[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
The Prophet ﷺ strove for 23 years to establish Touhid. During this time, he faced hardships, opposition and hostility from his very own people. He underwent death threats, hunger and even social boycott for standing up to establish the worship of one and only Allah.
In those days, the pagans of Makkah used to host two fairs every six months. Tariq ibn Abdullah, a non-Makkan who used to visit the fair, said:
“I, too , took my goods to sell in the market. I saw a good looking young man standing outside a shop, talking to the owner. I noted that he was not buying or selling anything but was only talking. The moment he started to talk, people gathered around him. Then, another man came and hit the young man on his head and it bled till his heels were red with blood. It continued every time he stopped and talked at a shop. There was no one who could protect him from being hit.
I went to one of the shopkeepers and asked him the reason. I was told that this young man was inviting people to say and believe - La ilaha Illa Allah… There is no deity deserving to be worshipped, except Allah. Success is in these words. This man was the grandson of Abu Muttalib, from the prominent Makkan tribe of Quraish.”
“Then who is the other man who is hitting him?”
Tariq asked the people. “It is Abu Lahab, his own uncle”, he was told. Abu Lahab used to follow Mohammedﷺ and tell people:
“Do not listen to him. He is a big liar.” There was no one to protect him. Yet, he continued till he dominated the land of Arabia. Tariq ibn Abdullah continued his observation.
“Years passed by and my own tribe became Muslim upon the call of the Prophet in Madinah. I, too, went to Madinah, along with my people. There I saw the same man, now in a commanding position, standing upon a pulpit and asking people to be charitable and donate generously.”
“The upper hand is dear to Allah than the lower hand.”
Tariq ibn Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) was glad to see the success.