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Myth-Muhammad was Persecuted at Mecca for Preaching Islam

Myth-Muhammad was Persecuted at Mecca for Preaching Islam

Date Published: 
Monday, 11 December, 2017
Summary: 

Myth: "Our Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered at the hands of the polytheists merely for preaching the religion of Allah to the poor and marginalized" 

What the hadiths say:

According to Muslim historians, the Meccans were actually quite tolerant of Muhammad preaching his new religion.  Mecca was an open society where different religions were respected.  Polytheists, Jews and Christians lived and worshipped side-by-side, especially during the holy months, when pagan pilgrims would travel long distances from beyond the city to perform their rituals at the Kaaba.

Muhammad brought on the resentment of the local people not by preaching Islam, but by breaking with Meccan tradition and cursing other religions:

When the apostle openly displayed Islam as Allah ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods.  When he did that, they took great offence and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167), "[Muhammad] declared Islam publicly to his fellow tribesmen.  When he did so, they did not withdraw from him or reject him in any way, as far as I have heard, until he spoke of their gods and denounced them." (al-Tabari Vol.VI, p.93)

Although asked to stop, Muhammad continued to stir up trouble by “condemning” the local religion, causing the Meccans great anxiety:

[The Meccans] said they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow.  He had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community and cursed their gods (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 183)."We [the Meccans] have never seen the like of what we have endured from this man [Muhammad].  He has derided our traditional values, abused our forefathers, reviled our religion, caused division among us, and insulted our gods.  We have endured a great deal from him." (al-Tabari, Vol.VI p.101)
Other references:   (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 188),  (al-Tabari, the Tarikh Vol. 1),