Muhammad's visit to Ta'if

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Muhammad went to the city of Ta’if and invited the people there to Islam.

History[edit]

Previous events[edit]

Initially the preaching of Islam by Muhammad had been confined to Mecca, and his success was rather modest, limited to 170 men and women in the city during a ten-year period. However, in 619,[1] after the Year of Sorrow when his main source of support, Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and his loving wife Hazrat Khadija had died.[2]

Now, not just the elite of Mecca attacked Muhammad, but even young children hurled dust and insults at him. Muhammad soon realized that there was no hope left for the Meccans to accept his religion, and he thus looked to the south, to the sister city of Ta’if, for aid and support,[2] so Muhammad and his adopted son, Zayd ibn Harithah went to Ta’if to invite the people there to Islam.[3]

Leaders of Ta’if[edit]

Muhammad was received by the three chiefs of the local tribes of Ta’if[1] and they let him freely have his say, however, they paid little heed to his message. After a while they even showed signs of apprehension lest his welcome in Ta’if might embroil them with the Meccans, so they left him to be dealt with by street urchins and the riff raff of the town.[4]

Rejection[edit]

By rejecting Muhammad's religion, the people of Ta'if ordered their children to throw rocks and stones at Muhammad and Zayd ibn Harithah to make them leave the city and never come back. Muhammad and Zayd ibn Harithah were finally turned out by mocking and jeering crowds. The rocks that were thrown at Muhammad and Zayd by the Ta'if children caused them to bleed. Both were wounded and bleeding as they left Ta’if behind them. Muhammad bled so profusely from the stoning that his feet became clotted to his shoes.

Vineyard[edit]

Once Muhammad and Zayd ibn Harithah were outside the city walls, Muhammad almost collapsed.[1] They went a short distance outside of the town and stopped in a vineyard that belonged to two Meccans who were there at the time.[4]

The owners of the vineyard had seen Muhammad been persecuted in Mecca and on this occasion they felt some sympathy toward their fellow townsman.[4] They sent a slave who took Muhammad into his hut, dressed his wounds, and let him rest and recuperate until he felt strong enough to resume his journey across the rough terrain between Ta’if and Mecca.[1] It was there that the angel Gabriel came to him with the Angel of the Mountains and said that if Muhammad wanted, he would blow the mountains over the people of Ta’if.

Muhammad prayed:

The owners also told their Christian slave named Addas from Nineveh to give a tray of grapes to the visitors.[4]

Muhammad took the grape and before putting it into his mouth he recited what has become the Muslim grace: "In the name of God, Ever Gracious, Most Merciful." (Arabic Bismillah ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem). Addas became curious and inquired about the identity of Muhammad who presented himself. The conversation that ensued led Addas to declare his acceptance of Islam, so that Muhammad's journey to Ta’if did not prove entirely fruitless.[4]

He stayed preaching to the common people for 10 days.

Return[edit]

Muhammad did not return openly to Mecca[6] because he realized that if he entered the city, he would be killed. Thus there was no other place to go to.[1] Muhammad sent Zayd to seek asylum (Arabic: Istijarah‎) for him among [6] three nobles in the city. Three of them, ‘Abd Yalil ibn ‘Abd Kalal and then Akhnas ibn Shariq and Suhayl ibn Amr,[7] refused but the third one, Mut‘im ibn ‘Adi, responded.[1]

Mut‘im ordered his sons, nephews and other young men of his clan to put on their battle-dress and then marched, in full panoply of war, at their head, out of the city. He brought Muhammad with him, first into the precincts of the Kaaba where the latter made the customary seven circuits (Arabic: Tawaf‎), and then escorted him to his home.[1]

Views[edit]

Sunni view[edit]

Javeed Akhter[8] writes in The Seven Phases Of Prophet Muhammad’s Life:[9]

Shi'a view[edit]

Ali Asgher Razwy, a 20th century Shia Twelver, scholar writes in A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims

References[edit]