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Ibn Ishaq (R) on Supplication of Rasulalah ﷺ at Ta’if and the Christian Slave

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ibn Ishaq [1] tells us that when he reached Ta’if he met with the chiefs of Thaqif tribe. They were three, all sons of ‘Amr bin ‘Umayr: ‘Abd Yalil, Masu’d and Habib. He offered them Islam. They refused and scoffed at him.

When the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam felt that there was no hope they would accept the message, he requested them to keep the talk to themselves so that the common people were not provoked against him. But they refused that little courtesy, and sent behind him their slaves, servants and urchins. They began to shout behind him abusing him until a crowd started to follow him. They forced him into an orchard owned by ‘Utbah and Shaybah, sons of Rab’iah. The two were present in the orchard and had been watching the events. As he entered the orchard, the crowd dispersed. He sat under the shadows of the grape trees.

When the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam had settled he supplicated,

“O Allah, unto You Alone do I complain of my weakness, lack of means and helplessness before the people – O Most Merciful of the mercifuls! You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord. Whom do you entrust me to, someone who treats me harshly, or to an enemy whom you have given power over me? But if You are not angry with me, I do not mind. Your satisfaction is a greater thing to me. I seek refuge by the Light of Your Face that removes the darkness, and which sets things right in this world and the Hereafter, that Your Anger should descend on me. Unto You I submit my will until You are pleased with me. And there is no power nor might except Yours.

When Rab’iah’s sons saw him in that condition their hearts softened. They ordered their Christian slave ‘Addas [2] to present him with some dates. The Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam was surprised ‘Addas by saying Bismillah (In the Name of Allah) before starting to eat. But, his surprise was reduced when he learned that he was a Prophet. He began to kiss his forehead, hands and feet. Rabi’ah’s sons did not wish to see him being influenced by the Prophet. So they told ‘Addas, “Let him not pervert you of your religion. Your religion is better than his.”

But ‘Addas was convinced that he was a Prophet. What happened was that when the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam  said Bismillah, “Addas reacted in surprise, “This is something that people of this area never utter.” The Prophet asked him, “And where are you from?” ‘Addas told him he was from Nineveh. The Prophet remarked, “Ah. From Yunus’ (Jonah’s) city?” ‘Addas was astonished, “How do you know?” The Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam told him he knew because Yunus (Jonah) was a Prophet as he himself was a Prophet. ‘Addas told him that when he left Nineveh, no more than perhaps ten people knew who Yunus (Jonah) was.

اللهم صلي وسلم على نبينا محمد
اللهم صلي وسلم على نبينا محمد
اللهم صلي وسلم على نبينا محمد



[1] Ibn Hisham (2/70-72) its chain is Good & Disconnected (Hasan-Mursal). He did not however attribute the supplication and what happened after. It was also reported briefly by Ibn Sa’d (1/211-212) in whose transmission chain falls Waqidi. This report has a few differences in opinion to its credit, e.g., his mentioning that Zayd bin Harithah was with him, while he did not mention the supplication. Bayhaqi also reported it in his Dala’il (2/414-417) tracing it through Musa bin ‘Uqbah who took it from Zuhri. Thus it is truncated through Zuhri. He too did not mention the supplication. Imam Ahmad (4/335) reported it where the supplication is mentioned. Suyuti also mentioned the supplication in Al-Jami’us-Saghir and ascribed it to Tabarani, judging it Hasan. Albani said in the footnotes of Fiqus-Sirah of Ghazali, p. 132, as well as in Difa’, p.19, “Tabarani recorded this Hadith in his Al-Kabir as a report of ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far, briefly.” In it the supplication is mentioned. Haythami said in his Majma’ (6/35): In it falls Ibn Ishaaq, who dropped down names of narrators although himself trustworthy. The rest of the narrators are reliable. Therefore, the report is weak,” because of Ibn Ishaq not naming the transmitters.

[2] See his biography in Al-Isabah (2/466-467/no. 5468).


Quoted From: ‘A Biography of the Prophet of Islam in the light of the original sources: An analytical study’ by Dr. Mahdi Rizqullah Ahmad, translated by Syed Iqbal Zaheer; vol.1. ,pp. 253-255; Darussalam Publications.

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