Preaching Islam to Different Tribes and in Different Places
The disbelievers of Makkah continued to treat the Muslims. The Quraysh continued to plot against the powerless in the city. But the Prophet (pbuh) did not lose heart. Back from Taif, he resumed preaching Islam to the tribes, which stayed around Makkah. He also preached Islam among the caravans that came to Makkah from outside during the days of hajj. Abu Lahab always tried to interrupt the Prophet’s missions. He would tell the people not to pay any attention to what the Prophet was saying.
Islam Spreads in Madinah
It was the habit of the Prophet (pbuh) to go to gatherings and fairs to invite people to Islam. The Arabs gathered in Makkah every year for the hajj. A group of six people came to Makkah for pilgrimage from Yathrib, the city now known as Madinah. They belonged to the important tribe of Khazraj. The people of Khazraj had known about the coming of a Prophet. Many Jewish tribes lived in and around Madinah. They were the followers of Prophet Musa and read the Tawrah. The people of Madinah had learnt from the Jews about the coming of a prophet who would bring peace to mankind. The Jews had been eagerly waiting for him to come!
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) met these six people of the Khazraj and invited them to Islam. Unlike the pagan Makkans and the people of Taif, they listened to the Prophet with great respect. The teachings of the Quran and the truthfulness of the Prophet (pbuh) convinced them that he was the Prophet foretold in the Tawrah. They argued, “If he is the true Prophet, then we should be the first to believe and accept him before the Jews recognize him!” They embraced Islam and accepted his teachings. They returned to Madinah with the thrilling news that there was a new Prophet in Makkah whom they had met and believed in. This proved a turning point in the history of Islam.
The entire population of Madinah was divided between the Jews and idolaters. The Aws and the Khazraj were the two well-known and powerful tribes of the idolaters. They had been in conflict for many years. They were, on the other hand, bitter rivals of the Jews, who lived in and around Madinah.
The Aws and the Khazraj had often heard from the Jews about the coming of an unlettered Prophet in the near future. They had also heard about his dominance over all. They, therefore, lost no time to embrace Islam.
The Jews were the People of the book, while the Khazraj were idolaters. The Jews used to threaten them, whenever they were in conflict, with the appearance of a prophet who would destroy them as Aad and lram, the two ancient tribes, had been destroyed. When the Prophet (pbuh) talked to them about Islam, they said to each other, “O people! He is indeed the Messenger with which the Jews had been threatening us.” So they responded to the Prophet (pbuh) most favourably
The two secret pledges which the Aws and the Khazraj made and in which they agreed to accept Islam and to extend support and protection to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and his oppressed companions came to be known as the First and Second Pledges of Aqabah
The First Pledge of Aqabah
Aqabah is a place in the valley of Mina. is not very far from Makkah. Mina was used and is still used as a halt for the pilgrims. The activities of the new six Muslims of the Khazraj brought more people from both the Aws and the Khazraj to Makkah to seek the famed Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
The First Pledge of Aqabah involved twelve men, ten from the Khazraj and two from the Aws. They met the Prophet (pbuh) and pledged themselves to follow Islam. The terms of the pledge were as follows:
- That they will worship only Allah and will not ascribe any partner to Him;
- That they will not steal or commit adultery;
- That they will not kill their children;
- That they will not slander anyone in any way:
- That they will not disobey the Prophet (pbuh) in what is right.
This is called the First Pledge of Aqabah.
In fact it was a very significant development. Those who made it were the influential men of Madinah. The twelve men returned to Madinah. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) sent Mus’ab ibn Umayr with them to teach people about Islam.
Musab bin Uma was a noted companion of the Prophet (pbuh). He was a leading figure in Makkan society before the rise of Islam. He was very handsome and belonged to a wealthy family. He was extremely popular in the aristocratic circles of Makkah. He was popular for his refined taste in clothing. He was an early convert to Islam. He was noted for his knowledge of the Qur’an and his dedication to the cause of Islam. His tactfulness, good manners, diplomacy and hard work won the allegiance of many leading men of the Aws and the Khazraj in Madinah.
Islam began to spread among the people of the Aws and the Khazraj. Not a household of the people of Madinah remained in which some men and women had not accepted Islam. The Aws and the Khazraj later came to be known as the Ansaar (Helpers) in the Islamic history.
The Pledge of Aqabah is one of the most significant events in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and in the history of Islam.