The Year of Sorrow was a very difficult year for the Prophet (saw). Both Khadijah (ra) and Abu Talib had passed away within a short span of time leaving the Prophet (saw) in a deep state of grief and bereavement. He had lost his ever so caring wife and supportive uncle.
The enemies of Islam were now able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing the Abu Talib wouldn’t be there to protect him. As things became more tense in Makkah as a result of hostilities from the Quraysh, the Prophet (saw) decided to move to Taif. Taif was inhabited by the tribe of Thaqif . The city was well known for its climate and scenery. In regards to the people of Taif, the Prophet (saw) knew that they were no different from the Makkans. They were also idol worshippers and they were very closely linked to the Makkans. This didn’t turn our beloved Prophet (saw) away and he marched on to Taif.
As he entered the city and started proclaiming his mission, people chided him. One person said: “God did not find anyone else for His message except you?” Another one said: “I must be naïve or a thief if I believed you to be a prophet.” And so it went on. The people plotted and decided that in order to stop the Prophet (saw) from preaching the best way to make him stop would be to literally drive him out of the city. The people got children and other homeless individuals to chase him out while throwing stones at him. Our beloved Prophet (saw) immediately started bleeding from head to toe. As he was driven out he found a hiding spot in an empty garden. He raised his hands towards the heavens and prayed to Allah,
“O Allah! I raise unto you my complaint for my weakness, my helplessness, and for the ridicule to which I have been subjected. O Merciful of all the Merciful s! You are the Master of all oppressed people, You are my God! So to whom would You consign me? To the strangers who would ill-treat me, or to the enemies who have an upper hand over me?
If whatever has befallen me is not because of Your wrath, then I fear not. No doubt, the field of Your security and care is wide enough for me. I seek refuge in Your light which illuminates darkness and straightens the affairs of this world and hereafter, that Your displeasure and wrath may not descend upon me. For the sake of Your pleasure, I remain pleased and resigned to my fate. No change in this world occurs without Your Will.”
While he was under the tree in the garden, Angel Jibreel came down to the Prophet (saw) and said,
“O Prophet of Allah! if you order us the we will grind the people of Taif between mountains.”
Subhan’Allah the mercy of the Prophet (saw) was unending. He replied to Angel Jibreel,
I am sent as the prophet of mercy, not to punish people” He further said “These people just don’t know me” and “I hope that Allah (swt) will raise some one among these people who will serve Islam” (Muhammad bin Qasim (who spread Islam in Sindh was from Taif)
The owners of the garden then saw the Prophet (saw) and told their servant, Adaas to give the Prophet (saw) some food. Adaas was an Assyrian Christian. When Adaas brought the grapes he heard the Prophet say, “Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem,” (In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate). Adaas being a Christian had never heard these words from an Arab and he was impressed by the Prophet’s (saw) patience and gratitude. He then asked, “Who are you?” The Prophet (saw) responded, “I am the Prophet of Allah. Where are you from?” Adaas then replied, “I am Adaas, an Assyrian Christian from Nineveh (Persian Empire).” The Prophet (saw) then surprised Adaas even more when he mentioned how Adaas is from the same place as his prophetic brother, Yunus (as). Adaas then asked, “What do you know about Yunus? No one in this area knows about, and even in Nineveh very few people mention his name.” The Prophet (saw) said, “Yes, I know him because just like me, he was a Prophet of Allah.” Adaas at once fell on his knees and kissed the Prophet’s (saw) hands and converted to Islam. On his way back to Makkah the Prophet (saw) was reciting Qur’an in Fajr salah. It just so happens that a group of Jinn were passing by at that time and had heard the Prophet’s (saw) recitation. Upon hearing the recitation they also immediately embraced Islam and spread it among their tribe.