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Islam continued to spread rapidly throughout the clan of Aws and Khazraj, and some believers looked forward

to the day when, thanks to the covenant with the Jews, the oasis would be one harmonious whole. But the Revelation now gave warning of hidden elements of discord. It was about this time that the longest sura of the Koran began to be revealed, Al-Baqarah (The Heifer), which is placed at the beginning of the Book, immediately after the seven verses of AlFatihah, the Opening. It starts with a definition of the rightly guided: Alif Lam Meem. This beyond doubt is the Book, a guidance unto the God-fearing, who believe in the Unseen and perform the prayer and give of that which we have bestowed upon them; and who believe in that which is revealed unto thee and in that which was revealed before thee, and who are certain of the Hereafter. These are they who follow guidance from their Lord and these are they who shall prosper. Then after mention of the disbelievers who are blind and deaf to the truth, a third body of people is mentioned: And of men there are some who say: We believe in God and in the last Day, yet they are not believersWhen they meet those who believe they say: we believe. And when they go apart unto their satans, they say: Verily we are with you; we did but mock. These were the wavers and doubters and hypocrites of Aws and Khazraj in all their varying degrees of insincerity; and their satans, that is their inspirers of evil, were the men and women of the disbelievers who did all they could to sow the seeds of doubt. The Prophet was here warned of a problem by which he had been altogether untroubled in Makkah. There the sincerity of those who embraced Islam was never to be doubted. The reasons for conversion could only be spiritual, since as regards the things of this world a convert had nothing to gain and in many cases much to loose. But now there were certain worldly reasons for entering the new religion, and these were steadily on the increase. The days of the total absence of hypocrites from the ranks of the Muslims were gone forever. Among the chief advisories to Islam was Abdullah ibn Ubai, who also felt himself to have been frustrated by the coming of the Prophet and robbed not of only spiritual authority but of the chief temporal power of the Yathrib oasis. But he soon saw that his

influence, once so great, was rapidly dwindling and if he did not enter Islam it would vanish altogether. On the other hand, he knew that a nominal acceptance of Islam would confirm him in his authority, for the Arabs were averse to breaking their old ties of allegiance unless there was a great reason for doing so. It was therefore not long before he decided to enter Islam. But although he formally pledged himself to the Prophet and regularly thereafter attended the prayers, the believers never came to feel sure of him. There were others about whom they were equally doubtful, but Ibn Ubai was different from the majority of lukewarm or insincere converts by reason of his far reaching influence, which made him all the more dangerous. Islam was now firmly established in the oasis the revelation prescribed the giving of alms and the fast of the month of Ramadhan, and laid down in general what was forbidden and what was allowed. The five daily ritual prayers were regularly performed in congregation, and when the time of each prayer the people would assemble at the site where the mosque was being build. Everyone judged of the time by the position of the sun in the sky, or by the first signs of its light on the eastern horizon or by the dimming of its glow in the west after sunset; but opinions could differ, and the Prophet felt the need for a means of summoning the people to prayer when the right time had come. At first he thought of appointing a man to blow a horn like that of the Jews, but later he decided on a wooden clapper, Naqus, such as the oriental Christians used at that time, and two pieces of wood were fashioned together for that purpose. But they were never destined to be used; for one night a man of Khazraj, Abdullah ibn Zayd, who had been at the second Aqabah, had a dream which the next day he recounted to the Prophet : There passed by me a man wearing two green garments and he carried in his hand a Naqus, so I said unto him: O slave of God, wilt thou sell me that Naqus? What wilt thou do with it? he said. We will summon the people to pray with it, I answered. Shall I not show thee a better way? he said. What way is that? I asked, and he answered: That thou shouldst say: God is most great, Allahu Akbar. The man in green repeated this magnification four times, then each of the following twice: I testify that there is no god but God; I testify

that Muhammad is the messenger of God; come unto the prayer; come unto salvation; God is most Great; and then once again there is no god but God. The Prophet said that this was a true vision, and he told him to go Bilal, who had an excellent voice, and teach him the words exactly as he had heard them in his sleep. The highest house in the neighborhood of the Mosque belonged to a woman of the clan of Najjar, and Bilal would come there before every dawn and would sit on the roof waiting for the daybreak. When he saw the first faint light in the east he would stretch out his arms and say in supplication: O God I praise Thee, and I ask Thy Help for Quraysh, that they may accept Thy religion. Then he would stand and utter the call to prayer.