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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

It means the year of grief. Soon after the annulment of the social boycott in the tenth year, i.e. 619 A.D. of the mission, the Prophet suffered two severe calamities in the death of his uncle, Abu Talib, which was followed by that of his wife, Khadija. With the death of Khadija, the lamp of the Prophet's house was extinguished. One protected him with the influence that derived from his noble rank, while the other guarded him with her material and wealth. Thus, the Prophet was immersed in deep grief with the death of Abu Talib and Khadija, and that is why, this year is called A'am al-Hazan (the year of grief).

Henceforward, the Meccans made their persecution more severe, as they had now become bolder, evidently because they thought that he had no influential protector behind him. Ibn Ishaq writes that one of their scoundrels (safih) threw dust (turab) on the head of the Prophet. Uqbah b. Muayt threw the entrails of a camel on the neck of the Prophet on the instruction of Abu Jahl when the Prophet was in the state of prostration in Kaba. It is also reported that the Meccans often threw stones in the house of the Prophet. On one occasion a Meccan leaned over his gate and tossed a piece of putrefying offal into his cooking pot. In sum, it was a critical time for the Prophet soon after the death of Abu Talib and Khadija.

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