In the tenth year of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad with his companion Zaid bin Harisa visited the city of Ta’if near Makkah to invite people to Islam. The people of Ta’if were very happy with their lives; they had a beautiful valley to live in, enjoyed good food and passed their time in ease and comfort. They also were not willing to listen to this newcomer who was telling them to give up their worshipping of idols and to listen and bow to this One God who they couldn’t even see.
The leaders of the Ta'if made it impossible for the two of them to preach Islam, and treated Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the worst possible manner. They made street boys run after them and throw stones at them. These boys were merciless and they pelted them with stones so much that their shoes filled with blood. They took refuge in a garden and laid down to rest.
Allah, the Exalted, the Mighty, was so displeased with the people of Ta’if for their treatment of His honorable Prophet that He sent down angel Gabreil to tell Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that if the Prophet so wished, Allah would crush the whole valley of Ta’if along with its non-believers under the mountains surrounding them.
And what do you think our dear Prophet said? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was such a compassionate and forgiving person that instead of asking for revenge on the people of Ta’if, he asked Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, to forgive them and made prayers that Allah may show the people of Ta’if the right path. This was the level of compassion and mercy that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had for his enemies, for the people who had caused him great pain and had completely rejected him and his message.