The mushrikeen (non-believers) leaders of Quraish were not at all pleased by the call of Prophet (peace be upon him), so they came up with a plan. They all gathered at the Ka’abah and called him out to negotiate with them. They said to him:
“If you have brought these words seeking wealth, then we will gather for you so that you will be the wealthiest of us. If you are seeking honor among us, then we will make you our leader. If you are seeking sovereignty then we will make you our kin. If that which has come to you is a jinni that has overwhelmed you, then we will spend all our wealth seeking a remedy for you until you are healed of it.”
Now let’s take a minute and pause here, these people making the offer are the leaders of Quraish. If the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would have been a man who was seeking wealth and sovereignty, there would not have been any better opportunity than this, but listen to what he said to them:
“I want none of the things that you have mentioned. I have not come to you with that which I have brought seeking your wealth or honor among you or sovereignty over you. Rather, Allah has sent me to you as a Messenger, and has revealed a Book to me, and commanded me to be a bringer of glad tidings and a warner to you. If you accept that which I have brought to you, then you will be successful in this world and in the Hereafter but if you reject it, I will be patient in following the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you”
After this the Quraish grew angrier with the Prophet (peace be upon him) their conspiracy to bribe him had failed them. Realizing that, they resorted to torturing the Muslims and inflicting violence upon them.
Many became victims of their campaign, especially the poor and slaves. One prominent example is the family of Yasir. The tribe of Banu Makhzoom would bring them out in the desert during the hottest time of the day. In the blazing heat of the sun they took turns beating them and forcing them to turn back to idol worship. Summayah, wife of Yasir couldn’t bear the severe persecution and died. She was the first martyr of Islam. History will always remember her as a symbol of faith and defense of freedom of speech.
Similarly, Bilal ibn Rabaah, a slave, was tortured and was made an example for every black man and woman in Makkah who accepted Islam. Bilal understood the message of Islam which was pure and clear. The religion did not differentiate between black or white, wealthy or poor, high born or lowborn, then why should he follow the religion of Quraish who enslaved him and persecuted him on the basis of being black when he could be free and be an honored man by following Islam?
His master Umayyah ibn Khalaf would make him lie in the desert during midday and would order a heavy rock to be placed upon him. He would say: ” You will stay like this until you die or you disbelieve in Mohammad (peace be upon him).”
The pagans did not stop at that, but they started atrocities against the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well. Abu Lahab (the uncle of the prophet) started spreading countless aspects of harmful deeds and hatred towards the Prophet (peace be upon him). He forced his two sons to divorce their wives which were Prophet (peace be upon him) ‘s daughters. He would rebuke the Prophet wherever he went,and throw stones at him until his ankles bled. His wife used to tie bundles of thorns with ropes of twisted palm- leaf fiber and scatter them in the path of Prophet (peace be upon him). One of his neighbor’s threw the womb of a sheep on him while he was praying.
Such was the disgraceful treatment done by the pagans of Makah who claimed that they were Allah’s people, living in his Sanctuary.