The first few days and months after the initial Revelation were full of wonder and awe for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). Eyes sparkling, hearts filled with faith, Khadijah and Muhammad (PBUH) woke up every morning with renewed purpose, a sense of clarity and inner peace.
However, they also knew that they could not keep this incredible message of beauty and spiritual revolution to themselves. “Yaa ayyuhal mudaththir! Qum fa anthir!” The Words of Allah were a clear command: “O you who covers himself, arise and warn!” (Qur’an 74:1-2)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) knew that they had a great task ahead of them. Nonetheless, they also knew that they needed to be careful – though simple, the message of Islam was also one that would be extremely difficult for their society to accept.
Belief in Allah alone, worshiping Him alone and without partners, was what every soul inclined towards, but the people of Makkah – and indeed, all of Arabia, and the world at large – had been so spiritually corrupted that they would react with anger and violence in response.
The logical thing to do, then, would be to first approach those whom they knew would most recognize the truth of the message. Even in the spiritual wasteland that was Makkah, there were individuals who stood apart as those who found themselves averse to idol-worship. Of those people were, of course, their own family –their children.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah gathered their daughters and spoke to them quietly of what had occurred – would they believe their father and worship their Lord with true sincerity and faith?
Without hesitation, Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and even young Fatimah declared their belief in Allah as their only God, and Muhammad as His Messenger. Having grown up witnessing the excellence of their father’s character, and knowing within themselves that the idol worship around them was something they could never accept, they immediately accepted Islam.
Ali ibn Abi Talib and Zaid ibn al-Haarith, also members of Prophet Muhammad’s household, were also of the first people to say the shahaadah (Testimony of Faith). They too had grown up watching him and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), whether it was when they would seek solitude for worship in the cave of Hiraa, or when they spent their daily lives trying to improve the world around them.The message that Muhammad (PBUH) came with was clear, simple, and rang true: how could they deny it?
Thus began the time of the ‘secret’ da’wah – when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), began to speak to those closest to them about the radically beautiful message of Tawheed (oneness of God).
In small, quiet gatherings in their homes, the first group of believers submitted themselves to their Lord, seeking His pleasure and living in obedience to Him. Abu Bakr, Lubabah bint al-Haarith, Bilal ibn Rabah, Sumayyah bint Khabbaab – these were just some of the earliest believers, those whose hearts were already inclined towards the truth, who found inward serenity and strength in their belief in Allah alone.
Meanwhile, , the great angel Jibreel) himself came to Muhammad (PBUH) to teach him: to reveal the Divine Guidance, to provide spiritual comfort, to purify himself physically and to rise, bow, and prostrate in the most perfect form of worship ever to be taught to humankind… and the first person to hear the words of Allah being recited in the voice of His Messenger, with his strength and faith, with his beauty and conviction, was Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her).
To be continued…