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I am a Bunch of Grapes

5199 2012/02/11 2024/05/30
Article translated to : العربية


i hung from my vine in the town of ta’if. the vineyard was owned by a man called utba ibn rabee’a and his brother shayba. from were i was hanging i saw muhammad, the prophet of allah. he had come to the tribe of bany thaqeef in the ta’if without anyone knowing about him. he wanted to call them to islam and he hoped that the people of thaqeef would be less stubborn and more understand then the people of quraysh had been.

ever since i was a small bud, with my young unripened grapes beginning to form, i had heard from this muahmmad from those who came from makkah and rested in the shade of my vine. i found out that the first woman who had believed in him was his wife khadeeja and the first man was abu bakr and the first child was ali ibn abi talib.

but i had also heard that those who believed in him were few in number and that most of quraysh did not believe in him. in fact they had made fun of him and resisted him by every means possible. they had tried to tempt him with goods and money to get him to abandon his mission and to stop denouncing the idols that quraysh worshipped.

i heard from one man who sat beneath me that they had sent muhammad’s uncle, abu talib, to speak to him on their behalf:

the people of quraysh will offer you as much money as you desire if you will leave this religion you are urging the people to follow.”

the prophet, may allah bless him and grant him salvation, answered: “by allah, uncle, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left i will not leave this religion, until allah brings it victory or i perish before that happens.”

then i heard from utba, the owner of the vineyard, that the leaders of quraush had also sent him to muhammad to tell him:

if it is money you want, the people of quraysh are ready to give you so much that you will become the richest man of the tribe. and if you want power and honour they will make you their lord and do nothing without first talking our opinion, and if you want to become a king, they will make you a king and sit you on the throne.

and if this revelation is a sickness they will bring you the finest doctors to treat you until you are cured.”

muhammad replied to utba by reciting the following verse:


say: i am only a man like you. it has been revealed to me that your god is one god {110}



surat al-kahf (the cave) 18



utba returned to the leaders of quraysh saying:

i heard words more beautiful then anything i have heard. they were neither poetry nor magic spells nor the prediction of a fortune –teller.

he asked quraysh to leave muhammad alone, saying:

as a young man muhammad was the most virtuous of all your tribe, the most honest in his words and the most trustworthy, and now when he has grown older and brings to you this massage you call him a liar and a magician?”

the offers of money and power did not tempt muhammad. he continued to call people to the religion of the one true god and the people’s persecution of muhammad and their mistreatment of him and his followers grew.


the tribe ordered that muhammad and the muslims who followed him should be isolated and avoided, and they hung a leather parchment on the kaaba announcing this to the people saying:


*do not greet or speak to a muslim.

*do not buy from or sell to a muslim.

*do not marry a muslim.

*do not deal with muslims in any way, shape or form.

this boycott did not work either, especially when five of the tribe’s elders announced after three years that they did not agree with this and they tore up the parchment and ceased to obey it. but the end of the boycott did not stop the kuffar (disbelievers) of quraysh from continuing to torture and abuse muhammad and his followers. and the torture and abuse increased when hid uncle abu talib and his wife khadeeja died.


some of the kuffar (disbelievers) threw the intestines of a slaughtered sheep over the prophet while he was prostrated in prayer, and laughed. another tied a cloak around his neck and tried to strangle him.


i heard all this news and more from people coming from makkah as they sat and took shelter under my branches.


all that sad news hurt me. i had hoped i would find a chance in my short life to see muhammad. i did not want to stay too long on my vine. to fear that the kuffar (disbelievers) would take me and press me into wine that would make them drunk. then they would hurt the muslims even more. i imagined that my chances of meeting muhammad were very slim. but allah made my dream come true for the prophet came to the vineyard so i could see him.


but as much i was happy to see him, i was also saddened by what happened, and i almost wept and shed tears at what they did to him. for as he sat with the nobles of thaqeef, and spoke to them calling them to believe in allah and his messenger and his book they began to reply with harsh words and speak rudely to him.


on his way back to makkah, young boys who knew no better, and some fools, ran after the prophet and surrounded him. they hit him cruelly and threw stones at him and cursed him and made him and grabbed hold of him every time he tried to run away from them. finally he managed to get away from them and took refuge in the shade of the vines where i was hanging. he sat down beneath me tried and exhausted. . i heard him say:


o lord, forgive me for my weakness and lack of skill and for being so degraded by the people, o most merciful of forgives. o lord if you are not angry with me then nothing else matters”


utba and his brother, shayba, were standing nearby listening to his words when utba asked his servant boy addas to cut me from my branch and put me on a plate and give me to muhammad, may allah bless him and grant him salvation. i felt myself tremble with excitement, up on my branch, and i was filled with joy as addas cut me down and put me down and put me on the plate so that he could place me in front of muhammad.

the prophet stretched out his noble hand and said: “bismillah.”


addas wondered at this word, which he had not heard anyone say before, and he expressed his astonishment to the prophet saying: “the people of this town do not say that word.”


and the prophet asked him:

and from which of the town of allah are you from?”

from ninevah,” addas said.

and the prophet replied: “from the village of the holy man, jonah son of matha?”

how do you know about yunus bin matta?” addas asked him.

he was a messenger, and i am a messenger,” answered the prophet.

then addas bowed and kissed the head and hand of muhammad and exclaimed:


a prophet, yes a prophet. no one could bear what you have born unless it were in the name of the truth and the true religion.”


as my grapes came of in the fingers of the prophet, may allah bless him and grant him salvation, i was the happiest bunch of grapes in the history of the world, for i had become food for the prophet after he had been through suffering, and i had witnessed addas’s belief in him and his great heavenly message.







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