6.1 Proclaiming Religion to Kin
For three years Mohamed called people to Allah in secret, addressing those he knew to be men of mature thought and vision. Then after three years, Allah commanded His Messenger to proclaim His religion openly to all his family. Mohamed invited his relations to an evening meal and began to speak to them of Allah, but Abu Lahab, Muhammad's uncle, rose in fury and called everyone to leave.
Mohamed tried again. He invited them for a midday meal and after they had eaten, he said,
"I know of no man among the Arabs who has brought his people better than what I bring you. I bring you the best in this world and in the eternal world, so who will support me in this mission?"
They turned away and started to leave, when Ali, who was still a boy, spoke,
"I will support you, Messenger of Allah, I will be at war against those who fight you."
Banu Hashim (Mohamed and Ali's clan) smiled derisively and looked from Abu Talib to his son. Some laughed out loud but little did they know that, only a few years later, Ali was to become a formidable warrior of surpassing courage and prowess, whose very name struck terror in their hearts and whose words of piety and wisdom have been cherished by Muslims ever since.
Mohamed had brought them something alien to their culture, destructive to their religion, opposed to their economic and social interests, and they were not going to accept it. Whether it was the truth or not made little difference to them. It was enough that it demanded sacrifices from them and that it was against their whims, desires, and privileges.