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Monday 23rd of May 2022
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The Quraysh Clan Chiefs

Their Opposition to Islam

The followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) were continually increasing, but whenever a new convert came to him and pledged his or her allegiance, it was more often than not a slave, or a freed slave, or even a member of Quraysh of the outskirts or else a young man or woman from Quraysh of the Hollow, of the influential family but of no influence in themselves, whose conversion would increase tenfold the hostility of their parents and elder kinsmen.

The Holy Prophet longed very much to win over some of the Quraysh Clan Chiefs, not one of whom did or show any real interest of converting to Islam and becoming Muslims.

All, except for the faithful guardian and protecter his Uncle Abu Taleb(as), the clan Chief of the Bani Hashim tribe of Quraysh, who had shown inclination and interest to enter Islam, when he attended the invitation of forty of the Bani Hashim elders for supper at his home.

Waleed, The Clan Chief of Makhzum Tribe

It would greatly help him to spread his message if he had the support of some of the other prominant Quraysh Leaders, such as a man like Abul Jahl's uncle, Waleed, who was not only chief of the Makhzum but also the unofficial highly respected leader of Quraysh at that time.

However Waleed was moreover, a man who seemed much more open to serious argument than many of the other Quraysh Clan Chiefs; and one day an opportunity came for the Prophet to speak with Waleed alone.

The Blind Man

One day when the Prophet and Waleed in the Masjid were deep in converse a blind man came past, one who had just recently entered Islam, and on hearing the Prophet's voice he voiced a question towards the Prophet interrupting the conversation.

When asked to be patient and wait for a better moment, the blind man became so importunate that in the end Umar and some of the Companions frowned disapprovingly at the blind man continued insistance in interrupting the sensetive conversation to speak with the Prophet.

In the end harsh words were exchanged and the blind man was rudely ejected and turned away from the presence of the Prophet.

The Prophet's conversation now had been totally ruined by the interruption and of the outcry of rebuke that followed, at the blind man.

Here Waleed did not hesitate, but to take the oportunity to excuse himself and left the Prophet abruptly.

Then a new Surrah was revealed almost immediately, and it began with the words:

"He frowned and turned away, because the blind man came to him."

The Revelation continued:

"As to him who sufficeth unto himself, with him thou art engrossed, yet is it no concern of thine if purified be he not. But as for him who cometh unto thee in eager earnestness and in fear of God, from him thou art drawn away."

However not long after this, Waleed was to betray his own self satisfaction by saying:

"Why are these Revelations, are sent to Mohammad and not to me! Am I not the Chief man of Quraysh and their Lord? Then why are they sent neither to me nor to Abu Masoud, the Lord of Thaqif, when we are the only two great men of the two townships?"

Abu Jahl

The reaction of Abu Jahl was less coldly confident and more passionate. The possibility that Mohammad might be a Prophet was too intolerable to be entertained even for one moment.

"We and the sons of Abdu Manaf, have vied for honour, the one with the other. They have fed food, and we have fed food. They have borne others burdens, and we have borne others burdens. They have given, and we have given, until, when we were running equal, knee unto knee, like two mares in a race, they say: One of our men is a Prophet; Revelations come to him from Heaven! And when shall we attain to she like of this? By God, we will never believe in him, never admit him, to be a speaker of truth."

Shamsite Utbah
As to the Shamsite Utbah, his reaction but almost equally lacking in sense of Proportion; for was not that Mohammad must be followed if he were a Prophet but that his Prophethood would bring honour to the sons Abdu Manaf.

So one day, when Abu Jahl pointed derisively at the object of his hatred and said to Utbah:

"There is your prophet, O Sons of Abdu Manaf!"

Utbah snapped sharply at him:

"And why shouldst thou take it amiss if we have a prophet, or even a king?"

This last word (king) was a reference to Qusayy, and a sutbtle reminder to the Makhziimite that Abdu Manaf was Qusayy's son, where as Makhzum was only his cousin. The Prophet was near enough to hear this altercation and he came to them and said:

"O Utbah! Thou wast not vexed for the sake of God, nor for the sake of His messenger, but for thine own sake. And as for thee, Abu Jahl, a calamity shall come upon thee. Little shalt thou laugh, and much shalt thou weep!"

The fortunes of the various clans of Quraysh were continually fluctuating. Two of the most powerful at this time were Abdu Shams and Makhzum. Utbah and his brother Shaybah were the leaders of one branch of the Shamsite clan.

Abu Sufayan

Their cousin Harb, the former leader of its Ummayyad branch, had been succeeded on his death by his son Abu Sufayan, who had married, amongst other wives, Utbah's daughter Hind.

Abu Sufayan's success, both in politics and in tracte, was partly due to his reserve of judgement and his capacity for cold and patient deliberation and also forbearance, if his astute sense of opportunity saw that an advantage could thereby be gained.

His cool-headedness was a frequent cause of exasperation for the impetuous and quick-tempered Hind, but he seldom if ever allowed her to sway him once his mind was made up. As might have been expected, he was less violent than Abu Jahl in his hostility towards the Prophet.

Rejection of the Message

But if the leaders of Quraysh differed somewhat from each other in their attitude towards the Messenger, they were all unanimous in their rejection of the message itself!

Having all attained a certain success in life though the youngermen hoped that for that for them this was merely the beginning they had by common consent achieved something of what had come to be accepted in Arabia as the ideal of human greatness.

Wealth was not held to be an aspect of that greatness, but it was in fact almost a necessity as a means to the end. A great man must be greatly in demand as an ally and a protector, which meant that he must himself have reliable allies.

This he could partly contrive by weavin for himself, through his own marriages and the marriages of his sons and his daughters a network of powerful and formidable connections. Much in this respect could be achieved by wealth, which the great man also needed in his capacity as host.

The virtues were an essential aspect of the ideal in question, especially the virtue of generosity, but not with a view to any heavenly reward. To be extolled by men, throughout all Arabia and perhaps beyond, for lavish bounty, for leonine courage, for unfailing fidelity to one's word.

Whether it had been given for alliance, protection, guarantee or any other purpose to be extolled for these virtues in life and after death was the honour and the immortality which seemed to them to give life its meaning.

Men like Waleed felt certain of such greatness; and this generated in them a complacence which made them deaf to a message that stressed the vanity of earthly life the vanity of the very setting where their own success had taken place.

Their immortality depended on Arabia remaining as it was, on Arab ideals being perpetuated from the past into the future. They were all sensitive, in varying degrees, to the beauty of the language of the Revelation.

But as to its meaning, their souls spontaneously closed themselves to such verses as the following, which told them that they and their honoured forefathers had achieved nothing, and that all their efforts had been misplaced: This lower life is but a diversion and a game;

"And verify the abode of the Hereafter, that is Life, did they but know."

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