Divine approval is also obtained for the retention of the pagan ceremonies of
going round the hills Safa and Marwa:
Verily, Safa and Marwa are among the monuments of God: whoever then maketh a
pilgrimage to the temple, or visiteth it, shall not be to blame if he go round
them both. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 153.
It is, however, probable that these verses are interpolations here and that
they were really revealed later on when the first pilgrimage was made.
This second Sura, Sura Al-Baqarah, then, throws a clear light on the changing
policy of Muhammad at this early period of his Madina career and is itself
illustrated by the history of the period. It is also an excellent example of the
way in which the revelations were timed to meet the exigencies of the varying
social and political situations of the Prophet and his cause. It also shows that
he had already, at this early stage of his residence in Madina, realized that
open war with his countrymen was unavoidable and must soon come. At all events,
it was time to prepare the minds of his followers for cares and troubles of this
kind and to stimulate their zeal and courage by examples from Jewish history:
Think ye to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon you, as on
those who flourished before you? Ills and troubles tried them. Sura Al-Baqarah
Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellingsand they were
thousandsfor fear of death? God said to them, 'Die'; then He restored them to
life, for full of bounty towards man is God. But most men are thankless.
Fight for the cause of God. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 244-5.