When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) started acknowledging and preaching Islam, the natives of Mecca got aggravated. At that time, Meccans were ignorant and backwards, worshiping idols and reluctant to hear the message of Islam. The natives of Mecca held prejudiced beliefs against the Prophet (SAW) and insisted on ridding Mecca of him. They would alienate and abuse him on a day to day basis.
Many times the Holy Prophet (SAW) couldn’t even step out of his house, because the leaders of Mecca had set out traps for him. Even though there were so many challenges to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) staying and preaching in Mecca, he still continued to spread the word about Islam. His undying belief in Allah (SWT) is the most valued example of faith in the history of Islam: even in these circumstances, the Holy Prophet (SAW) remained steadfast and did not shun those causing him intense pain, but instead prayed to Allah (SWT) to guide them to the right path.
One of the most retold stories demonstrating our Prophet’s (SAW) unyielding kindness and warmth during these troubling times was of his Jewish neighbor. Demonstrating the same treatment many Meccans gave the Prophet (SAW) during this time, his neighbor would always gather rubbish at the Prophet’s (SAW) doorstep everyday. Instead of treating his neighbor the same way or reacting to him harshly, the Prophet (SAW) would instead patiently dispose of the rubbish, and this same thing would happen daily… until one day when the Prophet (SAW) stepped out of his home and saw that there was no rubbish at his doorstep. Out of concern for his neighbor, he went to the neighbor’s home to check up on them. Upon seeing his neighbor ill and in bed, the Prophet (SAW) began taking care of him. His neighbor was so moved by his kindness and purity of heart that they became one of the Prophet’s (SAW) followers.
At one point, the mistreatment Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had to endure in Mecca grew so strong, with few people listening to his message, that he traveled to a city south of Mecca called Ta’if. There, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was met with more persecution as villagers were so spiteful to his new and powerful message that they ordered all their children to chase down the Prophet (SAW) and throw dust and stones at him. The Prophet (SAW) was chased out of the city by the children’s cursing, taunting, rock-throwing, and awful deeds, so much that when he was finally outside of the city walls he sat down and began to weep. He prayed to Allah (SWT) for strength and told his Creator about the hardships he has had to endure, asking for Allah’s (SWT) favor. Allah (SWT) felt his Messenger’s (SAW) despair, and sent down Angel Gabriel to him with an offering. Gabriel gave him Allah’s (SWT) message, saying, “God Almighty heard the sayings and accusations of your people and He, the Almighty, asked the angel of the mountains to obey any order from you against them.” The angel of the mountains called to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and said, “Ask for whatever you want; I will crush them with the surrounding mountains.” Yet, despite bleeding from the wounds inflicted on him by the people and the emotional distress he had to experience because of them, the Prophet (SAW) said, “No, but I hope that Allah will bring out of their offspring people who worship Allah alone with no associates.”
The cruelty in Mecca came to such an extent that assassination plans were put into place and Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) life was in serious danger, because the non-believers were tired of his consistent attempts at changing the city with such a revolutionary message of monotheism and equality. Their plans were complicated and very cunning, because the leaders of Mecca knew that if Prophet Muhammad (SAW) died, then Islam had no real chance of spreading.
There was so much pressure within the city that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had to flee from Mecca to Medina to gain safety. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) arrived in Medina, people were curious about him and his teachings of Islam. Slowly, they started to listen more intently to what the Prophet (SAW) had to say, and with their curiosity came a new hope for the spread of the message.