the journey to Al Ta'if

Extreme Hardship: The Prophet’s Journey to Al Ta’if

After 10 years of dawah, Life became hard in Makkah for prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him]. It became even harder in the year after the death of two most beloved people to him; his wife Khadija [Radiya Allahu Anha] & his uncle Abu Talib.

Both used to support him immensely, his wife; the first one to believe in him and give him emotional support. His uncle; who stood beside him against Kuffar Quraish (the disbelievers of Quraish) and gave him protection so that Quraish would find it hard to kill or torture him in fearing his uncle’s position and reaction. (That doesn’t mean life wasn’t hard. It was!).

That’s why, after the death of his uncle, his life was in danger! Thus he started thinking to leave Makkah. This year was called “The Year of Sorrow”.

And Here is a great lesson! For 10 years, people of Quraish were against Muhammad [peace be upon him], harassing the Muslims yet he didn’t think of leaving.

So, even if it’s an evil society, an Islamophobic society, a society that has problems & issues, one remains part of his society.

That’s a huge lesson for us, even when life became hard, the prophet stayed there doing his mission, battling it at least verbally. He didn’t think of “Hijrah”, moving out until life became impossible in Makkah.

The First city that came in prophet Muhammad’s mind was Al-Ta’if.

Why Al-Ta’if? What’s so special in Ta’if?

  1. The  largest closest city to Makkah.
  2. The people of both cities; Ta’if and Makkah, knew each other very well & they were very close. There was a blood relationship between them as some of the Ta’if people were married to some of Makkah’s.

At that point, the prophet tried a secret attempt going to Al-Ta’if. He went there, accompanied with Zaid ibn Harithah, on foot so as not to arise any suspicion (the journey was 2 days on feet).

Aisha [Radiyallahu anha] asked the prophet Muhammad [Sala Allahu Alayhi Wasallam]: “’O Messenger of Allah, was there any day more difficult to you than on the day of the battle of Uhud?” (For those who don’t know, on the battle of Uhud, the Prophet [peace be upon him] was wounded, blood was coming from his blessed face, his teeth were dislodged, and even an arrow came and hit him. Much happened on the day of Uhud). The Prophet [peace be upon him] said, ‘Yes, the day of Al-Ta’if was worse for me than the day of Uhud; that was the most difficult point of my life’.

When the Prophet [peace be upon him] approached the tribe of Saqeef (the inhabitants of the city of Al-Ta’if), he presented himself to the leaders of Al-Ta’if, they were three brothers (Their father was once the chief of the city, but once he died, the brothers decided to share the power among each other). One of them has married a distant aunt of the prophet so that’s a blood relationship there.

So the Prophet [peace be upon him] introduced him as the Messenger of Allah, presented the message of Islam, asking them to convert to Islam. However, all three of them rejected and they started to ridicule and insult him in the worst possible manner. One of them said, ‘If Allah has sent you as a Prophet, I might as well tear down the curtains of the Kaabah’ (in animosity & mockery), another said, ‘Did Allah not found any one better than you to send? You are the one He has chosen?’, the third one said, ‘I cannot speak to you because if you really are a Prophet, then you are too Holy for me to speak to, and if you are not a prophet (i.e. if you are a liar), then you are too ignoble for me (a noble man) to speak to”.

Prophet Muhammad told them if you rejected my message so at least don’t tell Quraish of my visit.

Here’s another lesson; even to the end, the prophet had his plan in mind and a vision. He didn’t not just go and say I’ll put my trust in Allah, he followed a plan, he made what he can do and he put his trust in Allah.

After that, prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] started approaching the masses; the people in the streets. (as in some reports; He stayed for some days). There was a potential of some people converting, and that’s when the leaders started to panic.

They gathered and commanded their slaves and the youth to stone the Prophet [peace be upon him].

So, the Prophet [peace be upon him] was forced to leave Al-Ta’if while the people are ridiculing him, insulting him, and stoning him, so much so that the blood began to pour from his body, Zaid Ibn Harithah tried to protect him as much as he could.

As he ran outside the city, he himself narrates to Aishaa, ‘that I could not remember where I was going’. He was in such a state of shock that he did not know where he was until he reached a garden a few kilometers outside of Al-Ta’if.”

The people of Al-Ta’if had stopped chasing him, and he sat down, tired and bleeding, tortured and humiliated by the people of Al-Ta’if, with Zaid under a tree. There he [Sala Allahu Alayhi Wasallam] made a dua to Allah [Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala]  and said:

“O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and the humiliation. I have been subjected to by the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favor is of a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right. lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.” [this Duaa is authenticated by some scholars]

Note that; It’s Allah whom we first return to in times of calamity. We seek his help, we pray and make Duaa. Even in the hardest of times, the prophet thought of whether Allah is pleased with what he had done or not. That was his goal from the very beginning, to do what he’s capable of doing in the sake of Allah.

At that point, the Prophet [peace be upon him] said ‘I saw a cloud hovering above me, and I saw Jibreel (the Angel) came down from that cloud, and besides him was an angel that I had never seen before.’ And Jibreel said to the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him], ‘O Muhammad [peace be upon him], your Lord has seen how your people have responded to you, your Lord has seen what they have said to you, so he has sent me with the angel of the mountains to place at your disposal.’

The angel said, ‘O Muhammad [peace be upon him], if you want, command me and I will cause the two mountains of Al-Ta’if to collapse upon them.’ (For those of you who don’t know, Al-Ta’if is situated on some type of plateau, and the city is in between these two mountains, and the angel asked the Prophet [peace be upon him] if he should just squash the people between the same mountains whose pebbles they used to stone the Prophet [peace be upon him] with.) The Prophet [peace be upon him], still bleeding says, ‘No! Rather, I pray that Allah [Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala] blesses their children to be Muslims and worship Allah alone. Even if they have rejected Islam, I pray that Allah blesses their progeny to be Muslim.’

SubhanAllah! Is there mercy in mankind that can come above the prophet’s mercy!

Allah says in the Quran, ((We have only sent you as a means of mercy for the entire world)). (21:107)

I hope you enjoyed the story of Today 🙂 next time we will discuss the journey going back to Makkah.

Please comment below to tell us what other lessons have you learnt today.

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