The boycott of Banu Hashim by the Quraish of Makkah is a very significant event in the history of Islam from several aspects.
This was a public boycott on Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib because the Quraish demanded them to withdraw their support of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The boycott formerly started in the seventh year of Prophethood, 616 A.D, and finally ended after three years in 619 A.D. This event has a prominent background, major events and its importance as a whole.
So let’s discuss this topic without further introductions.
The background of this event is the starting of the revelations on Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) in 610 A.D (first five verses of Surah Alaq).
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) started to preach his message to the Makkans. When the people of Makkah positively responded to Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Quraish adopted a violent attitude because they claimed that the teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) were against their religion.
As a result, the Quraish of Makkah started to persecute the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions. These persecutions led to the migration of Abyssinia when Muslims migrated to Ethiopia.
The failure of Quraish to convince Negus (the Abyssinian ruler) frustrated them who decided to double their persecutions.
As a result, they decided to boycott Banu Hashim so that they could take revenge and enforce the members of the tribe to withdraw their support from Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), especially his uncle Abu Talib.
This was a ban that stated that no tribe could conduct buying, selling and inter-marriage relation with any member of Banu Hashim.
When Banu Abdul Muttalib refused to boycott Banu Hashim, they also were included in this ban. This shows how the Quraish decided to adopt this strategy so that they could persuade the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to leave him.
This takes us to the events of the social boycott which was imposed by the Quraish after bilateral discussions and agreements. This boycott was hung inside the Kaaba which was locked so that no one could access this document.
Events of boycott of Banu Hashim:
When the Quraish imposed this boycott, the members of Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib were forced to stay in a narrow gorge which was the possession of Abu Talib (uncle of the Prophet).
This narrow gorge was known as Shib-e-Abi-Talib and this was the place where the boycotted Makkan people spent three difficult years of boycott.
The Makkans strictly ensured that no food and other necessity entered the valley and Abu Jahl was among those people who were involved in this ugly mission.
The other people who were involved in this persecution are:
- Abu Lahab
- Walid ibn Mughaira
- Ummaya bin Khalf
- Uqba bin Abi Muait
There were several Makkan people who supplied food to the boycotted people. Amon these are Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique and Hazrat Usman because they were not included in the ban.
The reason was that they were not the members of Banu Hashim (in case of Hazrat Usman, he belonged to Banu Ummaya).
The members of Banu Hashim suffered a lot in these three years. They spent nights with no food and there was the scarcity of water. It is also reported that Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas once ate leaves during the ban (that were boiled in water).
The Quraish felt delighted when they heard the noises of the crying babies and the suffering people. However, some kind-hearted Makkan people tried to constantly supply food and water to the people.
There were four months in which this boycott was lifted. Those four months were:
- Dhul Qadah
- Dhul Hijjah
In this period, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached Islam and he explained the revelations of the Holy Quran to the Muslims. Except for these four months, they had to spend the entire year in a valley (owned by Abu Talib).
How did the boycott ended?
The process to end the boycott started when some kind-hearted Makkan people felt grieved for the boycotted people. They were concerned about their sufferings and they decided to do something for them.
Among these was Hisham al-Makhzumi who approached Zuhair (a grandson of Abdul Muttalib) and then both of them went to Mutim bin Adi.
They discussed how to convince the leaders of Quraish to uplift this ban and finally, they decided to convince the prominent leaders. This was the time when something happened, what was that?
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) informed Abu Talib that the document (which stated about the boycott) had been eaten by the moth except for the phrase, “In Your name O God!”.
Abu Jahl prevented them to reach the document but Mutim bin Adi stretched out his hand and he tore the document. After that, the Makkan people went to Shib-e-Abi-Talib and escorted the members of Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Muttalib out.
In some sources, it is said that when they tried to reach the document, it was moth-eaten as said by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and thus the Makkans flinched them out.
With this, this boycotted ended which lasted for around three years and caused massive difficulties for Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his loved ones.
The year of grief (Amul-Hazn):
The year 619 A.D is also known as the year of grief because due to the boycott, the wife of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) Khadija bint Khuwalid and his uncle Abu Talib became extremely weak.
These both personalities passed in this year and thus, it was a very big loss for the Prophet (peace be upon him). Abu Talib was a source of tribal protection while Khadija bint Khuwalid was a source of financial and spiritual comfort.
Therefore, this year was termed as Amul-Hazn, the year of greif.
This takes us to the importance of this event, so let’s discuss the importance of the boycott of Banu Hashim.
- The importance of this event is that it elaborated to the Quraish that the faith of the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was very strong.
They were not ready to withdraw their support and help from Muhammad (peace be upon him).
- Moreover, the event led to the future journey of Taif of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
This journey was vital as the message of Islam spread to Taif as well (a town 60 miles South East of Makkah).
In order to understand the importance of this event, it is important to go through the Quranic verses mentioned below:
Verily with every difficulty there is relief.Al Quran
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits but give good tidings to those who are patient.Surah Baqarah (2:155)
- Therefore, it can be said that God tries and tests his people through difficulties and by staying patient, one’s faith and believe in God enhances.
The boycott reminded the Quraish that their strategies would not work against the Muslims and the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) because they were ready to lay down their lives for him.
- The loss of Hazrat Khadija and Abu Talib was a very crucial event in the life of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
This boycott encouraged Muhammad (peace be upon him) to continue his mission because he patiently observed all these difficulties and finally, he achieved his noble mission.
With this, the article regarding the boycott of Banu Hashim has come to an end. I hope that all your queries have been answered and your concerns have been cleared.
This event is very important in the history of Islam from several aspects which have been discussed above.
Thank You very much for reading and staying with me till the end and remain tuned for more.