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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

abu talib communicated his resolution to banu hashim and banu al muttalib and spoke to them about his nephew with great admiration and deep appreciation of the sublimity of muhammad's position. he asked them all to protect muhammad against the quraysh. all of them pledged to do so except abu lahab, who declared openly his enmity to him and his withdrawal to the opposite camp. undoubtedly, the tribal bond they shared with muhammad and their traditional enmity with banu umayyah influenced their decision to stand by muhammad. tribal solidarity and politics, however, do not completely explain their new opposition to all quraysh in a matter so grave as to require them to repudiate the faith and beliefs inherited from the fathers. the attitude of muhammad toward them, his firm conviction, his calling them in kindness to the worship of god alone, and their awareness that among the tribes of arabia there were certainly other religions besides their own all these factors caused them to realize that to their nephew and fellow tribesman belonged the right to speak out his views, just as umayyah ibn abu al salt and waraqah ibn nawfal and others had done before him. if muhammad were saying the truth and they did not think that that was the case truth will certainly prevail, and they stand to share in the glory of its victory. if, on the other hand, muhammad was not telling the truth, then people would pass his claim by as they had other claims before. in this case it would not destroy their traditions, and there was, therefore, no reason why they should betray him to his enemies and allow them to kill him.




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