Quraysh Threatening To Kill The Prophet For Teaching Monotheism

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Kaleef K. Karim

The Quraysh polytheists threatened to kill the Prophet Muhammed (P) for teaching Monotheism and speaking the truth about the idols and their forefathers [1]:

‘O Abu Talib, your nephew has cursed our gods, insulted our religion, mocked our way of life and accused our forefathers of error; either you must stop or you must let us get him, for you yourself are in the same position as we are in opposition to him and we will rid you of him.’ He gave them a conciliatory reply and a soft answer and they went away. The apostle continued on his way, publishing God’s religion and calling men thereto. In consequence his relations with Quraysh deteriorated and men withdrew from him in enmity. They were always talking about him and inciting one another against him. Then they went to Abu Talib a second time and said, ‘You have a high and lofty position among us, and we asked you to put a stop to your nephew’s activities but you have not done so. By God, we cannot endure that our forefathers should be reviled, our customs mocked and our god’s insulted. Until you rid us of him we will fight the pair of you until one side perishes,’ or words to that effect. Thus saying, they went off. Abu Talib was deeply distressed at the breach with his people and their enmity but he could not desert the apostle and give him up to them. Yaq’ub b. Utba b. al-Mughira b. al-Akhnas told me that he was told that after hearing these words from the Quraysh Abu Talib sent for his nephew and told him what his people said.
‘Spare me and yourself’, he said. ‘Do not put on me a burden greater than I can bear.’ The apostle thought that his uncle had the idea of abandoning and betraying him, and that he was going to lose his help and support. He answered, ‘O my uncle, by God, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on condition that I abandoned this course, until God has made it victorious, or I perish therein, I would not abandon it.’ Then the apostle broke into tears, and got up. As he turned away his uncle called him and said, ‘Come back, my nephew,’ and when he came back, he said, ‘God and say what you please, for by God I will never give you up on any account.’” (Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad Translated by A. Guillaume, [Oxford University Press – Seventeenth Impression 2004], page 119)

Ibn Ishaq (704 – 768 AD):

“When the Quraysh perceived that Abu Talib had refused to give up the apostle, and that he was resolved to part company with them, they went to him with Umara b. al-Walid b. al-Mughira and said, according to my information, ‘O Abu Talib, this is Umara, the strongest and most handsome young man among Quraysh, so take him and you will have the benefit of his intelligence and support; adopt him as a son and give up to us this nephew of yours, who has opposed your religion and the religion of your fathers, severed the unity of your people, and mocked our way of life, so that we may kill him. This will be man for man.’ He answered, ‘By God, this is an evil thing that you would put upon me, would you give me your son that I should feed him for you, and should I give you my son that you should kill him?By God, this shall never be.’ Al-Mut’im b. Adiy said, ‘Your people have treated you fairly and have taken pains to avoid what you dislike. I do not think that you are willing to accept anything from them.’ Abu Talib replied, ‘They have not treated me fairly, by God, but you have agreed to betray me and help the people against me, so do what you like,’ words to that effect.” (Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad Translated by A. Guillaume, [Oxford University Press – Seventeenth Impression 2004], page 119 – 120)

Muhammed Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD):

“When the Quraysh discovered that Abu Talib had refused to abandon the Messenger of God and to hand him over, and was determined to break with them on this issue and become their enemy, they brought Umarah b. al-Walid b. al-Mughirah to him and said, I have been told, “Abu Talib, this is Umarah b. al-Walid, the bravest, most poetically gifted and most handsome young man in Quraysh. Take him, and his intelligence and his support are yours. Take him as a son, and he is yours; and hand over your nephew who has opposed your religion and the religion of your forefathers, who has sowed discord among your tribe and who has derided their traditional values, and we shall kill him. A man for a man.” Abu Talib said, “This is an evil bargain which you are offering me. Will you give me your son so that I can feed him for you, while I give you my son so that you can kill him? By God, this shall never be.” Al-Mut’im b. ‘Adi b. Nawfal b. ‘Abd Manaf said, “By God, Abu Talib, your tribe have treated you fairly, and have tried hard to avoid putting you in an unpleasant situation. I do not think that you wish to accept any proposal from them.” Abu Talib replied to al-Mut’im, “By God, they have not treated me fairly. You have decided to abandon me and to support the rest of the tribe against me. Do what you think fit.” These, or something like them, were his words.” (The History of Al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca – (“Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk”) – [Translated by W. Montgomery Watt – State University of New York Press, 1988], volume VI (6), page 97)

When Abdul Muttalib wouldn’t hand over his nephew, they attacked and persecuted the Prophet’s companions:

“Then the Quraysh incited people against the companions of the apostle who had become Muslims. Every tribe fell upon the Muslims among them, beating them and seducing them from their religion. God protected His apostle from them through his uncle, who, when he saw what Quraysh were doing, called upon B. Hashim and b. al-Muttalib to stand with him in protecting the apostle. This they agreed to do, with the exception of Abu Lahab, the accursed enemy of God.” (Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad Translated by A. Guillaume, [Oxford University Press – Seventeenth Impression 2004], page 120)

Muhammed Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD):

“After this, the situation deteriorated, hostility became more bitter, and people withdrew from one another and showed open hatred to one another. Then the Quraysh incited one another against those in their various clans who had become Companions of the Messenger of God and had accepted Islam with him. Every clan fell upon those of its members who -were Muslims, tormenting them and trying to force them to leave their religion. God protected his Messenger from them by means of his uncle Abu Talib who saw what the Quraysh were doing among the Banu Hashim and the Band al-Muttalib and called on them to follow him in protecting and defending the Messenger of God.” (The History of Al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca – (“Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk”) – [Translated by W. Montgomery Watt – State University of New York Press, 1988], volume VI (6), page 97)

Fathul-Barri – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449):

“I recall one incident when the Quraysh were battering the Prophet around whilst taunting him repeatedly with the words:
So you are the one who has united all the gods into a single deity?’
Whilst they were kicking him around, none of us could marshal the nerve to intervene and fend off the enemy but by good fortune, Abu Bakr happened to pass by. He swiftly leaped into the mob and landed a punch here and delivered a blow there and just as that believing man addressed Fir’aun and Haman, Abu Bakr addressed the disbelievers grilling them: ‘Shame on you! Do you wish to kill a man (simply because) he says Allah is my LORD?’” (Fathul-Barri, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, volume 7, page 129)


“It is narrated by Anas, the Quraysh beat the Prophet so severely that he fell unconscious. When Abu Bakr came forward to assist him, the disbelievers let go of the Prophet and pounced on Abu Bakr. Asma Bint Abi Bakr relates they beat up Abu Bakr so brutally that his entire head suffered severe wounds. Due to the intensity of these wounds, Abu Bakr could not even touch his head.” (Fathul Barri, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, volume 7, page 129)

Uyun al-Athar – Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (1272 – 1334):

“Uthman Ibn Affan narrates: ‘I once saw the Prophet performing Tawaf of the Ka’bah. Uqbah Ibn Abi Ma’it, Abu Jahal and Umayyah Ibn Khalaf were sitting in the Hatim area. The moment the Prophet passed by, they uttered a few obscenities to the Prophet. The second time round, they again told him something repulsive. When they uttered these obscenities on the third round, the Prophet’s countance changed. He came to a standstill and said:
‘By Allah! You will never quit until the punishment of Allah Ta’ala does not swiftly befall you.’Uthman comments: There wasn’t a single one of them who was not trembling in fear. Saying this, the Prophet set out for home whilst we moved off behind him. (Uyun al-Athar, by Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, volume 1, page 104)

Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra – Ibn Sa’d (784 – 845 AD):

“They were relentlessly engaged in hostility against the Prophet. Night and day, they were obsessed with this single mission of antagonism. Abu Jahal, Abu Lahab, and Uqbah Ibn Abi Mu’it were the three most bitter enemies of the lot.” (Kitab Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by Ibn Sa’d (Arabic edition) volume 1, page 134)

Ibn Athir:

“Uqbah was the bossom chum and confident of Ubayy Ibn Khalaf. One day, Uqbah took a seat in the company of the Prophet attentively listening to the words of the Prophet. When Ubayy learnt of this, he hurried over to Uqbah and voiced his concerns: ‘I learnt that you sat in the company of Muhammad attentively listening to his words. By Allah! Until you do not go and spit on his face, it is haram for me to talk to you and even look at your face.’ Accordingly, the wretched Uqbah rose and ejected his saliva right onto the blessed of the Prophet.” (Ibn Athir, volume 2, page 27)

Ibn Athir:

“Abu Qays Ibn al-Fakihah was instrumental in ruthlessly persecuting the Prophet. He was one of the select assistants and sidekicks of Abu Jahl. Abu Qays was killed at the battle of Badr.” (Ibn Athir, volume 2, page 26)

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[1] The claim here that the Prophet Muhammed “reviled” the idolater’s forefathers and “insulted” their gods is based on lies. These are the words of the Quraysh which has no truth to it. This statement is similar to the one found in the Quran where the polytheists accuse the Prophet (p) of being a “soothsayer” or “sorcerer”, or a “magician” none of which were based on any evidence, but rather claims made by the polytheists to discredit the Prophet Muhammed’s character.

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