From Merchant to Messenger

The Prophet Muhammad's struggle for legitimacy as revealed in the Koran

Mughirah - Enemy of the Prophet

From Merchant to MessengerAllah establishes leading sinners in every city, which He will subsequently destroy because of the presence and influence of these wrongdoers.

6:123 And thus We have set up in every city its leading wicked sinners so as to plot therein. However, they only plot against themselves, although they do not realize it.

Just as He established in each city leading sinners, Allah assigns to each of His Prophets an enemy, which He equates with the reason people shun His Koran.

25:30 The Messenger says: “Lord, my people have taken this Qur’an as a thing to be shunned.”

25:31 And that is how We appointed to every Prophet an enemy among the criminals. Your Lord suffices as a Guide and Supporter.

If the enemies of His Prophets do what they do, it is because God will not interfere. He has his reasons.

6:112 Likewise, We have assigned to every Prophet an enemy, the devils of men and jinn, revealing one to the other tawdry speech in order to deceive; but had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. So leave them to what they invent;

6:113 So that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter may incline to it and accept it; as well as to perpetrate that which they themselves are perpetrating.

The enemy that God seems to have assigned to Muhammad, based on the number of revelations dedicates to excoriating the man, is assumed by to be a fellow by the name of Al-Mughirah, who, according to Fakhry, “wanted to bargain away his sins for money, so he made a down payment and withheld the rest of the money.”

53:33 Have you considered him who turned away;

53:34 Gave a little (money) then held back?

53:35 Does he have knowledge of the Unseen and is therefore a seer?

53:36 Has he not been told about what the scrolls of Moses contain?

53:37 And Abraham who fulfilled his pledge;

53:38 That no sinning soul shall bear the burden of another soul;

53:39 And that man will only earn what he strives for;

53:40 And that his striving shall be witnessed;

53:41 Then he will be rewarded for it the fullest reward;

53:42 And that unto your Lord is the ultimate return;

53:43 And that he causes people to laugh and to cry;

53:44 And that he causes some to die and to live;

53:45 And that He created the pairs, both male and female;

53:46 From a sperm when it is emitted[14];

53:47 And that upon Him devolves the second creation (the world and the heavens after Judgement Day, Moududi);

53:48 And that He gives riches and possessions;

53:49 And that He is the Lord of Sirius (worshipped as a deity by the pagan Arabs, Moududi).


74:8 Then, when the Trumpet is sounded;

74:9 It is then a hard Day,

74:10 For the unbelievers, not an easy one.

74:11 Leave Me with him (al-Walid Ibn al-Mughirah) whom I created alone,

74:12 And gave him abundant wealth,

74:13 And children as witnesses;

74:14 And I smoothed things for him.

74:15 Nevertheless, he is eager that I increase him.

74;16 He has been an obdurate disbeliever in Our Signs.

74:17 I will exhaust him increasingly.

Al-Mughirah was asked by another enemy of the Prophet, Abu Jahl, to listen to God’s spokesman and report back as to what was this Koran. He listened to Muhammad recite verses from the 41st Surah.


41 Fussilat

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

41:1 Ha - Mim.

41:2 This is a revelation from the Compassionate, the Merciful;

41:3 A Book whose Verses have been well-expounded, an Arabic Qur'an addressed to a people who know;

41:4 Bearing good news and warning. Yet most of them have turned away and are unheeding.

41:5 They say: "Our hearts are shielded against what you call us unto, in our ears is a heaviness and between us and yourself is a veil. So act, we are acting too."

41:6 Say: "I am only a mortal like you, to whom it is revealed that your God is One God; so head straight towards Him and seek His forgiveness, and woe betide the idolaters;

41:7 "Those who do not pay the alms, and in the Hereafter they disbelieve."

41:8 Surely, those who believe and do the righteous deeds shall have an unstinted wage.

41:9 Say: "Do you really disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in [two days] and assign equals to Him? That is the Lord of the Worlds."

41:10 And He set up immovable mountains upon it and blessed it, and ordained therein their varied provisions in four days equally to all those who ask (it is unclear as to who are “those who ask” as humans had not been created at this point).

41:11 Then He arose to heaven while it was smoke, and He said to it and to the earth: “Come over, willingly or unwillingly.” They said: “We come willingly.”

41:12 Then He completed them as seven heavens in two days and assigned to each heaven its proper order. And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps as protection (from the demons). That is the determination of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.

41:13 If they turn away, then say: "I warn you against a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt of 'Ad and Thamud."

41:14 When the Messengers came to them from their front and their rear saying: "Do not worship any one but Allah", they said: "Had our Lord wished, He would certainly have sent down angels. Therefore, we disbelieve in the Message you have been sent with."

41:15 As for 'Ad, they waxed proud in the land unjustly and said: "Who is superior to us in strength?" Did they not see that Allah Who created them is superior to them in strength? And they used to repudiate Our Signs.

41:16 So, We loosed upon them a roaring wind on inauspicious days, so as to make them taste the punishment of disgrace in the present life. However, the punishment of the Hereafter is more disgraceful and they shall not receive support.

41:17 But as for Thamud, We extended guidance to them; yet they preferred blindness to guidance, and so the thunderbolt of humiliating punishment seized them on account of what they used to earn.

41:18 And We delivered those who believed and were God-Fearing.

After hearing how Allah had destroyed ‘Ad and Thamud, he had heard enough and returned to tell Abu Jahl what he thought about this Koran. He told him that it wasn’t poetry, soothsaying, or sermonizing but that it made his blood run cold (my interpretation of “he frowned and turned pale” in Revelation 74:22). He had to think about it some more. The next day he told Abu Jahl that, as far as he was concerned, the Koran was sorcery and the discourse of a mortal. With that introduction, the following verses should make sense:

74:18 He reflected and reckoned.

74:19 May he perish how he reckoned!

74:20 Again, may he perish how he reckoned!

74:21 Then he considered;

74:22 Then he frowned and turned pale.

74:23 Then he turned back and waxed proud,

74:24 Saying: “This is indeed nothing but sorcery recounted;

74:25 “This is only the discourse of mortals.”

74:23 Then he turned back and waxed proud,

74:24 Saying: “This is indeed nothing but sorcery recounted;

74:25 “This is only the discourse of mortals.”

74:26 I will roast him in Saqar (one of the names of Hell).

As a warning about obeying some who swear oaths, Allah gives the example of Mughirah.

68:7 Surely, your Lord knows better who has strayed from His Path and He knows better the well-guided.

68:8 So do not obey the unbelievers.

68:9 They wished that you would dissimulate, so that they might dissimulate too.

68:10 And do not obey every lowly swearer of oaths;

68:11 Backbiter, going around, bearing calumny;

68:12 Hinderer of good, aggressor, wicked;

68:13 Coarse, on top of that, and quarrelsome;

68:14 Because he (al-Walid Ibn al-Mughirah) has wealth and children.

For saying that Allah’s Revelations are “Legends of the ancients,” God will sear His brand upon his lips.

68:15 If our verses are recited to him, he says: “Legends of the ancients.”

68:16 We shall brand him upon the muzzle.

Abu Jahl

Abu Jahl was a prominent figure in Mecca and a leader. His real name was Abū l-Hakam meaning Father of Wisdom. He was considered a wise man by the dominant tribe of Mecca, the Quraysh – the same tribe to which Muhammad belonged. It was his opposition to the Prophet that earned him the nickname Abu Jahl, meaning Father of Ignorance. He, too, will have to answer to Allah personally.

96:9 Have you considered him (Abu Jahl) who forbids,

96:10 A servant when he prays?

96:11 Have you considered whether he was well-guided?

96:12 Or commanded piety?

96:13 Have you considered whether he was lying and backtracking?

96:14 Does he not know that Allah perceives?

96:15 No; if he will not desist, We shall take him by the forelock,

96:16 A lying, erring forelock.

96:17 Let him then call his company.

96:18 We shall call the guards of Hell.

96:19 No; do not obey him. Prostrate yourself and come closer.


75:28 And he (Abu Jahl) thinks that was the parting;

75:29 And leg is intertwined with leg;

75:30 Unto your Lord shall be the resort.

75:31 For he (Abu Jahl) did not believe nor pray;

75:32 But rather denied and turned away.

75:33 Then, he went to his own folk in a swagger.

75:34 Woe be to you and woe;

75:35 Then, woe be to you and woe!

The killing of Abu Jahl:

Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf:

While I was standing in the row on the day (of the battle) of Badr, I looked to my right and my left and saw two young Ansari boys, and I wished I had been stronger than they. One of them called my attention saying, "O Uncle! Do you know Abu Jahl?"

I said, "Yes, what do you want from him, O my nephew?"

He said, "I have been informed that he abuses Allah's Apostle. By Him in Whose Hands my life is, if I should see him, then my body will not leave his body till either of us meet his fate."

I was astonished at that talk. Then the other boy called my attention saying the same as the other had said.

After a while I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people.

I said (to the boys), "Look! This is the man you asked me about."

So, both of them attacked him with their swords and struck him to death and returned to Allah's Apostle to inform him of that.

Allah's Apostle asked, "Which of you has killed him?"

Each of them said, "I Have killed him."

Allah's Apostle asked, "Have you cleaned your swords?"

They said, "No."

He then looked at their swords and said, "No doubt, you both have killed him and the spoils of the deceased will be given to Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh."

Bukhari 53.369

Abu Jahl's last words as he was being bludgeoned to death by the two teenagers:

Narrated Abdullah:

That he came across Abu Jahl while he was on the point of death on the day of Badr.

Abu Jahl said, "You should not be proud that you have killed me nor am I ashamed of being killed by my own folk."

Bukhari 59.298


[14]  In the Koran, Allah needs only the sperm for procreation, the female serving only as a warm and wet receptacle for the sperm to grow into a human being (see Getting to Know Allah: "Allah on the Beginnings of Life," Boreal Books).