The way leading to Allah and Islam was crammed with grave danger and anyone who wanted to walk the lane had to be prepared to play with fire. Mecca had become so unsafe and vulnerable for the Muslims that acceptance of Islam meant taking one’s life in one’s hand.
The story of Abu Dharr Ghifari’s (radiallahu ‘anhu) conversion to Islam as told by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhu) shows how perilous it had become even to call upon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in those days.
“When Abu Dharr heard of the advent of the Prophet, he said unto his brother: ‘Proceed to that valley and enlighten me about the man who claimeth to be a prophet and to receive communication from Heaven. Listen to some of his sayings and then return unto me.’ So the brother went forth, reached the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and heard some of his sayings. Thereafter, he returned to Abu Dharr and said unto him: ‘I found that he enjoineth the highest principles of morality and that his speech is not poetry.’ – But (Abu Dharr) said: Thou hast not been able to satisfy me.
“Thereupon he took some provisions, together with an old waterskin full of water, and proceeded to Mecca. Then he went to the mosque (K’aba) and began exploring for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for he knew him not and was reluctant to ask about him and thus he spent part of the night. Thereupon ‘Ali saw him and recognized the same to be a stranger and when Abu Dharr met ‘Ali, he went with him (to the latter’s house). Until daybreak, neither of the two asked any questions of each other. Then once again he (Abu Dharr) went with his waterskin and his provisions to the mosque and allowed that day to pass ’til evening without finding the Prophet, although the latter saw him from there. Then he returned to his resting-place. While in there, ‘Ali passed by him and said: “Is it not time that a man should know his abode?” And his remarks made him rise and finally brought him to his house, with neither of the two asking any questions of each other, too. And on the third day ‘Ali did likewise, and he (‘Abu Dharr) stayed with him. Thereafter (‘Ali) said: “Will you not tell me what had brought you here?” to which Abu Dharr answered: “I will do so only if you promise me that you will guide me right”, whereupon ‘Ali agreed outright. After that, Abu Dharr told him all. Then, ‘Ali said: “Behold, it is true, and he is indeed an Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) of God! Tomorrow morning, you follow me. If indeed I see any danger for you, I will stop as if to pass water; but if I go on, then follow me and enter in whichever place I do.” Abu Dharr did so, following ‘Ali until he finally found the Prophet’s house and entered in it together with him (‘Ali). Then he listened to some of the Prophet’s sayings and embraced Islam the spot. Thereupon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said unto him: “Return unto thy people and inform them about me and await my bidding.” Afterwhich Abu Dharr said: “By Him in whose hand is my soul, indeed I shall loudly proclaim the truth among them!”
Then he left and went to the mosque and called out at the top of his voice. He proceeded to say: “I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and that Muhammad is His Prophet”. Thereupon, the people of Mecca broke upon him, beat him and then threw him into the ground. At such juncture, Al-‘Abbas came, knelt down to see him and said to the people: “Woe unto you, know ye not that he belongeth to the tribe of Ghifar and that your merchants’ road to Syria passeth through their country?” Thus, Al-‘Abbas rescued him from them. That incident did not stop Abu Dharr from doing the same thing again, prompting the people (of Mecca) to impose themselves over him anew, whereupon Al-Abbas came once more to his redemption.” (Al-Bukhaari, Section: Abu Dharr’s conversion to Islam).