With the lifting of the boycott, 619 CE should have been a year of celebration. However, two events transpired that year, which would forever characterise 619 CE as the year of sorrow. In rapid sucession, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) uncle and guardian, Abu Talib, and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wife, Khadijah, both died, with the former dying during either Rajab or Ramadan of 619 and with the latter dying during Ramadan of 619 CE. While he never converted to Islam, Abu Talib had been a stalwart friend and guardian to his nephew, and his death marked the end of Hashimite protection of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Although it would be tempting to say that, having lost the protection of the Hashimite clan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) now stood alone against the persecution of the Quraysh of Makkah, such a statement would be false, as indicated by the following verses of the Qur’an:
“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (forever).” (Qur’an 2:257)
“Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers.” (Qur’an 3:150)
And strive in his cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector - the Best to protect and the Best to help! (Qur’an 22:78)
The above verses from the Qur’an should not minimize or detract from the loss of Abu Talib’s support to the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, by far the greater loss had to be that of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wife. Khadijah had carried the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) six children, had been the first of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) converts to Islam, and had never wavered in her support of her husband and in her faith in the divine message revealed to him. She had been a bulwark of strength in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) personal life and to the early Muslim Ummah.
Dirks, Jerald F., Understanding Islam – A Guide for the Judaeo-Christian Reader, Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2003, p.255-257.
* With minor changes