THE PROCLAMATION OF PROPHET (S.A.W)
Ali (A.S.) was only ten when the Prophet (S.A.W) was inspired by the Almighty to declare his office and
preach Islam. Ali (A.S.) and Khadija (Prophet (S.A.W)’s wife) were the only two persons who upheld his
claim and prayed behind him. Ali (A.S.) often took pride in being the first and the youngest Muslim in
Hardly three years had passed from his first declaration of Prophethood that Allah enjoined upon him
to preach Islam to his own kinsmen. Ali (A.S.) was directed to make preparations for a feast and invite
the members of Bani Hashim clan. Forty Hashimites participated. After the party the Prophet (S.A.W)
rose and said, “O sons of Abdul Mutallib, I know no man in Arabia who brought for his people better
tiding than that which I have brought for you. It will serve you in this life and in the life to come. Will
you believe me if I tell you that your enemy is going to attack you by day or night? With one voice they
replied, “We believe you to be a truthfulman!” The Prophet (S.A.W) then said, “Then know you all that
Allah has sent me to guide man to the Right Path, and has commanded me to call my near relatives first
to His Holy Will, and to warn them against His wrath. Who amongst you will share my burden, who
amongst you will come forward to help me in this great task? Whoever accepts this responsibility will
be my successor, my brother, and my delegate.” No one answered. The spell of skeptic astonishment
was at last broken by the spontaneous courage of Ali (A.S.). He stood and said, “O Prophet of Allah
though my legs are thin, I promise that I will help thee. I am prepared to sacrifice everything on thy
command. I am the man, whosoever rises against thee, I shall dash out his teeth, tear out his eyes,
break his legs and rip up his belly. O Prophet of Allah I will be thy Wazir over them.” The Prophet
(S.A.W) asked Ali (A.S.) to sit down asked the same question again, and again it was only Ali (A.S.) who
answered the call of the Prophet (S.A.W). The Prophet (S.A.W) again asked Ali (A.S.) to sit down and
again asked the same question to the gathering and again none spoke except Ali (A.S.) who again
offered himself to serve at the command of the Prophet (S.A.W). The Prophet (S.A.W) then declared,
“Listen O People of Quraish, here is Ali, who is My Wazir, My Brother and My Successor. Listen to him
and obey him.” The assembly broke up in laughter at the thought of a lad of twelve deciding on such an
enterprise. Some of them cutting jokes with Ali (A.S.)’s father said, “O Abu Talib, now you should listen
and obey your own youngest son.” [Tabari, Vol. 2,
After appointing his successor the Prophet (S.A.W) started preaching Islam openly. He was now
speaking against the idols whom the Quraish so dearly loved and worshipped. This angered them and
the other Meccans very much and when they failed to stop him they instigated their youngsters to
misbehave and harass the Prophet (S.A.W). They teased him, insulted him, and threw stones and dirt
on him. Ali (A.S.) became the Prophet (S.A.W)’s defender. He attacked them and hammered them. He
fought even with those who were much older to him and often got hurt, but he never shed the
responsibility of punishing the harassers of the Prophet (S.A.W). He was so famous for his attacks on
the enemies of the Prophet (S.A.W) that people nicknamed him Kasif (the breaker). Nobody could harm
the Prophet (S.A.W) when Ali (A.S.) was with him. But as Islam spread, the anger and frustration of the
Quraish and the other Meccans also grew, and their harassment became so severe that the lives of the
converts became very miserable.
When the Prophet (S.A.W) saw that the Muslims cannot bear these sufferings any more he advised
them to migrate to the Christian country of Abisinia (Ethiopia). Some three hundred men, women and
children under the leadership of Ali (A.S.)’s brother Jafar migrated. The Quraish angered by this step of
the Prophet (S.A.W) sent their messenger to the king Najashi of Ethiopia requesting him to send back
these refugees who were all criminals and had wronged them. When Abu Talib (A.S.) heard about this
move of the Quraish, he immediately sent a letter to the king, explaining the entire situation and
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requesting him not to withdraw the support which he had so generously given to the Muslims. The king
acting on the advice of Abu Talib (A.S.) refused to oblige the Quraish [Seerat Ibne Hisham, Vol 1., page
During the fifth year after the declaration of his mission a girl was born to the Prophet (S.A.W) who was
named Fatema. She was the only surviving child of the Prophet (S.A.W). Before her birth a son was
born to the Prophet (S.A.W) from Khadija and was named Qasim but he died in his infancy. Similarly,
the Prophet (S.A.W) got another son from his another wife Maria after migrating to Madina. The Prophet
(S.A.W) named him Ibrahim but he to died in his infancy.
When the news of Fatema (S.A.)’s birth was given to the Prophet (S.A.) he said, “I inhale her fragrance
and her sustenance is with Allah.”
Seven long years of torture, sufferings and hardships did not deter the Prophet (S.A.W) from preaching
Islam. Ali (A.S.) now seventeen and stronger than before was as close to him as on the day of the
declaration of Islam. The Prophet (S.A.W)’s message of one God, one book, one nation and one flag
continued to spread among the whole of Arabia and the Quraish began to realized that if not checked
now, this religion and this man Mohammad (S.A.W) will certainly bring their doom. Fearing this the
elders of the Quraish assembled to decide their future course of action so that the spread of Islam may
be checked. This conference and its proceedings is recorded in history which is as follows:
Abu Laheb : Have you seen Abu Talib’s attitude? He is neither prepared to stop his nephew (from
preaching Islam) nor is he prepared to hand him over to us.
Abu Sufian : He is spreading his activities day by day.
Atba : Why not warn Abu Talib once more.
Ibne Hasham : He will not listen.
Abu Sufian : I have an idea, if you all agree to it.
Abu Laheb : Let’s know.
Abu Sufian : We may offer one of our young men to Abu Talib in exchangeofMohammad.
Abu Jehal : Provided Abu Talib agrees.
Ibne Hasham : Lets try this also. (They and their followers come to Abu Talib).
Abu Talib : Why have you come now?
Abu Laheb : (in anger) You have still not understood?
Abu Sufian : Why don’t you give us Mohammad?
Ibne Hasham: Or stop him from preaching Islam if you wish him well?
Abu Talib : I do value your friendship, but at the same time how can I give my child to you. Please
tell me in the name of justice how will I bear this separation?
Abu Sufian : Then do one thing.
Abu Talib : What is it?
Abu Sufian : We know that you will not part with your beloved son till the last breath of your life,
therefore we will give you Ammerath Bin Waleed in exchange. You know he is
handsome, brave, and also a poet, like whom there is none in the whole of Arabia. Take
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him and give us Mohammad.
Shaiba : You will be given all the rights of parenthood.
Aas Bin Walid : Yes Ameerath will belong to you for ever and in his exchange give us Mohammad who
is spoiling the
religion of our ancestors and is causing rift in our community.
Ibne Hasham : You will have to agree to this.
Atba : We have already warned you once, but you have not heeded our advice and did not stop
him. Therefore it is in your interest now to hand him over to us.
Crowd : Yes this should be done.
Abu Talib : O tyrants! You are giving me painful suggestions. It will be a cruel decision. What you
want is that I should love and feed your child, and give my own beloved son so that you
may torture him and seek revenge from him. No this will not happen in my life. Not even
till the Day of Judgement, never.
Mutam Ibn Adi: Your people had offered a fair proposal to you, to relieve you of this tension, but it
appears that the love of your child does not allow you to listen to any reasoning.
Abu Talib : This is not a good offer, it is tyranny, you have already isolated me and my family from the
community and now you want me to part with my own child. I don’t care for you I am not
afraid of you.
Do as you like.
Abu Laheb : All right we shall see.
Abu Sufian : (as all get up) He will soon realize.
Returning disappointed the Quraish decided to ostracize the entire clan of Bani Hashim. Mansoor Bin
Akrama prepared a document under which no Arab would deal, or have any relations or transactions
with the Hashmis. Leaders of all the clans and groups of Mecca signed this undertaking, which was
hung on the doors of Kaaba. The lives of Hashmis became so miserable that Abu Talib (A.S.) taking his
entire clan left Mecca and took refuge in a mountain pass known as Shobe Abi Talib. This pass was the
property of Banu Hashim. But the Quraish were not content with this sufferings of Banu Hashim. They
blocked all the supply routes to the pass, so that Abu Talib (A.S.) and his family may die of hunger and
starvation. Young children including the Prophet (S.A.W)’s daughter Fatema (S.A.) had to live off tree
leaves for their survival. Sometimes the cries of hungry children would be heard outside the pass by
Nobody except the relatives of Khadija helped them and supplied them food grains and water secretly.
Abu Bakr and Umar who had embraced Islam by then and were calling themselves the friend of the
Prophet (S.A.W) never cared to supply any food to the Prophet (S.A.W) and his family though there was
no restriction on them and they were freely moving about.
Though Abu Talib (A.S.) had left Mecca to avoid any confrontation and was living a quiet life in the
mountain pass the demand for Mohammad (S.A.W) still continued. But Abu Talib (A.S.) not only refused
to hand over his nephew Mohammad (S.A.W) to them but also allowed him to continue his preachings.
He and his son Ali (A.S.) were always with Mohammad (S.A.W), wherever he went [Tabari Vol 12 page
215]. Abu Talib (A.S.) was so concerned about the safety of his nephew that he made him sleep on his
own bed and shifted him to other beds when Mohammad (S.A.W) fell asleep. Ali (A.S.) was generally
made to sleep on the bed the Prophet (S.A.W) vacated. But the Prophet (S.A.W)s zeal for preaching
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Islam was so great that during the Hajj period he used to come out of the pass to speak about Islam to
the pilgrims. During such dangerous moments Ali (A.S.) accompanied him as a brother, as a friend and
as a bodyguard. Like a shadow he moved with the Prophet (S.A.W) wherever the Prophet (S.A.W) went.