Sunday, July 24, 2005

On the road to Taif

Photo: The harsh terrain leading to Taif. © Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.

Aside from our farewell to Madinah, the roadtrip to Taif is, for me, definitely the most painful. How many hopes did our blessed Rasul (صلي الله عليه و سلم) carry with him as he traversed this land on his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) way to Taif? How heavy his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) heart must have been with worries and fear of rejection, and how truly alone he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) must have felt in this barren land, with Abu Talib gone and no other human strength to support him (صلي الله عليه و سلم) ...

We read about how the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) was eventually turned away from Taif. We read about how deeply disappointed he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) was at this point, and about his poignant prayer at the end of this trip, where he expressed his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) absolute dependence and need of Allah's help. For us, these are the climactic parts of the "Taif story".

But to actually traverse this path ourselves, to retrace our Beloved's (صلي الله عليه و سلم) heavy footsteps to Taif, brings on a pang of deep sorrow in the depths of our hearts, and helps us understand more truly how meaningful that climactic really was. The first thing that strikes me is the terrain - it is mountainous, brown, sun-baked, craggy mountains, with nothing green and hopeful in sight. Looking out from an air-conditioned bus, there's no way really to fathom how difficult this journey must have been for our Beloved (صلي الله عليه و سلم). With our pampered Western selves, we can barely stand for ten minutes in the heat to hear the stories of how Badr and Uhud were fought. How did he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) travel so far from Makkah, on such boiling and unwelcoming terrain? What was going through his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) mind as he trekked this long and tiring journey? If Taif were to reject him (صلي الله عليه و سلم), where then would he go?

I wish I could have been there, if only to offer cool water to his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) thirsty lips, to carry whatever of his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) burden my small hands could have, to hold his blessed hand and offer any shred of reassurance that I possibly could.

Perhaps this journey towards an eventual rejection from Taif was part of Allah's wisdom - to remove from the Prophet's (صلي الله عليه و سلم) heart any shred of reliance he (صلي الله عليه و سلم) may have had on the hope of support from other human sources. If only I could have been there to see his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) blessed smiling face when Allah (swt) finally rewarded him with the coolness of Madinah.

Fareeha

2 Comments:

At Wednesday, 27 July, 2005, Blogger Naeem S. said...

Salaams,

Thank you for all the updates, looking forward to hearing from you all on DeenPort.

For all the UK Rihla Students, Four weeks is a long time and things have changed here in the UK.

Making prayers for a safe journey home for the blessed ones.

Wasalaam.

 
At Friday, 29 July, 2005, Blogger feiza_naqvi said...

fareeha, this was really touching...thank you for sharing. Feiza

 

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