The Message and Adversity – In the Footsteps of the Prophet

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In this chapter, Ramadan discusses the secretive spreading of Islam, the core of the Islamic message and how the Prophet started approaching the Qurayshian clan leaders. Some cool info I learned:

  1. Um Ayman, the nursemaid who took care of the Prophet when he was four, and Zayd, his adopted son, were one of the people who first converted to Islam. In the first 3 years, there were only 30 to 40 Muslims including different sexes and social categories, most of which were poor or young.
  2. After receiving 26:214, the Prophet climbed mount al Safa and called the tribal chiefs. He asked them that if he said that behind the mountain, in the valley, there were armed horseman about to attack, would they believe him. They said that he is the trustworthy; they had never heard him tell lies. Then he warned them about hell if they didn’t adhere to God’s message. That was when Abu Lahab, his uncle said “tabban laka, alihatha jama3tana?”.
  3. Ritual prayer, during the first few years of islam, was done only twice per day: in the morning and in the evening. It was towards Jerusalem, which expressed the linkage between the Muslim and the Christian and Jewish faith.
  4. Clan chiefs came to Abu Talib asking him to stop the Prophet. The first time, he didn’t respond. After the second time, he talked to the Prophet. That was when the prophet said, “… should they place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in order for me to abandon this cause, I would not abandon it…”
  5. Power, money and lively pleasures where offered to the Prophet, but he also refused them saying he was only interested in spreading him message.
  6. Abu Dharr, a highway robber from Banu Ghifar, was warned about the Message before entering Mecca during the annual market period. However, he came to the Prophet and converted to Islam. The prophet was surprised and he exclaimed, “God guides who he wills!”
  7. Abu Jahal was actually called Abul Hakam. Him name is Amr and is from Makhzum tribe. He wanted to torture the Prophet but Hamzah intervened, saying that he has become Muslim. Instead, he tortured weak Muslims, including Yassir and his parents. The Prophet couldn’t intervene due to the complexity of clan alliances.
  8. The Prophet approached Walid, the chief of Banu Makhzoum (maybe the father of Khalid ibn Walid). During their talk, the blind man came to the Prophet asking him to read some Quranic verses. The Prophet turned away because he was busy presenting his case to Walid. After this incident came the revelation 80:1-12. This moral slip was recorded in the Quraan so that all readers benefit from this incident.

Lessons from this chapter:

  • The Prophet cared for the quality of the first few believers, and not their quantity. He concerned himself with the nature of their hearts and their spiritual education.
  • The Prophet obviously was not interested in power or money.
  • Revelation is both a reminder thikr and a light nour. 
  • The main lesson in this chapter, derived from the last incident, is to never put social, political or economic interests before the attention and respect an individual deserves no matter how poor and weak.

Favourite Hadith:

For every [spiritual] community there is an object of discord, tension and disorder [fitnah], and for my community this object is money.

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