The Prophet Calls the Tribes to Islam

After the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had been a target to the unscrupulous and ignoble treatments in Taef, he then got back to Mecca, where he received far worse reaction and opposition from polytheists. Nevertheless, he never in the slightest hesitated to convey his message. On the contrary, after he returned from Taef, he made the field of calling-to-Islam even broader and began to invite peoples into Islam.

Certainly, the rapid spreading of a cause is directly proportional to its firm adherents of merit and with good standing. Knowing the importance of this fact, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) often went to the Arabian tribes in order to both call them to Islam and use them as a force to the Quraishian polytheists.

Each one of the tribe chiefs refrained from entering Islam by using different pretexts. There were some people among them who showed their desire to become Muslims; they were prevented from joining the ranks of Islam.

Moreover, some of them even insulted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), let alone become Muslims.

Polytheists went to the places where the Messenger of God wandered and follwed him like a shadow. Doubtlessly, the fact that the polytheists were spreading a nasty propaganda based on lies and slanders played an important role in the tribesmen’ not choosing Islam.

The Messenger of God never gave up visiting the fairs of Ukaz, Majanna and Dhul-Majaz; he met and talked to the tribes that came there, recited the Quran to them and invited them to Islam. However, while he wandered among people with this sacred aim, Abu Lahab always followed him and said, “Muhammad converted from the religion of his ancestors; he is telling lies; do not believe him!”, trying to prevent people from talking to him. 

The Noble Prophet (pbuh) did not preach Islam among the tribesmen in general, but he often talked to their chiefs about Islam. For tribesmen had a huge reverence and loyalty to their chiefs. A chief’s choosing Islam would have meant his whole tribe’s choosing Islam. Because of this reason, the Noble Messenger (pbuh) followed the way, which would lead him to the achievement as soon as possible.

We see that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in conveying a message carried out a significant principle: to start with the respected ones if possible. If the respected ones of any community accepted and adopted a belief, that would lead an easy way for the ordinary man to accept and adopt it as well.

FIRST MUSLIMS OF MADINAH

It was the eleventh year of the Islamic calendar and the season for Hajj.

Many pilgrims came to Mecca from various parts of the peninsula and among them were individuals from Medina.

While our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was circulating among the tribes and inviting them to testify to Islam, as he always did, he came across a group of six individuals from Medina who also came near the area of Aqaba. He asked them, “Who are you?”

They answered, “We are from the tribe of Khazraj.”

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) again asked, “Are you the neighbors and allies of the Jews?”

They replied, “Yes.”

Upon this our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Could you sit down so we can talk?”

They agreed and sat down.

Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) invited them to testify to the Oneness and Existence of God. He recited a section from Surah Ibrahim and invited them to convert to Islam. (1)

They had heard from their elders that a Prophet would come from the progeny of Ghalib ibn Fihr (our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) ninth great-grandfather.)

Furthermore, a disagreement dating back to two brothers existed between the Jews of Madina and the Tribes of Khazraj and Aws. They would sometimes make peace and would quarrel at other times.

The Jews were from the People of the Book and possessed knowledge whereas the Aws and Khazraj were idol worshippers.

Whenever they had a falling out with the Jews, the Jews would say, “The awaited Prophet is about to come. We will testify to him when he arrives and will kill you off like the tribes of Irem and Ad.”

When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invited them to Islam, they looked at one another and said, “By God, this must be the Prophet the Jews have spoken of. Beware the Jews surpassing us in believing in him.” They quickly testified and recited the oath of faith in the presence of our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) (2)

Afterwards they addressed our Beloved Messenger (PBUH):

“Members of our tribe foster animosity toward one another and towards another tribe. It is hoped that God will unite them through your assistance. We are immediately going to go back and invite them to testify to your message. If God brings and unites them together upon this religion, then there cannot be anyone more glorious and honorable than you.” (3)

The individuals who accepted and were honored through our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invitation were:

Abu Umama As’ad bin Zurara,

Awf bin Harith,

Rafi’ bin Malik,

Qutba bin Amir,

Uqba bin Amir,

Jabir bin Abdullah bin Riab. (4)

These six individuals were esteemed and beloved among their tribe. When they returned to Medina, they described our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to their relatives and invited them to Islam, Islam resonated within the city. The voice of God and His Messenger (PBUH) encircled the city’s horizon. It was as if there was no home left remaining in Madina that did not mention our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) name.

Thus, those six people had the honor of taking gleams from the light of Islam to people. The eternal light, whose gleams reached Madinah, would glare suddenly and make the city the center of the Islamic state.

[1] Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 70; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 217; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 234.

[2] Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 70; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 217; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 234.

[3] Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 71; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 234.

[4] Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 71; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 218-219; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 234-235.

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