Calling the Tribes to lslam during the Holy Months
the pact into which the clans of quraysh had entered for boycotting muhammad and blockading the muslims continued to be observed for three consecutive years. during this time muhammad and his family and companions fortified themselves against attack in one of the hills within makkah. in their isolation, however, they suffered all kinds of privations; often they could not find enough food to satisfy their hunger. it was not possible either for muhammad or the muslims to mix with other people or to talk to them except during the holy months, when the arabs would come to makkah on pilgrimage and all hostilities would cease. in those months, no killing, persecution, aggression or vengence was permitted. muhammad used to approach the arabs and call them unto the religion of god and warn them of his imminent punishment as well as announce to them the blessings of paradise. the pilgrims knew what muhammad had suffered in the cause of his mission, and this stirred their sympathy and compassion for him as well as their sensitivity to his call. indeed, this boycott imposed by quraysh, and muhammad's patient bearing of it for the sake of his cause, won for him and his cause many hearts. not all men were as hard of feeling as abu jahl and abu lahab.