What happened to Prophet Muhammad’s journey to Taif? Prophet Muhammad’s (phuh) visit to Taif…
The ill-treatment towards the Noble Prophet (S.A.W) increased all the more after the passing away of both his uncle and wife. The assaults, now well and truly terrible, were trying the patience of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-. Seeking respite, and with Zayd –Allah be well-pleased with him- by his side, he decided to journey to Ta’if, a town about 120 km away from Mecca.
There he explained Islam to the locals, calling them to tawhid. Having a word with their leaders, he advised them to give up worshipping idols and called them to realize they are servants of Allah, glory unto Him. There was virtually no person left whom the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had not spoken to.
But this call caused the eruption of a violent storm among the locals of Ta’if, who were idolaters just like the Quraysh. Caught in the mazes of their egoistic lives, not even a single person heeded the invitation. To make matter worse, they even began harassing the Gracious Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-.
First they mocked him, pestering him with insults. Then they lined their slaves on both sides of the streets where the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- would pass, and had him stoned. This severe harassment continued until the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- left town. Even when he was well outside the town, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- continued being pelted with stones. The feet of the Grandest of Prophets -upon him blessings and peace-, for the sake of whom the universe had been created, were left soaked in a pool of blood that filled his shoes. Also heavily injured was his loyal companion Zayd –Allah be well-pleased with him-, who was trying to shield him with his own body, shouting:
“Don’t! The man you are stoning is a Prophet!”
With difficulty, they were able to manage to make it to a garden belonging to Meccans, as they threw themselves under the shade of a date tree. The earth and the skies above were in mourning, as were the angels, Jibril, Mikail, Israfeel, Azraeel, alike.
Headed by Jibril, and with permission from the Almighty, the angels rushed next to the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-:
“Say the word and we shall destroy that tribe!” they said.
But despite the vicious treatment he had received, the Prophet of Compassion -upon him blessings and peace- still only had good wishes in his heart, as he turned to the gates of heaven:
“Allah! I only submit to you my own vulnerability; that I have lost strength and have been ridiculed…
O the Most Compassionate! If you are not angry with me, I will not in the least worry for the troubles I have undergone!
Allah! Guide this tribe, for they do not know.
Allah! I seek your forgiveness, only for your sake!” (Ibn Hisham, II, 29-30; Haythami, VI, 35; Bukhari, Bad’ul-Khalq, 7)
Feeling for the Gracious Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, the owners of the garden who were from the clan of Rabiah, sent their slave Addas to him with a bowl of grapes. Addas presented the treats:
“Please, help yourself”, he said.
After saying, بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ, ‘in the name of Allah’, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- began eating. The words caught the attention of Addas. He had never heard anyone utter those words before.
“Nobody around here knows or says that word”, he mumbled, which he followed up by asking, “You are different from those around here. May I ask who you are?”
The Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- replied with a question.
“Where are you from? And what is your religion?”
“I am from Nineveh and I am a Christian”.
“So you are from the town of the righteous Yunus ibn Matta…” the Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- commented.
Addas was now all the more amazed.
“How do you know Yunus?”
The Light of Being -upon him blessings and peace- replied:
“Yunus is my brother. He was a prophet and so am I”.
Thereupon, the founts of faith began bursting out from the heart of Addas, and excitedly getting up at his feet, he seized the hands of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and pronounced the words of tawhid. (Ibn Hisham, II, 30; Yaqubi, II, 36)
When his masters condemned him for it, Addas defended his decision, saying, “I have never met a man like him in my life. He said a word only a prophet -upon him blessings and peace- could have known.” (Ibn Hisham, II, 31)
How fortunate Addas –Allah be well-pleased with him- was to heed to the call of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- amid the most difficult times of his life and seize the honor of becoming a Muslim to comfort him. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- became so happy for him that he had all but forgotten the pains he had suffered.
Today a mosque stands in memory of Addas –Allah be well-pleased with him- where he accepted Islam and the garden where he treated the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- with grapes has been kept as it was.
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