The First Muslim Public Demonstration in History

“… ‘Umar’s conversion was an historic event. It deeply shocked everybody in Makkah. The Muslims were jubilant and the unbelievers dismayed. Until ‘Umar’s conversion, the Muslims could not hold their prayers in public. Now, after the accession of ‘Umar to Islam, they held them in the courtyard of the ancient sanctuary. Entering Arqam’s house, he found the Prophet and his Companions, including Hamzah and Abu Bakr, still reciting and studying the Qur’an in secrecy, lest the Quraysh should harm them. But the outspoken, exuberant ‘Umar did not find secrecy and timidity to his liking. He did not rest content until he had persuaded the Prophet and his followers to appear in public and declare their faith and its doctrines before everybody. So, the Muslims formed up into two columns, with Hamzah heading one column and the newcomer, ‘Umar, heading the second. It was the first Muslim public demonstration in history. The effects of the demonstration were remarkable. The Quraysh were overawed by the bold and aggressive attitude of the small company of Muslims. They were confronted with the reality of the solid basis of the new movement in their midst. It was a manifest challenge to the continuation of the oppressive domination of the Quraysh both in Makkah and in Arabia at large.” [Bashier, Zakaria, Life of the Prophet in Makkah: The Makkan Crucible, Islamic Foundation, Leicester, 2007 (3rd Reprint), pp. 161-162]

3 thoughts on “The First Muslim Public Demonstration in History

  1. Good evidence from the Seerah showing a precise political action. All too often the mission of the noble Prophet is reduced, purposefully, to a religious missionary call. It also begs the question of how, we as muslims who claim to follow the noble Prophet, reconcile our daily islamic actions. Are we limiting our actions to attending jamaah salaah in the masjid, doing charity and fasting with zikr and zakat, or does our understanding of what Islam is stretch a tad more.

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