Year of Sorrow

Due to the deplorable incidents that took place one after the other and due to the sorrow and pain they caused, the Messenger of Allah named the tenth year of the prophethood as “Sanatu’l-Huzun [Year of Sorrow]”

The polytheists escalate their torture and insults

While our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims were grieving Abu Talib’s death, the polytheists were very happy. The chief of the Sons of Hashim was no longer there to support our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) They saw this as an opportunity to give rise to their insults and cruelty.

One day, when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was walking on the road, one of the polytheists threw dust and dirt at him. The Master of the Universe (PBUH) did not respond and returned to his home. Hazrat Fatimah could not hold back her tears when cleaning her father. Her heart was already shattered by the loss of her mother and seeing her father in this condition only made matters more difficult. It was as if those tears were falling straight from her heart and soul as opposed to her eyes.

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), the most compassionate in all of creation, was once again able to gather his composure amid this unbearable scene. He once again put his fullest trust in and turned to his Lord; he wiped his beloved child’s tears with his holy hands and said, “My daughter, do not cry, Allah will protect your father.” He added thoughtfully, “the polytheists had not dared to insult and inflict this kind of cruelty upon me until Abu Talib’s death.” (1)

In this period, the cruelty and insults posed by the polytheists had left the bounds of humanity to such an extent that it agitated Abu Lahab, one of Islam’s greatest enemies, and caused him to say he would support our Holy Prophet (PBUH) if the situation continued in this manner.

Upon Abu Lahab’s words the polytheists left our Holy Prophet (PBUH) alone for a period of time. Nevertheless, the superficial patronage that stemmed from Abu Lahab’s feelings of kinship did not last long. His tolerance and “partisanship” for his nephew dissolved in the face of the invitation that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) extended to the community, summoning all to come to Allah. He not only declared that he had renounced his patronage but also allowed the torture to resume with the same severity. He continued with his enmity for the rest of his life.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 229.

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