Warning of the Danger of the Pledge
after the negotiations concerning the conditions of allegiance had ended, and all of the audience were unanimously agreed to ratify it, two men of the early generation of converts who had embraced islam in the eleventh and twelfth years rose to their feet to apprise the others of the serious step they were about to take so that they could give their pledge fully aware of the whole affair and consequently be ready for the sacrifice they were expected to make. al ‘abbas bin ubada bin nadlah, in this context, remarked: "o you people of khazraj! do you know the significance of the pact that you are entering into with this man? you are in fact avowing that you will fight against all and sundry. if you fear that your property will be at stake or the lives of your nobles will be endangered, then leave him now, because if you do this after the pledge, it will be degrading for you both in this world and the world to come. but if you think that you can carry out what you are called upon to do in spite of the loss of precious lives and property, then undertake this heavy responsibility, and i swear by allâh, that herein lies the good of this world and that of the next."
they replied, "we have already considered the loss of property and the murder of our notables, yet we pay him allegiance. but what is our reward if we observe all the items of this pact?" the prophet replied: "paradise is in store for you." then they asked him to stretch out his hand, and they all stretched out their hands and took the pledge. only at that time did as‘ad bin zurarah come to realize the people’s readiness for sacrifice in the cause of allâh. [ibn hisham 1/446]
on the authority of jabir, who said: "when we started to pay allegiance to the prophet [pbuh], as‘ad bin zurarah stood up and gave the following short address: "take it easy people of yathrib! we have not covered that long distance except because we have had deep belief that he (muhammad [pbuh]) is the messenger of allâh. we are already convinced that following him entails departure from the pagan arabs even if it were at the risk of our life. should you preserve in this course, holdfast to it, and your great reward is placed in the hand of allâh, but if you are caught in fear, i admonish you to give it up just now, and then you would be more excusable by allâh." [musnad ahmad]