After a decade of preaching in Makkah, the Prophet ﷺ - may Allah bless him and grant him peace - realized that he would have to look outside of his home for support. He turned to the city of Ta‘if which was the second largest city in Arabia, and home to the second most powerful tribe after Quraysh.
The Prophet ﷺ traveled to Ta‘if with Zayd bin Harithah رضي الله عنه , but found no allies there. The leadership of Ta‘if mocked and ridiculed him, and even gathered a crowd to physically attack the Prophet ﷺ as he left the city.
The people of Ta‘if gathered at the outskirts of the city and lined up on both sides of the road leading to Makkah. They were told to throw rocks at the Prophet ﷺ — at his legs and feet specifically, to make his journey home excruciatingly painful.
As the Prophet ﷺ and Zayd رضي الله عنه approached the crowd, they realized the trouble. As soon as the Prophet ﷺ lifted his foot to take a step onto the road, rocks came flying at him from every direction. He was so shocked that he stopped in his tracks.
After taking a moment to gather himself, the Prophet ﷺ took another step. As he did, he was hit with rocks again. He took a third step and there were more rocks. Realizing that the people would not stop, he put his head down and continued walking—with each step, he was hit.
The Prophet ﷺ walked for three miles under this duress. It took an hour and a half to leave the city, and the Prophet ﷺ walked as quickly as he could. Every time one group of people finished attacking him, a second group was ready with more rocks.
After three miles, the Prophet ﷺ reached a place called Qarn Al-Manazil. Finally, the group dispersed and the Prophet ﷺ could slow his pace. He was in a great deal of pain and barely able to walk. When he saw a tree nearby, he stopped to rest.
The Prophet ﷺ was so wounded that he fell down at first, but then slowly picked himself up—his clothes stained with blood, his legs covered in red spots, and his feet completely destroyed and bleeding profusely.
The leather sandals of the Prophet ﷺ were a dark red color from soaking in so much blood. The blood had started to dry, gluing his sandals to his feet. Zayd رضي الله عنه sat down by the feet of the Prophet ﷺ, crying hysterically over his condition.
The Prophet ﷺ tried to remove his sandals but was not able to—Zayd رضي الله عنه had to rip them off his feet, causing them to bleed even more. Can we even begin to imagine how the Prophet ﷺ felt in this moment?
This incident occurred shortly after the Prophet ﷺ lost his beloved wife Khadijah رضي الله عنها and uncle Abu Talib—his heart was completely shattered.
What would any of us do in such a situation? The Prophet ﷺ showed us what to do. He raised his hands and called out to Allah سبحانه و تعالى - turning back to Him will always be the answer.
اللّٰهُمَّ إِلَيْكَ أَشْكُوْ ضَعْفَ قُوَّتِيْ وَقِلَّةَ حِيْلَتِيْ وَهَوَانِى عَلَى النَاسِ، يا أَرْحَمَ الراحِمِيْنَ، أَنْتَ رَبُّ المُستَضْعَفِيْنَ وَأَنْتَ رَبِّى، إِلَى مَنْ تَكِلُنِى؟ إِلى بَعِيْدٍ يَتَجَهَّمُنِى، أَمْ إِلى عَدُوٍّ مَلَّكْتَهُ أَمْرِى؟
إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِكَ غَضْبٌ عَلَىَّ فَلاَ أُبَالِى، وَلَكِنَّ عَافِيَتَكَ هِيَ أَوْسَعُ لِى، أَعُوْذُ بِنُوْرِ وَجْهِكَ الَّذِى أَشْرَقَتْ لَهُ الظُّلُمَاتُ، وَصَلَحَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ، مِنْ أَنْ تُنْزِلَ بِى غَضْبَكَ، أَوْ تُحِلَّ عَلَىَّ سَخَطَكَ،
لَكَ العُتْبَى حَتَّى تَرْضَى، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَ لاَ قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِكَ.
“Oh Allah! Only to You do I complain of my weakness, my lack of resources, and my lack of respect in the eyes of people. Oh Most Merciful of all those capable of showing mercy. You are the Lord and Caretaker of those who are weak, of those who have been oppressed and wronged—
—and You are my Lord. Who will you hand me over to, Oh Allah? Will you hand me over to a heartless enemy, who will abuse and mistreat me? As long as You are not upset with me, I do not care how these people treat me. Your protection is all that I need.
I take refuge in the light and illumination of Your Face, which removes all darkness and solves all of the problems of this life, and the next life. All I need is protection from Your displeasure and Your anger. I will continue to serve you until You are pleased.
There is no ability to do good and there is no strength to resist evil—except through You, Oh Allah. All strength comes from You.”
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Alhamdulillah, we had the opportunity to study this powerful moment from the life of the Prophet ﷺ during Seerah Intensive. This is why we study the Seerah—the Prophet ﷺ is the very best role model, and we will never lose our way if we hold onto his example.
There is no doubt that the incident of Ṭā’if and the magnanimity of the Prophet of God ﷺ - may Allah bless him and grant him peace - in response to the physical abuse they wrought upon him is such an important event for us to reflect upon. There is so much we can learn from this one incident.
بَلْ أَرْجُو أَنْ يُخْرِجَ اللَّهُ مِنْ أَصْلاَبِهِمْ مَنْ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا
“I rather hope that God will produce from their descendants such persons as will worship Allah, the One, and will not ascribe partners to Him.”
They then stirred people to harass the Prophet of God ﷺ - may Allah bless him and grant him peace - and began to pelt him with stones forcing him to seek refuge in an orchard. His blessed feet were injured and smeared in blood.
Haroon Ibn Ebrahim Sidat, @HaroonSidat, twitter 2019-06-14
About Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
- AbdulNasir Jangda, @AbdulNasirJ twitter.com,
- Haroon Ibn Ebrahim Sidat, @HaroonSidat, twitter 2019-06-14