For quite a long time a furious war had been raging between the tribes of 'Aws' and 'Khazraj' (of Yathrib). During this time As'ad bin Zurarah, one of the chiefs of Khazraj made a journey to Makkah for strengthening the power of his tribe. His intention was to seek military and financial assistance from Quraysh to subdue his one hundred years old enemy (i.e. the tribe of Aws). Owing to his old relations with 'Atbah bin Rabiyyah he stayed with him. He told him the purpose of his visit and requested him for help.
His old friend ('Atbah), however, replied in these words: "Just at present we cannot accede to your request because we ourselves are in a strange fix. A man has risen from amongst ourselves. He insults our gods, considers our ancestors to have been frivolous and stupid. With his sweet words he has attracted some of our young men and has thus created a deep cleavage amongst us. Except the Haj period he spends most of his time in Sha'b (Mountain Pass) of Abu Talib. During Haj period, however, he emerges from there and takes his place in Hajar-i Isma'il. There he invites people to his faith.
As'ad decided to return home without contacting other chiefs of Quraysh. However, in keeping with the old Arab custom, he decided to perform the pilgrimage of the House of Allah (the Ka'bah) before his departure. But 'Atbah warned him lest, while he was going round the Ka'bah, he should hear the bewitching words of the new Prophet and be attracted to him. To solve this problem 'Atbah suggested to As'ad to thrust cotton in his ears so that he might not hear the Prophet.
As'ad slowly stepped into Masjidul Haram and began going round the Ka'bah. During the first round he glanced at the Holy Prophet and saw him sitting in Hajar-i Isma'il, while a number of Hashimites were guarding him. Fearing the magic of the Prophet's words he (As'ad) did not go to him.
Eventually, however, while going round the Ka'bah, he reflected within himself and felt that he was doing a very foolish thing in avoiding the Prophet, because people might question him about this affair on his return to Yathrib and it would be necessary for him to give them a satisfactory reply. He, therefore, decided to obtain first-hand information about the new religion without any further delay.
He came forward and saluted the Prophet with the words An'am Sabahan (Good Morning), according to the custom prevalent in the Age of Ignorance. The Holy Prophet, however, said to him in reply that Allah had prescribed a better form of salutation. He said that when two persons meet each other they should say,Salamun Alaykum. Then As'ad requested the Holy Prophet to explain and clarify to him the aims and objects of his religion. In reply the Holy Prophet recited for him two verses:
Muhamad, say, Let me tell you about what your Lord has commanded: Don't consider anything equal to God; Be kind to your parents; Don't murder your children out of fear of poverty (for We give sustenance to everyone), Don't even approach indecency either in public or in private. Don't murder for no reason, anyone whom God has considered respectable. Thus, your Lord guides you so that you may think. Don't handle the property of the orphans except with a good reason until they become mature and strong. Maintain equality in your dealings by the means of measurement and balance. (No soul is responsible for what is beyond it's ability). Be just in your words even if the party involved is one of your relatives; and keep your promise with God. Thus, does your Lord guide you so that you may take heed.(Surah An'am, 6 152 - 153)
which, in fact, draws a true picture of the mentality and ways of life of the Arabs of the age of ignorance. These two verses, which mention the ailment as well as the remedy for a people who had been at logger-heads with one another for as many as one hundred and twenty years, made a very deep impression on As'ad. He embraced Islam immediately and requested the Holy Prophet to send some one to Yathrib in the capacity of a missionary of Islam.