only two days after the death of his uncle, did the messenger of allâh [pbuh] experience another great personal loss viz., the mother of believers, his wife khadijah passed away in ramadan of the tenth year of his prophethood, when she was sixty-five years old, and he was fifty [talqeeh fuhoom ahl-al-athar p.7; rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 2/164] . khadijah was in fact a blessing of allâh for the prophet [pbuh] . she, for twenty-five years, shared with him the toils and trials of life, especially in the first ten years of his ministry of prophethood. he deeply mourned over her death, and once he replied in an honest burst of tender emotions:
"she believed in me when none else did. she embraced islam when people disbelieved me. and she helped and comforted me in her person and wealth when there was none else to lend me a helping hand. i had children from her only." [musnad imam ahmad 6/118]
abu hurairah reported that gabriel came to allâh’s messenger [pbuh] and said: "allâh’s messenger, lo, khadijah is coming to you with a vessel of seasoned food or drink. when she comes to you, offer her greetings from her lord, and give her glad tidings of a palace of jewels in paradise where there is no noise and no toil." [bukhari 1/539]
these two painful events took place within a short lapse of time and added a lot to his grief and suffering. the makkans now openly declared their campaign of torture and oppression. the prophet [pbuh] lost all hope of bringing them back to the right path, so he set out for al-ta’if seeking a supportive atmosphere. but there too, he was disappointed and he sustained unbearable tortures and maltreatment that far outweighed his miserable situation in his native town.
his companions were on equal footing subjected to unspeakable torture and unbearable oppression to such an extent that his closest friend, abu bakr, to escape pressure, fled out of makkah and wanted to leave for abyssinia (ethiopia) if it were not for ibn ad-daghanah who met him at bark al-ghamad and managed to dissuade him from completing his journey of escape and brought him back under his protection. [bukhari 1/552; ibn hisham 1/372]
the death of abu talib rendered the prophet [pbuh] vulnerable, and the polytheists availed them of that opportunity to give free rein to their hatred and highhandedness and to translate them in terms of oppression and physical tortures. once an insolent quraishite intercepted him and sprinkled sand on his head. when he arrived home, a daughter of his washed the sand away and wept. "do not weep, my daughter. allâh will verily protect your father." the prophet [pbuh] said. [ibn hisham 1/416]
rapid succession of misfortunes, led the prophet [pbuh] to call that period, ‘the year of grief and mourning’. thenceforth, that year bore that appellation.