Prophet Muhammad stayed in Makkah for thirteen years, calling people to the Oneness of Allah.
The Prophet's Dawah was in stages. His dawah to Islam was gradual and went on in phases with unwavering will and determination.
The Dawah of Prophet Muhammad consists of various phases:
First Phase: Secret Dawah
Second Phase: Open Dawah
Third Phase: Dawah beyond Makkah
Fourth Phase: Dawah beyond Arabia
First Phase: Secret Dawah: At the beginning of his mission, the Prophet called people to Islam, individually and secretly, focusing on the Shahadah, faith, and heart purification.
After the first 3 years of Islam, a small community of believers emerged as a result of constant efforts. They had strong faith, detached themselves from the pleasures and desires of life. They were ready to do everything possible to establish and propagate the call of Islam.
Second Phase: Open Dawah: Allah commanded his prophet to conduct his dawah openly to the people of Makkah, particularly to those who are very close to him, his relatives and tribe.
Note: Pictures are for illustration purpose.
As a result, the early followers of Islam faced a wave of persecution. Some of them had to leave their homeland, Mecca, for Ethiopia. In spite of this, Islam was growing stronger.
Third Phase: Dawah beyond Makkah: In this stage of dawah, Islam is propagated outside Makkah to Madinah. Prophet Muhammad made a treaty of alliance with the people of Madinah. Muslims started their migration to Madinah.
This migration was a turning point in Islamic history. A new Muslim society was established. Islam gained power and respect, and a new state based on Islamic principles emerged.
Fourth Phase: Dawah beyond Arabia: After the peace treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah, Muhammad intensified his ceaseless efforts in propagating the Islamic dawah. He initiated correspondence with kings and princes of the neighboring countries to spread the message of Islam beyond Arabia.
In the first few years of receiving the message, the Prophet began by calling people individually in secret.
The obstacles during this stage were the hostile reactions of the Makkan elites. Makkah at that time was divided into classes: elite, poor, and slaves.
The elite of Makkah foresaw in the message of Islam a great threat to their political, religious, social, and economic status in Makkah as well as Arabia in general.
However, despite the hostility of the Makkan leaders, the message of Islam gradually attracted not only the weak and poor of Makkah but many of the elite themselves.
Later, the call to Islam became public. The Prophet declared his message from the top of Makkan mountains, and began preaching the message and teaching the Qur'an publicly.
The Prophet later migrated to Madinah, where Muslims became an organized community, and dawah in Madinah took a different pattern.
The Prophet sent groups of his Companions to the surrounding tribes to convey the message of Islam and preach its values.
Islam's enemies' hostility toward Prophet Muhammad and Muslim Makkah:
Once the Prophet Muhammad began to preach Islam publicly, his few followers quickly found that merely professing faith meant facing ruthless torture and even execution.
Men from the Meccan nobility, like Abu Bakr R.A, were beaten unconscious in the streets while slaves like Bilâl Rabah R.A and Suhayb b. Sinân R.A were shackled and left to scorch in the midday desert sun.
The first martyr was Sumayya bint. Khayyat R.A., who was murdered with a spear thrust through her pelvis, and her son, Ammar b. Yâsir R.A, was tortured with fire like so many others.
Khabbâb b. al-Aratt R.A. was forced to lie on burning coals and smell his own flesh cooking.
Ultimately, the Prophet Muhammad fled this persecution by migrating with his Companions to Madinah, but not before leaving in the pages of history a matchless legacy of forgiveness and dignified dealings with one’s enemies. The Hijrah to Madinah was a turning point in the history of Islam.
Hostility of Islam's Enemies Towards Prophet Muhammad in Makkah: Fatimah R.A. once accompanied the Prophet to the Masjid Al-Haram. As he began to pray, a group of Quraysh gathered around him.
A member of the clan fetched the remains of a slaughtered animal and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet whilst he was prostrating.
Fatimah R.A, however, did not stand back. She removed the filth from her father and angrily lashed out at the enemies. A girl, who was not even ten years old at the time, silenced a group of brutes.
Lessons from the story.
1. When conditions are hostile, it's better to migrate to a safe place and start doing dawah there to come back with a bang.
2. With patience, adversity turns good.
3. Allah’s promise is true
4. Courage, dedication, and loyalty of companions.
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