Âs bin Wâil, a ferocious polytheist
Hadrat Khabbâb had a considerable amount due him from Âs bin Wâil, a ferocious polytheist. He went to him to claim it. When Âs bin Wâil said to Khabbâb, “Unless you deny Muhammad, I will not give you your due.” Hadrat Khabbâb replied, “I swear by Allah, I cannot reject and deny my prophet, either in life or when I rise from my grave after death. I abandon everything; however, I cannot make this denial.” Upon this, Âs bin Wâil said, “Will we resurrect after death? If there is such a thing, there will be my property and my sons. I will pay you my loan that day.”
Upon these words of Âs bin Wâil, Allahu ta’âlâ decreed in the 77-79th âyat-i karîmas of Maryam Sûra of the Qur’ân al-kerîm, which purports, “(O My Beloved!) Have you seen now the man (Âs ibn-i Wâil) who denies our âyats and says, ‘I will be given property and sons (in the Hereafter) for sure’? Has he acquainted himself with the ghayb (unknown) or has he got a promise in the presence of Rahmân? No, it is not so! We will write down what he has said. (Based on this, we will call him to account on the Day of Judgment) and We will increase his torment more and more.”
The torture until falling unconscious…
Regarding torture, the polytheists did not differentiate between women and men. One of the first Muslims, Lady Zinnîra, who had no protectors, was a slave. The polytheist, who learned that she had become Muslim, did not hesitate to torture her. She used to be tortured, strangled until she could not breathe and fainted. She was forced to worship the idols named Lât and Uzzâ. Despite that, she would never abandon her faith and did not obey them. Especially, Abû Jahl used to severly torment her. For this reason, she became sightless. Once, Abû Jahl said, “You see! Lât and Uzzâ blinded you.” Confirming her belief, Lady Zinnîra said, “O Abû Jahl! I swear by Allah that your words are not true. The idols you call Lât and Uzzâ are good for nothing. They do not even know who worship them or not. Certainly, My Rabb is able to give back the light of my eyes to me and to return me to my previous state.”
Abû Jahl was amazed at Hadrat Zinnîra’s unshakeable belief. Allahu ta’âlâ had accepted Zinnîra’s invocation and she could see even better than before. Although Abû Jahl and the Quraysh polytheists witnessed that, they were obstinate and they did not believe in Islam. Furthermore, they said, “This is one of their prophet’s magic too! Will you not wonder at the idiots who follow the path of Muhammad? If their path were beneficial and real, we would obey him before everyone. Has a slave found the truth before us?”
Upon this Allahu ta’âlâ sent the 11th âyat-i karîma of Sûrat-al Ahqâf purporting, “Those disbelievers said for believers, ‘If there had been a benediction in it (Islâm), they (the poor) could not go ahead of us and run to it before us.’ However they will say, ‘This Qur’ân al-kerîm is an old lie (which was brought out by Muhammad) since they could not find the true path with it (with Qur’ân al-kerîm like believers) (in order to deny the Qur’ân al-kerîm).”
Our beloved Prophet (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) was very sad because of the persecutions and tortures made against his Companions by the polytheists. It was necessary to find a safer place for spreading and learning Islâm. Our Master chose the house of Hadrat Arkâm for this holy duty. This house was located in the east of Safâ Hill, in an alley and on a higher platform. Kâ’ba-i muazzama was easily seen from this house. The entrance and exit doors were very suitable in the way of controlling the passer-byes. Besides, Hadrat Arkâm was one of the notables in Mecca and a person of high standing.