At the Hands of Mercy- The Story of Ta’if
Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم is the best of creation. All of existence, anything and everything besides Allah that is beautiful and majestic in this universe and all of the universes take their positive qualities from our beloved Nabiصلي الله عليه واله وسلم . May Allah send peace and blessings on him and his family for eternity!
It was this manifestation of perfection that called to the message of Islam in the Arabian peninsula 1400 years ago. At that time, humanity was in one of its darkest phases of history. It was such a horrible time that it is often referred to as the Era of Barbaric Ignorance “Jahiliyya.” The Quraish used to worship idols and have poor character. Women were oppressed, and there was no sense of cleanliness, manners, or respect. Everyone lived by their own desires disregarding the rights of others: lying, stealing, and cheating.
It was this era of darkness that Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم transformed and illuminated with Light. His light illuminated the hearts of thousands of people. Hearts that had been closed, silenced, and imprisoned by darkness for years were lifted to the gardens of paradise.
His character was such that the Quraish (the people living in that part of Arabia at the time) would call him “Al-Saadiq Al-Ameen” (the Truthful the Trustworthy). Bibi Khadijah, an extremely wealthy and well-respected woman, married Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم for his honest and noble character among many other things.
He never prostrated to any idols, never lied, never cheated, and was never unjust. He was from a noble family lineage coming from a family of pious and righteous leaders. His words were purer than gold. The Quresh would leave their livestock with him when they would trust no one else. They trusted him with all of their valuables and money to hold for them. Not only that, but the Quresh would believe everything Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم said to such an extent that even if he told them there was an army behind one of the nearing mountains, they would prepare themselves for war without any hesitation or doubt. The Quresh had much respect and love for Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم until the message of Islam started to spread. They believed everything except one thing, his message of “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His final messenger.”
Even after 40 years of perfect character and radiance, for this message of Islam he was insulted, ridiculed, and hurt. The people who previously respected him and loved him were now calling him an outcast, a sorcerer, and a liar! Even his relativities were against him. Only his close friends and immediate family believed Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم and converted to Islam; however, they were all put under tremendous distress. They were tortured, threatened, and persecuted; yet, they did not waiver in their beliefs and love for him.
The Quraish were dumbfounded by the message of Islam. They tried everything to prove it wrong, but they could not come up with anything. They never heard such perfect, majestic, and divine words before. Even their most educated literary geniuses and scholars were unable to match the words of the Qur’an and Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم time and time again.
Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم and his companions patiently endured this for 7 years. Because of the severity of the treatment they were receiving from the Quraish, some of them even migrated to Abyssina. Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was greatly weakened and hurt. He was all alone except for a few companions and his family. His blessed body went through all this suffering and torture only because he stood up for the truth; however, even after going through all of this, he never lost his conviction and continued his quest of truth.
The Quraish exiled Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم and his followers from Mecca and started a 3 year embargo/boycott to prevent him from receiving any help, food, or supplies. They were forced to eat grass and leaves! One person that was keeping the Quraish from lethally persecuting Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was Abu Talib.
Abu Talib was Rasulullah’sصلي الله عليه واله وسلم most beloved uncle. Abu Talib took care of Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم ever since he was a child and loved him immensely. When Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was ordered by Allah to start spreading Islam, Abu Talib protected him with his wealth, nobility, social status, and life. Abu Talib was a very wealthy and powerful personality in Mecca; however, after the 10th year of the start of the preaching of Islam, and third year of the embargo, he passed away.
Rasulullah’sصلي الله عليه واله وسلم other pillar of support was his blessed wife, Bibi Khadijah. She loved Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم very much and was a caring wife. She supported, loved, and comforted Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم when no one else would. She was the first to embrace Islam, and had full faith in her husband. Bibi Khadijah was of the wealthiest people in Arabia; however, she and Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم donated all their money to charity, every last cent. Her loyalty and commitment defines what true love is. Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم loved Bibi Khadijah so much that he felt that Allah giving him the love of Bibi Khadijah was worth more than all everything in the world. After just three days after Abu Talib left this world, Bibi Khadijah, Rasulullah’s pillar of support, true love, and loyal friend passed away from starvation.
Now, the Beloved of Allahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was all alone. Abu Talib could no longer protect him. Bibi Khadijah could not longer support, love, and comfort him. Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was heart-broken and hurt, but his belief in Allah was so strong that he never hesitated in spreading the message. His heart longed for peace and happiness, but the Quraish only intensified their attacks. Although the embargo ended, they attacked and tortured the Muslims. After trying to spread the Message of God in Mecca, instead of giving up, Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم decided to go on a journey to Ta’if.
Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم wanted to see if he could bring other people from different lands to the truth. Even though he was heart-broken from his recent losses, he still set out on foot on a 60 mile journey to Ta’if with Hadrat Zaid bin Haaritha.
Ta’if was a land known for its agriculture and riches. As soon as Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم arrived, he didn’t stop for rest and went straight to the leaders of the city: the family of ‘Umair’. Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم told them about the beautiful message of Islam; however, they replied by insulting and slandering him. The citizens of Ta’if then gathered around Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم and Hadrat Zaid and pelted them with stones, chasing them out of the city. Rasulullah’s صلي الله عليه واله وسلم holy body was injured to the extent where pools of his holy blood drenched his sandals.
Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم would try sitting down to rest his injured legs and feet; however, the people of Ta’if grabbed him by his shoulders and pushed him away while continuing to stone him amidst insulting and slandering. Hadrat Zaid tried stopping the stones and hits with his own body, but even so, Rasulullah’s صلي الله عليه واله وسلم blood drenched his feet.
After this difficult experience in Ta’if, Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم sincerely called out to Allah and made du’a:
“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.”
Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم was walking back to Mecca until he noticed a cloud giving him shade. As he looked up, he noticed Angel Jibrail Alayhis Salaam sitting in it. Jibrail Alayhis Salaam said, “Allah has heard the statements and reactions of your people. The angel of the mountains is present to serve you.”
Then the angel of the mountains gave salaam and called to Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم , “Oh Muhammad, Allah has seen the conduct of your nation against you and has sent me in your service. Order, and I will do as you please. Within me is the ability to cast the mountains of ‘Abu Qais’ and ‘Qaiqa’aan upon the disbelievers according to your desire.” Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم responded, “No, I am in hope that people will appear from their descendants who will worship Allah alone and not others.”
SubhanAllah! Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم chose patience and mercy over violence and revenge. The fate of the entire city of Ta’if was in his hands. He could have chosen to pay back those who hurt him; yet, he chose mercy and forgiveness. And because of that one act of mercy, in a later generation, there were Muslims who came from Ta’if and spread Islam to many other parts of the world. His conviction, belief in Allah, and character was invincible.
If such kindness was shown to people who chased Rasulullahصلي الله عليه واله وسلم out of the city and made him bleed, just imagine the kindness he would show to people who simply try slandering him and cannot even touch him. Furthermore, if he was this kind to people who didn’t love him, just imagine the kindness he showed and will show to those who loved him then, and love him today!