Glimpses of Hope
During the season of hajj every year the Prophet was busy offering the new faith to the tribes. In the eleventh year after his rise to prophethood he met a group of the tribe of al-Khazraj. He asked them to allow him to have a talk with them. They accepted that and he talked to them about Islam. He called them to believe in Allah, and recited verses from the Qur'an. Upon hearing that they murmured one to another:
"...By Allah, he is the Prophet the Jews have promised. See to it that no one should follow him before you.." (42)
They responded positively and entered Islam. After returning back to Yathrib, they began to propagate Islam till a great number of their people embraced it.
In the following year, twelve people from Madina came to a place called al-Aqaba, and there, they pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and swore that they would not "set up a partner with Allah, or commit adultery, or kill their children, that they should never cast calumnies against others nor should they disobey him (the Prophet) when he orders them to do good. Should they be true to their word their reward would be Paradise, but if they, however, went back on their word, Allah will be the Arbitrator. It is upto Him to punish them or to forgive them.."
So the converts of Madinah could become acquainted with Islam's teachings, the Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Mus'ab bin Umayr with them. Mus'ab was still young. Helped by those who embraced Islam among the people of Madinah he toured Madinah calling the people to Allah and the Divine message. Two of the prominent figures of the city, Sa'd bin Ma'adh and Usaid bin Hudair converted to Islam. By their entering Islam, the doors were wide open for the people of Madinah to open their hearts to Islam.
ALLEGIANCE OF AL-AQABAH
Mus'ab stayed in Madinah one year, during which he called the Madinites to Islam, instructed them in its teachings and recited to them the Qur'an. During the next season of hajj, thirteen years after the Prophet's rise to prophethood, Mus'ab came at the head of a delegation consisting of 70 men and two women.
They promised the Prophet (s.a.w.) to meet him secretly at al-Aqabah. The first third of the night passed and the pilgrims retired to their beds. These men and women made their way to the meeting-place. The Prophet (s.a.w.) came there escorted by his uncle al-Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib, al-Abbas was the first to speak:
"..Muhammad's place among us is well-known to you. We protect him from our people. He enjoys a high status among his people and he is secure in his city. But he has insisted on joining you. Now, if you think that you will fulfil your promise to him and defend him against his opponents then you should do your best. But if you think of handing him over to his enemies and failing him, then from this point leave him enjoying the power and protection of his people."(43)
"We have heard what you said," they said in unison. O Messenger of Allah, speak out, and state what obligations you and Your Lord want from us."
The Prophet (s.a.w.) then recited verses from the Qur'an and invited them to Islam and said,
"Pledge your allegiance to me. Listen to me and obey me during the periods of activity and lethargy, Spend of your money during ease and difficulty, enjoin the good and forbid the evil, convey the words of Allah fearing no blame from anyone, help me and give me, should I resort to you, the same protection you give to yourselves and your own wives and offspring. Your reward will certainly be Paradise..."(44)
They agreed to these conditions and pledged their allegiance to him one after the other.
Compared to the first allegiance of al-Aqabah, this one, the second allegiance of al-Aqabah, bad tremendous effects on the souls of the faithful. On the horizon they saw the harbingers of an imminent victory. After a prolonged period of oppression, suppression and terror, ever in the span of thirteen years in Mecca, now the doors of hope were flung wide open before them.
The Quraish, on hearing the news of the allegiance of al-Aqabah, were startled, and filled with fear. Hurriedly they held a meeting at which a decision was arrived at: Track down the Madinites who met the Prophet (s.a.w.) at al-Aqabah. After much effort, they arrested al-Mundhir bin Amru but he broke away from them. Sa'd bin Ubada was also captured. They tied his hands to his neck and dragged him by his hair. Heavily beating him, they brought him to Mecca. But, luckily, Mut'im bin Uday and al-Harith bin Harb bin Umayyah saved him, due to business relation they had with him.