The devoted and committed Prophet (SAW) set off for Taif, a fertile town with gardens of fruits and fields where people were prosperous and happy. Worldly fortunes smiled upon the people of Taif and they had accumulated many worldly riches. The Prophet (SAW) took Zaid bin Harisa along and set of for Taif on foot; he preached the inhabitants of the small villages along the way. The ardent messenger and his comrade kept walking, their passion and love for Allah increasing with every step and their hearts and mind promising their sincerity to Him with every breath. Then, they finaly saw it; the city of riches and wonder, Taif. They made their way to the three chiefs of the Saqif clan; Abd Yalil, Masud and Habib; the Prophet (SAW) chose his words carefully as he explained their undertaking and asked for their assistance. The words of Prophet (SAW) were always humble and sweet no matter who he was addressing; however, the chiefs of Saqif responded with hate and anger:
“If it is indeed God that sent you, then He wants the cover of the Kaabah to be torn away!” said one.
The second one mocked the Holly Prophet (SAW) and said “Could God not choose another one suitable to make His Prophet?”
The third one disgraced the Prophet (SAW) and said “By God, I will not talk to you at all. For if you are a Prophet as you say, then it is disrespectful to exchange words with you and if you have represented God wrong then you are simply not fit to talk to”
The words felt like a thousand poisoned arrows, after walking for so long under the scorching sun and the desert the winds of which felt like sand paper on the skin; the Prophet was very hurt and annoyed after hearing what the three had to say. Nonetheless, as patient and forgiving as the Prophet (SAW) was, he endured the spears of hate and urged the three not to say to others what they said to him. The three were not as humble as the Prophet (SAW), they provoked the street urchins, servants and slaves to mob together and force the Prophet (SAW) and his comrade out of the city limits. The common people and slaves not knowing any better did more than just that, they abused the Prophet (SAW) and showered stones on him. If the words dint hurt the stones surely would have, he was badly hurt particularly around the legs and bled so much that the soles of his sandals stuck to his feet as if with glue. The Prophet (SAW) week by the journey and drained by the welcome that he had received, was much fatigued; he found a corner and sat for a while to regain his breath. The offensive mindless crowd was close by and picked him up by his shoulders and got him on his feet, assaulting and shouting again.
The soft natured Prophet (SAW) was very tired and did not have enough strength to fight them off; even if he had enough the Prophet (SAW) never used force to spread his teachings. Streams of blood flowed down his wounds as he staggered, his sandals sticking to the skin of his feet because of the blood drying. The mindless mob gathered to bear witness to this sinfully obvious exhibition of hate and ignorance; they drove him up to the gate of a garden belonging to the two sons of Rabia, Utbah and Sahiba. The badly wounded and exhausted Emissary held on to a vine creeper and shifted his weight off his injured feet; in this time of pain and fatigue the Messenger’s (SAW) humble tongue called to his Master;
“O God! I come to Thee; alone, helpless and without resources. Thou art the most Merciful of all the merciful. Thou are the Sustainer of the weak and helpless. Thou art my Lord to whom art Thou going to entrust me to an unknown enemy who is bitter with me or to an enemy who has dominance over my affairs? But if Thine curse is not on me, I do not care of anything. Thy protection is a great shield for me. In place of Thy curse or anger descending on me I seek the refuge of Thy face which dispels all darkness and which sets right all worldly affairs. I seek Thy will and pleasure. No force or strength can come except from Thee”
Height of forgiveness and patience, the Prophet (SAW) did not hold any personal grudge with those that had hurt and humiliated him. The owners of the garden had witnessed the entire brutality; they called their Christian slave Addas and asked him to take a bunch of grapes to the Prophet. Addas following orders humbly presented the grapes to the parched Messenger (SAW), he accepted them thankfully “In the name of God”. Addas sat before Prophet (SAW) amazed and confused, he asked tenderly where the Prophet (SAW) had come from and what it was he preached the people. The Prophet (SAW) asked him “Where are you from and which religion do you follow?”; “Nineva is my home and I am a Christian”. The Prophet (SAW) smiled and said “So you belong to the sacred city of Jonah, son of Matta”. Addas was taken aback and he was astonished “You know of Jonah, son of Matta; how do you know him?”; “He was my brother…” Prophet (SAW) said softly with a smiling face, “He was my brother, he was a Prophet and so am I”. Realizing who he was in the company of, Addas was humbled and touched the Messenger’s (SAW) injured feet rubbing his eyes on them. The sons of Rabia witnessed their slaves actions and were annoyed, “You insolent foul, you have defiled your religion!” they said in much dismay; “O master, there is nothing better than this on earth, he told me something which no one but a true prophet could be aware of…” replied the much satisfied slave.
The Prophet (SAW) staggered away and made his way to Nakhla, he rested and stayed in the Hira cave. He sent his word to Mut’im bin Adi requesting his protection. It was Arab custom no to refuse anyone seeking protection, friend or foe the request for protect could not be turned down; Mut;im accepted the request and sent his sons to bring the Prophet to the Kaabah. The sons mounted their horses armed and determined to bring the Prophet (SAW) safe back to Kaabah, on the way they announced in clear words that the Prophet (SAW) was under the protection of Mut’im bin Adi. The Prophet by now was very weak and unconscious because of the trauma and intense blood loss, Zaid bin Harisa carried the fainted Messenger (SAW) on his shoulders. He suggested the Prophet (SAW) with hate and disgust to curse the people who put him through so much misery and pain; he asked the Messenger (SAW) to summon God wrath and punishment upon the barbarians; the Prophet (SAW) calmly replied “ Why should I bring a curse upon them? If they have not accepted Islam, future generations surely will!”
The experience of Taif is such that no reader can walk away from feeling the pain Prophet (SAW) went through to spread the teachings. His patience and humility is truly remarkable; the torment that he was put through is perhaps the most excruciating torture any human can endure, bleeding wounds, public embracement and harassment and fatigue; yet still the Prophet (SAW) choose to forgive. It was on occasions such as Taif, that Divine help came to the prophets, it is said in the Quran “They encountered sufferings and adversity and were so shaken inspirit that even the Apostle and those with him cried. When (will come) the help of God? Ah! Verily, the help of God is (always) near” [II 214]
Richard Edwards has been blessed with a mind that is always open for knowledge and a soul that seems to have the sole purpose of enlightening others. A HR expert by profession with four years of experience in the field of Human Resources and a Masters degree in Business Administration, Richard was exposed to various facets of the human life; through his passionate creative writing he intends to broadcast his learning so that others may benefit from it.