The Muslims were a very small minority but they drew their strength from their firm belief in Allah and also that Hazrat Hamza (RA) and Hazrat Umar (RA) had joined their ranks. They also mustered up enough courage to offer salaat in the Ka'bah.
The Quraish were in a dilemma and claimed that not all the people of Banu Hashim and Banu Abu Talib were Muslims. Yet they would not dare to attack the Muslims for fear of Hazrat Hamza RA and Hazrat Umar RA.
They demanded of Abu Talib unless he handed over Rasulullah to them, the whole Banu Hashim family of Makkah will be subjected to a general boycott and isolation. The boycott would also include all those who sympathies with the Muslim cause.
Consequently all the heads of the Quraish met and drew up a 'charter' to publish a complete list of items of boycott. The list included among other things, the prohibition of: associating or greeting any Muslim; marriage with a Muslim; socializing; buying and selling; the supply of any kind of food. The charter was signed by all the heads of the Quraish and sworn upon. It was hung in the Ka'bah for the notice of all.
Thus for three long years, from the seventh year of Nubuwwat to the tenth year of Nubuwwat, the Muslims suffered severe hardship, starvation and privacy, want of clothing and bare necessities. Abu Talib had moved the Banu Hasim family to 'Sh'ob-e-Abu Talib', a secluded place of safety. The stock of grain which Abu Talib had gathered was soon used up and there was not a grain of food left. Some Muslims ate leaves of trees, and men women children were thin and weak from starvation.
In the tenth year of Nubuwwat, the remainder of the Banu Hashim tribe in Makkah could not bear to see the hardship suffered by Rasulullah and his family. Hisham-ibn-Amr-Rabeeah began a campaign to end the boycott . He was supported by Abu Baukhtari-bin-Hishaam and Zam'a-bin-Aswad. They carried this campaign to the Ka'bah before the Quraish.
Meanwhile Rasulullah declared the message of Allah, that the 'Charter' hanging in the ka'bah had no validity because only the word 'Allah' had remained while all the other writings were destroyed by white ants. It was thus that the boycott came to an end.
In the same year of Nubuwwat, in the month of Rajab, Abu Talib took ill. The Quraish on the other hand, continued their persecution and harassment of the Muslims.