In spite of extreme torturing of the Muslims by the disbelievers of Makkah, more and more people were embracing Islam day after day. So much so that the leaders of disbelievers like Omar (RA) and Hamza (RA) accepted Islam. The Quraish were frustrated. The prominent leaders of disbelievers gathered in Masjid-ul-Haram. They also saw Prophet Mohammad (SAS) sitting all alone in another part of this Masjid. Atbah Bin Rabiah (عتبة بن ربيعة) the leader of the disbelievers said to Quraish, “Look, Mohammad (SAS) is sitting all alone, I suggest that I talk to him on one to one basis and make him a few offers. Hopefully he will accept some of them. If he does, our problem will be solved.” The gathering unanimously agreed and Rabia rose and walk up to the Prophet (SAS) and sat down in front of him (SAS). Atbah said, “My nephew, you indeed hold a high position and great respect in our nation. Now you have initiated a new movement which has divided our nation. You criticize our gods and our religion. You call our forefathers disbelievers. Please do listen to me. I shall make you a few offers. Do ponder over them, may be you like some of them.”

The Prophet (SAS) said, “Go ahead I shall listen to your offers.” Atbah said, “O my nephew, if you intend to gather wealth through your new religion, we will put so much wealth at your disposal that you will become the richest person among us. If you are seeking a high status, we will make you our leader and we will not settle any matter without your approval. If you wish to be a king, we will make you our king. If some jinn has overpowered you, we will seek treatment for it, we will spend for this treatment whatever it takes to make you completely healthy.”

The Prophet (SAS) listened this talk patiently and then said to Atbah, “Are you finished?” He said, “Yes, my nephew.” The Prophet (SAS) said, “Would you like to listen to my answer?” He said, “Yes.” The Prophet (SAS) recited to Atbah first thirty eight verses of Surah Fussilat in order to answer his questions. There are many lessons in these verses, I shall mention a summary of them step by step.

1.       We start with the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

2.       Allah (SWT) describes the mentality of disbelievers of Makkah in next few verses. Allah (SWT) says, “Quran is revealed in your language. It has very clear guidance, It gives glad tidings to the believers and warns the disbelievers about the punishment. You totally turn a deaf ear to it stating that our ears are not ready to listen to it and our hearths are not ready to accept it. There is a screen or a barrier between you (SAS) and us. Do whatever you want to do. Leave us alone.” Fussilat #1-5.

            Ha-Mim. A revelation from, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. A book where of the verses are explained in detail- a Quran in Arabic for people who know. Giving glad tiding and warning, but most of them turn away, so they hear not. And they say; “Our hearts are under coverings from that, to which you invite us, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen. So work (on your way), verily, we are working (on our way).”

3.       The Prophet (SAS) disregarded their rudeness and ridicule and answered them in a kind and humble way stating, “I am an only a human being like you. However, it is revealed to me that there is only and only one God worth worshiping, Fussilat # 6

Say, “I am only a human being like you, it is revealed to me that your God is one God.”

4.       In the next three verses the detail of creation of universe is given to show Oneness of Allah (SWT). For example, Allah (SWT) has put different kinds of food, minerals, fruits and other vegetations in various regions of the earth to suit the needs of its dwellers. Some places have precious minerals, other regions have more fruit and still other area may have more grain. In this way all regions will be sharing, trading and cooperating with each like an extended family. This allocation of various provisions was done by the Grand Wisdom of One God. There are also signs of Oneness of Allah (SWT) in the creation of earth and skies. A person must be out of his senses if he denies the Oneness of Allah after pondering over the grand creation of universe by Allah (SWT).

5.       There is a warning for the disbelievers if they stick to their stubbornness after listing to above signs of Allah (SWT), they will be punished like Aad(عاد) and Thamud (ثمود). Fussilat #13


            But if they turn away, then say, “I have warned you of a thunderbolt like which one took Ad and Thamud (people).”

Bazar (بزار) and Baghvi (بغوي) reported that when the Prophet (SAS) recited this verse, Atbah put his hand on the mouth of the Prophet (SAS) and begged for mercy because of his kinship and requested not to say anything beyond that.

6.       On the Day of Judgment your hearing, eyes and even skin will speak out as witnesses for you or against you. Hence you cannot hide your sins.

7.       The disbelievers try to do another dirty trick. Fussilat #26

And those who disbelieve say, “Listen not to this Quran and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may over come.”

We see this even these days in so called civilized western world during Azan and Salat, Note that here is also a reminder for believers not to talk during recitation of Quran.

8.       Then the Prophet (SAS) added. Fussilat # 27.

But surely, Allah shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment, and certainly, Allah shall give them a terrible reward for their bad deeds.

9.       In next four verses the reward and respect for the practicing believers are mentioned. For example, Fussilat#33

Who is better in speech than he who invites (men) and does righteous deeds and says, “I am one of the Muslims.”

Allah gives glad tidings to the believers. Fussilat # 30-32

Verily, those who says, “Our lord is Allah (alone),” and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descent (saying), “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised. We have been your friends in this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. There in you shall have (all) that which your inner selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

10.   Finally note that the day and night and sun and moon are also signs of Allah (SWT). Do not worship any one of them. You should rather worship their creator. After reciting verses 37 and 38, The Prophet (SAS) made a sajda and then said to Atbah, “You have listen to my speech. Now it is up to you to do what  you like.”

Atbah rose and walked toward his group. As he approached near them, the disbelievers started whispering to each other, “Atbah’s (or Abu Waleed’s) face is changed.” When Atbah sat down among them, they asked, “What news you have brought?” Atbah said as mentioned in Ibn Katheer, “I never listened to a speech like this before. I swear it is not the word of a poet. Nor it is the word of a soothsayer. O my People, please do listen to me and you better leave this matter to me.”

            “My opinion is that you stop confronting him and torturing him. Leave him alone with his work since one day his speech is going to be honored. You better sit tight and simply observe his dealing with the rest of the Arabs. If rest of the Arabs defeats him, you shall achieve your goal without any effort on your part. If, however, he overpowers rest of the Arabs and starts ruling over them, it will be your empire. His honor will be your honor since he is from Quraish. You will be partners in this success automatically.”

The disbelievers said, “O Abu Waleed, obviously Mohammad (SAS) has changed you with his magical words.”

Atbah said, “I firmly stand by my above proposal, you do what you feel like doing.”

This dramatic dialogue teaches us how to make dawah to disbelievers.

1.       We should start with the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

2.       We should talk to them humbly and gently even if they are rude and make fun of us and of our religion.

3.       We should present to them some signs of Allah (SWT) from the creation of Allah (SWT) as proof of His Greatness and Oneness.

4.       We should remind them of the fate of arrogant people like Ad and Thamud who denied the truth.

5.       We should also remind them that their doings and deeds are not hidden from Allah (SWT). So much so that their own ears and eyes and even skin will be witnesses of their actions on the day of the judgment. Their various parts of body are like security guards of Allah (SWT).

6.       Remind them of the fate of disbelieves in this world and in Hereafter.

Last but not the least, there are signs of Allah (SWT) in sun and moon, day and night and in other creations of Allah (SWT). Do not worship these creations rather worship the Creator of them i.e.  one God only, the Supreme Creator.

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