T h i r d B r a n c h
The protection and preservation of God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was a clear miracle, and many instances of it are indicated by the clear truth of the verse, “And God will defend you from men.”(5:67) For sure, when God’s Messenger (UWBP) appeared, he was not only challenging one group, or one people, or a few rulers, or one religion; he was rather challenging single-handed all kings and the people of all religions. And yet until he died in perfect ease and happiness and rose to the heavenly court, for twenty-three years he was without guard or protector and was exposed to numerous plots, with his own uncle his greatest enemy and his own tribe and people hostile to him. This shows what a powerful truth the above-mentioned verse expresses and what a firm point of support it was. We shall mention as examples only a few events classed as definite.
First Event: Scholars of Hadith and the Prophet’s (UWBP) biography report unanimously that the Quraysh had made a certain agreement to kill God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). Upon the suggestion of a demon in human form, so as to prevent discord within the Quraysh, at least one member of every branch of the tribe formed a group of nearly two hundred men under the leadership of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab, and they staged a surprise attack on the Messenger’s (UWBP) house. ‘Ali was together with him. He had told him to sleep that night in his bed. The Messenger (UWBP) waited till the Quraysh came and completely surrounded the house, then he went out and threw a handful of earth at their heads, and not one of them saw him. He passed through them and disappeared.1 When he reached the cave of Hira, two pigeons and a spider became his guards, and protected him against all the Quraysh.2
The Second Event: It certainly occurred that when they emerged from the cave and set off towards Medina, they were followed by a very brave man called Suraqa, who, for a large reward, had been sent by the leaders of the Quraysh to kill them. God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) and Abu Bakr the Veracious had seen Suraqa coming when they came out of the cave. Abu Bakr had been anxious, but God’s Messenger (UWBP) said: “Do not be anxious, God is with us!”(9:40), as he had in the
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 349; Musnad (Tahqiq: Ahmad Shakir), iv, 269, no: 2009; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id, ii, 228.
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 313; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’, i, 368; Musnad, i, 248; San’ani, al-Musannaf, v, 389; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya, iii, 179-81; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id, vii, 27; Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma’ad (Tahqiq: Arnavu\dê), iii, 52; al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, no: 5934; Maruzi, Musnad Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, no: 73; Zayla’i, Nasb al-Ra’ya, i, 123; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id, vi, 52-3.