After their staying in Medina behind the Prophet and Muslims who marched to Tabūk in the 9th year of Hijrah, 3 Muslims including ka’b ibn Malik were abandoned by the Muslim community for their staying.
Ka’b described the situation:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prohibited the Muslims to talk to the three of us from amongst those who had stayed behind. The people began to avoid us and their attitude towards us changed and it seemed as if the whole atmosphere had turned against us, and it was in fact the same atmosphere of which I was fully aware and in which I had lived (for a fairly long time). We spent fifty nights in this very state and my two friends confined themselves within their houses and spent (most of their) time weeping. As I was the youngest and the strongest, I would leave my house, attend the congregational prayers, move about in the bazaars, but none would speak to me.(Full story)
The Christian king of Ghassan was paying close attention to the goings on of Medina society; by keeping a close eye on his enemies, he hoped to stumble across the opportunity to sow dissension among their ranks. Such an opportunity came when the Muslims boycotted Ka’b ibn Malik.
The king of Ghassan sent a messenger with a secret letter to Ka’b; he hoped to ensnare Ka’b, to entice him, and to convince him to abandon his religion. He argued in his letter that Ka’b did not deserve the ill-treatment he was receiving, and he promised to treat him with honour if he immigrated to the kingdom of Ghassan.
Ka’b described the situation:
As I was walking in the bazaars of Medina, a man from the Syrian peasants, who had come to sell food grains in Medina, asked people to direct him to Ka’b bin Malik. People pointed towards me. He came to me and delivered a letter from the King of Ghassan, and as I was a scribe, I read that letter whose purport was: ‘It has been conveyed to us that your friend (the Prophet (ﷺ)) was treating you harshly. Allah has not created you for a place where you are to be degraded and where you cannot find your right place; so come to us and we shall receive you graciously.’ As I read that letter I said: ‘This is too a trial,’ so I put it to fire in an oven.
قد بلغني أن صاحبك قد جفاك، ولم يجعلك الله بدار هوان ولا مضيعة، فالحق بنا نواسك
Immediately recognizing the letter for what it was, Ka’b said.
“This too is a test!” According to one narration, he added, “My mistake has taken me to such low depths that men from the people of polytheism see me as being easy prey!”
وهذا من البلاء أيضا، قد بلغ مني ما وقعت فيه أن طمع فيَّ رجال من أهل الشرك، ثم أحرق الرسالة
فتيممت بها التنور، فسجرتها
Ka’b was completely loyal to Allah and His Messenger, so it never even crossed his mind to accept the king of Ghassan’s offer.
Possessing self-dignity and strong faith, Ka’b did not think it appropriate to even give the king any reply at all not even a negative one; nor would he be satisfied with himself if he simply tore up the letter. Nothing short of completely destroying the letter would be a sufficient response to it, and so he took it to an oven and burned it completely until all that was left of it was ashes.
It is with this kind of faith and determination that one comes out of a test or difficulty with greater faith than ever before. Yes, Ka’b endured fifty nights of difficulty and hardship and dark trials; but it is equally true that he came out shining, as a stronger believer than he was before the beginning of his ordeal.