STEADFASTNESS IN THE FACE OF HARDSHIPS
The Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam) Journey to TaifFor nine years, since his selection by Allah for His mission, the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had been delivering the message of Allah in Makkah and making all-out efforts to guide and reform his community. Excepting a few persons who had either embraced Islam or who helped him though not accepting his creed, all the rest in Mecca left no stone unturned in persecuting and deriding him and his followers. His uncle Abu Talib was one of those good-hearted people who helped him, in spite of his not entering into the fold of Islam.
The following year, on the death of Abu Talib, the Qu-reysh got a free hand and therefore accelerated their sinister pursuits without check and hindrance. At Taif, the second biggest town of Hijaz, there lived Banu Thaqif, a clan strong in number. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) left for Taif with the hope of winning them over to Islam, thus giving quarter to Muslims from the persecution of the Qureysh, and also establishing a base for the future propagation of Islam. On reaching Taif he visited the three chieftains of the clan separately, and placed before each of them the message of Allah, and called upon them to stand by his Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) side. Instead of accepting his message, they refused even to listen to him and, notwithstanding the proverbial Arab hospitality, each of them treated him most contemptuously and rudely.
They plainly told him that they did not like his stay in their town. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had expected a civil, even a cordial treatment and due courtesy in speech from them, as they were the heads of the clan. But one of them sneered:
"Hey, Allah has made you a Prophet!" The other exclaimed with derision:
"Could Allah not lay His hand on anyone else, beside you to make him His Prophet?"
The third one gibed at him:
The third one gibed at him:
"I do not want to talk to you, for if you are in fact a Prophet, then to oppose you is to invite trouble, and if you only pretend to be one, why should I talk with an impostor?"The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), who was a rock of steadfastness and perseverance, did not lose heart over this check from the chieftains, and tried to approach the common people; but nobody would listen to him. Instead they asked him to clear off from their own town and go wherever else he liked. When he realised that further efforts were in vain, he decided to leave the town. But they would not let him depart in peace, and set the street urchins after him to hiss, to hoot, to jeer at, and to stone him. He was so much pelted at with stones that his whole body was covered with blood, and his shoes were clogged to his feet. He left the town in this woeful plight. When he was far out of the town, and safe from the rabble, he prayed to Allah thus:
"0, my Allah! To Thee I complain of the feeble-ness of my strength, of my lack of resources and my being unimportant in the eyes of people. 0, Most Merciful of all those capable of showing mercy! Thou art the Lord of the weak, and Thou art my own Lord. To whom art Thou to entrust me; to an unsympathetic foe who would sullenly frown at me, or to an alien to whom Thou hast given control over my affairs? Not in the least do I care for anything except that I may have Thy protection for myself. I seek shelter in Your light-the light which illuminates the Heavens and dispels all sorts of darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Thy wrath, or that Thou should be displeased with me. I must remove the cause of Thy displeasure till Thou art pleased. There is no strength nor power but through Thee."The Heavens were moved by the prayer, and Jibrail (Alayhis salaam) appeared before the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), greeting him with Assalamu Alaikum and said:
"Allah knows all that has passed between you and these people. He has deputed an angel in charge of the mountains to be at your command."Saying this, Jibrail (Alayhis salam) ushered the angel before the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam). The angel greeted the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and said:
"0, Prophet of Allah! I am at your service. If you wish, I can cause the mountains overlooking this town on both sides to collide with each other, so that all the people therein would be crushed to death, or you may suggest any other punishment for them."The merciful and noble Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said:
"Even if these people do not accept Islam, I do hope from Allah that there will be persons from among their progeny who would worship Allah and serve His cause."Behold the conduct of our noble Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), whom we profess to follow! We get so much irritated over a little trouble or a mere abuse from somebody that we keep on torturing and taking our revenge throughout our lives in every possible manner. Does it become people who claim to follow the magnanimous
Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)? Look, even after so much suffering at the hands of the Taif mob, he neither curses them nor does he work for any revenge, even when he has the full opportunity to do so.