The companions of the Prophet were together one day in Makkah. They were still few in number. weak and oppressed. They said, "The Quraysh have not yet heard the Quran being recited openly and loudly. Who is the man who could recite it for them?'
"I shall recite it from them," volunteered Abdullah ibn Masud . "We are afraid for you," they said. "We only want someone who has a clan who would protect him from their evil . "
"Let me," Abdullah ibn Masud insisted, "Allah shall protect me and keep me away from their evil." He then went out to the mosque until he reached Maqam Ibrahim (a few meters from the Kabah). It was dawn and the Quraysh were sitting around the Kabah. Abdullah stopped at the Maqam and began to recite:
"Bismillah irRahma nirRahim. Ar-Rahman. Allama-l Quran. Khalaqal insan. Allamahul bayan... (In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. The Merciful God. He has taught the Quran. He has created man and taught him the clear truth...)"
He went on reciting. The Quraysh looked at him intently and some of them asked: "What is Ibn Umm Abd saying?" "Damn him! He is reciting some of what Muhammad brought!" they realized. They went up to him and began beating his face as he continued reciting. When he went back to his companions the blood was flowing from his face. "This is what we feared for you," they said. "By God," replied Abdullah, "the enemies of God are not more comfortable than I at this moment. If you wish. I shall go out tomorrow and do the same."