What was the incident about which the Prophet said it was harder than Uhud?

The Details of the Question

- I have heard the following: Once, the Prophet (pbuh) went to a Jew to proclaim the message of Islam. One of the three sons of the Jew said to the Prophet, "If you are a prophet, I will be the thief of the Kaaba." The second Jew said - God forbid - "Did Allah not find anyone else to send?" However, I do not know what the third Jew said to the Prophet.

- Then, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "This incident upset me more than Uhud." I searched this issue but I could not find it. Will you help me about it?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The issue has nothing to do with Jews. The incident took place as follows:

When the Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib passed away, the problems he encountered in Quraysh increased. Then, he went to Ta’if to the tribe of Thaqif. He hoped they would accept him and help him.

He met three men – who were brothers - who were the leaders Thaqif. They were Abd Yalayl bin Amr, Ubayd b. Amr and Mas’ud b. Amr.

He said to them, “Protect me.” He told them about the tortures that Makkans had inflicted upon him.

One of them said, “I would tear off the covering of the Kaaba if Allah really sent you with something.

Another one said, “By Allah, I will never speak to you anymore. If you really are a prophet, I do not deserve to speak to you anyway.

The third person said, “Is Allah too weak to send anybody other than you? (see Ibn Hisham, as-Sirah,1/419; to read it in summary, see Ibn Kathir, as-Siratun-Nabawiyya, 2/152; al-Mawahibul-Ladunniyya,1/158; Ibn Hajar, Fathul-Bari, 6/315)

Hz. Aisha narrates the adverse effect of that incident on the Prophet (pbuh) as follows afterwards: Hz. Aisha asked the Prophet,

- Have you encountered a day harder than the day of Uhud? He said,

- I swear that your tribe Quraysh troubled me a lot but the trouble I encountered on the day of Aqaba was worse:

"When I went to Taif upon the tortures of Quraysh and asked Ibn Abd Yalil bin Abd-Kulal to protect me, he did not respond to my demand. So, I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded on toward Makkah. This sorrow continued until I reached Qarn ath-Tha’alib. I lifted my head towards the sky there and saw a cloud shading me.

When I looked at the cloud carefully, I saw Gabriel (Jibril) in it. He called me saying,

'Allah has heard your people's saying to you, and what they have replied back to you. Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.' Thereupon, the Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me; then, he said,

- O Muhammad! What Jibril says is true. Order what you wish. If you like, I will let those two mountains fall on the people of Makkah.

Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

- "No, I hope that Allah will let these polytheists beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him." (Bukhari, Badul-Khalq,7; Muslim, Jihad, 111-1795)

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