Glancing through his list of followers, Muhammad was despondent. “Why isn't anybody important following me?”
“Watch it, man,” said Atiq bin Uthman with good humor. “Ain't I good enough for you?”
"Of course you are. You're my best friend. But that's exactly what people are going to say. Of course you followed me; you're mellow and sweet and would follow me anywhere. Which makes you a great buddy, but not so awesome for tribal credibility.”
"The same goes for the Missus. Though a powerful woman in her tribe, Khadija’s still just my wife. And Ali, though strong boy with awesome potentials, he's still just a boy. Actually, most of my followers live in my house, man!”
“I’m not complaining that I have you guys. God knows how grateful I am. I just don't want this to be nicknamed the “Muhammad’s Closest Buddies” project!I want this program for everyone; man, woman, child and slave.”
"I need a famous follower. Somebody mean. Someone with objective credibility in the tribe. Say, have you thought of a way to get into Umar's mind?"
Atiq’s eyes widened in alarm, “Which…Umar…are you talking about?”
“Either one. Though I'd rather have the further related one.”
“Khattab's son?! Dude, he's a hardcore conservative! A zealous hater of everything neo-monotheist! He even kicked his brother Zayd al-Hanif out of town for following you.” Atiq shook his head and shuddered, “Man, that Umar is scary.”
“Yeah, but still human. With plenty of soft spots, too.”
With a (ಠ_ಠ) face, Atiq said, “Sounds unlikely but humor me.”
“For one,” said Muhammad in a lowered voice, “He reads and writes and appreciates linguistic pretty like a true poet. Now, has any of his female relatives survived the Female Infanticide tradition?”
“Muhammad bin Abdullah, you're a genius!” exclaimed Atiq excitedly, “Oops, sorry. I meant, slightly aiming beyond your means, but a genius nevertheless.”
“Oh, come on. You'd call me that even if I were asking for Aisha’s hand in marriage. Now, let's officiate this new objective into a prayer: Oh Allah, grant us the followship of one of the Umars.”
"Keeping your choices open, eh?"
“Just in case.”