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Teaching and Opposition

 

The Messenger Muhammad patiently and quietly started teaching to friends and family members. This period of teaching lasted for three years, and the total number of people who embraced the new religion during this time was less than thirty. Among them were Khadijah (Messenger's wife), 'Ali (Messenger's cousin and ward), Zaid (a slave freed by Messenger , as slavery and equality cannot go hand in hand), Abu Bakr, 'Uthman and Talha (Messenger's close friends and life-long companions). 

After three years, God's command came to teach openly. Messenger Muhammad then went up to the mount of Safa near Mecca and declared the Oneness of God, warning the Meccans of God's judgement. He invited them to believe and to act on this belief by following God's commandments and living righteous lives. This infuriated the Meccans, for such a message threatened to destroy all their power and all the interest they had vested in the idols of the House of God. They threatened him with dire consequences if he did not cease this open preaching. As if in answer to their threats, a few days later the Messenger went to the House of God and declared: 

'There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is his Messenger.' 

The non-believers were more startled and disturbed. Threatening had failed, so now they tried to bribe him with riches, honor, women and even kingship. The Messenger's simple answer to this was: 'If they place the sun in my one hand and the moon on the other, even then I shall not desist from performing my sacred mission.' 

Since both bribery and threats had failed, the non-believers now began the most cruel persecution of the Messenger and his followers, whose only 'crime' was that they believed in One God, avoided evil, practiced goodness, kindness, justice, love and brotherhood. Some of these believers were thrown on the burning desert sand in the heat of the sun and heavy stones were laid on their chests. Some were beaten so mercilessly that they died. It was daily custom of the Meccans to throw rubbish on him and they strewed thorns on his path. On one occasion when our beloved Messenger went to Taif, a nearby town, to preach the message of God, he was mercilessly attacked and stoned by the people. While suffering these tortures, Messenger Muhammad would say, 'O God, show them the right path because they do not understand.' Thus did he carry out his mission as the Bringer of peace and love to all mankind. 

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