THE PROPHET’S VISIT TO TAIF

Abu Talib and Khadija were the main supporters of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It was so destined that they passed away within a few days of each other, leaving the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to lament the bereavement. He had lost a caring uncle and a loving wife.

The enemies were now relieved, because Abu Talib was no more to protect. A few days after Abu Talib’s death, when the Prophet was once passing through a lane, a woman emptied her garbage from a window upon his head. He returned home with his head soiled. His young daughter Fatima (pbuh) sat beside him, consoling and washing off the dirt.

As things became intolerable in Makkah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) decided to move to Taif where he thought he would convey the message of Almighty God to the tribe of Thaqeef. Taif was known for its pleasant climate and beautiful scenery.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) knew very well that people at Taif were no different from Makkans. They also worshiped idols and were in constant contact with the people in Makkah. But he (pbuh) did not despair, who dedicated his life for Islam by putting himself in danger like no other. As he entered Taif, and proclaimed his prophet hood, people jeered at him. One said: “God did not find anyone else for His message except you?” Another said: “I must be naive or a thief if I believed you to be a prophet.” And so it went on.

Then in order to prevent him from preaching Islam, people of Taif set a group of children and vagabonds behind him. They pestered him and threw stones at him. Tired, forsaken and wounded, he sought refuge in a nearby garden. It belonged to Atabah and Shaibah, two wealthy chiefs of Quraish. They were both there when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered and sat under a distant tree. He was alone.

Then he raised his face towards heaven and prayed: “O Almighty! I raise unto you my complaint for my weakness, my helplessness, and for the ridicule to which I have been subjected. O Merciful of all the Mercifuls! You are the Master of all oppressed people, You are my God! So to whom would You consign me? To the strangers who would ill-treat me, or to the enemies who have an upper hand over me? If whatever has befallen me is not because of Your wrath, then I fear not. No doubt, the field of Your security and care is wide enough for me. I seek refuge in Your light which illuminates darkness and straightens the affairs of this world and hereafter, that Your displeasure and wrath may not descend upon me. For the sake of Your pleasure, I remain pleased and resigned to my fate. No change in this world occurs without Your Will.”

Atabah and Shaibah were watching. They sent for their servant named Adaas and gave him a plate full of grapes. “Take this to that man under the tree,” they ordered.

Adaas was a Christian. He brought the grapes to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and bid him eat. As the Prophet (pbuh) picked a bunch he said: “Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahim” (In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate). Adaas had never heard this before. He was impressed by it, because the man was invoking mercy and compassion of Almighty in spite of his desolate state.

“Who are you?” Adaas asked. “I am the Prophet of God. Where do you come from?”

The servant said: “I am Adaas, a Christian. I come from Nainava.”

“Nainava? You come from a place where my brother Yunus bin Mati (Jonah son of Mati) lived,” the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said. Adaas was surprised to hear the name.

“What do you know of Yunus? Here no one seems to know him. Even in Nainava there were hardly ten people who knew his father’s name.”

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Yes, I know him because just like me, he was a Prophet of Almighty God.”

Adaas fell on his knees before the Holy Prophet (pbuh), kissed his hand and embraced Islam.

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