The Representatives of Quraysh Come and Meet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) Quraysh sent many representatives to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to find out the object of his undertaking this journey. Budayl Khuza’i and some members of the tribe of Khuza’ah contacted the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as representatives of Quraysh. He said to them: “I have not come to fight. I have come to perform pilgrimage of the Ka’bah”. They returned and informed Quraysh about the position. However, the incredulous Quraysh did not accept their version and said: “By God! Even if he has come for the pilgrimage of the Ka’bah, we shall not let him enter Makkah”. Then Mikraz as a representative of Quraysh met the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He also returned and confirmed what Budayl had said, but Quraysh did not believe in the report submitted by him. In order to put an end to the conflict they sent to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Hulays Ibn Alqamah, who was the chief archer of Arabia.1 He was still at a distance when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) got sight of him and said: “This man belongs to a pure and pious tribe. Sacrifice the camels before him, so that he may know that we have not come to fight and have no aim except performing the pilgrimage of the Ka’bah”. Hulays saw seventy camels which were so hungry that they were eating the wool of one another. He returned from the same spot and did not meet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He addressed Quraysh with great vehemence and said: “We have not at all concluded a pact with you to prevent the pilgrims of the Ka’bah from performing pilgrimage. Muhammad has no aim except performing pilgrimage. By the Almighty, who controls my life! If you prevent Muhammad from entering (Makkah) I along with all men of my tribe who are mostly archers shall fall upon you and cut you to pieces”. The words of Hulays were not liked by Quraysh. However, fearing his opposition, they deliberated over the matter and said to him: “Rest assured. We ourselves shall find solution which will be acceptable to you”. At the fourth stage, however, they sent to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) Urwah bin Mas’ud Saqafi in whose wisdom, intelligence and honesty they had full confi nce. In the beginning he declined to represent Quraysh as he could very well see how they had behaved with their former representati es, but they assured him that his positi in their eyes was fully established and they would not accuse him of breach of trust. Urwah bin Mas’ud came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and said: “O Muhammad! You have gathered different groups around you and have now decided to attack your birth-place (Makkah). Nevertheless, Quraysh will prevent your advance with full force and will not allow you to enter Makkah. I am, however, afraid that tomorrow these groups will leave you in the lurch”. When he had said this Abu Bakr, who was standing behind the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), turned to ‘Urwah and said: “You are mistaken. In no circumstances will the Prophet’s friends desert him”. Urwah used all the arts of diplomacy in his speech and tried to prove the strength of Quraysh and weaken the morale of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.); and with a view to degrading the position of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) he touched his beard while talking. Mughayrah bin Sh’obah repeatedly struck his hand and said: “Be respectful and don’t misbehave towards the Prophet”. Urwah asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): “Who is he?” (It appears that the persons, who were around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), had concealed their faces). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “He is your nephew Mughayrah bin Sh’obah”. Urwah was displeased and said: “O cunning person! I purchased your honour yesterday. You killed thirteen persons of the tribe of Saqif a short time before embracing Islam and I paid the blood-money from my own pocket to prevent the flames of war flaring up amongst the families of Saqif”. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) interrupted Urwah and explained to him the purpose of his journey as he had already explained to the former representatives of Quraysh. However, in order to give a knockdown reply to the threats held out by Urwah, he got up and performed wuzu (ablution). Urwah saw with his own eyes that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not allow even a drop of the water of his wuzu to fall on the ground. Urwah got up and arrived in the assembly of Quraysh. He informed the chiefs of Quraysh, who had assembled at Zi Tuwa, about his meeting with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the latter’s aim. He also added: “I have seen great kings. I have observed great powers like the power of the Emperor of Iran, Kaiser of the Roman Empire and the King of Ethiopia but have not seen the position of anyone of them amongst their nations as high as enjoyed by Muhammad amongst his followers. I have seen with my own eyes that they didn’t let even a drop of the water of his wuzu fall on the ground and divided it amongst themselves as tabarruk (i.e. a sacred gift which brings blessings). If one of his hair falls they pick it up immediately. Hence the chiefs of Quraysh should ponder over this dangerous situation’’.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) Sends his Representative
The contacts which the representatives of Quraysh had with the great leader of Islam did not produce any result. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) could very well imagine that the representatives of Quraysh could not convey the facts to the elders of Quraysh or did not do so clearly fearing reproach. He, therefore, decided to send his own representative who should clarify to them the real object of his undertaking the journey, which was nothing except the pilgrimage of the Ka’bah. Khirash, a clever man of the tribe of Khuza’ah, was selected for the purpose and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) placed a camel at his disposal. He met the groups of Quraysh and discharged his duty. However, contrary to expectations as well as the custom of the nations of the world that an ambassador is always immune from any harm, they (i.e. Quraysh) cut off the feet of his camel and were about to kill him, but his life was saved through the archers of Arabia. This foul act proved that the Quraysh had no intention to settle the matter peacefully and were bent upon fighting.
Soon after this incident fifty experienced men of Quraysh were deputed to go round the area where Muslims had encamped and, if possible, to pillage their property and take some of them captives. However, this plan of theirs was frustrated and on the other contrary they were arrested and brought before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Although they had shot arrows and hurled stones at the Muslims, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) directed all of them to be set free. Hence, he once again proved his bonafide and made it clear that he had no intention to fight.