The First Stage
Strife in the Way of the Call
Three Years of Secret Call “It is well-known that Makkah was the religious center for the Arabs, and housed the custodians of Al-Ka’bah. Protection and guardianship of the idols and stone carved images that were honored by all the Arabs, lay in the hands of the Makkans. Hence the difficulty of hitting the target of reform and goodness in a place considered the center of idolatry. Working in such an atmosphere no doubt requires unshakable will and determination that is why the initial call to Islam assumed a limited form so that the Makkans should not be enraged by the unexpected surprise
The Early Converts
The Prophet ﷺ contains naturally initiated his sacred mission right from home and then moved to the people closely associated with him. He called unto Islam whomsoever he thought would attest the truth which had come from his Allah. In fact, a host of people who nursed not the least seed of doubt as regards the Prophet ﷺ immediately responded and quite readily embraced the true faith They are known in the Islamic literature as the early converts. Hazrat Khadijah Radiallahu anhoo, the Prophet’s spouse, the Mother of believers, was the first to enter the fold of Islam followed by his freed slave Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah bin Sharahil Al-Kalbi Radiallahu anhoo his cousin Hazrat ‘Ali bin Abi Talib AlaihisSalam who had been living with him since his early childhood,
and next came Hazrat Abu Bakr Radiallahu anhoo All of those professed Islam on the very first day of the call. HazratvAbu Bakr , from the first day he embraced Islam, proved to be an energetic and most zealous activist. He was wealthy, obliging, mild and upright. People used to frequent his house and draw near to him for his knowledge, friendship. pleasant company and business. He invited to Islam whomever he had confidence in Through his personal efforts a good number of people converted to Islam, such as ‘Uthman bin Affan Al-Umawi, Az-Zubair bin ‘Awwam Al-Asadi, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas Az-Zuhriyan and Talhah bin ‘Ubaidullah At-Taimy ty. Those eight men constituted the forerunners and more specifically the front line of the new faith in Arabia. Among the early Muslims were Hazrat Bilal bin Rabah (the Abyssinian), Abu ‘Ubaidah ‘Amir bin Al-Jarrah from Bani Harith bin Fihr (the most trustworthy of the Muslim nation).” Abu Salamah bin ‘Abdul-Asad, Al-Arqam bin Abul-Arqam from the tribe of Makhzum, ‘Uthman bin Maz’oun and his two brothers Qudamah and ‘Abdullah, ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Harith bin AlMuttalib bin ‘Abd Manaf, Sa’id bin Zaid Al-‘Adawi and his wife Fatimah – daughter of Al-Khattab (the sister of ‘Umar bin AlKhattab), Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud Al-Hadhali and many others. These were known as the first of Muslim predecessors. They belonged to various clans of the Quraish. Ibn Hisham, a biographer, counted them to be more than forty. 21 And considering some of them to be among the foremost converts may not be correct.
Ibn Ishaq said: “Then people entered the fold of Islam in hosts. men or women and the new faith could no longer be kept Secret.
The Prophet ﷺ used to meet and teach the new converts the religion in privacy, because the call to Islam was still running on
an individual and secret basis. Revelation accelerated and continued after the first Verses of “O you wrapped in garments The Verses and pieces of Surah (chapters) revealed at this time were short with wonderful strong pauses and quite fascinating rhythms in full harmony with that delicate whispering setting The central topic running through them focused on purifying the soul, and preventing the Muslims from falling prey to the deceptive glamour of life. The early Verses used to give as well a highly accurate account of the Hell and the Garden (Paradise) leading the believers down a new course diametrically opposed to the ill practices widespread amongst their compatriots.
As-Salat (the Prayer)
The order for Salat was not among the early Revelations. Ibn Hajar said: “Definitely the Prophet ﷺused to pray before ‘The Night Journey’ but it still remains a matter of controversy whether or not the prayer was established as an obligatory ritual before imposing the rules of the usual five prayers a day. It is related that obligatory prayer was established twice a day, in the morning before sunrise and after sunset.” It is reported (through a chain of narrators) that when the Prophet ﷺcentres received the first Revelation. Gabriel – the angel, proceeded and taught him how to observe Wudu (ablution). When the Prophetﷺ finished, he took a handful of water and sprinkled it on his loins. A narration with similar meaning was recorded by Ibn Majah. Similar was reported from Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib and Ibn ‘Abbas Hotel, but in his narration Ibn ‘Abbas said, “And that was during the beginning of its obligation.”:
Ibn Hisham mentioned that when there was a time for prayers, the Prophet ﷺ and his Companions would go into a mountain valley to pray secretly.
Hazrat Abu Talib once saw Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ and Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam praying, he asked them what they were up to. When he was informed that it was obligatory prayer, he told them to stay constant in their practice.
The Quraishites learn about the Call
During this stage of the Call, even though conducted in a private manner and on an individual basis, its news leaked to the Quraish, but they paid little attention to it since the Prophet ﷺwas not assaulting their religion nor speaking about their gods. For three underground years of activism, a group of believers emerged stamped by a spirit of brotherhood and cooperation with one definite objective in their mind: propagating and deeply establishing the call unto Islam. For full three years Hazrat Muhammadﷺ had been content to teach within a rather narrow circle. The time, however, had come to preach the faith of the Lord openly. Then Revelation descended giving Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ the duty of publicizing it for his people, to confront them, invalidate their falsehood, and crush down their idolatrous practices.