The wind goes against the wish of the ships! How many times did you wish for something yet you didn’t catch even a glimpse of it? I understand that, almost, everyone of us has gone through that kind of situation. Nevertheless, we keep moving forward, giving it our all, wishing for better results, sooner or later. That’s why we all can relate to today’s story which is “The events leading to the boycott of banu Hashim”
We mentioned before that the Muslims’ conditions became better once Hamza Abdul-Muttalib and Umar Ibn Al-Khattab [Radiya Allahu Anhum] entered Islam. That gave some sort of strength and protection to the growing muslims’ community. However, The wind goes against the wish of the ships!
First of all, let’s highlight what happened after the conversion of Hamza Abdul-Muttalib and Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
Negotiations with the Prophet:
The Muslims prayed in the Haram -in front of Ka’ba- in a congregation while the Quraish couldn’t do anything about it. Thus, they started planning how to overcome the spread of the Dawah [Islam].
The Quraish leaders called for a meeting to discuss how to deal with Muhammad [Salla Allahu Alyhe Wa Sallam] and his followers. They decided to, first, talk to his uncle Abu Talib and ask him to reason with his nephew. Prophet Muhammad stood firm on his belief. He refused to give up on proclaiming the message of Islam.
The Prophet replied with a very powerful statement; “O my Uncle! By Allah; even if they place the sun in my right-hand, and the moon in my left-hand in return for giving up this matter (Dawah to Islam); I will never stop – until; – either Allah makes it (the religion of Allah) triumph or I die defending it.”
How strong was the prophet! And how hard this situation was on him to the extent that he cried. He thought that his Uncle was to leave him all alone in the face of Quraish. He thought his Uncle would no longer support him. Prophet Muhammad didn’t fear Quraish. His only concern was the future of the Dawah [conveying the message of Islam].
The Story of Utbah Ibn Rabi’ah:
Another incident happened when Utbah Ibn Rabi’ah offered to approach Muhammad and contract a bargain with him in which they’ll offer him whatever wealth he would want, money & position, on the condition that he keeps silent and don’t give Dawah anymore.
Utbah came closer to Muhammad [peace be upon him] and addressed him in the following words: “We have seen no other man of Arabia, who has brought so great a calamity to a nation, as you have done. You have outraged our gods and religion and taxed our forefathers and wise men with impiety and error and created strife amongst us. You have left no stone unturned to estrange the relations with us.
If you are doing all this with a view to getting wealth; we will join together to give you greater richness than any Quraish man has possessed. And If ambition moves you, we will make you our chief. If you desire kingship we will readily offer you that. If you are under the power of an evil spirit which seems to haunt and dominate you so that you cannot shake off its yoke; Then we shall call in skillful physicians to cure you.”
“Have you said all?” asked Muhammad [peace be upon him]; and then hearing that all had been said, he spoke forth, and said:
“In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. Haamiim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an and none but Allah(Alone) knows their meanings]. A revelation from Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail; — a Qur’an in Arabic for people who know. Giving glad tidings [of Paradise to the one who believes in the Oneness of Allah(i.e. Islamic Monotheism) and fears Allah much (abstains from all kinds of sins and evil deeds.) and loves Allah much (performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], and warning of punishment in the Hell-fire to the one who disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah, but most of them turn away, so they listen not. And they say: Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us …” [Al-Qur’an 41: 1-5]
The Messenger of Allah[peace be upon him] went on reciting the Chapter while ‘Utbah sitting and listening attentively with his hand behind his back to support him. When the Messenger reached the verse that required prostration, he immediately prostrated himself. After that, he turned to ‘Utbah saying: “Well Abu Al-Waleed! You have heard my reply, you are now free to do whatever you please.” ‘Utbah then returned to his company to apprise them of the Prophet’s attitude.
When his compatriots saw him, they swore that he had returned to them with a countenance unlike the one he had before meeting the Prophet [peace be upon him]. He immediately communicated to them the details of the talk he gave and the reply he received, and appended saying; “I have never heard words similar to those ones he recited. They definitely relate neither to poetry nor to witchcraft nor do they derive from soothsaying. O people of Quraish! I request you to heed my advice and grant the man full freedom to pursue his goals, in which case you could safely detach yourselves from him.
I swear that his words bear a supreme Message. Should the other Arabs rid you of him, they will then spare you the trouble, on the other hand if he accedes to power over the Arabs, then you will bask in his kingship and share him his might.” These words of course fell on deaf ears, and did not appeal to the infidels, who jeered at ‘Utbah and claimed that the Prophet [pbuh] had bewitched him. [Ibn Hisham 1/293,294]
That was a quick brief on the conditions/environment of the Makkah’s community back then which lead to the following Consequences.
Quraish Leaders Boycott to Banu Hashim:
Abu Talib, considering the different encounters, he felt fear over his nephew. Despite the conversion of Hamza and Umar, He felt there’s something beyond; a serious plot being hatched to disregard his status as a custodian of the Prophet [pbuh] , and kill the latter publicly.
He, therefore, assembled his kinsfolk of Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul-Muttalib and charged them of defending his nephew and protecting him against any mean attempt to harm/kill him.
All of them, whether believers or disbelievers, responded positively except his brother Abu Lahab, who sided with the idolaters.
Four events happened in a sequence which alerted the Quraish and made them feel in loss as to what plan they should follow to get rid of Muhammad; the conversion of Hamzah, the conversion of Umar, the refusal of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] to compromise and the pact drawn up between Banu Muttalib and Banu Hashim to immunize Muhammad [pbuh] and shield him.
The Quraish became aware that if they killed Muhammad, His tribe [Family] will get the revenge, and their blood will flow in the valleys of Makkah. Putting this in mind they decided a different course that would not imply murder.
The pagan-tyranny of Makkah held a meeting in a place called Wadi Al-Muhassab, and formed a confederation hostile to both Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul-Muttalib. They decided not to have any business dealings with them nor any sort of inter-marriage. Social relations, visits and even verbal contacts with Muhammad [pbuh] and his supporters would discontinue until the Prophet [pbuh] was given up to them to be killed.
Having solemnly agreed to these points, the agreement was put into writing and the parchment was hung in the Ka’ba in order to give it a religious sanction thereby making it mandatory for all.
Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib joined Abu Talib after the boycott was enforced and withdrew to a narrow glen or wadi known “She’ab Abi Talib”. It was the seventh year of the Prophet’s [peace be upon him] Dawah. Abu Lahab Ibn Abdul Muttalib [the prophet’s uncle], however, decided to join with the Quraish, leaving his kith and kin covered by the ban.
How was the life of the Muslims in “She’ab Abi Talib”?
What obstacles met them?
How did they overcome the situation?
How much time did the boycott of banu Hashimlast for?
And, Factors inspired their patience and perseverance, to be discussed in our next article so *Stay Tuned*
Please share with us your ideas about today’s article.