Muhammad was received by the three chiefs of the local tribes of Ta’if 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.
By rejecting Muhammad’s religion, the people of Ta’if ordered their children to throw rocks and stones at Muhammad and Zayd to make them leave the city and never come back. Muhammad and Zayd 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.
Once Muhammad and Zayd were outside the city walls, Muhammad almost collapsed. 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.
The owners of the vineyard had seen Muhammad been persecuted in Mecca and on this occasion they felt some sympathy toward their fellow townsman. He 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. It was there that the angel Gabriel came to him with the angel of mountains and said that if Muhammad wanted would blow the mountains over the people of Ta’if.
After going through such hardship and torment by the people of Taif, the Noble Prophet (pbuh) turned to our Lord and Creator and said:
To You, my Lord,
I complain of my weakness,
lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.
Most Compassionate and Merciful!
You are the Lord of the weak,
and you are my Lord.
To whom do You leave me?
To a distant person who receives me with hostility?
Or to an enemy You have given power over me?
As long as you are not displeased with me,
I do not care what I face.
I would, however,
be much happier with Your mercy.
I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is
dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in
their right course against incurring your wrath or being the
subject of your anger.
To You I submit,
until I earn Your pleasure.
Everything is powerless without your support.
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked the Prophet (PBUH) “Have you ever experienced a day harder than the day of the battle of Uhud?” He replied, “Indeed, I experienced them (dangers) at the hands of your people (i.e., the disbelievers from amongst the Quraish tribe). The hardest treatment I met from them was on the Day of `Aqabah when I went to Ibn `Abd Yalil bin `Abd Kulal (who was one of the chiefs of Ta’if) with the purpose of inviting him to Islam, but he made no response (to my call). So I departed with deep distress. I did not recover until I arrived at Qarn ath-Tha`alib. There, I raised my head and saw a cloud which had cast its shadow on me. I saw in it Jibril (Gabriel) (PBUH) who called me and said: `Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, heard what your people said to you and the response they made to you. And He has sent you the angel in charge of the mountains to order him to do to them what you wish.’ Then the angel of the mountains called me, greeted me and said: `O Muhammad, Allah listened to what your people had said to you. I am the angel of the mountains, and my Rubb has sent me to you so that you may give me your orders. (I will carry out your orders). If you wish I will bring together the two mountains that stand opposite to each other at the extremities of Makkah to crush them in between.”’ But Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “I rather hope that Allah will raise from among their descendants people as will worship Allah the One, and will not ascribe partners to Him (in worship).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: In the vicinity of Al-Madinah stands a mountain, called Uhud, where the `Battle of Uhud’ took place. It was in this battle that the Prophet’s face was wounded, one of his molars was broken and he fell into a pit dug by `Amr Ar-Rahib. Besides, his uncle, Hamzah (May Allah be pleased with him) was martyred and the disbelievers mutilated his body.
`Aqabah was a place at Ta’if where Messenger of Allah (PBUH) rode up from Makkah and met the worst experience. Or, it could be that the incident occurred somewhere at Mina where, during the Hajj season, he urged the different clans to accept the message of Islam so as to seek their help to establish the true religion. Qarn Ath-Tha`alib is also the name of a place which is the Miqat (transit-point where pilgrims assume the state of Ihram) of the Najd people.
This Hadith also reflects the marvellous character of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) that he never rebuked the ignorant and those who caused him harm, nor did he ever avenge anybody on grounds of personal hostility. Secondly, he would endure all forms of hardships in the way of Allah with patience and endurance. He never became furious over his harassers, rather he prayed for their guidance. No doubt, the Prophetic life-pattern perennially provides inspiration to preachers and religious instructors. The responsibility of preaching is not a bed of roses but a thorny path to tread on. It is not the welcome and applause which is meted out to him, but people’s taunts, reproaches and insults are heaped on the preacher. Consequently, patience, self-possession, self-control and tolerance are vital to braving trials and tribulations in the way of Allah.
Riyad-us-Saleheen, Chapter 75