Meanwhile, the Truthful Gabriel had come and brought the permission for hijra. This meant that the oppression and violence in Mecca would end and he would continue his life in a healthier environment. The Companions would start one by one to set on the road and they would leave Mecca without provoking anyone. They knew that there was the Ansar and a blessed city waiting for them with open doors.
A new process had started. In a short while, everyone who could set off for the road would start their journey and would reach a new region, a new world. But this would not be as easy as they thought.
The hijra of the Muslims was not easy for the Quraysh to accept; when they learnt of the Muslims’ plan, they did all that was in their power to stop them, to prevent them from getting out of their control and go to another land. The Quraysh already resented the fact that they had failed to change the course of events in the previous two hijras to Ethiopia so they wanted to do all they could to prevent Islam from spreading in other regions.
That is why they would stand guard on the road and try to turn people back from their journey. They arrested and imprisoned some of them and subjected them to torture, trying to make them recant their faith. Sometimes they even pursued them all the way to Medina. In short, Mecca was displaying all the characteristics of a repressive regime, and as deniers they made it clear that Hell itself was not in vain.
Despite all the pressure and obstruction, the hijra to Medina continued. Three months had passed after the hijra which had started with Abu Salama. Among the Muslims, only slaves and imprisoned ones, along with the Messenger of Allah Abu Bakr and Ali remained in Mecca. It was none other than the Messenger of Allah himself who had postponed Abu Bakr and Ali’s hijra. Now it was their turn.
Things were not irreversible at the moment; they could solve the problem right now. That’s why they needed immediate precautions. It was the twenty-sixth of the month of Safar, and it was a Monday.
Late this morning they gathered together to discuss their final strategy. As usual, they went to Daru’n-Nadwa, their advisory assembly place inherited from Qusay ibn Kilab. They wanted to solve this issue that had continued for fourteen years; they were treating the issue in such secrecy that they were not allowing people younger than forty years of age to attend; they were doing all they could to prevent what was being spoken inside to reach outside those walls.
An old man with rugged clothes whom they didn’t know, who said that he was from Najid, came to them and were waiting to join them at the door.
“Who is it?” They asked anxiously.
“An old man from Najid, I am among your uncles’ sons! I have heard that you have gathered here together for a very important business and I came thinking that I may be of some use. I will leave if you do not want me.”
“If he is our uncles’ son, then he is from us! He wouldn’t come from Najid to spy against us! Anyhow, he is not from Mecca,” they said and so they let him in.
And then the conversations started. Abu Jahl was leading the discussion. He started the sitting: “You know the position of this man of yours; if he leaves you and goes elsewhere to gather strength and attack you, this will cause you much headache. Tell me what you think we can do to avoid this situation and let me see whether you can come together to devise something.”
Abu’l-Bakhtari took word: “Tie him up in chains and imprison him; lock the doors on him and wait. One day he too will grow old like other poets before him and die.”
The old man from Najid intervened: “I am not of your opinion. This will never solve your problem! If you imprison him like you suggest, his cause will go over the walls you build around him and reach his friends. Then they will attack you and take him away from you and build their strength outside. This is not a solution, you should think of something else.”
Aswad ibn Rabia then spoke: “We have to tear him away from our society, kick him out of the country, and let him go wherever he wants! Then we will be rid of him! We will not care where he goes or settles after we have got rid of him.”
This idea did not please the old man either, he took word and said: “I swear this is not a solution! Do you not see the beauty in his words, the intellectuality in his logic and the grace in his actions? These will affect the hearts of people and he will reappear among you one day. If you do that, the day will come when he will move the masses with his virtues and you will find yourselves facing the tribes that have given him his word! He will come and want to have what you have, and then you will not be able to do anything against him. You should find another solution.”
There was something strange indeed with this old man’s position; the Meccans had come together to find a solution to the problem but this man from Najid was even more eager than the Meccans! They were happy to have included him in this assembly.
Abu Jahl, who was chairing the meeting, was also pleased with the contributions of the old man from Najid. For him, the solutions suggested were not valid either. But he himself could not think of another option. The eyes turned towards Abu Jahl who was consolidating the old man’s stance. He was waiting for his turn to speak: “I also have an opinion on this matter that you are trying to resolve,” he said.
“What is it, O Abal Hakam?” they asked. He continued: “I believe the ultimate solution lies in raising a group of able young men from each tribe who are active and good marksmen. They should attack him with their swords and kill him at one strike, and thus we will be rid of him! When he is killed in this way his blood will be on the hands of all the tribes, and the sons of Abdimanaf won’t be able to confront all these tribes. They will only have the option of demanding blood money; we will pay it and the issue will be solved.”
The old man from Najid entered the conversation at this moment and this time, he was nodding his head in agreement, and the last thing he said was: “The word spoken by this friend is the right one! I cannot think of any other solution!”
They had now made their decision and were going to put their plan of killing Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, into practice. They left the Daru’n-Nadwa in secrecy just as they had gathered there and each went to his own home.
Kesmez, Umit. “The Luminous Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)” Tughra Books Press. December 2014.
- February 20, 2014
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