Some persons who had migrated to Ethiopia left that country and returned to the Hijaz on account of false reports to the effect that Quraysh had embraced Islam. On their return, they came to know that the reports received by them were false and the pressure and persecution of the Muslims by Quraysh had not yet abated. Most of them, therefore, returned to Ethiopia and only a small minority entered Makkah, either secretly or under the protection of some mighty person of Quraysh.
Uthman bin Maz'un entered Makkah under the protection of Walid bin Mughayrah and became safe from the atrocities of the enemy. He could, however, see with his own eyes that other Muslims were being persecuted and tortured by Quraysh. Uthman was very much grieved to observe this discrimination.
He, therefore, requested Walid to declare publicly that the son of Maz'un was no longer under his protection so that he might also be in the same position in which other Muslims were, and should share their grief and sorrow. Walid, therefore, declared in the mosque: "From this moment Ibn Maz'un is not under my protection". And Uthman also said aloud: "I confirm it".
Soon thereafter Labid, the Arabian poet, entered the mosque and began reading his well-known Qasidah (laudatory poem) in the big assembly of Quraysh.
He said: "Everything except Allah is unreal and illusory". Uthman said: "You are right". Labid then read the second hemistich:
"All the blessings of Allah are unstable". Uthman was disturbed and said: "You are mistaken. The blessings of the Hereafter are permanent and eternal". Labid took ill the objection of Uthman and said: "O Quraysh! Your circumstances have changed.
In the past your assemblies were in good order and your companions did not feel any grief. Since when has this change occurred in your condition? Who is he?" One of those present said: "He is a foolish man who has abjured our creed and follows a man like himself. Don't pay heed to his words".
Then the man rose and gave Uthman a strong slap in the face and blackened it. Walid bin Mughayrah said: "O Uthman! Had you remained under my protection you would not have suffered all this". Uthman replied: "I am under the protection of Almighty Allah". Walid said: "I am prepared to offer you protection once again". Uthman replied: "I shall not accept it at all''