The Pressures on the Sons in Law

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The Quraysh was increasingly acting in a very sinister way; apart from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, they did all they could to injure Khadija as well. They were putting pressure on the husbands of the three daughters of the Messenger of Allah who had married before revelations had started. They were saying that if they divorced the daughters of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, they would marry them to girls of their own choice.

The daughters of our noble Prophet, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum, were married to the two sons of Abu Lahab, Utba and Utayba. Utba and Utayba were not of a nature that could withstand such pressure, and when they got the guarantee that they would be married to any girl they wanted to, they left Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum. The families that had thus been destroyed were another source of grief for the Messenger of Allah and his loving wife Khadija.

Under normal circumstances, the separation of one of their children would have been enough sadness for parents, but in this case the Messenger of Allah and his wife Khadija were grieved by the destroyed families of both their daughters, and this had happened without any sound reason. The only reason was that they were both the daughters of the Messenger of Allah.

Only Abu’l-As, the husband of our mother Zaynab, had not bowed down to the pressures. He was living a life of honor, enough not to let other people meddle in his domestic affairs. If there was a decision to be made, he would make it according to his own judgment. If there was peace within a home, then no outside force should try to destroy that. He had a peaceful home, and the fact that his wife had a different outlook on life did not disturb this peace; on the contrary, her views were helping to maintain the home as a peaceful place. That’s why he had closed his ears to all pressures, and was doing only what he had to do.

It was a twist of fate that the worst enemies of the Messenger of Allah were his close neighbors. The house of Abu Lahab was right next to his. Other neighbors whose houses were next to his were no better than Abu Lahab; Hakam ibn Abi’l-As, Uqba ibn Abi Muayt, Adiyy ibn Khamra and Ibnu’l-Asda al-Huzali—they all felt an enmity towards the Messenger of Allah and just like Abu Lahab, they were trying to seize every opportunity to hurt him.

One day, one of them had thrown sheep droppings on our noble Prophet as he was praying; another had put droppings in the water that Allah’s Messenger would use for his ablutions. After a while, in order to protect himself from their evil behavior, our noble Prophet had built a wall separating his own space from theirs. However they insisted on their behavior and he would pick the dirt that they threw to his house with the end of a stick, and showing it to them he would say: “O sons of Abdimanaf! What kind of neighborly behavior is this?”

Uqba ibn Abi Muayt would take things further and at a time when Abu Jahl was with him they decided on a course of action to further hurt Muhammad the Trustworthy, peace and blessings be upon him. Speaking among themselves they would point to the Messenger of Allah and say: “Which one of you would have the bravery to put the rumen of a camel with its contents on Muhammad as he prostrates in the Prayer?”

The most criminal minded of them stood up. This was none other than Uqba. He had a rumen brought to him and then started to wait. When the Messenger of Allah was approaching prostration, he went to him and placed the rumen in between his shoulder blades.

The Beloved of Allah was thus being harassed by his neighbors at a point when he was closest to Allah. On the other hand Uqba and his guests were enjoying what they had just done, scratching their bellies and laughing. They had laughed so much that they were leaning on each other not to fall down. For a long time the Messenger of Allah did not lift his head from prostration. After a while, his daughter Fatima had seen the scene and had come running to her father. On the one hand she was berating those who had done this and on the other she was trying to clear the dirt from her father’s shoulders. He was the most beloved servant of Allah, had He wanted He could have destroyed them there and then, and then they would have gone straight to Hell. But our noble Prophet was always expectant of people’s repentance; he was hoping that if not today, they would embrace the faith in the future. But this incident had hurt him very deeply and he supplicated to his Lord: “My Lord! I leave the Quraysh unto You!”

Such that he repeated this supplication three times. After that he called them out name by name.

“My Lord! I leave Abu Jahl, Utba ibn Abi Rabia, Shayba ibn Abi Rabia, Walid ibn Utba, Umayya ibn Khalaf, Uqba ibn Abi Muayt, all of them unto You! You are the One who will give them what they deserve!”

His words were so sincere that the way he had left his business to Allah had frightened those present. They knew that prayers made in this holy place would be accepted, and that something would indeed befall them, and especially when it was the most beloved servant of Allah who was articulating this prayer!

Kesmez, Umit. “The Luminous Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)” Tughra Books Press. December 2014.