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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Conversion to Islam

Invitation to Banu Hashim

After three years of the call to prophethood, the Holy Prophet received the command of God that he should publicly proclaim the message of Islam, and that he could make a beginning with his relatives, belonging to the house of Banu Hashim. The Holy Prophet invited the Hashimites, about forty men, to a feast. After the feast the Holy Prophet gave an account as to how he had been visited by the angel Gabriel who had conveyed to him the orders of Allah commissioning him as His prophet. He said that there was no god but Allah, and that he was His Messenger commissioned to call the people to the faith. He added that the members of the house of Hashim should feel proud that this honor had come to one of them. Waxing eloquent the Holy Prophet said that in the task of promoting the new faith he needed their support. He posed the question, "Who out of you would support me in this task? A silence fell on the guests and no one uttered a word. Young Ali thereupon rose to say, "Holy Prophet, I will be your support"? The Holy Prophet looked approvingly at young Ali, and thanked him for his support. The Holy Prophet posed the same question for the second and third time but, no one out of the guests promised any support. Each time the young Ali rose to offer his support in unequivocal terms. Abu Talib had already assured the Holy Prophet of his protection and he did not consider it advisable to make a public declaration of his support or protection at that stage. He, however, felt happy at the courage shown by the young Ali. He felt that there was something extraordinary in the new faith, which had motivated young Ali to the demonstration of such courage in public. Abu Lahab a step uncle of the Holy Prophet took a hostile attitude. He ridiculed the new faith, and felt sorry that his nephew had lost his sense, and was suffering from some hallucination. He wanted the guests to disperse. The Holy Prophet felt very unhappy at his failure to win the support of the Banu Hashim. Though disappointed the Holy Prophet was not daunted. He knew that the course of the Truth could not be anything but rough and that in order to fulfil his mission he should prepare himself to face difficulties. After his disappointment with the Banu Hashim the Holy Prophet decided to make a public declaration of his faith. One day he mounted the hillock, Mt Safa, and called the people to come and listen to him. Ali was by the side of the Holy Prophet. In response to the call a large crowd gathered at the foot of the hill to listen to the Holy Prophet. Addressing the people, the Holy Prophet said: "O people, if I tell you that on the other side of this hill there were the forces of an enemy coming to attack you, would you believe me"? They said, "Yes, we would believe in you, for you are known to be truthful. " Thereupon the Holy Prophet said, "if I tell you that there is no god but Allah, and I am His prophet, would you believe me. " The people made no reply and the crowd dispersed. The people steeped deep in ignorance were not yet in the mood to know the Truth. As the Holy Prophet and Ali came down from the hill they felt that they would have to carry a great struggle in the cause of their mission before any results could be achieved.

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