Would you walk fifty miles to convey the message of Islam to people in another city?
This is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did in the tenth year of the revelation. It is known as the Year of Grief. His wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib had just passed away (see Part 9).
Left without protection in Makkah, he (peace be upon him) walked to Ta’if to invite its people to Islam.
It was a difficult journey, as the city of Ta’if is an area of high mountains. It is a lush area of green palm trees, fruits, and vegetables about 50 miles southeast of Makkah. Its temperatures are lower than Makkah but getting there was not easy.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) traveled with his companion, Zayd ibn Harithah. Upon arrival, the first thing he did was meet the city’s local leaders. He presented his message to the chiefs of the Thakif tribe, who were three brothers. Then, he invited them to Islam.
All three of them rejected the invitation and responded in the most sarcastic way. Although saddened by what they said, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not give up or lose hope. Some reports suggest that he spent almost a week in Ta’if after this meeting calling its people to Islam.
Traumatic Attack & Beautiful Supplication
Nobody in Ta’if accepted his call. However, towards the end of his stay, some people seemed ready to accept his invitation and convert to Islam. The leaders of Ta’if were infuriated by this news. They sent a mob of young people to attack the Prophet (peace be upon him) and pelt him with stones.
Unfortunately, the attack succeeded. The mob forced Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Zayd out of town. Both men were wounded by the stones thrown at them, and their feet were covered in blood.
They walked for around 8 kilometers in a state of trauma from what had happened. Outside Ta’if, they reached a garden with trees where they sat to rest and recover from the shock. It was there that Prophet Muhammad said his famous supplication to Allah:
O Allah! To You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the paucity of my resources and my insignificance before mankind. You are the most Merciful of the merciful. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak, O Lord of mine! Into whose hands would You abandon me: into the hands of an unsympathetic distant relative who would sullenly frown at me, or to the enemy who has been given control over my affairs? But if Your wrath does not fall on me, there is nothing for me to worry about.
I seek protection in the light of Your Countenance, which illuminates the heavens and dispels darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Your wrath, or that You should be wrathful to me. And there is no power nor resource, but Yours alone. (The Sealed Nectar)
This powerful and beautiful supplication is a reminder that dua is the weapon of a believer. Allah immediately responded to the Prophet’s supplication and two things happened.
A Gift of Grapes
Two wealthy men from Makkah saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) resting in the shade of the tree. They had witnessed what happened in Ta’if and felt sorry for him, so they sent him some grapes with their servant. He was a young man, Addas, who was a Nazirite (a believer in Jesus as a prophet from God).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) accepted the gift. Before eating the grapes, he said out loud, “Bismillah” (In the Name of Allah). These words attracted the attention of Addas, who said that people here didn’t use these words. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked him where he was from. Addas answered that he was from Nineveh (a city in Iraq).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked:
You belong to the city of the righteous man Jonah, son of Matthew (Yunus ibn Matta)?
Addas said, “Yes.” He was astonished by the question, as the Arabs did not know of Jonah.
Thereupon Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
He is my brother. He was a prophet and so am I.
Addas kissed the hands and feet of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Then he returned to his masters.
Following this incident and this beautiful supplication, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Zayd continued their journey back home. Angel Gabriel came to him at a place before Makkah called Qarn Al-Manazil and said:
“Allah has heard what your people say to you and how they reject you. He has ordered the angels of the mountains to obey whatever you tell them to do.”
The angel of the mountains greeted him and said:
“Send me to do what you wish. If you wish, I will crush them between the two mountains of Makkah.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Rather, I hope that Allah will bring forth from their loins those who will worship Allah alone and not associate anything with Him. (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) could have asked that those children who pelted him with stones be finished off. He could have asked the same for their intolerant parents. But he didn’t! He never took revenge for himself. Rather, he was a mercy to the world and only wanted the guidance and what was best for his people.
What happened next?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) and Zayd managed to re-enter Makkah. This was followed by the night journey to Jerusalem and his ascension to Heaven. Both events will be detailed in the next part of this series in sha’ Allah.
So please stay tuned…
Activities for New Converts Following this Series
1- Patience in Islam
When new converts embrace Islam, they usually face many challenges in dealing with their non-Muslim family and in public meetings.
Patience is an important virtue converts need to develop to be able to deal with life’s challenges. In the Qur’an, Allah says that He loves the patient. The following links shed more light on this virtue:
Patience and Thankfulness on the Path to Allah
These Five Stories in the Qur’an Will Boost Your Patience
Patience with Tests on the Journey to Allah
The Prophet’s Inexhaustible Patience
2- Zayd ibn Harithah
Zayd is the only companion Allah mentioned by name in the Qur’an.
Prophet Muhammad loved him very much. Please check these links for more details:
Seerah of the Prophet: Story of Zayd ibn Harithah
Three Young Companions
Three Enlightening Stories from the Qur’an (Story 3)
How the Prophet Treated the Youth (5 Stories)
3- Supplications (Duaa) in Islam
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made a beautiful supplication after leaving Ta’if.
Learn more about the importance of supplications in Islam in times of hardship and ease through these links:
The Beauty of Duaa
A Duaa to Say
The Faster Way Allah Answers Duaa: Ask Him in Distress
Seven Best Duaa Every Muslim Should Say
10 Hadiths on Best Times to Make Duaa
4- Send us your questions on this series to: [email protected]
As this is a special series for new converts to learn about Islam in a comprehensive way through learning the Seerah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad) in a gradual chronological way, we will add a few more resources of other areas of Islamic knowledge in each part of the Seerah at the end of each article as extra learning resources.
We will add new videos to this series as we progress from Year 1 to Year 23 in sha’ Allah.
The references we use in each article are given for further details, so please feel free to send us any questions you may have to this e-mail: [email protected]
You may also wish to join our Facebook Group, Islam 101, for further learning and also to interact with fellow new converts and those who are new to Islam here.
The Sealed Nectar – Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri
Seerah of Prophet Muhammad – 20: Incident of Ta’if – Dr. Yasir Qadhi