Page 56 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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mission from the very precinct of the Sacred House. Zuhair, after circumambulating seven times,
along with his colleagues approached the hosts of people there and rebuked them for indulging in
the amenities of life whereas their kith and kin of Bani Hashim were perishing on account of
starvation and economic boycott. They swore they would never relent until the parchment of boycott
was torn to piece and the pact broken at once. Abu Jahl, standing nearby, retorted that it would
never be torn. Zam‘a was infuriated and accused Abu Jahl of telling lies, adding that the pact was
established and the parchment was written without seeking their approval. Al-Bukhtari intervened
and backed Zam‘a. Al-Mut‘im bin ‘Adi and Hisham bin ‘Amr attested to the truthfulness of their two
companions. Abu Jahl, with a cunning attempt to liquidate the hot argument that was running
counter to his malicious goals, answered that the issue had already been resolved sometime and
somewhere before.
Abu Talib meanwhile was s itting in a corner of the Mosque. He came to communicate to them that a
Revelation had been sent to his nephew, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to the effect that ants
had eaten away all their proclamation that smacked of injustice and aggression except those parts
that bore the Name of Allâh. He contended that he would be ready to give Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) up to them if his words proved untrue, otherwise, they would have to recant and repeal
their boycott. The Makkans agreed to the soundness of his proposition. Al-Mut‘im went to see the
parchment and there he did discover that it was eaten away by ants and nothing was left save the
part bearing (in the Name of Allâh).
The proclamation was thus abrogated, and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the other people
were permitted to leave Ash-Sh‘ib and return home. In the context of this trial to which the Muslims
were subjected, the polytheists had a golden opportunity to experience a striking sign of
Muhammad’s Prophethood (the white ants eating away the parchment) but to their miserable lot
they desisted and augmented in disbelief:
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