Previously we asked the question: What was the True Message of Islam and what was the purpose of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)—on this earth—regarding that Message?
We also asked: What was the need for a religion like Islam, and was there, or can anyone offer, a clear-cut answer to any of these questions?
We looked at how the Prophet (pbuh) sent some of his followers(about 80 of them, women and children included) to a place called Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia) to escape the hideous torture meted out to them by those hostile to the "Message of Islam."
We discussed how Qureish (the leading tribe in Mecca) tried to get the Muslims expelled from Abyssinia by dispatching a delegation to that country and telling the Negus (Christian King of Abyssinia) how Islam recognized no other religion except Islam and that Muslims did not accept the Prophet Jesus as the "Son of God."
We spoke about how the Negus, after listening to both sides, i.e. the delegation of Qureish, and a spokesperson for the Muslims explaining what Islam really stood for and what the Quran said about the Prophet Jesus as well as all the other Prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Lot, and Moses (to name but a few), offered his deliberation by letting the Muslims stay under his protection! And the delegation of Qureish had to return to Arabia, empty-handed, smarting profusely from the telling-off the Negus had given them.
Thus, we explored a vital part of the "Message of Islam."
But one can only imagine what suffering the Muslims (those who stayed behind in Mecca) must have endured at the hands of Qureish after the incident in Abyssinia.
History tells us that not only were Qureish satisfied with torturing the ordinary citizens of Mecca—in the streets—but they were now seriously conspiring on how to get rid of the Prophet (pbuh) once and for all in a last-ditch effort to eradicate Islam.
To crown it all, conversions to Islam was now taking place on a regular basis despite the hostilities and torture. People like Hamza (nicknamed Hamza the lion hunter) came into the fold of Islam without any coercion; Umar, the son of Hattab, was on his way to kill the Prophet (pbuh) when he embraced Islam.
The clansmen of Qureish were beside themselves with such turnabouts—not only was Hamza a well-known and well-respected member of the Qureish tribe, but he was as his name suggested: a genuine hunter and killer of mountain lions, and someone who took pride in his prowess of doing it alone, with only a hunting knife and unbelievable courage. Some called it foolishness, but no one argued with Hamza. Nobody was that foolish!
Umar, on the other hand, was something else. He was known more for his temper than his character. It is said that he was such a violent person that once, in an argument with someone, he cut off the man's arm with his sword, and unceremoniously beat the hapless soul to death with his own arm!
Be that as it may, Umar was on his way to kill Muhammed (pbuh) when he met an acquaintance who enquired about his doings.
Umar replied that he was on his way to kill the madman who was causing so much dissent in Mecca, the man who had the audacity to proclaim himself the Messenger of God, and cause so many families to split up. He, Umar, was going to make sure that Muhammed (pbuh) never repeated any more of his stupid rantings to anyone ever again!
The man looked at him strangely and said that he would be well-advised to first consult with his own sister and her husband before he went over to such drastic action. Apparently both of them had accepted Islam.