Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Invitation of the People of Taif to Islam

Over the course of time, the harsh treatment of Prophet Muhammad by the Quraish increased. In essence there was not much that the Quraish could do about the conveyance of Islam. During the period from the 10th year of prophethood until the migration, the Prophet turned to places outside of Mecca in order to reach other people and continue his conveyance. Taking Zayd ibn Haritha with him, the Prophet went to Taif where the Thaqif tribe lived. He invited Abduyalil, Mas‘ud and Habib, the three sons of Amr ibn Umayr, a prominent figure in the tribe to Islam, as well as some other important figures in the tribe. The Thaqifis, who were related to and had trade relations with the Quraish, did not accept his invitation and did not respect the confidentiality of the invitation. They even incited the vulgar mobs of the city to stone him and Zayd ibn Haritha. The feet of Prophet Muhammad were bleeding and while trying to protect the Prophet, Zayd's head was also injured. The physical and verbal torment continued until the Prophet entered the orchard of Quraishi Utba ibn Rabia and his brother Shayba. At this difficult time, the Prophet sought shelter in Allah, declaring his submission and asking for Allah's consent and help. Meanwhile, Addas, a slave belonging to the owners of the orchard, brought the Prophet a plate of grapes. When the Prophet began to eat the grapes, he said besmellah, which attracted the attention of Addas and they began to speak. When Addas said that he was a Christian from Ninova, Prophet Muhammad replied that Ninova was the home of Prophet Jonah. Addas asked him how he knew this. Prophet Muhammad replied: "He is my brother and a messenger of Allah. I too am a messenger of Allah". Affected by his speech, Addas accepted Islam. After resting for a while, the Prophet left Taif in order to return to Mecca. In order to enter Mecca, he needed to find a Quraishi to take him under his protection. While he was waiting in the Hira cave, none of the people to whom he had asked accepted his request. Finally, he managed to enter Mecca under the protection of Mut'im ibn Adi, the leader of the Navfalis, a branch of the Quraish. According to recorded hadith, Aisha asked the Prophet whether he had experienced a day that was more difficult than the Battle of Uhud and he reminded her of his return from Taif and added: "During that time, when my shock had passed I looked up and what I saw was Gabriel in a cloud shadowing me. Gabriel told me that an angel was to destroy the people of Mecca at my order if I wished this so and then the angel appeared to me. However, I replied: ‘I don't want this; what I wish for is that Allah turns these idolaters into people who worship only Allah, and who do not associate anything with Him."

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