Journey to Taif

The death of Abu Talib signaled the beginning of a difficult period for the Prophet (r). None of the Qurayshites dared touch the Prophet (r) during the lifetime of Abu Talib, but now the restraint was gone. In one instance, dust was thrown over his head. And to make matters far worse, the Quraysh, moved by the desire to impose themselves upon the Prophet (r), insulted and mocked at him and made caustic remarks on Islam. When the pagans persisted with their mockery and sarcasm as well as resolute behavior, the Prophet (r) thought of going to Ta’if to seek the Journey to Taif help of the tribe of Thaqif. The Prophet (r) intended to invite them to Islam for he believed that they would receive his message with sympathy. His expectation was apparently well grounded as he had spent his childhood with Bani S’ad who were settled near Ta’if.

Ta’if was a delightful city, second only to Makkah in its population and prosperity, holding an important position in the Peninsula as alluded to in this verse of the Qur’an.

“And they say: If only this Qur’an had been revealed to some great man of the Journey to Taif two towns?” (meaning: Makkah and Ta’if) [Qur'an (43:31)]

Taif was also a religious center since pilgrims from every part of the country visit its so-called “Temple of al-Lat” and thus, it competed with Makkah in such respect for the latter housed Hubal, the chief deity of Arabia. Ta’if was, as it still is today, the summer resort of the Makkan aristocracy. An Umayyad poet, ‘Umar Ibn Rabi’a said about his beloved:

“Winter in Makkah, living in clover, In Ta’if she spends the summer.”

The inhabitants of Ta’if, endowed with diversified large farms Journey to Taif and vineyards, were wealthy and prosperous. They had become conceited and boastful embodying the following description of the Qur’anic verse:

“And we sent not unto any township a Warner, but it's pampered ones declared: Lo! we are disbeliever's in that which ye bring unto us. And they say: We are more (than you) in wealth and children. We are not the punished!” [Qur'an (35:34-5)]

In Taif, the Prophet (r) first met the chiefs and leaders of Thaqif whom he invited to accept Islam. They were, however, rude and discourteous in their treatment of the Prophet (r). Not Journey to Taif being content with their insolent reply, they even stirred up some gangs of the town to harass him. These riff-raffs followed the Prophet (r), abusing and crying and throwing stones on him, until he was compelled to take refuge in an orchard. The Prophet (r) consequently had to endure even more obstacles in Ta’if than he had to face in Makkah. These ruffians, based on either side of the path, threw stones at him until his feet were injured and smeared with blood. These oppressions grievously dejected the Prophet (r), whereby being in such a state of depression Journey to Taif, a prayer citing his helplessness and pitiable condition and seeking the aid of God spontaneously came thru his lips:

“O Allah”, said the Prophet (r), “To Thee I complain of my weakness, resourcelessness and humiliation before the people. You art the Most Merciful, the Lord of the weak and my Master. To whom wilt You confide me? To one estranged, bearing ill will, or, an enemy given power over me? If You art not worth on me, I care not, for Your favor is abundant upon me. I seek refuge in the light of Your countenance by which Journey to Taif all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger should descend upon me or Your displeasure light upon me. I need only Your pleasure and satisfaction for only You enablest me to do good and evade the evil. There is no power and no might save in thee.”

The Lord then sent the angel of mountains who sought the Prophets (r) permission to join together the two hills between which Ta’if was located but the Messenger of God (r) replied, “No, I hope God will bring Journey to Taif forth from their loins people who will worship God alone, associating nothing with Him.” (Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad).

Moved to compassion by the grief of the Prophet (r), ‘Utbah and Shayba Ibn Rabi’a sent for ‘Addas, one of their young Christian slaves, and told him to take a bunch of grapes on a platter for the Prophet (r) to which the bondman obeyed. While in the Prophet’s presence, Addas observed his kind demeanor that compelled him to talk to him and instantly professed his faith in Allah and His Prophet (r).

The Prophet (r) then returned to Makkah where the Journey to Taif Quraysh were as bitterly opposed to him as ever, deriding, annoying and assailing him day after day.

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