This is a reflection from our class on the happenings of Taif as part of the study of the Seerat un Nabi
The heat of a desert afternoon, ten days of abasement, insult, humiliation, sarcasm and outright verbal abuse is followed by permission from the chiefs of Taif to the riff raff of Taif to push him by force out of the city precincts ignorant of the fact that he is Rasool Allah peace and blessings be upon him and Basheer the bringer of good tidings.
As he walks his helper Zayd (RA) tries to shield him from the stones and pebbles being hurled at his noble head yet the screaming of the riff raff kuffar youth drown the clinking of the pebbles as they hit him and fall to the cobblestone street.
Little do they know that he is Siraj un Muneerah a radiant lamp to pierce the darkness of injustice and oppression.
As he walks his wounds begin to seep and his sandals are soaked with his noble blood. Little do they know that he is Mansur and helped by God Himself.
His companion is appalled, angered and deeply hurt but is helpless in the face of the youthful mob who have been given a freehand by the nobles of Taif uniting the Shaitaani Nafs with the base predatory instincts of unrestrained violence. However they are unaware that he is Rasool Allah peace and blessings be on him, he is Haseeb ( Respected) and Haris alaeykum ( full of concern for you)
Three years of confinement to a valley near Mecca which became an open-air prison, with complete blockade of food, clothing, or any needs of daily living, no socialization or business dealings with the Meccans, and harsh punishment to anyone who tries to break the blockade has left the members of Rasool Allah tribe and the new Muslims weary, weak and frail of body but unstinting in their belief of One God and His Rasool.
The siege remained in full force for three long years where his beloved Uncle Abu Talib who was old and feisty became frail and his wife Khadija who was a steadfast partner through thick and thin became weak in body.
The three years of siege were capped off with the year of grief when Abu Talib his beloved uncle said goodbye to this world and his gentle consistent and strong protection lifted from Prophet Muhammad pbuh at the same time as his body was lifted to be carried in the funeral. Rasool Allah’s (PBUH) genteel caring, delicate wife, a steel magnolia of her times, succumbed to the long siege and left him bereft of her unconditional love and twenty-five years of sincere consistent support.
The year of grief had descended on him (PBUH) and now this ignominy heaped on him in Taif………..
We are in Valide Atik Mosque which is our classroom……..
Sheikh R continues the Seerah of Taif:
“ He PBUH and his companion reach the outskirts of Taif, his sandals soaked in blood seeping from the wounds on his noble body, he enters the Garden……
the walls of the The Valide Atik mosque have absorbed the pain and anguish of this story and it is as if it is as unbearable to the walls as it is to the students sitting on the grey velveteen chair seats. All are mesmerized by the events of the past as if they were occurring at this very moment.
My heart is swelling to the point that all I feel to the exclusion of all other emotions is the pain of Rasool Allah (PBUH) who is Rahmat ul lil Alameen
In the past when I have read about the Taif happening, I have felt anger at the Kuffar, sadness and empathy at the passing of His (pbuh) beloved wife Khadija, frustration at the blind stupidity of the Kuffar, thankfulness that Rasool Allah (pbuh) who is Rasul Ar Rahma did not opt to allow the angels of the mountains to crush Taif, Gratitude that the people from Taif became Muslims, Joy that my ancestors came to India on the ship of Mohammad bin Qasim who was from Taif.
The mid-morning sun slants through the glass of the dome windows of the mosque and pierces the room with its razor-sharp beam in an attempt to dispel the sadness permeating the room. This time it does not lift my spirits and the room blurs, the words I am writing on my computer dissolve into ripples of vagueness, misted by the moisture in my eyes……
Sheikh R continues:
“As he Rasool Allah PBUH entered the Garden, he makes dua………………”
The grief is palpable and is filling and overflowing in the room. Suddenly the caressing hand of God is placed on the tear drenched cheeks of the students.
from the heart of the mosque the melodious sound of the Salawaat fills the classroom. Allah Subhanawataala Himself is providing us the solace so badly needed at this moment.
Stunned we sit overwhelmed by the message that Allah sends to us in the middle of the story of His beloved Rasool …………. Knowing that we need it more than anything, to give us the strength to go further in the Seerah.
Allah azza wa jal says,
Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (33:56)
There is a hush in the room as the Imam somewhere repeats the Salawaat in a heart-rending voice soaked with the mesmeric message of comfort, solace and patience coupled with a command and pointing to the path of how to find solace in the Salawaat of Rasool Allah who is truly Mahmud (Praised).
The salawaat softens and fades away giving us strength to hear and absorb what happened next in the Garden in Taif, in the Valley of the Jinns and the entrance to Mecca………..
I wipe my eyes and note that there is not a dry eye in the room, the Sheikh included…….
The Garden of Taif: ( in urdu)