The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 2: The New Faith

 Part I: In the Time of the Prophet (SAWS)


Page: 2

Alarmed by the phenomenon of the disembodied voice, the Arab exclaimed, "What shall I read?" The voice was louder as it repeated, "Read!" Again the Arab asked, "What shall I read?" The voice now seemed terrible as it called sternly, "Read!" Then the voice continued in a more gentle tone:

Read: in the name of your Lord who created,
Created man from a clot.
Read: and it is your Lord the Bountiful
Who taught by the pen;
Taught man that which he knew not. [Quran 95: 1-5]

This happened on a Monday in the month of August, 610 CE. The world would never be the same again, for Muhammad had received his first revelation. A new faith was born.

When Muhammad (SAWS) received this revelation, Khalid was 24 years old.

For three years the Prophet remained silent, receiving guidance through the Angel Jibril. Then he was ordered to start expounding the religion of Allah, and he started with his own family and clan. Most of them, however, scorned his teaching and made fun of the new faith.

One day the Prophet decided to collect his closer relatives and give them a good meal at his house. This would give him an opportunity to get them together and put them in a situation where they would have to listen to him. The meal was duly arranged and heartily eaten by the guests. The Prophet then addressed the assembled guests and said, "O Bani Abdul Muttalib! By Allah, I do not know of any man among the Arabs who has come to you with anything better than I have brought you. I bring you the best of this world and the next. I have been ordered by Allah to call you to Him. Who will help me in this work and be my brother and deputy?"

The response of the entire gathering was silence. No one replied, each watching the others to see if anyone would get up to support this man. And then a thin, under-sized boy with skinny legs, in his early teens, sprang up and piped in a voice which had not yet broken, "I, O Prophet of Allah, will be your helper!"

There was a roar of laughter from the guests at what appeared at the time to be a ridiculous sight-rude and contemptuous laughter-as they stood up and began to walkaway. But the boy was impervious to such rudeness, for the next instant he had been clasped by the Prophet in a loving embrace. The Prophet declared, "This is my brother and deputy."1 The boy was the Prophet's cousin-Ali, son of Abu Talib. He was the first male to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet .2

Gradually the truth began to spread; and a few individuals, mostly youths or weak, helpless people, accepted the new faith. Their number was small but their courage was high. And the Prophet's sphere of activity widened. In spite of the rebuffs and insults which were hurled at him by the Quraish, he continued to accost people at street corners and in the market place and to warn them of the Fire which awaited the evil-doer. He would deride their idols of wood and stone and call them to the worship of the true God. As his activities increased, the opposition of the Quraish became harder and more vicious. This opposition was directed mainly by four men: Abu Sufyan (whose personal name was Sakhr bin Harb, and who was the leader of the Bani Umayyah), Al Waleed (father of Khalid), Abu Lahab (uncle of the Prophet) and Abul Hakam. Of the first and the last we will hear a lot more in this story.

Abu Sufyan and Al Waleed were men of dignity and self-respect. While they directed the opposition against the Prophet, they did not demean themselves by resorting to violence or abuse. Al Waleed's initial reaction was one of ruffled dignity. "Is the prophethood to be bestowed on Muhammad," he exploded, "while I, the greatest of the Quraish and their elder, am to get nothing? And there is Abu Masud, the chief of the Saqeef. Surely he and I are the greatest of the two towns."3 This grand old man lived in a world of his own where everything depended on nobility of birth and rank. He was, of course, being unfair to the Prophet, for the line of Muhammad joined his own six generations back, and the family of Muhammad was no less noble than his own. In fact, in recent history the Prophet's family had acquired greater prominence than any other family in Makkah. The Prophet's grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, had been the chief of all the Quraish in Makkah.

1. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 63; Ibn Sad: Vol. 1, p. 171.
2. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 245; Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 56. Masudi: Muruj; Vol. 2, p. 283.
3. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 1, p. 361.Quran 95:1-5