The Prophet continues with the Da‘wah
The Prophet continued to give Da‘wah (calling to Islam) secretly, aiming to gather a number of followers and supporters from among his friends and relatives - especially those whom he could meet and join in secret. These proved to be a great support for the Prophet in calling for Islam and spreading it stealthily.
This difficult period of the Prophet’s Da‘wah was very complicated for the Prophet and those who reverted to Islam, as they were only calling those whom they trusted and felt would not harm them. This meant that the Da‘wah was moving slowly and cautiously. This also made it difficult for the new Muslims to know the requirements of Da‘wah or to execute them, as the one who embraces Islam is required to adhere to prayer and recitation of the Quran, for instance, right from the beginning, but these people could not do this in front of their people. Hence, they would hide in the valleys and mountain passes whenever they wanted to pray.
1- Security consciousness
Among the features of this stage were concealment and confidentiality - even from the closest of people. The orders of the Prophet regarding this were clear and stringent: He would form families and groups who would hide so as to be trained and prepared and not because they were cowardly or wanted to escape .
The Prophet started dividing his Companions into small groups and families. When one man reverted to Islam, he would gather another two men who reverted to Islam and meet them all in the house of someone who was strong and wealthy so that they would be with him and eat from his food. The Prophet would divide them into groups so that the one who had memorized a part of the Quran would teach it to others. Thus, these groups assumed the role of families and teaching circles.
The methodology that the Prophet adopted in nurturing his followers was the Noble Quran itself. He gave his Companions a comprehensive upbringing in terms of creed, acts of worship, morals, security consciousness and more. Hence, we find noble verses that deal with utilizing security consciousness as it is one of the most important aspects in the progress of nations. All members of the Muslim nation should have this consciousness, and especially those who are in the organized rank that defends Islam and endeavors to establish it among people. Hence, the first kernel in this upbringing was in Makkah, and it began to expand with the expansion of Da‘wah until it reached the stage of being a state.
There is no doubt that the Companions were collecting information about those whom they wanted to invite to Islam, and this was done under the supervision of their leader, the Prophet . Hence, the Prophet assembled a high-level security mechanism to supervise the structured communication between the leadership and the fundamentals of their mission in order to maintain secrecy.
The biography of the Prophet is very rich with regard to its security perspectives until even after the establishment of the state. In our contemporary age, it has become necessary for Islamic states and movements to create developed security mechanisms and systems that would protect Islam and the Muslims from their enemies from the Jews, the Christians and the atheists, and which would protect the inner Muslim ranks from being penetrated by enemies. These systems and mechanisms would also work hard on monitoring the acts of those who oppose and fight Islam so that the leadership would benefit from such information. These systems and mechanisms should be established according to the rules that originate from the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet and the morals of its people should be noble so as to represent the characteristics of true Muslim security personnel.
The attention that Muslims pay to this matter would help them avoid hostile attacks. As the old adage goes: “If one knows the enemy and knows himself, then he should not fear the outcome of even a hundred battles. However, if he knows himself but not his enemy, then he would face defeat in every battle.”
The Prophet would personally supervise the nurturing of his Companions in all aspects and would divide them into families. For example, Faatimah bint Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with her, and her husband, Sa‘eed bin Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, who was the cousin of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, were in one family with Na‘eem bin ‘Abdullaah An-Nahhaam bin ‘Adi and their teacher was Khabbaab bin Al-Aratt. They were not only studying the Noble Quran, learning its rules of recitation and reciting it a great deal, but they were also keen on understanding it and knowing its orders and prohibitions in order to act accordingly.
The Prophet would care about precise and organized planning and be prepared for each step that he would take. He was fully aware that the day would come when he would be ordered to make Da‘wah publicly. He knew that this stage would be grueling.
This organized group of Muslims were in need of meeting the Prophet who was their mentor so they had to choose a place for their meeting as the house of Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, was not large enough for the increasing number of followers. Hence, the Prophet and his Companions chose the house of Al-Arqam bin Abu Al-Arqam, may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet realized that the matter needed absolute precision in secrecy and organization so that the mentor and leader could meet his followers in a safe place that was away from others. The continuous and regular meetings between the leader and his soldiers is the method of practical and theoretical nurturing, and building the essential Da‘wah personality .
What proves that the Prophet would prepare his followers to be the builders of the state, the carriers of Da‘wah and the leaders of the Ummah (Muslim nation), was his keenness on this secret planning. If he had simply been a caller, the matter would not have required all this .
If the Prophet had simply wanted to deliver his Da‘wah, the best place would have been the Ka‘bah, the forum of all the people of the Quraysh. However, the matter was not as such. Complete secrecy was a condition in planning in terms of both the location where he would meet his followers and in the way that they would go to the place of gathering
2- The headquarters: The house of Al-Arqam bin Abu Al-Arqam
Books of prophetic biography mention that the taking of the house of Al-Arqam as the headquarters of the Prophet was done after the first confrontation that was led by Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him. Ibn Is’haaq said,
The Companions of the Prophet would go to the valleys to pray so that their people would not see them. Once, Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him, was among a number of Muslims in one such valley. Suddenly, a number of polytheists came while the Muslims were praying. They started criticizing what they were doing to the extent that they fought them. Thus, Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him, hit one of the polytheists with a camel bone and smashed his head. This was the first blood shed in Islam.
The house of Al-Arqam became a new centre for the Da‘wah where Muslims would meet to receive any new revelation from the Prophet . There, they would listen to the Prophet while he reminded them of Allah The Almighty and recited verses of the Noble Quran and they would tell him their innermost emotions. There he would nurture them under his very eyes just as he himself was nurtured under the Eyes of Allah The Almighty. Hence, this group became the apple of the Prophet’s eye.