Seerah episode 50: Uthman bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah & Abu Bakr Attempts to Leave

— During the social boycott of Abdul Mutallib’s family (Banu Hashim), there was some campaigning going on in Makkah amongst some influential people – they recruited others to gather support & state a case in protest of the boycott. Even though they were not muslims, but they already see that the boycott is something which is abhorrent.

— A man named Hisham went to a famous leader of Quraysh named Zuhair bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughira

  • Hisham said, “Ya Zuhair, you’re a decent man. Are you telling me that you’re okay with the fact that you eat food, you wear good clothes, & interact with people and do business & enjoy family & everything else that life in Makkah brings you, when you know that your own uncles are going through what they’re going through?”
  • Zuhair replied, “No, absolutely not. I’m not okay with this, but what am I supposed to do?”
    • He referred to Abu Jahl (aka Abul Hakam) & all the influence he & others have over this boycott being maintained. Zuhair said, “We need to grow our numbers.”

— Hisham then went to Mut’im bin Adi (an uncle of the Prophet), & asked him, “Are you okay with witnessing two entire extended families (Banu Abdul Mutallib & Banu Hashim) being completely wiped out?”

  • Mut’im bin Adi said, “No, I’m not okay with it, but what should I do? I’m only one man. I need a second person to stand with me in this cause.”
  • Hisham said, “You have a second person. That’s me.”
  • Mut’im said, “Well, we need to find a third.”
  • Hisham replied, “I’ve already arranged that.”
  • Mut’im asked, “Who?”
  • Hisham said, “Zuhair.”
  • Mut’im said, “Now we need a 4th person to stand with us.”

— They went to a 4th person, Abul Bukhtari, a nephew of Khadijah who was smuggling food to the Shib Abu Talib. They have the same conversation, knowing that he is against the boycott.

  • Abul Bukhtari agreed with Hisham, & said they need a 5th person
    • They went to Zam’a bin al-Aswaad, the father of Sawda (the 2nd wife of the Prophet after Khadijah’s passing). Zam’a joins them as well

— These 5 men decided that they need to gather together in the evening to protest the boycott

  • They went to the Haram, with Zuhair leading the protest. Zuhair did tawaf first, then addressed the Makkans
  • Abu Talib talked as well, & the Prophet later told his uncle about the scrolls. That’s when the boycott ended

— People who were not Muslim at that time, who also did not accept Islam later on, spoke up against the injustice of the boycott

  • Still, they put together a protest to alleviate the sufferings of the Muslims

— A previously mentioned incident was when the Prophet recited Surat Al-Najm out loud at the Haram in front of everyone, & its final ayat was “So prostate to Allah and worship [Him].”

  • That’s when everyone – both Muslim and non-Muslims alike – fell into sujood. This started the rumor that all of Makkah had become Muslim
    • This rumor reached Abyssinia, so many of the expats returned to Makkah
  • This return to Makkah occurred just after the boycott ended
    • These immigrants to Abyssinia stopped a bit outside of Makkah & heard the truth of the matter
    • Some headed straight back to Habesha while others continued on to Makkah to more danger – the Quraysh were more aggressive than before

— There was a system in Makkah that was widely respected – if a person of honor & dignity granted protection to someone, then that person would be safe from any type of persecution or violence. That person would be safe for the sake of the honorable man’s respect

  • The expats who returned were looking for that type of protection

— Uthman bin Mazh’un was one of those people, looking for protection to be able to reside safely in Makkah

  • He went to Al Walid bin Mughira to seek out his protection, even though Walid strongly opposed the Prophet
    • Walid was no friend of the Muslims, but Walid, being a cousin of Uthman, did grant Uthman his protection
  • Uthman was then able to  walk around Makkah safe & sound
    • Whenever this type of protection was granted, the procedure was to go to the Haram to address the public that “Hey, this man is under my protection now. Violating this person’s safety & security would be an insult to me & will be dealt with accordingly.”

— Uthman, seeing the persecution of other Muslims, said to himself, “I swear by God, my mornings & my evenings are safe & sound due to the protection of a man who’s from the people of shirk, while my companions in faith are dealing with test & trial that I am not afflicted with. I find this to be a problem that I can live safely & everyone else suffers.”

  • Uthman went to Walid & said, “Ya Aba Abd Shaams, you have done what you have promised, but I return your protection back to you.”
  • Walid asked, “Why, my cousin? Did someone mess with you?”
  • Uthman said, “No, but I am satisfied with the protection of Allah & I don’t need anyone else.”
  • Walid said, “Go to the Haram & publiclly return my protection just like I publically extended it to you.”

— Uthman went to the Haram & addressed the Makkans, “I return Walid’s protection back to him because I don’t need anyone else’s protection but Allah’s.”

  • At this time, a great poet named Labid bin Rab’ia, who was sitting there, said, “Look at this man – everything other than Allah is false. Allah is the only truth.”
  • Uthman said, “You’ve spoken the truth.”
  • Labid said, “Every blessing will end one day.”
  • Uthman corrected Labid, & said, “No, you’ve made a mistake. The blessings of paradise will never end.”

— Labid felt insulted by this. He said, “This companion of yours (talking about himself in 3rd person), this esteemed companion of yours has never been insulted in this way before. What has happened to you people that a celebrity like me can come here & be insulted like this?”

  • Another person stood up & said, “This is a very foolish man (Uthman) & he keeps company of other foolish people. They’ve abandoned our religion. Don’t mind him.”
  • Uthman retorted, “What did I say wrong?” He answered back until things got heated
  • Another man got up & struck Uthman on the face, so much so that he seriously injured Uthman’s face (his eye)

— Walid bin Mughira was there & watching the whole thing

  • He went up to Uthman & said, “Look at you. Your eye would have still been okay if you had stayed in my protection.”
  • Uthman responded, “Rather, my other eye needs to be injured the same way. If it’s done for the sake of Allah, then it was worth it. Because now, I’m in the protection of someone who is more powerful than you & more dominant than you ever will be. Ya Aba Abd Shaams, I’m now in the protection of Allah which is much more profound than you can imagine.”
  • Walid said, “Listen, if you still want my protection I’ll give it to you.”
  • Uthman declined

— Abu Salama & Ummu Salama also came back from Habesha to Makkah

  • Abu Salama sought out Abu Talib’s protection, & Abu Talib said, “Absolutely, you are most definitely in my protection.”
  • When some people from Banu Makhzum (family of Abu Salama) found out that Abu Talib had granted Abu Salama his protection, they went to Abu Talib & said, “Ya Aba Talib. You have protected & stopped us from laying a hand on Muhammad. He’s your nephew, your blood, so that’s understandable. But what’s the deal with you granting protection to someone from our family? Let us deal with Abu Salama the way we need to deal with him. He abandoned our religion, he ran away from here, & he came back. Let us deal with him. This is not your business.”
  • Abu Talib replied, “Listen, he asked for my protection & I granted it to him. Secondly, we do have an extended relation – he’s the son of my sister (figurative expression – distant relation). If I wasn’t going to grant Abu Salama my protection, then what’s to say that I won’t protect my own nephew Muhammad? Then I’d no longer be a man of honor!”

— Even though Abu Talib was in isolation for 3 years, he was still seen as one of the great leaders in the eyes of Arabia. Here we have people arguing with the great Abu Talib, which is out of character for a lot of these people

  • Abu Lahab was sitting nearby at the time. He spoke up, “O people of Quraysh. You’ve caused this elderly gentleman enough trouble for him today. You’ve exhausted him. That’s enough. What’s wrong with you? Why do you keep attacking Abu Talib just because he grants protection to someone who belongs to his people? What’s a leader supposed to do? A leader is supposed to protect his people! Someone from his people asked him for protection & he granted it. You people will stop now or all of us (including those of us who’re opposed to Islam) will stand with Abu Talib in everything that he stands for until what he wants to happen ends up happening. So go home & chew on that for a bit.”
    • Abu Talib was a gentle soul, & now Abu Lahab, who was fierce-tongued & usually in opposition of Islam was now reprimands these people, who went about their way
  • Abu Talib thought this development was interesting. He thought to himself, that maybe Abu Lahab will now stand up & defend Muhammad, even if he doesn’t accept Islam
    • Abu Talib encouraged Abu Lahab to stand up for his nephew. Abu Talib recited some poetry, “Look, there’s a man who is your nephew. He stands alone facing oppression. Will this be the time that you come to the aid of your family?”
  • Abu Lahab said, “Whoa, whoa. Take it easy. I just didn’t like them talking to you that way because if they talk to you today like that, tomorrow they will talk to me like that.”

— Key points

  • It was non-Muslims who campaigned to end the boycott, even though they never took the Shahadah in their lives
  • It was non-Muslims granting protection to Believers

— After the boycott ended, Abu Bakr went to the Prophet with a very heavy heart (after suffering so much with the rest of the Muslims), & asked the Prophet for permission to join the Sahaba in Habesha

  • The Prophet, with a heavy heart gave Abu Bakr permission to leave, because no one has stood as firmly as his friend through all the trials (got beaten even, he accepted Islam on 2nd day of nubuwwah)

— Abu Bakr packed his things & left Makkah. He traveled for a day or 2 when he ran into Ibnu Dagina, who belonged to Banu Kinana.

  • His name is Al-Hadith or Malik, but more popularly known as Ibnu Dagina
  • Banu Kinana was allies of the Quraysh. The people of Banu Kinana tribe had a pact with the Quraysh, so Ibnu Dagina was of some influence in Makkah; Banu Kinana was powerful tribe

— Ibnu Dagina asked, “Where are you going, Abu Bakr?”

  • Abu Bakr replied, “My people left me no choice but for me to leave. I’ve received great harm from my own people & they made life very difficult for me, so I had no choice but to leave.”
  • Ibnu Dagina said, “How is this even possible? You’re someone who respects family. You help in all types of good causes. You do good things for society. You earn for those people who can’t earn for themselves. Let’s head back, you’re in my protection now.”
    • This was very similar to what Khadijah said to the Prophet when he was overwhelmed by his first divine revelation

— Abu Bakr & Ibnu Dagina went to the Haram

  • Ibnu Dagina addressed the people of Makkah, “A man of the caliber of Abu Bakr should never be allowed to be ousted by his own people. He is an asset to his community. Are you telling me that you’re kicking out from your community a man who will earn for people what they cannot earn? He carries and lifts those people who can’t lift themselves. He helps in the cause of truth. He honors his guests. From this day forth, I have granted my protection to the son of Abu Qahafa. No one should approach Abu Bakr unless they have good intentions. Hands off Abu Bakr.”
  • Abu Bakr then went back home & settles in. He’s very relieved, because deep down, he didn’t want to leave Makkah for one sole reason – Muhammad, who was his dearest friend
    • The Prophet said about Abu Bakr, “I’ve paid everybody back, but I can never pay back Abu Bakr. Allah will have to pay him back on my behalf. If I wasn’t the khalil of Allah, then I would have taken Abu Bakr to be my very best friend.”

— Abu Bakr was very devout & very philanthropic. He balanced his social services along with spirituality

  • He had a daily ritual where he’d make salat other than fard prayers.
  • He was also a soft-hearted man (rikkan). When he would make salaat & recite Qur’an in such a way that it’d make someone else cry just listening to him

— Abu Bakr liked to pray on the porch of his home just to be able to pray outdoors

  • Men & especially women & children would gather when Abu Bakr would pray, & they’d cry, listening to Abu Bakr make salah
  • The leaders of Quraysh didn’t like this. They said, “This is a huge problem. Abu Bakr is going to put all types of ideas on our women & kids.”
    • At same time, the Quraysh leaders know they can’t lay a finger on Abu Bakr because of Ibnu Dagina

— The Quraysh leaders went to Ibnu Dagina, & said, “Did you grant him your protection so that Abu Bakr may cause harm to us?”

  • Ibnu Dagina asked, “What’s he doing?”
  • The Quraysh replied, “He prays, he worships. He’s causing a huge problem. Our women & kids & weak-minded are all gravitating towards him.”
  • Ibnu Dagina went to Abu Bakr & said, “Ya Aba Bakr, I didn’t give you my protection so that you can make trouble for people & they now come complaining to me. Why don’t you go home & do your business there?”
    • One narration says that Abu Bakr listened to Ibnu Dagina & would pray at home after that exchange

— Another narration states that Abu Bakr built a musallah (a place to pray) outside his home, but people still gathered around that to hear Abu Bakr pray

  • The Quraysh leaders again complained to Ibnu Dagina & he went again to stop Abu Bakr
  • Abu Bakr said, “Instead of me putting an end to what I’m doing, how about I return your protection? I’ve caused you a lot of trouble, but I return to you your protection. I’m happy with the protection of Allah alone.”
  • Ibn Dagina said, “Okay, return my protection to me.”
    • He addressed the people in the Haram & said, “Ya people of Quraysh, the son of Abu Quhafa has returned my protection back to me, so you do to him whatever it is what you want to do to him. It’s between you & him, I no longer play any type of role in this.”

— In spite of all the trials & oppression they faced, the Muslims practiced the akhlakh of the Prophet, to such an extent that the non-Muslims (some of whom didn’t like the Prophet) still felt obligated to support & protect the Muslims

  • Our conduct is the biggest proof of what we believe in – Muslim or not

— A few days after Ibnu Dagina revoked his protection of Abu Bakr, a thug on the streets of Makkah approached Abu Bakr (aged 50) who was going to the Haram

  • The thug picked up a bunch of dirt & threw it in Abu Bakr’s face
  • Abu Bakr had all this dust on him & just kept on walking. He didn’t say anything to that young man.
  • Walid bin Mughira & Aas bin Wa’il were sitting there watching this
    • Abu Bakr said to them: “Do you see how this foolish young man disrespects his elders?”
    • They responded, “No, this young man didn’t do anything to you. You did this to yourself.”
  • Abu Bakr said to himself, “My Lord, how patient & forbearing are you with your slaves?” He said this 3x
    • Meaning: These people disrespect me & other say I deserve this disrespect. I can’t stand what these people say. My Lord, you created these people & they disbelieve in you. So how patient must you be? I marvel at that. I remind myself of that to deal with these people
  • Instead of getting angry or lashing out, Abu Bakr turned to the solace of Allah. He stayed patient & stuck to his values by remembering the mercy & patience of Allah


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