Various strategies against Islam

After performing Hajj the pilgrims returned home to face thedisquieting issue of a new, rival religion. Having lapsed intopolytheism for so long, the Arabs saw Islam as a new religion, onethey had to stamp out. They refused to acknowledge that it wassimply a return to the pristine monotheism preached by theirforefathers, Ibraheem and Isma’eel.

The outraged pagans devised various ways to deal with thecurrent situation, confident that these plans, when put into action,would vanquish the threat of Islam. Their tactics included ridicule,abuse, slander, debate, and open harassment of the Prophetand his followers.

Ridicule, contempt and mockery

To demoralise and demean the Messenger of Allah , thepagan Arabs began to vilify him: “This is a poet, a madman, asoothsayer … Satan comes to him and teaches him … He is asorcerer, a liar.”

When they encountered the Prophet , they would glare athim and say scornfully: “This is the man who decries our gods!”The idolaters would taunt the Muslims as they passed by them:“Look! The rulers of the earth come to you. Has Allah entrustedus to them?” This was a contemptuous reference to the weaksocial stature of the Muslim minority who had dared to confrontthe powerful minority.

The unjust ridicule and condemnation deeply hurt even theProphet . Allah says: “We know that your breast is distressed bywhat they say.” (15: 97)

Allah then revealed the verses of inspiration and comfort tohelp the Prophet remain steadfast: “Therefore, magnify thepraises of your Lord, and be among those who prostratethemselves before Him.” (15: 98)

In other verses, the Prophet was told that Allah alonewould judge the evildoers and polytheists, and that they wouldsoon reap the fruit of their evil deeds. Consoling himself and hisfollowers, the Prophet said, “The messengers who came beforeme have also been laughed at and condemned, but the mockersfound themselves surrounded on all sides by their own disdain.”

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