The Year of Grief

The Year of Grief

Soon after the end of the boycott, in the tenth year of his mission, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) lost his uncle, Abu Talib and his loving wife, Khadijah (radiallahu ‘anha). Both were his protectors, tried and true helpers and devotedly attached to him. Their deaths meant a great loss to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who at that time was already destined to encounter as many adversities in succession soon thereafter.

Tufayl Ibn ‘Amr al-Daust was a prominent poet honored by the Arabs. When he came to Mecca, some of the Quraysh warned him against meeting the Prophet. They told him, as usual, that Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had created dissension among the Quraysh and so he had to be careful lest he should also fall under the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) evil spell. Tufayl relates: “By God, they were so insistent that I decided not to listen or speak to him. I went as far as to stuff cotton in my ears before going to the holy mosque. Accidentally, my eyes captured the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who was offering prayer near me. I stood by his side and thus God caused me to hear something of his speech. It was beautiful and noble. I thought, that my mother might curse me, for I am a poet and the connoisseur for nothing good or evil in a speech can elude me. Why should anything prevent me from listening to his speech? If it is good, then I shall accept it, but if contrarily bad, I shall reject it.”

He met the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at his house where he invited him to accept Islam and recited the Qur’an to him. Tufayl embraced Islam and went back to his tribe determined to preach the faith of God. He refused to do anything with his household members until they had also acknowledged God and His Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). All of them became Muslims and Islam spread thereafter in the tribe of Daus. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 382-384)

Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) used to pray within his house. Not being satisfied with it, he further selected a place in the courtyard of his residence where he started offering prayers and reciting the Qur’an. Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) was tenderhearted and when he recited the Qur’an, shedding tears all the while, youths, slaves and women used to gather around him listening to his recitation. Now, the Qurayshite chiefs got alarmed at Abu Bakr’s (radiallahu ‘anhu) open ricital of the Qur’an so he sent for Ibn al-Dughunna who had pledged protection for him. When Ibn al Dughunna came, they said to him, “We accepted your pledge of protection for Abu Bakr on the condition that he prays inside his house but he has started praying and reciting in the open. We fear he might seduce our women and children. Now, if he agrees to offer his prayers secretly within his house, it is well and good, otherwise he should avert your protection. We neither want to make you break your word nor can we allow him to do it openly.”

Ibn al-Dughunna informed Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) of what he had been told by the Quraysh, but he replied, “I renounce your guardianship; I am contented with the protection and custody of my Lord.” (Bukhari, on the authority of ‘Aisha, Chapter. Hijrah.)

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