Thaqeef’s Delegation and Their Embracing Islam - II
The Thaqeef delegation asked the Messenger of Allah, , to exempt them from many obligatory duties and furthermore make permissible for them many prohibited things. However, their attempts went in vain and their requests were rejected, and they finally surrendered to the fait accompli.
The Messenger of Allah, , dealt with them with the utmost generosity, from the time of their arrival, during their stay, to their departure. The Prophet, , appointed ‘Uthmaan bin Abu Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, as the governor of Taa’if, who, though being the youngest of them, was the most eager among them to learn the Quran and understand the religion. Having been impressed by the kindness of the Messenger of Allah, , and mixing with the Muslims, the delegation observed fasting for the rest of the month that was due upon them.
They spent fifteen days in Madeenah, after which they returned to At-Taa’if. Following their return, the Messenger of Allah, , dispatched an expedition under the leadership of Khaalid bin Al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, including Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, and Abu Sufyaan bin Harb, may Allah be pleased with them. By the time the delegation had succeeded in convincing the Thaqeef people to embrace Islam and had told them about the destiny of the idol of Quraysh, the military expedition arrived in At-Taa’if, and Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, may Allah be pleased with him, leading ten men who entered At-Taa’if, demolished the goddess idol, under intensified guard of his people from Banu Mu‘tib, who stood to protect him for fear that he might be shot with an arrow or killed like ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ood had been killed. All the people of Thaqeef, their men, women and children, and even the virgins who often lived behind screens, came out. Since they had been polytheists until recently, the majority of Thaqeef thought that their idol would never be demolished and would remain indestructible.
Al-Mugheerah, may Allah be pleased with him, had a sharp sense of humor. He said to his companions, “By Allah, I am going to make you laugh at the people of Thaqeef.” He struck the goddess with a mattock and then fell down rolling in agony on the ground. The people of At-Taa’if trembled with one cry and said, “Allah has driven Al-Mugheerah away; the goddess has killed him.” They rejoiced at seeing him fall, and said addressing the members of the expedition, “Whoever wants to knock it down can come close and do his best to ruin it. By Allah, no one could ever do it.” On that Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, may Allah be pleased with him, jumped up and said, “May Allah deface you, O assembly of Thaqeef! It is but a useless stone. So, adhere to the power of Allah and worship Him.”
Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, may Allah be pleased with him, and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, then continued to destroy the idol until they leveled it to the ground. Its servant was restless and waiting for the wrath of the goddess to afflict those who had harmed it. No sooner had they reached its foundation than he cried, “You will surely see how the foundation will become livid when it is dug up, that it would cause the earth to sink down with them.” On hearing this absurdity, Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the leader of the expedition to let him dig up the foundation. He dug it up until they brought out the earth underneath it and took off its ornaments and clothes. The Thaqeef people were then struck, and came to know the reality that had been veiled from their eyes.
The expedition returned and went to see the Messenger of Allah, , and took with them the goddess’s ornaments and clothes, which he immediately distributed. They praised Allah The Almighty for the victory He had granted to the Prophet, , and the honor and power he had given to His religion.
In this way, the second Taghoot (false deity) of Shirk (polytheism) in the Arabian Peninsula was abolished and replaced with one of the houses of Allah The Almighty, in which He is worshipped alone. It was built in implementation of the instructions of the Messenger of Allah, , to ‘Uthmaan bin Abu Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, his appointed governor of At-Taa’if, who commanded that the mosque of At-Taa’if should be built in the very place where their female Taghoot had been.
Thaqeef’s Delegation and Their Embracing Islam - I