7.5 Quraysh go to Abu Talib a Third Time
Quraysh went to Abu Talib for a third time and said,
"Abu Talib, you are our elder, the most honored among us, the highest of rank. We have asked you to stop your nephew but you have not succeeded. We shall bear this no longer for he has insulted our forefathers, belittled our aspirations, and spoken against our gods. Either you stop him or we shall fight you and him until one of the two parties perishes."
Abu.Talib called Mohamed, repeated to him the words of Quraysh, then said,
"Stop, for my sake and yours. Do not force me to bear what I have not the power to endure."
Mohamed, mute with compassion, looked at his uncle for he understood his position well. But there was more at stake than the feelings of men, more than their lives. There was the salvation of their souls, the hope of eternal happiness for them. So he answered in these memorable words,
"Uncle, if they placed the sun in my right and the moon in my left to abandon this affair, I would not until Allah made the truth prevail or I died in the attempt."
He rose and turned to go for his heart was heavy with compassion and sorrow. Abu Talib saw how much Mohamed cared and how great the thing must be for which he was jeopardizing his life and the life of all those he loved. He called him back and said,
"Nephew, say what you will, for I shall never deliver you up to anything you would not like."
Then Abu Talib called the tribes of Banu Hashim and Banu Abdu-Muttalib, whose head he was and who were Mohamed's nearest kin, and asked them to swear to protect Mohamed. This was one of the customs of the Arabs. If a man protected by his tribe was harmed by a man from another tribe, his tribe were bound in honor to retaliate. They all agreed, except Abu Lahab who declared his enmity to all and went over to the opposite side.
Some of Mohamed's people believed and some did not, but Mohamed was their own flesh and blood and they felt he had a right to say what he wanted just as any of the orators around the Kaaba and in the market-places did. They were not going to stand by and allow men from other tribes to deprive him of this right.