With the failure of Quraish in Abyssinia, they were going mad with enmity against the Muslims. Abu Jahl the worst of them, kept on harassing Prophet Mohammad. He insulted and heaped all manners of indignities but Prophet Muhammad did not anser him back. One he hit him with a stone, which caused bleeding. Even then Prophet Muhammad came back home silently.
Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib, both uncle and foster brother, once coming back from hunting found out from a slave woman that Abu Jahl was abusing and hitting the Prophet (pbuh). In a rage Hamza went to Kaaba to search for Abu Jahl. He saw him sitting with some friends and hit his bow upon Abu Jahl’s head causing him to bleed.
When Hamza returned to Prophet Muhammad with the news that he took revenge, the Prophet (pbuh) responded, “this is not pleasing to me, I would really be pleased if you come into the fold of Islam.” Having heard this Hamza embraced Islam right there. The conversion of Hamzah gave strength to all Muslims.
Like Amir Hamza he was a well known wrestler and one of the most famous brave men of Arabia. He played a prominent role in targeting Muslims because of their new faith. He tried his best to bring the Muslims back to the old faith but failed. One day he announced that he plans to do away with Prophet Muhammed. Abu Jahl supposed his henious plan and offered him one hundred camels and one thousand Uquiyah (of silver) on success. At this time Saad bin Abu Waqqas told him that go first take care of your own family before killing Prophet (pbuh) as your sister has already embraced Islam.
Hearing this reply, Umar turned mad with range and proceeded towards his sister’s house. There he saw Khabbab bin Al-Aratt was giving Fatimah, his sister and Saeed bin Zaid (her husband) lessons in Quran. In rage he hit both of them an inquired what they are reading. His sister told him that they are reading Quran and have become Muslims and he can do whatever he wants.
Seeing blood on his sisters head and hearing a courageous reply softened Umar. Upon reading the Quran Umar said:
“What sweet words these are, I am feeling the impression on my heart.”
Upon hearing this Khabbab came out from his hiding and offered congratulation to Umar. Umar requested him to take him to Prophet Muhammad as now his purpose has changed. Umar knoced on the house of Arqam, who opened the door on Prophet Muhammad’s request. Upon entered Umar said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have come to embrace Islam.“. On hearing this Prophet Muhammad said Allahu Akbar loudly.
Umar first informed Abu Jahl as he was the greatest enemy of Muslims of his conversion to Islam.
Umar, soon after believing in Allah and his Messenger, suggested that instead of praying secretly We should do it publicly in Kaaba. No the Muslims made it a practice to perform their prayers at the Kaaba and Islam made its presence felt open and above board.
This event took place at the end of the last month of the sixth year. Now the number of Muslims in Makkah was forty.
Umar bin Khattab’s acceptance of Islam plunged the Quraish into immense grief and their hostility took a serious turn. As the believers began to perform their prayers openly at Kaaba, the Quraish felt helpless and found no way within their power to ward of this menace. Among them they continued discussing ways to combat this open challenge.
Quraish went to see Abu Talib and asked for him to hand over his nephew. In case of his refusal the decided for a complete social and material boycott Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib. The final agreement was to sever all relations with the two tribes and to make sure that no food or supplies reached to them from anywhere. This boycott is to be kept in force until Prophet Muhammad was handed over to them.
With the agreement in writing with initials of all the notables of the Quraish it was hung on the wall of Kaaba. After this both tribes and Abu Talib deserted their homes and went into the hills of Makkah and stayed there. The Muslims of Makkah followed them as well.
Three years passed with untold sufferings forced upon the Muslims. During the months of peace (Hajj) they would come out and buy foods and other things of need. Prophet Muhammad will also use this time to preach Islam to the visitors. The people of Quraish would follow him everywhere and hold back people from listening to him and branding him as insane and sorcerer.
The three year exile of the Muslims to Shib Abu Talib proves beyond doubt that the sense of honor of the tribes and considerations for race and lineage had substantial value and importance. It was this fact that forced even the disbelieveing section of Banu Hashim to extend their support to Prophet Muhammad. This proved to be a blessing a disguise as all became very close to Prophet Muhammad.
The Quraish of Makkah sensed the sad situation of the banned tribes. Slowly from within some people silently started supported them and wanted to abrogation of the agreement.
One day Prophet Muhammad conveyed to Abu Talib that he was informed by Allah that the document bearing the agreement had been eaten by termites leaving only the words Allah. Abu Talib wen to the Quraish and told them about this. He got an agreement if this was true then the boycott will end. Upon checking the agreement Quraish found that the agreement document was actually eaten by termites except for the places where the name of Allah was written. As agreed, Quraish announced the end of the boycott of the two tribes and Muslims.
After emerging from Shib Abu Talib, it was the tenth year of Prophethood. Instead of showing softening towards Muslims, the Quraish became more atrocious. Although out of the social boycott, the Muslims suffered many events which made this year a tough one for them. During the month of Rajab, Abu Talib fell seriously ill and died at the age of eighty. His death was encouraging to the hostile Makkans as his was the only person who was held in high esteem and his death had eroded the strength of Banu Hashim.
This same year Abu Bakr decided to migrate because of the cruelties of Quraish. But on the way Ibn Daghinah, the chief of the Qarah tribe asked him to go back to Makkah.
Two months after the death of Abu Talib, Khadijah the wife of Prophet Muhammad also passed away. She was the first who believed in him and accepted Islam. Both Abu Talib and Khadijah were such staunch supports that their constant encouragement kept Prophet Muhammad moving forward with hi mission. Their departures made the Prophet (pbuh) sad.
During the period of boycott Prophet Muhammad started preaching Islam among the people arriving in Makkah from outside during Hajj session. But this effort did not bear fruit. Now he decided to call people of Taif to Islam. At a distance of approximately sixty miles from Makkah, the city was almost as big as Makkah was inhabited by Banu Thaquif who worshipped Lat. The temple of Lat was the center of attraction for the whole city. In the month of Shawwal Prophet Muhammad with Zaid bin Harithah left for Taif on foot.
On way to Taif, they contacted Banu Bakr and Qahtan people but similar to Quraish they refused the message of peace. After reaching Taif contacts were made with Abd Yalil bin Amr bin Umair and his two brothers, Masud and Habib who were the most influential. The meeting with them did not proceed as planned and was met with failure.
After the failure of the meeting, people of Taif followed Prophet Muhammad, abusing, screaming and throwing stones at him until he left Taif.
On his return, Prophet Muhammad came up to mount Hira and sent his message to the chieftains of Quraish but no one showed up to give him refuge. When his message came to Mutim bin Adi, a polytheist, he got overwhelmed with sense of honor and came to mount Hira. He took Prophet Muhammad with him to Makkah.Sons of Mutim stood in front of Kaaba with unsheathed swords while Prophet (pbuh) went around Kaaba.
The Quraish asked Mutim’, “what’s your relationship with Muhammad?”, he replied, “I have no relation. I am simply his supporter and nobody can dare look at him with evil eyes while he enjoys my support.” This silenced the people of Quraish.