The Muslims were actually the first to resort to physical violence, when Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas picked up a camel’s jawbone and struck a local polytheist who was “rudely interrupting” his group of praying Muslims. “This was the first blood to be shed in Islam” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 166).

The new converts were quite aggressive, particularly when they could get away with it, which was the misfortune of others. An example is when one of the strongest Muslims, Hamza, struck a Meccan leader by the name of Abu Jahl ‘violently” with his bow for speaking in an insulting way to Muhammad:

When he got to the mosque [Hamza] saw [Abu Jahl] sitting among the people, and went up to him until he stood over him, when he lifted up his bow and struck him a violent blow with it, saying, ‘Will you insult him when I follow his religion, and say what he says? Hit me back if you can!’ (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 185).