the parliament of quraish
the polytheists were paralysed by the carefully planned and speedy movement of muhammad’s followers towards their new abode in madinah. they were caught in unprecedented anxiety and got deeply worried over their whole pagan and economic entity. they already experienced muhammad [pbuh] as an influential leader; and his followers as determined, decent and always ready to sacrifice all they had for the sake of the messenger of allâh [pbuh]. al-aws and al-khazraj tribes, the would-be-hosts of the makkan muslims, were also known in arabia for their might and power in war, and judicious and sensible approach in peace. they were also averse to rancour and prejudice for they themselves had had bitter days of inter-tribal warfare. madinah , itself, the prospective headquarters of the ever-growing islamic call, enjoyed the most serious strategic position. it commanded the commercial routes leading to makkah whose people used to deal in about a quarter of a million gold dinar-worth commodities every year. security of the caravan routes was crucial for the perpetuity of prosperous economic life. all those factors borne in mind, the polytheists felt they were in the grip of a serious threat. they, therefore, began to seek the most effective method that could avert this imminent danger. they convened a meeting on thursday, 26th safar, the year fourteen of prophethood / 12th september 622 a.d[for details see rahmat-al-lil'alameen 1/95-102] ., i.e. two and a half months after the great ‘aqabah pledge. on that day, "the parliament of makkah" held the most serious meeting ever, with one item on the agenda: how to take effective measures with a view to stopping that tidal wave. delegates representing all the quraishite tribes attended the meeting, the most significant of whom were:
- abu jahl bin hisham, from bani makhzum;
- jubair bin mut‘im, tuaima bin ‘adi, and al-harith bin ‘amir representing bani naufal bin ‘abd munaf;
- rabi‘a’s two sons shaibah and ‘utbah besides abu sufyan bin harb from bani ‘abd shams bin ‘abd munaf;
- an-nadr bin al-harith (who had besmeared the prophet [pbuh] with animal entrails) to speak for bani ‘abd ad-dar;
- abul bukhtary bin hisham, zama‘a bin al-aswad and hakeem bin hizam to represent bani asad bin ‘abd al-‘uzza;
- al-hajjaj’s two sons nabih and munbih from bani sahm;
- omaiyah bin khalaf from bani jumah.
on their way to an-nadwah house, iblis (satan) in the guise of a venerable elderly man standing at the door interrupted their talk and introduced himself as a man from najd curious enough to attend the meeting, listen to the debate and wish them success to reach a sound opinion. he was readily admitted in.