'...Those who gave Bay’at ar-Ridwān beneath the tree at Hudaybiyah were 1,400 men. When was this? It was in Dhu al-Qi’dah 6 AH. When the treaty was solidified and Quraysh stood aside and held back from fighting the Messenger of Allāh [saw], only then did people begin entering Islam, as they had previously been afraid of Quraysh.
So, Quraysh had a treaty with the Messenger of Allāh and held back from fighting him, and waves of people saw this as their chance to become Muslims even if Quraysh didn’t like this. So, they became Muslims. Those who came did so 21 months after the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. What happened after this? The conquest of Makkah.
Those who came to conquer Makkah with the Messenger were 10,000. This means that how many people had become Muslim in the time leading up to this? At least 8,500 or 8,600 in the two years of peace had decided to enter Islam. Why? There are people in society who like you. However, they will not dare to help you if the government is angry with you. Isn’t this so?
Believe me, during the time that Egypt was unleashing its wrath on Sayyid Qutb and his family, nobody was able to lend them even a single dirham at a time when the women in the family could not even afford the cost of their weekly visits to Sayyid and Muhammad Qutb. They wouldn’t dare. I heard them saying: “The people have cut themselves off from us. We went to some people to borrow money from, our friends. They said “We don’t know you. Don’t come to us, and we won’t come to you.”
…So, as a dā’i, if you stand up to the government, the only ones who will stand by you are those who are ready for death or some sort of sacrifice. True men are known in times of hardship. No dā’i will stand by you unless he is willing to give up his family, children, wealth, and job…So, nobody will stand by you in harsh circumstances except true men, and they are few – men who live by their beliefs and have principles they stick to.
When the Messenger made the pact with Quraysh, over 8,500 became Muslim in the less than two years that followed. And when Quraysh was defeated in Ramadan of 8 AH and Hawāzin was defeated after them in Shawwal of 8 AH, only then did the delegations begin coming to Hunayn from all corners of the Arabian Peninsula to enter Islam in waves: ‘When the victory of Allāh and the conquest comes, and you see the people enter Allah’s Religion in waves.’ [an-Nasr; 1-2] So, during difficult circumstances in which you are confronting the massive jahiliyyah around you, don’t expect people to accept your call. None will accept it except those are prepared to sacrifice everything they own, even their lives.
Quraysh and Hāwazin were finished in the 8th year AH. Two years later, in the 10th year AH, the Prophet made Hajj along with 124,000 people. How many were there during the conquest of Makkah? There were 10,000. This means that in the two years between the two, there were 114,000 who became Muslim. However, the core of this society and its essence and foundation and nucleus was the mere thousand who participated at Uhud or the 1,400 who witnessed Bay’at ar-Ridwān. These, if they were to have been removed them from the picture, the entire society would’ve collapsed.
Because of this, the governments are smart when they fight Islām. They are very smart. They don’t come and kill everyone and have this held against them. Rather, they come and remove the five, six, or seven leaders who are the nucleus and essence and solid foundation and kill them off. While they only took out six, they really took out an entire ummah by taking out these six! ‘Indeed, Ibrahim was a nation unto himself…’ [an-Nahl; 120] And how often is one man equal to a thousand * And how often are a thousand men equal to none…” ['Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah'; p. 50-54]