Page 52 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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At the beginning of the fourth year of the Call, and for a period of some months, the polytheists
confined their harassment tactics to the above-mentioned ones. But on realizing the futility of these
procedures, they decided to organize a full-scale opposition campaign. They called for a general
meeting and elected a committee of twenty-five men of Quraish notables with Abu Lahab, the
Prophet's uncle, as a chairman. Following some lengthy deliberations, they reached a decisive
decision to take measures deemed to stop the tidal wave of Islam through different channels. They
were determined to spare no effort, in combatting the new faith. They decided to malign the
Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and put the new converts to different sorts of torture using
all available resources. It was easy to put the resolutions relating to the new converts who were
deemed weak into effect. As for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , it was not easy to malign him
because he h ad such gravity, magnanimity and matchless perfection of character that deterred even
his enemies from committing any act of folly against him. He had, as well, Abu Talib, his uncle, who
came from a noble descent and had an awe-inspiring clan to support him. This situation was a
source of great worry to the infidels, but they felt that they could no longer exercise patience or
show any tolerance before a formidable power marching steadily to annul their religious office and
temporal authority.
Abu Lahab himself took the initiative in the new series of persecutions, and started to mete out
countless aspects of harmful deeds, hatred and spite against Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Starting with flinging stones at him, forcing his two sons to divorce their wives Ruqaiya and Umm
Kulthum, the Prophet's daughters, gloating over him on his second son's death calling him the man
cut off with offspring', and then shadowing his step during the pilgrimage and forums seasons to
belie him and entice the bedouins against him and his Call. His wife, Umm Jameel bint Harb, the
sister of Abu Sufyan had also her share in this ruthless campaign. She proved that she was not less
than her husband in the enmity and hatred she harboured for the Prophet (Peace be upon him). She
used to tie bundles of thorns with ropes of twisted palm-leaf fibre and strew them about in the paths
which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was expected to take, in order to cause him bodily injury.
She was a real shrew, bad-tempered with abusive language, highly skilled in the art of hatching
intrigues, and enkindling the fire of discord and sedition. She was deservedly stained as
the carrier
of firewood
' in the Noble Qur'an. On receiving this news, she directly proceeded to the Mosque with
a handful of pebbles to hurl at the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allâh, the Great, took away her
sight and she saw only Abu Bakr who was sitting immediately next to the Prophet (Peace be upon
him). She then addressed Abu Bakr most audaciously threatening to break his Companion's mouth
with her handful of pebbles, and recited a line of verse pregnant with impudent defiance: We have
disobeyed the dispraised one, rejected his Call, and alienated ourselves from his religion. When she
had left, Abu Bakr turned to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and inquired about the matter. The
Prophet (Peace be upon him) assured him that she did not see him because Allâh had taken away
her sight.
Abu Lahab and his household used to inflict those shameful examples of torture and harassment in
spite of the blood relation that tied them for he was the Prophet's uncle and both lived in two
contiguous houses. Actually, few of the Prophet's neighbabstained from maligning him. They even
threw the entrails of a goat on his back while he was performing his prayers. He always used to
complain about that unbecoming neighbourliness but to no avail for they were deeply indulged in
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn Masud, narrated that once when the Prophet (Peace be upon
him) was prostrating himself while praying in Al-Kabah, Abu Jahl asked his companions to bring the
dirty foetus of a she-camel and place it on his back. Uqbah bin Abi Muait was the unfortunate man
who hastened to do this ignoble act. A peal of laughter rose amongst the infidels. In the meanwhile,
Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), happened to pass that way. She
removed the filth from her father's back. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) invoked the wrath of
Allâh upon them, especially upon Abu Jahl, Utbah bin Rabia, Shaibah bin Rabia, Al-Waleed bin
Utbah, Omaiyah bin Khalaf and Uqbah bin Muait. It is recorded that all of them were killed in the
battle of Badr.
Scandal-mongering and backbiting were also amongst the means of oppression that the chiefs of
Makkah, in general, and Omaiyah bin Khalaf, in particular, resorted to in their overall process of
evil-doing. In this regard, Allâh says:
Woe to every slanderer and backbiter. [104:1]
Uqbah bin Al-Muait once attended an audience of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and listened to
him preaching Islam. A close friend of his, Ubai bin Khalaf, heard of this. He could not tolerate any
act of this sort, so he reproached Uqbah and ordered him to spit in the Prophet's holy face, and he
shamelessly did it. Ubai did not spare any thinkable way to malign the Prophet (Peace be upon
him); he even ground old decomposed bones and blew the powder on him. Al-Akhnas bin Shuraique
Ath-Thaqafi used to detract from the character of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in season and
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