In the 13th year of Prophethood, Muṣʿab ibn ʿUmayr (RA) came with a large group of Muslims to Makkah to perform Ḥajj. Apart from the Muslims, there were also polytheists from the tribes of Aws & Khazraj who had come to perform the rituals of Ḥajj. There were more than 400 of them and they made up the majority of the group. According to the most famous opinion, there were 75 Muslims, comprising of 73 men and 2 women. All of them pledged allegiance to Rasūlullāh (SAW) in the same place as the first group, in Aqabah.
In the Musnad of Imām Aḥmad, Jābir (RA) narrates that for 10 years, Rasūlullāh (SAW) invited people towards Islām by going to their houses and their markets and their gatherings. He would ask the people, “Who will give me a place to stay, who will help me so I can deliver Allāh’s message and for him will be Jannah?”
Rasūlullāh (SAW) would find no one willing to give him a place and no one to help him until Allāh (SWT) sent us from Yathrib to him. We testified in his truthfulness and gave him refuge. Whichever person from amongst us would go and see Rasūlullāh (SAW), would come back as a Muslim.
When Islām had reached all of the houses in Madīnah, we held a meeting and thought how long will we leave Rasūlullāh (SAW) in this state that he wanders around the mountains of Makkah in a worried and fearful state. Seventy people from amongst us then arrived in Makkah during the season of Ḥajj.
The party from Yathrib arrived in Makkah and informed Rasūlullāh (SAW) secretly of their desire to meet him.
Rasūlullāh (SAW) promised to meet them in the days of Tashrīk at night-time in the blessed valley of Minā in the same place where the previous year the people of Madīnah had taken a pledge with him.
When a 3rd of the night had passed, they went out quietly as the other people who had come from Madīnah, did not know what their intention was. They gathered in a valley near Aqaba and waited for Rasūlullāh (SAW).
ʿAbbās (RA) address to the Anṣār
The Anṣār saw Rasūlullāh (SAW) coming, and his uncle ʿAbbās (RA) was with him. ʿAbbās (RA), up to that time had not accepted Islām but was still the Prophet’s uncle and protector.
When they met, the first person to speak was ʿAbbās (SAW). He told the Anṣār that Rasūlullāh
(SAW) was respected among their people (even though some people were against his religion, he was still respected like no other person). He told them that he was his protector and helper and that Rasūlullāh (SAW) wants to come to you. If you can protect and help him completely and remain steadfast upon this until your final breaths, then it is better, otherwise tell us now clearly.
The Anṣārs reply
After listening to ʿAbbās (SAW), the Anṣār replied. They said that they had heard what he had to say. They then addressed Rasūlullāh (SAW) and said “Oh Messenger of Allāh, what do you require from us? We are ready for it. You can take a pledge from us for whatever you and Allah (SWT) wishes”.
Rasūlullāh (SAW) told them that he was calling them towards Allāh. He presented Islām and recited some verses of the Qur’ān. He then said “I am asking you for Allāh, that you worship him, and you do not join any partners to him. And for my companions I wish that you give them a place. In the same way you look after your children and wives, protect us in the same way. Whether there is happiness or sadness, in times of joy or difficulty, under every circumstance you obey me, and listen to whatever I have to say”.
The Anṣār then asked that if they did this, what would they get in return? Rasūlullāh (SAW) said they will get Paradise – Jannah. The Anṣār then replied that they could accept all the conditions. They asked Rasūlullāh (SAW) to present his blessed hand so they could pledge allegiance to him.
The Bravery of the Anṣār
If we now put this into perspective, Rasūlullāh (SAW) had been protected by his uncle Abū Ṭālib and the people from his family who were all based in Makkah.
He had made many enemies as he had gone against the religion of his forefathers and was making more and more people turn away from polytheism. The Quraysh in Makkah had much to lose both financially and politically.
As each day passed, the enmity of the Quraysh increased. By agreeing to protect Rasūlullāh (SAW) and his Companions, they had agreed that every single person, family, or tribe who was opposed to Rasūlullāh (SAW) would now be opposed to them. They had lived in peace but now they were risking their own lives and the lives of their families in order to protect Rasūlullāh (SAW).
Such a massive sacrifice, and Allāh (SAW) had chosen the people from Madīnah for this task. They were given the name of the ‘Anṣār’ – The Helpers by which they would forever be known.
In Ibn Saʿad, it mentions that when all the people had given their pledge of allegiance to Rasūlullāh (SAW), he said that Mūsā’ (RA) had chosen 12 people from the Banū Isrā’īl, as his ‘Naqīb’, meaning his personal assistants. In the same way, by the indication of Jibrīl (AS), I will choose 12 assistants among you.
He said to the 12, that they were responsible for their people just like how the Disciples were for ʿĪsā’ (AS). The 12 people who were chosen by Rasūlullāh (SAW) were:
• Asʿad ibn Zurārah (RA)
• ʿAbdullāh ibn Rawāhah (RA)
• Saʿad ibn Rabīʿ (RA)
• Rāfīʿ ibn Mālik (RA)
• Abū Jābir ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAmr (RA)
• Barā’ ibn Maʿmūr (RA)
• Saʿad ibn ʿUbādah (RA)
• Manzar ibn ʿAmr (RA)
• ʿUbādah ibn Ṣāmit (RA)
• Usayd ibn Hudhayr (RA)
• Saʿad ibn Khayshama (RA)
• Rifāʿah ibn ʿAbdul Manzar (RA)
The Quraysh find out about the Pledge
The pledge of allegiance with Rasūlullāh (SAW) had been done in secrecy. The rest of the pilgrims from Madīnah were unaware about it.
The following morning, the Quraysh found out what had happened so went to the people of Madīnah to ask them. As they didn’t know, they replied that this news was completely false, if this incident had happened, then they would have had knowledge of it. The people from Madīnah then left to go back home.
When the Quraysh found out that the news in fact was true, they went after them, but the people from Madīnah had already gone too far for them to be caught. Only Saʿad ibn ʿUbādah (RA) who had remained behind was caught. He was then beaten but Jubayr ibn Matʿam managed to free him.
(Sirah of Muhammad (SAW) Part 8-The Final Years of the Makkan Period by Maulana Ebrahim Noor)