Early Preaching and Conversions
It is widely believed the first one to accept Islam after the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was his wife, Hazrat Khadija. About men, there are minor confusions about who converted first, but Hazrat Abu Bakr’s conversion has political and social significance.
Only twenty people had accepted Islam in the first 3 years. Subsequently, he received revelation to preach publicly.
With this object in view, he assembled all the clans of Quraish on the hill of Safa where he gave God’s message to the populace. Some stayed silent and some uttered evil words against him. Among them was the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s uncle Abu Lahab. In the end, everyone went home paying no heed to the message.
Undeterred by the lukewarm response, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) started preaching at the Eastern gate of the Kaaba because a lot of people passed from here. The gate was also known as al-Arqam.
The last of the man to convert here was Omer in the 6th year of prophethood.
Some historians maintain that most of the converts were from lower class. Significant amount of the converts was slaves. But there were exceptions such as Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer, and Hazrat Osman.