This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.
CHAPTER 3 THE FAIR (continued)
Mecca was a town with two sources of money from the outside. The first was trading, and Mohammed had made his money in the caravan trade. The other was the fees from the pilgrims to the shrine of the Kabah. Fairs combined a little of both. All the tribes came for a fair. People would see old acquaintances and buy, sell or trade goods. Since Mecca was one of several sacred or pilgrim sites, rituals for the different tribal gods were performed around the Kabah and Mecca.
It was time for the fair and the Quraysh were in turmoil. They were desperate that the divisions and rancor that had come with Mohammed’s preaching not spread to the other clans outside Mecca. So a group of concerned Quraysh talked and decided to meet with Al Walid, a man of respect and influence. He told them that all the visitors would come to them and ask about this man Mohammed and what he was preaching. It was a foregone conclusion that Mohammed would preach and people would ask.
But what could they agree on to tell the visitors so that there could be one voice. What would they call him? Was he possessed? Crazy? A ecstatic poet? A sorcerer? Who was he? What was he? Finally they agreed upon Mohammed being a sorcerer since he separated a son from his father or brother or wife or from his family.
68:1 NUN1. By the pen and by what the angels write, by the grace of your Lord, you [Mohammed] are not possessed! Certainly, a limitless reward awaits you, because you have a noble nature, but you will see and they will see, which of you is insane.
53:1 By the star when it sets, your companion [Mohammed] is not wrong, nor is he misled, and he does not speak out of his own desire.
53:4 This [the Koran] is a revelation only to him. The Lord of mighty power filled it with wisdom and taught it to him. Allah appeared in a stately form in the highest part of the horizon. He approached and came nearer, at a distance of about two bow-lengths, or even closer, and he gave his revelation to his servant.
53:11 His heart did not invent what he saw. What! Will you dispute with him what he saw? He had seen Gabriel before, near the Sidrah-tree [a shade tree], which marks the boundary near the Garden of repose. When the Sidrah-tree was mysteriously covered, his eye did not turn away, nor did it wander because he saw his Lord’s greatest sign.
So the Meccans split up and went out on the roadsides of town to speak with the travelers before they even arrived at Mecca.