بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

اَلْحَمْدُللهِ وَالْصَّلاَةُ عَلَى رَسُوْلِ اللهِ

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THE YEAR OF SORROW IN ISLAM

THE Prophet (pbuh) and his followers went back to a normal way of life but the years of hardship had made Khadijah very weak. She became ill and soon afterwards she died. Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) lost his beloved wife and friend, the first person to accept Islam and support him. She had been a refuge from all his troubles and, through her good-heartedness, the best company in his suffering. He had loved her very much. This happened in 619 A.D., the year which became known as the 'Year of Sorrow'.

Soon after this, the Prophet Muhammad's uncle and protector, Abu Talib, also died. Abu Talib had been one of the most respected men in Mecca-one of the elders of Quraysh. Even though he had never been a follower of Islam, he had protected the Prophet (pbuh) against his enemies. Not only was this a sad occasion for the Prophet (pbuh) but also a dangerous one. According to Arab custom anyone who is under the protection of another is safe so long as his protector lives. Now, with the death of his uncle, the Prophet's protection was gone.

The Prophet's enemies rejoiced to see him so sad, without a wife to console and comfort him, and without his uncle to protect him. They began to treat him worse than ever before. Even small children insulted him. One young man actually threw some filth on the Prophet's head, but the Prophet (pbuh) went home without making anything of it. When one of his daughters rushed, weeping, to wash it away, he comforted her saying, 'Do not weep my little girl, for Allah will protect your father.'

Abu Talib had been the Prophet's last tie with Quraysh and the Prophet (pbuh) now felt that Islam could make no further progress in Mecca because the hearts of Quraysh were closed against him. He decided, therefore, to travel to Ta'if where he hoped to find support. He walked all the way to the town, which was seventy kilometers away. There he spoke in all the places where people gathered, but no one listened to him. He met the leaders of the three most important tribes but they would not listen either. Not only did they take no notice of what he said, but they laughed at him and ordered their slaves to insult him and pelt him with stones.

Sadly, the Prophet (pbuh) left the city and found a quiet place near a wall on the edge of town where he could be alone. There he prayed to Allah in these words:

O Allah, to Thee I complain of my weakness, helplessness and

lowliness before men. O Most Merciful, Thou art the Lord of the

weak, and Thou art my Lor

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