The Prophet journeys to Ta’if (1)
Soon the Prophet felt that it was time to take the message of Islam to neighbouring tribes. He made his way on foot to Ta’if, about thrity miles east of Makkah, travelling with his former slave, Zayd bin Haritha .
Along the way to Ta’if, the Prophet invited each tribe he encountered to embrace Islam. Finally, he reached Ta’if and met three brothers, all chieftains of the Thaqif tribe. He invited them to Islam and asked them to help him spread his message, but they responded with hostility.
The Prophet left the chieftains and looked for others to talk with about Islam. For the next few days he continued his search to find anyone who would open his heart to Allah’s word, but no one was interested. Each cheiftain he met proved arrogant and unfriendly when he explained his mission and requested help. Instead of accepting his call to Islam, they asked him to leave Ta’if and return from whence he came. They even stirred up children, slaves and the whole rabble against him. As the Prophet made his way out of the township, a rag tag band ran after him, abusing him and throwing stones at him until even his feet dripped with blood.
Zayd tried to protect the Prophet from their blows, and in doing so suffered several cuts on his head. The Prophet and Zayd escaped and sought refuge three miles away in an orchard belonging to Utbah and Sheba, the sons of Rabi’a. There the Prophet sat down in the shade of a wall covered with grapevines and prayed to Allah in a supplication known as Du’aa Al-Mustad’afeen (the Prayer of the Oppressed):
“O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness and humiliation before the people. You are the Most Merciful, the Lord of the weak and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To one who does not care for me? Or have you appointed my enmity as master of my affairs? So long as You are not angry with me, I care not. Your favour is abundant for me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face, by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descend upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction. There is no power and no might except in You.”