In Dhul Qa‘dah, the tenth year of Prophethood, i.e. July 619, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) , returned to Makkah to resume his activities. The time for pilgrimage to Makkah was approaching so he hastened to introduce people both tribes and individuals to Islam and call upon them to embrace it, just as it was his practice since the fourth year of his Prophethood.
It was during the pilgrimage season, in the eleventh year of Prophethood, that the Islamic Call found the righteous seeds through which it would grow up to constitute tall trees whose leaves would foster the new faith and shelter the new vulnerable converts from the blows of injustices and high-handness of Quraish. It was the Prophet’s wise practice to meet the delegates of the Arabian tribes by night so that the hostile Makkans would not debar him from achieving his objectives.
In Shawwal of the same year, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) concluded a marriage contract with ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) ‘the truth verifier’, when she was six of age and consummated his marriage with her in Shawwal, the year 1 A.H. in Madinah when she was nine.
(The Miraculous Night Journey from Makkah to the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem, and the Ascent through the Spheres of Heavens)
The last days of the Makkan phase of the Prophet’s life are noted for alternate fortunes ranging between two extremes: gradual success and continual persecution. However, glimpses of propitious lights were looming on the distant horizon, to ultimately materialize in the event of the Prophet’s Night Journey to Jerusalem and then Ascension through the spheres of the heavens.
“Then he approached and came closer.” [53:8]
Here (he) refers to archangel Gabriel, and this context is completely different from that in the Prophetic tradition of Isra’ and Mi‘raj, where ‘the approach’ relates to that of the Lord, Glory is to Him.
Some significant suggestive incidents featured the ‘Night Journey’ of the Prophet, of which we could mention:
The Prophet’s breast was cleft by Gabriel, his heart extracted and washed with the water of Zamzam —a sacred spring in Makkah.
“... in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.)” [17:1].
The Divine rules as regards the Prophets goes as follows:
“Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty.” [6:75]
To Moses, his Lord said:
“That We may show you (some) of Our Greater Signs.” [20:23]
In order that:
“He be of those who have Faith with certainty.”
We have already spoken about six Madinese who embraced Islam in the pilgrimage season in the eleventh year of Prophethood. They promised to communicate the Message of Islam to their townsfolk.
The following year, on the occasion of the pilgrimage, there came a group of twelve disciples ready to acknowledge Muhammad as their Prophet. The group of men comprised five of the six who had met the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the year before, the sixth who stayed away was Jabir bin ‘Abdullah bin Reyab, the other seven were:
After the Pledge (in the form of an oath had been taken) the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent to Yathrib (Madinah) Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair Al-‘Abdari, (May Allah be pleased with him) the first Muslim ‘ambassador’ to teach the people there the doctrines of Islam, give them practical guidance and make attempts at propagating the Islam among those who still professed polytheism. As‘ad bin Zurarah hosted him in Madinah.
The next year, thirteenth of Prophethood, June 622 A.D., during the pilgrimage season, over seventy converts from Madinah came in the trail of their polytheist people to perform the rituals of pilgrimage in Makkah. The oft-repeated question amongst them was “Isn’t it high time we protect Muhammad instead of leaving him forsaken, deserted and stumbling in the hillocks of Makkah?”