nursing brother of her own son). Abu Talib recited these verses urging an-Najashi to support the Prophet and his followers:

Know, O King of the Ethiopians, that Muhammad is a prophet like Moses and Jesus son of Mary.
He came with guidance such as they brought, for each of them was by Allah's command well -protected.
Concerning him, you recite verses in your own scriptures; a true account it is, not a fantastic tale.
Do not, therefore, set up equals with Allah; rather become Muslims, for the way of truth is not obscured in darkness.

The traditionist Abu `Abdillah (al-Bayhaqi) transmitted on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ishaq that the Messenger of Allah sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad-Damri to an-Najashi regarding Ja'far ibn Abi Talib and his Companions. He sent a letter with him which read thus:

"In the name of Allah, the All-merciful, the Compassionate - From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to the Negus, the King of Abyssinia - I convey to you the praises of Allah the King, the Holy, the Accepter of Faith, the Guardian [Qur.59:23]. I furthermore bear witness that Jesus son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah and His Word, which He sent down to Mary [Qur'an. 4 : 171) , the pure and chaste virgin who then conceived Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him -just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him. I thus call you to the worship of the One and only Allah alone Who has no associate, and that you obey Him, follow me and believe in me and the message which was vouchsafed me. For I indeed am the Messenger of Allah. I have, moreover, sent to you my cousin Ja'far with a company of the Muslims. When they come to you, show hospitality to them and do not be arrogant. I call you and your hosts to Allah! I have conveyed my message to you and given good counsel. Peace be with those who follow true guidance."

An-Najashi wrote in answer to the Messenger of Allah:
"In the name of Allah, the All-merciful, the Compassionate - to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah - from the Negus al-Ashamah ibn Abhar: peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah and Allah's mercy and blessings - there is no god but He Who guided me to Islam. I have received your letter, O Messenger of Allah, concerning the importance you give in the case of Jesus. By the Lord of the heaven and earth, Jesus does not exceed what you have mentioned concerning him. We acknowledge what you have written to us, and have thus shown hospitality to your cousin and Companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah truly and that you tell the truth. I have, therefore, given allegiance (bay `ah) to you and your cousin. I have accepted Islam to Allah, the Lord of all beings at his hands. I have sent to you, O Messenger of Allah, Arijan ibn Ashamah ibn Abhar, I have-indeed no authority except over myself alone. If, therefore, you wish that I come to you, I would come, O Messenger of Allah. For I bear witness that what you say is the truth."

An-Najashi then sent presents to the Prophet. He sent him also Mariyah the Copt, the mother of the Prophet's son Ibrahim. He sent him much clothing and aromatics, and a mare. He also sent him thirty learned men to hear his words and observe his conduct. When they arrived in Medina, the Messenger of Allah called them to. Islam, and they accepted Islam and returned to the Negus. Jabir ibn `Abdillah al-Ansari reported that, "When an-Najashi died, the Messenger of Allah prayed over Ashamah, the Negus."

The Prophet Is Persecuted By The Associators And Hamzah Accepts Islam

The people of Quraysh redoubled their efforts in troubling the Messenger of Allah. The harshest of men toward him was his uncle Abu Lahab. One day the Prophet was sitting in the precincts of the Ka'bah, when the people sent for a birth sack of a sheep and threw it at him.[ According to al-Jazari, the well-known lexicographer and traditionist, this happened while the Prophet was praying. (ed. )]

The Messenger of Allah was greatly saddened by this, and went to Abu Talib to complain, saying: "O uncle, how is my status among you?" Abu Talib asked: "What is the matter O son of my brother?" He replied: "The people of Quraysh threw a birth sack at me." Abu Talib then said to Hamzah: "Take up the sword!" The people of Quraysh were assembled in the Mosque. Both Hamzah and Abu Talib went in with their swords. Abu Talib ordered Hamzah, saying: "Rub the birth sack over their moustaches, and if anyone resists, cut off his head!" But no one moved while he rubbed the birth sack over their moustaches.. He then turned to the Messenger of Allah, and said: "O son of my brother, this is your status among us!"

In the book Dala'ilu'n-Nubuwwah (of al-Bayhaqi) [34], it is reported on the authority of Abu Dawud who reported from Shu'bah who reported from Abu Ishaq (as-Sabi`i), who heard `Amr ibn Maymun relate on the authority of `Abdullah (ibn Mas'ud), who said: "While the Messenger of Allah was prostrating in prayer one day, with some men of Quraysh sitting all around him, and the birth sack of a she-camel lying around, some dared others men saying: `Who would take this birth sack and throw it at his back?' A man called `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt took up the birth sack and threw it at the Prophet's back. Fatimah (the Prophet's daughter) came and took the camel's birth sack off the Prophet's back, and cursed those who did that to him." `Abdullah continued: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah invoke Allah against them except on that day. He said: "O Allah, I leave to you the people of Quraysh! O Allah to you do I leave Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, `Utbah ibn Rabi `ah, Shaybah ibn Rabi `ah, `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf or Ubayy ibn Khalaf (Shu'bah was confused). The Prophet enumerated seven men in all." `Abdullah went on: "I saw them all slain in the Battle of Badr and thrown into a well. Umayyah ibn Khalaf, however, was a very fat man. His body disintegrated as it was dragged along before reaching the well.' " [35]

It is related on the authority of Khabbab (a well-known Companion), who said: "I came one day to the Messenger of Allah, while he lay in the shade of the Ka` bah using his mantle as a pillow. We had endured much suffering at the hands of the people of Quraysh. Thus I asked: `O Messenger of Allah, would you not invoke Allah on our behalf?' He sat up, red in the safe, and said: `Those who were before you -often were their flesh and nerves scraped with sharp iron combs. Yet they did not turn away from their faith. A man would be sawed in half from his head down, yet he would not be turned away from his faith. But Allah shall indeed bring this affair to fruition, so that a horseman would travel all the way between San'a and Hadramawt fearing no one but Allah, or the wolf that may attack his sheep.' " [36]

It is also related on the authority of Jabir (son of the famous Companion, `Abdullah al-Ansari) that the Messenger of Allah passed one day by `Ammar ibn Yasir and his family while they were being tortured for Allah's sake. He said: "Be of good cheer, O family of `Ammar, for you shall soon enter Paradise! " It is reported on the authority of Mujahid [ ibn Jabr] (a well-known traditionist of the second generation) that the first martyr in Islam was Sumayyah, the mother of `Ammar, whom Abu Jahl stabbed in the heart.

'Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi reported that Abu Jahl met the Messenger of Allah one day and spoke harsh words to him. All the men of the Hashimite clan angrily assembled. Hamzah had just returned from hunting, when he saw the crowd and enquired about the commotion. A woman called down to him from one of the roof-tops saying: "O Abu Ya'la, `Amr ibn Hisham (i.e., Abu Jahl) confronted Muhammad and insulted him." Hamzah enraged, went to Abu Jahl hit him with his bow on the head and picked him up and beat him hard against the ground. People crowded around them, and it was feared that great conflict might ensue. People then asked Hamzah: "O Abu Ya'la, have you then turned to the religion of your nephew?" "Yes", he answered: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah." He said this only as a result of anger and feeling of support for his nephew. When, however, he returned to his home, he regretted his decision. Thus he went to the Messenger of Allah and asked: "O son of my brother, is what you say the truth?" The Messenger of Allah recited to him a Surah of the Qur'an, and Hamzah saw the truth and stood firm in the faith of Islam. The Messenger of Allah was exceedingly happy. Abu Talib also was glad to learn of Hamzah's Islam, and recited the following verses: 

Be steadfast, O Abu Ya`la in the faith of Ahmad;Show forth your faith; may you be strengthened in your resolve!Follow the footsteps of him who came with true' faith from his Lord; Do not, O Hamzah, be a rejecter of faith!It made me glad when you said that you are a man of faith; Be then a true supporter of the Messenger of Allah in Allah's cause.

Call openly the people of Quraysh to that which youyourself have been given; Proclaim to them that Ahmad is indeed not a magician!