To Dissuade his
He worked quietly for three years, waning his people from their idol worship. But idol worship was so deeply engraved in their hearts that it was not an easy work to erase its impression. Another thing was that Islam possessed pure truth which has in all ages proved uninteresting and ingraspable to the common mind, to which the idols naturally offered a great attraction. Besides, the blind faith of the masses provided to the intelligent and powerful among them their means of maintenance, and oligarchy was another force upon which depended their destiny. In spite of all this thirty disciples accepted the faith during these three years, which was no small boon. However slow the growth of Islam seemed to be, this never discouraged the living heart of Muhammad. Steady in his trust in Allah, standing firm on his own feet, through all the difficulties and hindrances on his way, he held on.
The divine power is always seeking, "Through whom could I speak to the world", just as the spiritual teacher is always thinking, "Whom could I inspire and guide ?" Those who are more evolved he guides in one way, those whose evolution is different he guides in another way, just as the doctor does not treat every patient alike. The patient sometimes strikes the doctor, sometimes he kicks the doctor's face and spits upon his hands if he is in anguish. The doctor does not care. He thinks, "I am here to heal". He does not care how the patient behaves. He still treats him. The spiritual teacher does not care how the patient behaves. He guides him all the same.
His fellow country-men began to doubt the fitness, the sanity of Al-Ameen, and thought him crazed or obsessed, but he carried on his work in the strength of God, quietly, with earnestness.
The strength of truth ever growing in Muhammad's heart and the beauty of the divine wisdom, which is always intently watching her opportunity to unveil herself, now encouraged him to speak aloud that which so long he had whispered. He called together an assembly on the mountain Safah and earnestly appealed to them , saying how great a crime the idol worship is in the eyes of the living God, how it darkens the path toward heavens. He told them how the warners in the past warned the people who did not heed, and what curse upon them followed. He invited them to adopt the faith of love and wisdom, and he urged them to give up the worship of idols. The mockers mocked and the scoffers scoffed on hearing this. Some went away from there laughing at the enthusiasm of 'Ali, and some went on taunting skeptically. Some went fearfully seeing a sign of a revolution arising amidst them. In short, no one seemed to have publicly responded to the open call of the Master.
Having failed to create a response from the Quraish for the bare-laid truth he presented , he turned his attention to the strangers who came there for the purpose of pilgrimage or trade. But there also his fellow townsmen did their best to prejudice the minds of the strangers whilst the record of their impressions was still moist. Yet, "the arrows of truth pierce mountains and hills". Some of them, in spite of being told by the Quraish that he was the dangerous magician, went and told before their people that there had arisen after all in Mekkah some courageous soul who warned openly all tribes of Arabia to abandon idolatry, their forefathers' worship, and called them aloud to join in the true faith of God.
A Yathrabite* chief asked the Quraish of Mekkah to give a hearing to the new preacher. "An honourable man has adopted a certain religion. Why persecute him? For it is only the Lord of the heaven who can read the heart of man !" The men of Yathrib pledged, "We will not associate anything with God. We will not steal, nor commit adultery, nor fornication. We will not kill our children. We will abstain from calumny and slander. We will obey the Prophet in everything that is right, and we will follow him in weal and sorrow". Muhammad spoke to the people of Yathrib, "O people, show your joy by giving to your neighbours the salutation of peace. Send portions to the poor. Bind close the ties of kinsmen. Pray while others sleep. Thus shall ye enter paradise".
But nothing could take away the darkness which overwhelmed the minds of the Quraish, for no light, however bright it may be, can ever turn night into day. They left nothing undone in the way of torturing the life of Muhammad. They stopped him when offering his prayers at the Ka'aba, pursued him wherever he went, threw dirt and filth on him and on his disciples when they were engaged in their devotions in their clean garments. They scattered thorns in places where he frequently prostrated himself before the Supreme Power of the heavens. Amidst all these trials Muhammad's heart, fixed firmly on his trust in God, did not waver for a single moment. He carried on steadily the work for which he was created and had experiences of facing all sorts of dangers which threatened his life at every move that he made. There was no practical protection for him from those dangers save hope for the best and presence of mind, gentleness and calmness in nature with great self-control.
Abu Talib, the uncle of Muhammad, had kept his forefathers' belief. Having heard that Muhammad observed another religion, different from their forefathers' faith, he came to Muhammad and asked him, "O son of my brother, what is this religion thou art following ? Deliver us from the evils that hang over thee and our family". Muhammad answered : "O my unvle, should the sun descend upon my right hand and the moon upon my left to fight against me, and should the alternative be presented to me of renouncing my mission or perishing in accomplishing it, I would not waver from my purpose". Seeing many opposing Muhammad in his life's blessed mission, Abu Talib declared openly that Muhammad was the benefactor of the orphan and the widow , that he was Al-Ameen who never failed in word or deed, and if the Quraish would in any way cause him trouble, the children of Hashim and Mutalib would defend the innocent at the sacrifice of their lives.
Some people were half interested and said, "We will postpone our faith, till this opposition is quietened, then we will learn more". A few disciples did not let anyone know that they were followers, but little by little it became known and there was great enmity. His disciples surrounded Muhammad to guard him from danger. If they had faltered now the message would have been lost. But they were steadfast; they surrounded him, ready at any time to give their lives to protect him. So in the midst of dangers, attacks and opposition he lived for some time and then, seeing that many were tormented and some killed, he thought it best to go to some other place. He asked his disciples whether they could make hegira, that is : leave what they had. They said they could - so he went with them to Jash.