When the Messenger of Allah reached the age of forty, on Monday the 17th of Ramadan, while he was worshipping in the cave, he heard a strong voice saying to him: recite! He said I cannot recite. The command was repeated recite! He said I cannot recite. Then, Jibreel said for the third time recite “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” Suratul ‘alaq. When Prophet Muhammad recited these verses and intended to leave the cave, he heard a voice saying: O Muhammad! You are a messenger of Allah, I am Jibreel, and when the Prophet raised his eyes up, he saw angel Jibreel standing in the form of a human being in the horizons of the heaven then, he disappeared.
The Prophet returned to Khadija in a state of fright. She calmed him down from his fears saying: indeed, you are the messenger of this ummah and that is the nature of revelation. Sometimes it comes like the jingle of a bell, and sometimes like the voice of man-to-man.
Thus, Muhammad realized that he was the prophet of this ummah and he started preparing himself for the greatest responsibility in history, which is the responsibility of calling secretly and openly to Islam. It was not an easy task because he grew up among the Quraish, which was among the biggest tribes of Makkah, and most of them were disbelievers who worshipped idols. His uncle, Abu Talib was an unbeliever but he loved the prophet so much. Hence, he was always protecting the prophet before the advent of Islam and even after revelation and propagation started.
Calling to Islam secretly
The Prophet started calling to Islam after he became certain that he is the messenger to this ummah and he is the one who will remove her from darkness to light. Hence, he came to the most elevated place in Makkah, climbed on the mountain, and said: O people! O gathering of the Quraish! If I say to you that behind this mountain is an army of horse riders coming to attack you will you belief me? They said yes! We have never experienced anything of lies from you in the past. You are the trustworthy. Then, the Prophet said to them: I am a warner to you before the coming of a great punishment and I invite you to Islam. It was from this moment that mockery started. After they had known him as a truthful and trustworthy person, he is now seen as a liar, magician, and a poet. They changed his beautiful name, Muhammad (the praised one) and started calling him Mudhammam (the dispraised one) may Allah’s curse be upon them. Then, the Prophet started calling to Allah secretly. He started by calling members of his family and sincere friends to the worship of Allah for three years in secret. He called them to abstain from the worship of idols and so, the first person to believe in him was his wife Khadija bint khuwailid- may Allah be pleased with her. Followed by his nephew, Aliyu bin Abi-Talib and zaid bin harith. Then, his friend Abubakar As-sideeq and some of his relatives also believed. Then, each of them started calling members of his household and everyone they knew to the religion of Allah till it got to the Quraish that Muhammad was calling on the Quraish to abstain from the worship of idols and to turn to the worship of Allah alone who has no partners. From this point, the journey to open propagation started and it marks the beginning of the enmity of the disbelievers to the Prophet.
Calling to Allah openly and the enmity of the Quraish
At the end of the third year of secret propagation, Allah commanded the His messenger to announce the propagation openly and to admonish people to worship Allah alone, the Eternal who begets not nor was He begotten and nor is there any equivalent to Him. In addition, that they should abstain from the worship of idols. As soon as the Quraish realized this, they accused the messenger of Allah of madness because the worship of idols to them has economic benefits. Then, the enmity of Quraish took different dimension especially his uncle Abu lahab, his wife Ummu Jameel bint Harb, and Abu Jahl (‘Amr bin Hisham) who was nicknamed Abul hakam. Likewise, the Quraish started persecuting their slaves who had believed in Muhammad and his message. At first, they did not harm the Prophet himself because of the protection of his uncle Abu-Talib. However, the Quraish could not hide their anger. So, some of them went to Abu-Talib and told him that it is either Muhammad stops what he is preaching or make concessions but Muhammad refused and made a very popular statement: “I swear by Allah if they put the Sun on my right hand and the Moon on my left hand so that I should leave this matter I will not until Allah makes it to overcome or I die in the course of it”. His uncle usually helps him and he knew that his brother’s son has a great issue ahead because of the things he saw when he was in his company like the covering of the clouds over him, the coming down of water for him during the time of drought such that the Quraish tried to fetch from the water but couldn’t till they came to Abu-Talib and said: seek water for us from your brother’s son. Therefore, the Prophet pointed with his noble hands to the heavens and water came down in abundance until the thirsty drank, the earth was green and every soul drank. With that, Abu-Talib knew that Muhammad had a great mission, which he will achieve, but he remained an unbeliever until his death. Hence, the unbelievers increased their harm on Muhammad. They stoned him, and placed the intestine of a dead camel on his back while he was praying. Uqbah bin Abi Mueet- may Allah’s curse be upon him- used to harm the Prophet alot, he even spat on the Prophet’s face and likewise the rest of the Quraish who also gathered and decided to kill him. Therefore, they gathered men from each tribe to do the job so that all the tribes will share the responsibility of his blood but Allah helped him and blinded their eyes and Allah is capable of all things.