|Mountain of Taif|
STEAD FASTNESS OF IMAN - BY COMPANIONs IN THE FACE OF HARDSHIPS
It is really very hard for the Muslims of today to imagine and much less to bear, or even attempt to bear the hardships that were experienced by Nabi SAW and his illustrious companions in the path of Allah SWT . Books of history are full of stories of their sufferings. It is a pity that we are so indifferent to those events and our knowledge is so poor in this regard. I open this chapter with a story about Nabi SAW himself, whose name is sure to attract the blessings of Allah SWT .
Nabi SAW journey to Taif.
For nine years, since his selection by Allah SWT for His mission, Nabi SAW had been delivering the message of Allah SWT in Makkah and making all-out efforts to guide and reform his community. Apart from a few persons who had either embraced Islam, or who helped him though not accepting Islam, all the rest in Makkah left no stone unturned in persecuting and mocking him and his followers. His uncle Abu Talib was one of those good-hearted people who, in spite of his not entering into the fold of Islam had helped him. The following year, on the death of Abu Talib, the Quraish got a free hand and therefore increased their persecution without anyone to support and protect Nabi SAW.
At Taif, the second biggest town of Hijaz, there lived a big clan called Banu Thaqif. Nabi SAW left for Taif with the hope of winning them over to Islam, thereby providing a sanctuary for the Muslims from the persecution of the Quraish, and also establishing a base for the future propagation of Islam. On reaching Taif, Nabi SAW visited the three chieftains of the clan separately, and placed before each of them the message of Allah , and called upon each of them to stand by his side. Instead of accepting his message, they refused to even listen to him and not in keeping the famous Arab hospitality, each of them treated him most disrespectfully and rudely. They plainly told him that they did not like his stay in their town.
As they were the heads of the clan, Nabi SAW had expected a civil and friendly treatment and due courtesy in speech from them. But one of them sneered: "Hey, Allah Ta’ala has made you a Nabi!" The other exclaimed with ridicule: "Could Allah not lay His hand on anyone else, beside you to make him His Nabi?" The third one mockingly remarked: "I do not want to talk to you, for if you are in fact a Nabi, then to oppose you is to invite trouble, and if you only pretend to be one, why should I talk with an impostor?"
Nabi SAW, 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 town and go wherever else he liked. When he realized 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 with stones that his whole body was covered with blood and his shoes were clogged to his feet. He left the town in this sorrowful plight. When he was far out of the town and safe from the mob, he prayed to Allah SWT thus:
"Oh Allah, I complain to You alone that I am weak, that I do not
have any resources and that I do not hold any significance in the eyes
of the people. O, Most Merciful of all those who show mercy, You are
the Rabb (Lord) of the weak, and You are my own Rabb (Lord). To
whom are You to going to entrust me? To a stranger who would look
at me at me harshly or to an enemy, to whom You have given control
over my affairs. If You are not angry with me, then I do not care for
anything except that I should enjoy Your protection. I seek shelter in
Your light (noor), which removes all sorts of darknesses and controls
the affairs of this world and the hereafter. May it never be that you
become angry with me or you are displeased with me. I must please
you until You are happy with me. There is neither strength (to
refrain from evil) nor any power (to do any good) except with You."
The Heavens were moved by the Dua and Jibrael appeared before Nabi SAW, greeting him with Assalamu Alaikum and said: "Allah SWT knows all that has passed between you and these people. He has deputed the angel in charge of the mountains to be at your command." Saying this, Jibrail brought the angel before Nabi SAW. The angel greeted Nabi SAW with Assalamu Alaikum and said: "O, Nabi 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 Nabi SAW 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.")
Look at the conduct of our noble Nabi SAW, 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 them and taking revenge throughout our lives in every possible manner. Does it befit people who claim to follow the noble Nabi SAW? 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.