Trip to Taif : Saddest day in the life of Rasulullah(saw)

In the year Prophet Muhammad’s(saw) beloved companion Khadije(r.a) and Abu Taleb(r.a) passed away, which is also called “the year of sorrow”, he made a trip to the city of Taif with the hopes of inviting the city’s population to Islam.

This was at a time when the Mecca’s population’s arrogant objection to his divine call was at full throttle. Apart from few hundred, most of whom has been concealing their faith, everyone at Mecca insisted in their polytheism, mostly for political and capitalists reasons. Some portion of the believers had migrated to Ethiopia to escape from the tyranny of the Mecca’s tycoons.

Taif is two-days walk away from Mecca. His adoptee Zayd(r.a) was accompanying him on that day. They had to walk, due to the “sanctions” of Mecca’s tycoons implied on Muslims, they didn’t have any animal to mount even by then.

Leaders of the Taif’s tribes objected him immediately upon his open invitation to Islam. They didn’t even listen to details of his call, they were afraid of being at odds at the Quraysh tribe, the ruling tribe of Mecca.

Their attitude towards Rasulullah(saw) is mentioned in Quran:

But when the Truth came to them, they said: “This is sorcery, and we do reject it.”

Also, they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some leading man in either of the two (chief) cities?” (Az-Zukhuruf. 43-30/31)

Furthermore, in addition to their arrogance, they organized a mob-lynch comprised of children and teenagers that would throw stones at the two. Zayd(r.a) did his best to protect Prophet Muhammad(saw) and places himself in front of him so that he would stop the stones hitting Rasullah(saw) but both are wounded by their feet since the whole part kept throwing stones at them until they cast out the two away from their city.

On the way back, they took a shelter in a vineyard. There they meet a Christian worker, who presented them some grapes.

Before taking a bite, Prophet Muhammad(saw) says, “In the name of Allah” which makes the Christian worker surprised. Rasullah(saw) asks him where he is from, he replies “I’m from Nineveh”. Rasulullah(saw) tells him “so you are from the same city of Prophet Jonah(as).

The Christian worker is even more puzzled. “How do you know about Prophet Jonah(as)?”

“Allah(j.j) told me about him in his book”, replied Rasulullah(saw)

This incidents awakens the Christian worker’s interest and he wants to learn more about Quran, after a brief moment where Rasulullah(saw) tells him about more how Quran mentions Prophet Jonah(as) the Christian worker converts to Islam immediately.

This last incident might be a glimpse of hope granted by Allah(j.j) to this Prophet(saw) on the day which he describes as “the saddest day of my Life”, meaning the attitude he was shown by the people of Taif. However, for a member of “People of Book”, even the slightest mention of “earlier Prophets” is more than enough to embrace Allah’s(j.j) call.

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