Allah, Glorious is He, sent His Messenger (SAW) at a time when the whole world was steeped in the depths of ignorance; knowledge of the truth had been lost and nowhere was it being established and lived by as was deserving. People would unduly adopt the practices they found their forefathers upon, practices that their predecessors had themselves invented and regarded to be commendable: matters that were no more than superstition, concocted belief and innovation.
When he (SAW) stood amongst them,
quickly did they meet the good he brought with open rejection and opposition; countering the truth he brought with lies, throwing absurd accusations at him simply because he opposed their beliefs and practices, and claiming that he was a liar, even though he was known by them to be truthful and trustworthy. They claimed he was a magician while knowing full well that he did not possess the qualities and traits of one and, moreover, had never claimed to be one. They claimed he was possessed while knowing full well that his intellect was intact and that he had no satanic symptoms.
When he (SAW) called them to worship the only One who deserved to be worshipped, the One who has no partner, they responded by saying,
this, even though they, in their hearts, acknowledged the truth of what he said,
“When they embark in ships, they call on Allah, making their religion sincerely His…”
When he warned them about the severity of the Day of Judgment, swift were they to reject all the evidences they witnessed of the possibility of its occurrence and said,
“What an extraordinary thing! When we are dead and turned to dust…? That would be a most unlikely return!”
When he (SAW) tried to inculcate the fear of Allah’s punishment in them, they said,
When he (SAW) performed miracles, quick were they to deny them. All of this was done by them by way of calling to what they were upon, that they be followed in their ways and beliefs, and by way of stubbornly resisting anything that opposed them. This is why Allah, Most High, said concerning the dispute of Ibrahim with his people,
“…when he said to his father and his people, ‘What do you worship?’ They said, ‘We worship idols and will cling to them.’ He said, ‘Do they hear you when you call or do they help you or do you harm?’ They said, ‘No, but this is what we found our fathers doing.’”
So the only response they had in the face of these damning questions was that they were doing what they found their fathers doing. Allah, Most High, says,
“Or did We give them a Book before which they are holding to? No, in fact they say, ‘We found our fathers following a religion and we are simply guided in their footsteps.’”
Again they could only recourse to their blind following of their fathers, so Allah, Most High, says,
and their only response was open rejection, being unable to answer the question.
Dreading that they would lose what they had, they had the same attitude towards the Prophet (SAW) because he had come with something outside of what they were accustomed to, something different to their disbelief and misguidance. This dread led them to make certain political decisions that would effectuate, in their view, some level of agreement and unity between them and him (SAW). They attempted to convince him to liberalise his call and share power with them, he having it sometimes and they at other times. They tried their hardest to prevent their feeble house from collapsing. However, he (SAW) was inexorable in his call to the truth and upholding what was correct in its pristine purity. Allah, Most High, revealed,
“Say, ‘O disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship and you do not worship what I worship. Nor will I worship what you worship and nor will you worship what I worship. You have your religion and I have my religion.’”
Upon hearing this they erected the war of enmity: they boycotted him, the people of authority and power set their will against him, those who had the closest lineage to him, such as Abu Jahl, were the most severe and harshest against him, and to befriend him was to be painfully punished.
What strangeness is there that can compare to this?