Who is King?
The question is rooted in the difference of opinions between people about what is right and wrong. Customs of Arabia might be perfect for them but totally unacceptable to Europeans, and vice versa. An Arabian arbiter will judge in a certain way which would be different from a European judge. But both could be right from their individual cultural backgrounds and at the same time both could be wrong when their judgements are cross polinated. So, who is the boss?
At the dawn of Islam, Makkans were not new to the concept of monotheism, neither were they hostile to any belief system. Remember, their flourishing tourism industry was one of their main sources of income and employment, and they welcomed diversities which brought gods of fortunes with them.
There lived in Arabia Jews, Christians, Sabians, Magians, mushriks, aetheists, animists, and another peculiar group of monotheists (believers in one God). They were very few in number. They did not join others in idol worship or in their ritualistic worship of the clergy.
These were the Hanafites, the followers of Ibrahim (as), who was neither a jew nor a christian, but he (as) was a believer in Allah swt. Ibrahim (as) and his son Ismael (as) built the kaabah in Makkah. The Kaabah meant everything to the Makkans, it was their identity and the symbol of mankind’s submission to the House of Allah swt.
Makkans knew their genealogy very well, so they also knew their history in depth. They knew the history of Ibtahim (as) the prophet of Allah swt who struggled to rid of shirk against all odds. They must have known how Ismael was brought to Makkah, how zam zam sprang out and how father and son built the kaabah for all mankind and later generations based on their belief in One God, Allah swt.
The commands to pray, fast, charity and hajj were given to Ibrahim (as) and he (as) called mankind for hajj in Makkah. Thus, Makkah was home to the first muslim family through the house of Ibrahim-Ismael and their descendants.
People who followed Ibrahim (as)’s religion were called Hanafites. By the time of Prophet Muhammad (swm) Hanafites were very few in number. But they lived with the Makkans trading and living their daily lives with one exception. Hanafites did not approve the Makkan wrongs especially in religion and belief in God. Hanafites were seen by the Makkans as the “odd” people in society, peculiar kind of people who spoke of ancient times.
Although the Kaabah was built in Makkah for the sole worship of One God by the patriarch Ibrahim (as) yet it turned into a center of world idol worship. One Hanafite would stand by the Kaabah and cry out loud against the wrong rituals and practices of mushrikeen. Makkan rulers were known for their tolerance of diversity in Makkah, and so there was no trace of any religious persecution of Hanafites or of any other religious groups for that matter.
WHat caused that famous Makkan tolerance to turn into an inquisition? Did the new prophet (swm) bring a new religion looking to introduce new rivals in worship? Others were doing that any way and there was no trouble with them.
The prophet Muhammad (swm) must have introduced something so radical that its acceptance woud have transformed everything in the society. Like a great earthquake which turns cities upside down.
Only a threat to the highest order of Makkah could trigger a violent reaction towards a religious movement.
Full of blessings is He in Whose hand is the Kingdom of the Universe,2 and He has power over everything (TMQ Al Mulk 67:1)
The power, the kingdom of the universe belongs not to any man, family or any powerful group. Allah swt created the universe and everything in it belongs to Him swt only. The power of Makkan chiefs is nothing but a perception held by the people. They should now realise that Allah, the Most Powerful, is the real King, the real Sovereign who is above everything in the universe.
The Quraish knew what this meant. This was the earthquake which was going to dislodge them and every other wrong doer from the seat of power, to be more precise, they would loose their seat of political power. The call to Islam was not new. Ibrahim (as) established this call in Makkah already. It was the call to the concept of removing the obstacles to the belief in the All Powerful Allah swt as the only Independent Sovereign which was rekindled by the last Prophet (swm).