Inviting Close Relatives
Our Master Rasûlullah had begun to invite people to Islam after the descending of Muddaththir Sûra. He invited people secretly. After some time, the 214th verse of Shu’arâ Sûra purporting, “Invite your close relatives to the right religion by threatening them with Allahu ta’âlâ’s torment.” had descended. Upon this, Muhammad (’alaihis-salâm) invited his relatives to the religion, having sent Hadrat Alî to call them all to the house of Abû Tâlib. He put in front of them one plate of food and one cup of milk which were enough only for one person. Then he started first to eat by saying the Basmala and offered the food to his relatives who were there. There were forty people who came; however, the meal sufficed for all and the amount of food had not decreased. Those who came were astounded by this miracle. After the meal, our Master, the Prophet was about to begin to speak to invite his relatives to Islam. His uncle Abû Lahab, bearing hostility, said, “We have not seen any sorcery like this before. Your relative has bewitched you. O my brother’s son! I have not seen anybody who brought malignity and evil like you. And he continued his verbal assault with insults.
Then our Prophet said to Abû Lahab, “You have done to me such evil that even the Quraysh and all the Arabian tribes can not do!” They dispersed without becoming Muslim. After a short while, he invited his relatives again. Hadrat Alî called all of them again. As before, a meal was brought before them. After the meal, our Master, the Prophet stood up and said, “Praise belongs to only Allahu ta’âlâ. I beg for help only from Him. I believe in and trust in Him. I know and declare without doubt that there is no god other than Allahu ta’âlâ, He is One. He has no likeness or partner.” And, he continued his words by saying, “I never say a lie to you and I am declaring the truth to you. I am inviting you to believe in Allahu ta’âlâ Who is One and besides Whom there is no god. I am His Messenger that He sent to you and to all human beings. I swear by Allah that you will die just like you fall asleep; you will be resurrected just like you awake from sleep and you will be called to account for all your deeds; you will gain rewards against your good deeds and you will be punished for your evil deeds. And, these deeds will eternally stay in either Paradise or in Hell. You are the first among people whom I frighten with the torments of the Hereafter.”
After listening to these words, Abû Tâlib said, “O my brother’s blessed son! I don’t know anything more valuable than helping you. We have accepted your advice. We have approved your words sincerely. Now, the people who have gathered here are the sons of your grandfather Abdulmuttalib. I am certainly one of them. I will run towards what you want, before anyone. I promise not to cease to protect you anytime. Go on doing what you are ordered to do. But, regarding leaving my previous religion, I have not found my nafs (carnal soul) obedient to me.
Except Abû Lahab, his relatives and paternal uncles spoke softly. However, Abû Lahab hurled threats, “O the sons of Abdulmuttalib! Prevent him, before others bind his hands and stop him. If you accept today what he says, you will be abased, insulted later. If you try to protect him, all of you will be killed.” Against Abû Lahab, the paternal aunt of our Master, the Prophet, said, “O my brother! Does leaving my brother’s son and his religion alone befit your dignity? I swear by Allah, the scholars of today say a prophet will come from the descendants of Abdulmuttalib. Here, this is that prophet.”
Abû Lahab, upon these words, continued his nasty slanders. Abû Tâlib became angry at Abû Lahab and said, “O coward! I swear by Allahu ta’âlâ that we are his helper and protector as long as we are alive.” He turned towards Muhammad (’alaihis-salâm) and said, “O my brother’s son! Let us know the time when you want to invite people to believe in your Rabb; we will arm ourselves and be present with you.” Then, our Master, Fakhr-i kâinat started talking again and said, “O sons of Abdulmuttalib! I swear by Allah that there is no one among Arabs who has brought a thing superior or more beneficial to your life in the world and in the Hereafter than what I have brought (that is this religion) to his people. I invite you to utter two expressions, which are easy to say and have great importance. They are your bearing testimony that there is no god but Allah and I am His born slave and Messenger. Allahu ta’âlâ has ordered me to invite you to this. Then, who from you will accept my invitation and help me on this path?” No one said anything. All of them bowed their heads. Our Master, the Prophet repeated his words three times. Each time, Hadrat Ali stood up. On the third time, he said, “O Rasûlullah! Although I am their youngest, I will help you.” Upon this, our Master Rasûlullah held Hadrat Ali’s hand. The others dispersed in astonishment.