PATIENCE IN THE FACE OF PERSECUTION
The Prophetsa taught that disbelief in the Oneness of God was an offence, punishable in the Hereafter; his teaching contradicted everything that the Makkans had learnt from their forefathers, and so on. Abu Lahab decided to oppose the Prophetsa more than ever. Relations between Muslims and Makkans had become strained. A three-year boycott and blockade had enlarged the gulf between them. Meeting and preaching seemed impossible. The Prophetsa did not mind the ill treatment and the persecution; these were nothing so long as he had the chance to meet and address people. But now
it seemed that he had no such chance in Makkah. General antagonism apart, the Prophetsa now found it impossible to appear in any street or public place. If he did, they threw dust at him and sent him back to his house. His daughter wept as she removed
the dust. The Prophetsa told her not to weep for God was with him. Ill-treatment did not upset
the Prophetsa. He even welcomed it as evidence of interest in his Message. One day, for instance, the Makkans by a general intrigue said nothing to him nor did they ill-treat him in any way. The Prophetsa retired home disappointed, until the reassuring voice of God made him go to his people again.
1. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, Life of Muhammadsa(UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2014) 26-27.
TOLERANCE IN RESPONSE TO ABUSE
The Holy Prophetsa himself was no exception to the cruel treatment meted out to the Faithful. These cruelties, perpetrated against a weak and innocent group and their honest, well-meaning but helpless Leadersa, were not wasted, however. Decent men saw all this and became drawn to Islam. The Prophetsa was once resting on Safa, a hill near the Ka’ba. The Makkan chief Abu Jahl, the Prophet’ssa arch-enemy, passed by and began
to pour vile abuse on him. The Prophetsa said nothing and went home.
A woman-slave of his household was a witness to this distressing scene. Hamzara, the Prophet’ssa uncle, a brave man feared by all his townsmen, returned home from a hunt in the jungle and entered the house proudly, his bow hung on his shoulder. The woman-slave had not forgotten the morning scene. She was disgusted to see Hamzara walk home thus. She taunted him, saying that he thought himself brave and went about armed but knew not what Abu Jahl had done to his innocent nephew in the morning. Hamzara heard an account of the morning incident. Though
not a believer, he possessed nobility of character. He may have been impressed by the Prophet’ssa Message, but not to the extent of joining openly. When he heard of this wanton attack by Abu Jahl, he could not hold back. His hesitancy about the new Message was gone. He began to feel that so far he had been too casual about it. He made straight for the Ka’bah, where the chiefs of Makkah were wont to meet and confer. He took his bow and struck Abu Jahl hard. “Count me from today a follower of Muhammadsa,” he said. “ You abused him this morning because he would say nothing. If you are brave, come out and fight me.” Abu Jahl was dumbfounded. His friends rose to help but, afraid of Hamzara and his tribe, Abu Jahl stopped them, thinking an open fight would cost too dearly. He was really to blame, he said, about the morning incident (Hisham and Tabari).
2. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, Life of Muhammadsa (UK: Islam Interna- tional Publications Limited, 2014) 16-17.