During the seventh year of the declaration of Nubuwwah, the disbelievers of Makkah noticed that the number of Muslims was increasing day by day and extremely brave men of the Quraysh, i.e. Sayyiduna Hamzah and Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُمَا had also joined the fold of Islam. They became very angry and lost temper. All the leaders of the Quraysh and other disbelievers of Makkah decided to isolate the family of the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم, forcing them into living at a narrow and dark place and preventing them from having access to any food and drink so that they would be ruined completely. Therefore, following this cruel suggestion, all the leaders of the Quraysh made the following agreement:
Unless the Bani Haashim hand over the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمto them in order to be killed, (a) no one will marry to anyone from the family of the Banu Haashim; (b) no one will sell anything to them nor will anyone purchase anything from them; (c) no one will meet them nor will anyone say Salam to them and nor will anyone talk to them (d) no one will let any food and drink reach them.
Mansur Bin ‘Ikramah wrote the text of the agreement which was signed by all the leaders of the Quraysh and was displayed inside the Ka’bah. Under coercion [i.e. pressure], Abu Taalib along with the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمand all other relatives took refuge in the valley called ‘Shi’b Abi Taalib’ [شِعْب اَبِی طَالِب]. Except Abu Lahab, other disbelievers of the Banu Haashim favoured the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمin this issue in order to defend the family honour. All of them started living in the narrow and dark valley like prisoners. These were very tough times and the Banu Haashim faced this situation for three years. The Banu Haashim used to boil leaves and dry pieces of leather and eat them. Their children would cry day and night in extreme hunger and thirst but stone-hearted and cruel disbelievers would not give them anything and would keep a watch so that no food and drink could reach them.1
The Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمand the Banu Haashim endured these severe hardships for three consecutive years. At last, some kind-hearted people of the Quraysh had pity on the Banu Haashim and launched a campaign for breaking this unfair and unjust agreement. Therefore, Hishaam Bin ‘Amr ‘Aamiri, Zuhayr Bin Abi Umayyah, Mut’im Bin ‘Adee, Abul Bakhtari, Zam’ah Bin Al-Aswad, etc. went to the Haram of the Ka’bah together. Zuhayr who was maternal grandson of ‘Abdul Muttalib delivered an emotional speech in which he said addressing the disbelievers of the Quraysh, ‘O people! We are living a comfortable life but the children of the Banu Haashim are crying in extreme hunger and thirst. It is absolutely unfair. By Almighty! I will no longer overlook it. That unjust agreement will now be torn into pieces and trampled underfoot.’ Listening to it, Abu Jahl warned him in anger, ‘Beware! You can never even touch the agreement.’ Zam’ah shouted at Abu Jahl so angrily that he became silent. Similarly, Mut’im Bin ‘Adee and Hishaam Bin ‘Amr also spoke angrily to Abu Jahl and Abul Bakhtari also said in a clear way, ‘O Abu Jahl! Neither we were pleased with this unfair agreement nor will we follow it now.’
Among the crowd was sitting Abu Taalib at a side. He said, ‘O people! My nephew
Muhammad ( صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) says that insects have eaten the manuscript of the agreement, and nothing is left from it except the name of the Almighty. I am of the opinion that you bring the manuscript and see it. If insects have really eaten it, then you should tear it and throw it away. And if what my nephew says turns out to be wrong, then I will hand him over to you.’ Listening to it, Mut’im Bin ‘Adee went into the Ka’bah and brought the manuscript of the agreement. Everyone saw that insects had eaten the entire agreement except the name of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Tearing it into pieces, Mut’im Bin ‘Adee threw it away in the presence of all people. Afterwards, despite being in the state of disbelief at that time, some of the brave and armed men of the Quraysh went to the valley and brought back each and every person of the Banu Haashim who started living in their homes once again. This incidence took place in 10 Nabawi. Mansur Bin ‘Ikramah who had written the agreement was punished by the Almighty. His hand went numb and ceased to function.2