The Prophet’s emigration to Madina
August 20 2021 12:41 AM
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Masjid Al-Nabawi
Masjid Al-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque) in Madina.

By Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-’Uthaimeen (rahimullah)

Thirteen years after the commencement of the prophetic message, In the month of Rabee’ Al-Awwaal, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, reached Madina having left from Makkah, which was the initial point of revelation and the most beloved of places to him. He left Makkah as an emigrant, in compliance with the command of his Lord, after he had spent 13 years there calling to the clear guidance of the message of his Lord. During this period he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his followers were confronted with rejection, defiance and even physical harm from Quraysh (his tribe).
Moreover, Quraysh even conspired to kill him when their leaders met and exchanged views in order to decide on what course of action to take regarding the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his followers. They felt endangered by the message of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and when some of his companions emigrated to Madina, they knew that he would join them there sooner or later. They knew also about the pledge that the Ansaar (the Madinan supporters of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,) had given to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, which stipulated that they would protect him from any kind of harm, just as they protected their own wives and children.
Quraysh feared the revenge of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his followers if they had the opportunity of establishing themselves firmly in Madina. Therefore, during the meeting of the elders of Quraysh, Abu Jahl said: “My opinion is that we should select a strong young man from each of our tribes and give each a sword to strike Muhammad all at the same time. On doing so, his blood will spread among all the Arab tribes – and it will be impossible for the Banu ‘Abd Manaaf (the clan to which the Prophet belonged) to revenge his death, rather they will be obliged to take the diyyah (blood-money).”
“And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” (Al-Anfaal: 30).
Despite this, Allah revealed the entire conspiracy to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and permitted him to emigrate to Madina. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who had prepared himself for the move to Madina, was told several times by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to wait. It was clear that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, wanted to accompany him in the journey of Hijrah, as he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to him: “Wait, for I hope that Allah will allow me also to emigrate.”
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated: “One day, at midday, while we were sitting in our house, someone said to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘Here comes Allah’s Apostle, with his head and part of his face covered with a cloth (i.e. wishing to conceal his identity), at an hour in which he has never come to us’. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you (an expression that indicates the level of sacrifice that the person expressing it is prepared to make), (O Prophet)! It must have been an urgent matter that brought you here at this hour.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked permission to enter and then did so, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then said to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him: “Let those who are here with you leave.” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: ‘These people are your family (i.e. there is no need for them to leave because they are your own people); Let my father be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Apostle!’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then said: “I have been given permission leave (Makkah).” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, asked: ‘Can I accompany you, O Allah’s Apostle? Let my father be sacrificed for you!’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “Yes.” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Let my father be sacrificed for you! Take one of these two she-camels of mine.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “I will take it only on the condition that I pay you for it.”
So we packed their baggage and placed food for their journey into a leather bag. Then the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, set off on their journey. After this, they arrived at a mountain named Thawr and remained there for three nights. ‘Abdullah bin Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who was an intelligent young man, would stay with them two at night and leave before dawn so that in the morning, he could be among the Quraysh in Makkah and act as if he had spent the whole night there. If he heard of any plot contrived by the Quraysh against the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, he would return and inform them two of the plot after dark.” 
Quraysh exerted the maximum effort to seize the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companion, may Allah be pleased with him. They searched in all directions and could not find them and so they announced a reward of one hundred camels for anybody who could seize either or both of them. However, it was Allah’s plan to protect them, for some men from the Quraysh reached the very cave where the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companion, may Allah be pleased with him, were hiding – but were unable to spot them.
Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I said to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, when we were in the cave: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if any of them looks down at their feet, they will see us.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied, assuringly: “What do you think about two companions, of whom Allah is the third? (i.e. in terms of assistance)”.
When Quraysh’s pursuit abated, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, left the cave after three nights and headed for Madina following the coastline. A young man by the name of Suraaqah bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, who had not yet at that time embraced Islam caught sight of them on his horse. When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, turned back and saw him, he said: “Messenger of Allah, someone is following us.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “Don’t be anxious; for Allah is with us.” When Suraaqah came closer to them and heard the Prophet’s recitation of the Qur’an, the forelegs of his horse sank into the hard ground, so much so that the horse’s stomach touched the ground. Suraaqah dismounted and spurred the horse until it stood up, but its forelegs were struggling, causing dust to rise up into the sky like smoke. 
Recalling this at a later date, Suraaqah said: “I felt then that the Prophet’s affair will come to prominence some day, (i.e. I knew that the day would come when his message would be accepted by the masses) so I cried out at them giving them a pledge of security. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was standing ahead of me with his companion. I mounted my horse and rode until I reached them and told them about the plots contrived against them. I offered them food and luggage and said to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,: ‘You will pass by some flocks of sheep and camels that belong to me; you may take what you need from them.’ The Prophet replied: “I have no need of this, just conceal your knowledge of us.”
Suraaqah headed back to where he had set out from and diverted all those he came across away from the direction that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companion, may Allah be pleased with him, were heading towards. It seems so strange that Suraaqah, who first sought after the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companion, may Allah be pleased with him, to seize them ended up giving them his full support. This is the support Allah gives to those who serve His cause.
When news of the Prophet’s Hijrah reached the people of Madina from among the Muhaajireen (those Muslims who emigrated from Makkah) and Ansaar (the Madinan supporters of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,), they would go out to Al-Harrah, which is a place on the outskirts of Madina, in anticipation of the Prophet’s arrival, until they would be forced back by the heat of the sun. When the day of arrival of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, finally came, a Jew who was looking for something on a hillock in Madina saw him approaching. Despite his enmity, he could not help but cry out: “O Arabs! This is your long-awaited fortune and honour.” 
The Muslims hastened to meet the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, with their weapons, as an honorary reception as well as an indication of their readiness for Jihad in the cause of Allah and to defend him. They met him at a place in Al-Harrah and he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, diverted his course rightward and settled in the Banu ‘Amr bin ‘Awf in Qooba’ (a place on the outskirts of Madina) where he stayed for some nights and built a mosque. He then went on to Madina accompanied by many people, while many others lined the roadside.
Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, related: “When we came to Madina, people went out onto the roads and onto the tops of houses, along with their children and servants, crying: “Allaahu Akbar! The Messenger of Allah has come! Allaahu Akbar! Muhammad has come!” Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “I was walking among small boys, since I was one of them, while people were crying out: ‘Muhammad has come! Muhammad has come!’ So the people repeated these words out of joy due to the Prophet’s arrival, who was the dearest to them. What an arrival! It filled the hearts with joy, pleasure and delight and illuminated the horizons with happiness.”
When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, reached Madina, the various tribes of Al-Ansaar rivalled each other in leading the Prophet’s she-camel to their dwellings, each saying: ‘Come, O Messenger of Allah! Stay with us! We are great in number, fully armed and ready to defend you’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied, regarding his she-camel: “Let it go where it wishes, for it is inspired. I will stay where Allah wished me to stay.” The she-camel stood in the place where he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, later built his mosque, it knelt down and remained there for sometime, while the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, remained on its back. After this, the she-camel got up again and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, loosened its bridle, it walked for a short distance and then returned to the previous location and knelt down. Upon this the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Here is the settling place, Allah willing”. The place where the she-camel knelt belonged to two orphans, who offered to give it to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, for free, but he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, refused and instead he purchased it from them. 
Then Allah’s Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked: “Whose is the nearest of the houses to here?” A man called Abu Ayyoob, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: ‘Mine, O Allah’s Prophet! This is my house and this is my gate.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then said: “Go and prepare a place for our midday rest.” Abu Ayyoob, may Allah be pleased with him, prepared it, then returned and said: ‘Come along, both of you, with the blessings of Allah.’ 
When Allah’s Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, went into the house, a man named ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, may Allah be pleased with him, came and said: “I testify that you (i.e. Muhammad) are Apostle of Allah and that you have come with the truth. The Jews know very well that I am their chief and the son of their former chief and the most learned amongst them and the son of the former most learned amongst them. So send for them (i.e. the Jews) and ask them about me before they know that I have embraced Islam, for if they know that then they will say about me things which are not correct.”
So Allah’s Apostle, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, sent for them and they came and entered. Allah’s Apostle, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to them: “O Jews! Woe to you! Fear Allah! I swear by Allah besides Whom none has the right to be worshipped that you people know for certain that I am the Apostle of Allah and that I have come to you with the truth, so embrace Islam.” The Jews replied: “We do not know this.” So he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, repeated this twice and they repeated their answer twice. Then he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked them: “What sort of a standing does ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam have amongst you?” They said: “He is our chief, the son of our former chief and the most learned man, the son of the former most learned man amongst us.”
He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “What would you think if he should embrace Islam?” They replied: “Allah forbid! He cannot embrace Islam.” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, repeated the question and they repeated the response, then He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, called out: “O Ibn Salaam! Come out to them.” He came out and said: ‘O Jews! Be afraid of Allah besides Whom none has the right to be worshipped. You know for certain that he is Apostle of Allah and that he has brought the true religion!” The Jews replied: “You are a liar.” On that Allah’s Apostle, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, turned them out. ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam, may Allah be pleased with him, then said: “Did I not tell you, Messenger of Allah, that they are a people of falsehood, betrayal, lying and obscenity?”
That was the Prophet’s emigration, who left his home town to call to the religion of Allah and reform His servants.
Fear Allah! O servants of Allah and abandon acts of disobedience so that you can all at least achieve one kind of Hijrah. (This refers to the abandonment of sins. According to Islam, Hijrah is of two kinds: literal, which denotes moving from one place to another in order to be able to practise one’s religion, and metaphorical which means the abandonment of sins). Whoever abandons something which he likes for Allah’s sake, Allah will reward him with something better. Whoever sticks to piety and goodness, Allah will be with him. Allah the Almighty said that which translates as: “Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.” (Al-Nahl: 128).



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