By now Allah’s Messenger () had been preaching the message of Islam for close to ten years. But the overall situation was not very encouraging. In Makkah, the Muslims were a minority. But Allah fulfils His purposes through a variety of methods, some of which human beings may never expect.    The period of the boycott lasted for three years. A large number of Makkans endured great hardships. People continued to enter Islam despite the boycott. This was, however, on a limited scale.    The boycott was a period of quiet in the conflict between Muslims and the disbelievers. There was little contact between them, so many of the Quraysh notables had time to reflect on the message of Islam revealed in the Qur’an. To them the Qur’an was something wonderful and its words were powerful. When recited, they could not turn away from it. The idol-worshippers’ chiefs did everything to stop people from listening to the Qur’an. But the Qur’an has its attraction even to the bitterest enemies of Islam. They knew that the Prophet () spent some time every night in worship reciting the Qur’an in it, so some of them would sit just outside their houses in the darkness of night, listening to the Qur’an being recited by the Prophet ().    Six months after leaving the Shi’b of Abu Talib, two sad events took place, which were particularly hard for the Prophet ) to bear. Abu Talib died. That was in Rajab of the tenth year of Prophethood. In fact, Abu Talib had provided support to the Messenger of Allah as well as protection to Islam against aggression from the leaders and the rabble alike.    Two months after the death of Abu Talib, Khadijah also passed away. This happened in Ramadan of the tenth year of Prophethood. She was sixty-five years then. The Prophet () deeply mourned her death, for she had been the best of supporters to him, encouraging him to convey the message, consoling him and supporting him with her wealth. The Prophet () once said about her, “She believed in me when people disbelieved in me, she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me, and Allah blessed me with children from her and from no one else.”    The Prophet () was aware that he was left not only without a loving wife, but also without a protector. His enemies saw in the death of Abu Talib a long-awaited opportunity to harm and persecute him. In fact, they became fearless after the death of Abu Talib.    The Prophet’s neighbours, who were opposed to him, increased their attacks under the leadership of Abu Jahl and his wife. They repeatedly threw rubbish inside his yard and in front of his door. Once, one of their insolent mobs threw dust and earth upon his head. As he entered his home, one of his daughters wept bitterly as she wiped the dust from her father’s head. “Do not cry my daughter,” he said, “for Allah will certainly protect your father.”    When the leaders of the Quraysh heard about Abu Talib’s illness, they rushed to his bedside. They included Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan and Abdullah ibn Umayyah. They complained to him about the Prophet’s activities in Makkah. They requested him to call the Prophet () and ask him to stop preaching Tawheed. The Prophet () came and found Abu Jahl by his side, and he said, “My uncle! Just bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I will plead for you before Allah!” Abu Jahl and Abdullah ibn Umayyah said, “Abu Talib! Will you leave the faith of Abd al-Muttalib?” They continued to speak to him until he said, “I will remain on the faith of Abd al-Muttalib.”    One report says that Abu Talib told the Prophet () that the only reason for his remaining in the religion of Abd al-Muttalib was his fear that the Quraysh pagans link his conversion to the fear of death. The name of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, will be forever remembered with gratitude by Muslims, although he died without accepting Islam. His real name was Abd Manat, but he is better known by his kunya Abu Talib (the name of his first born son was Talib).    Abu Talib’s eldest son, Talib, sympathized with the cause of Islam. He was forced by the Quraysh pagans to take part in the Battle of Badr. He was not killed there, nor taken prisoner by Muslims, nor did he ever return to Makkah. It is not known what happened to him. You will learn about the great Battle of Badr in Level Seven, Inshaa’ Allah.    Abu Talib was generous and kind-hearted. In spite of his poverty, he held a position of esteem among the chiefs of the Quraysh. He regarded the care for the life of his nephew as the central object of his life. He loved him more than his own children. He protected him against the cruelties of the Quraysh pagans. He did everything in his power to ease the hardships the Prophet () suffered in Makkah. His death in the tenth year of the Prophet’s mission was one of the distressing events in the life of the Prophet (). After Abu Talib, the Prophet () had no powerful protector in Makkah.    Exercises   Fill in the blanks with suitable words.    1 . The boycott lasted for           years.    2 . Abu Talib was the Prophet’s uncle and  
  1. Abu Talib’s real name was 
  1. Answer these questions. 
  Which two events grieved the Prophet ()?   
  1. What reasons can you give for the death of Khadijah ? 
  1. What kind of a support was Khadijah to the Prophet ()? 
  1. What difficulties did the death of Abu Talib bring to the Prophet ()? 
  1. Abu Talib did not really disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger (). What reason did he give for not accepting Islam? 
  1. What do you know about Abu Talib’s son, Talib? 
  1. Think-up 
  There is benefit in everything that Allah allows to happen. What benefit did the boycott have on the Quraysh notables?    Prophet Ayyub () was a descendant of Prophet Ibraaheem He lived in an area in the North-eastern part of Arabia called Huran, near Palestine.    Allah sent him as His Messenger to the area of Huran to teach its people Tawheed and to guide them to the Straight Path. Most of the people of Huran did not believe in Allah. They were very selfish. They did not help the needy or the orphans. They did not feed the hungry. Prophet Ayyub () spent his days and nights calling them to believe in Allah. He warned them of the Day of Judgement.    Ayyub () was a very rich man. He had cattle, slaves, servants and a lot of lands and property. He also had many children and a big family. Allah had blessed Ayyub () with many comforts. His house was on a vast piece of land. There were fruit gardens with rows of towering trees. He possessed fields, which produced many kinds of vegetables. In the fields around his house, Ayyub () and his family kept animals.    The life of Ayyub () was a test from Allah. The life of Prophet Ayyub () was an example for others to follow. Ayyub () had great wealth and comforts, but he knew that they were blessings from Allah. He always remembered and thanked Allah.    The wealth    Allah tested Ayyub ( in a different way. Everything was taken away from him, one after the other, and he suffered different types of diseases. No part of his body was safe or healthy except his heart and tongue, with which he remembered Allah. His sickness continued for many years that the people around him stayed away from him except his loving wife who carried on looking after him.    She remembered his good treatment of her and his compassion for her. Prophet Ayyub () never lost patience at all.    When the sickness had afflicted him for a long time, he said to her, “I have lived for seventy years in a healthy condition, could I not bear all this patiently for the sake of Allah for another seventy years?”    She was impatient with this answer. She served other people for wages to feed Ayyub (), but after sometime, people stopped giving her work because, being Ayyub’s wife, they were afraid that she might pass on his diseases to them.    Ayyub’s wife was not an ordinary woman. She remained by his side through all the hard times. She would hold his hands and talk to him when everyone else stayed away from him. It was extremely painful for Ayyub () and his wife to go through all of this.    Ayyub () showed patience and always remembered Allah even under such circumstances. He would call out to his Lord, ‘Great harm has afflicted me and You are the Most Merciful of Allah the Almighty answered his prayer. After this long test which lasted for so many years, Allah relieved Prophet Ayyub () from his suffering. He returned to him his health and the same wealth and children and doubled them for him. Ayyub ( had passed the test. He had remained steadfast in the face of hardships.    Allah commanded Ayyub to strike the earth with his foot. He did as he was commanded and Allah caused a spring of fresh and cool water to gush forth. Allah ordered him to wash in it and drink from it. Allah caused his sickness that had afflicted his body for so long to come to an end.    Allah made him a healthy and handsome person again. He gave him much wealth in the form of gold. When Allah relieved Ayyub, He caused locusts of gold to rain down upon him.    Prophet Ayyub () lived an extremely hard life. The most amazing quality that Ayyub () had was his patience. He remained patient throughout his hard life.    Believers have a great example to follow in the life of Prophet Ayyub ().    Exercises   1 . Prophet Ayyub () was a descendant of (Prophet Ibraaheem, Prophet Nuh).   
  1. Allah sent him to the people of (Madyan, Huron). 
  1. Ayyub’s wife was (pious, rude). 
  1. The most amazing quality of Ayyub () was his (thankfulness, patience). 
  1. Answer these questions. 
  1 . What were the people of Huron like?   
  1. What are some of the blessings with which Allah blessed Prophet Ayyub ()? 
  1. How did Allah test Ayyub’s faith? 
  1. Why did people stop giving work to Ayyub’s wife? 

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