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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

from whatever harm might come from quraysh muhammad took refuge behind his people. from the worries he generated within himself he took refuge in the person of khadijah. with her faith and great love she was for him a refreshing source of joy. she supported him against every symptom of weakness or despondency generated by the harm his enemies had inflicted against him or against his followers. in fact, ever since muhammad made public cause of his revelations, quraysh knew no peace, and the tranquility of earlier days vanished. instigated by the quraysh, every clan and tribe began to attack its muslim members to dissuade them from their faith. one unbeliever threw his abyssinian slave, bilal, onto the sand under the burning sun, laid a heavy stone on his chest and left him there to die, for no reason except his insistence upon islam. bearing himself gallantly under this torture, bilal kept on repeating, "god is one, god is one." abu bakr saw him, bought him from his master and set him free. indeed, abu bakr bought many of the slaves and clients who were being thus tortured by the unbelievers. among these there was even a slave woman whom abu bakr had bought from `umar ibn al khattab before the tatter's conversion. one woman is known to have been tortured to death because of her attachment to islam and her refusal to return to the old faith. muslims of pure arab blood were beaten and subjected to all sorts of maltreatment and contemptuous humiliation. even muhammad did not escape, despite the protection of banu hashim and banu al muttalib. umm jamil, abu lahab's wife, used to throw the refuse from her house onto muhammad's door. all muhammad could do was simply to remove it. while muhammad was praying near the ka'bah, abu lahab threw on him the entrails of a goat sacrificed to one of the gods; and muhammad could only go to his daughter fatimah for her to clean him and wash the dirt off his clothes. this abuse was all in addition to the terrible vituperation and vile calumnies the unbelievers directed against the muslims on every occasion and in every quarter. such persecution continued for a long time, but it only confirmed the muslims in their faith and challenged them to sacrifice everything for the sake of their convictions.




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