The Hijrah to Madinah begins

Once the Messenger of Allah had taken this pledge, the Muslims had more security and some from Makkah took refuge with the Ansar. The Messenger of Allah ordered his Companions and those Muslims who were with him in Makkah to leave for Madinah, and to join their brothers among the Ansar. He said, 'Allah has given you brothers and an abode where you will be safe.' They soon began to leave Makkah.

The Messenger of Allah, however, remained in Makkah waiting for Allah's permission to emigrate to Madinah.

The emigration of the Muslims from Makkah was not easy. The Quraysh put many obstacles in their way and subjected the emigrants to considerable stress. However, the emigrants were determined to go. They did not want to remain in Makkah. Some, including Abu Salamah, were forced to leave their wives and children behind and to travel alone. Some had to relinquish all they had earned in their lifetime. Suhayb was among those who lost all their wealth.

Umar ibn al-Khattab, Talhah, Hamzah, Zayd ibn Harithah, Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Abu Hudhayfah, Uthman ibn Affan and others emigrated (may Allah be pleased with them) and the emigration continued apace. None were left in Makkah with the Messenger of Allah except for those who were imprisoned or awaiting trial, apart from Ali ibn Abi Talib and Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah.

The Quraysh's final plot fails
When the Quraysh saw that the Messenger of Allah had Companions and helpers in Madinah over whom they had no power, they were alarmed about his departure. They knew that if that happened, they would have no means to stop him. So they assembled in the Dar an-Nadwah, the house of Qusayy ibn Kilab which the Quraysh used when decision-making, The Quraysh nobles consulted one another on what to do about the Messenger of Allah.

They finally agreed that each tribe would provide a young warrior and together they would attack the Messenger of Allah, each man striking a blow. That way responsibility for his death would be divided among the tribes and the Banu Abd Manaf would not be able to fight them all.

Allah informed His Messenger of this plot, so he could tell Ali ibn Abi Talib to sleep in his bed wrapped up in his cloak, adding, 'Nothing unpleasant will happen to you.

When the murderous gang gathered at the door intending to attack, the Messenger of Allah came out and took up a handful of dust. Allah then instantly removed their sight and the Messenger of Allah scattered the dust over their heads while reciting verses from Surah Ya Sin, 'We have covered them so that they do not see,' (36: 9) Someone came to them and said, 'What are you waiting here for'

'Muhammad,' they replied.

'May Allah disappoint you!' he said. 'By Allah, he came out earlier and went about his business.'

When they looked and saw someone sleeping on the bed they did not doubt that it was the Messenger of Allah. But in the morning when Ali got up from the bed, they were so embarrassed that they slunk away quietly.

The Hijrah of the Messenger of Allah
The Messenger of Allah went to Abu Bakr to tell him, 'Allah has given me permission to emigrate.'

Abu Bakr exclaimed, 'In company, Messenger of Allah?

'In company,' replied the Messenger of Allah, and Abu Bakr wept for joy.

Abu Bakr brought two camels which he had in readiness for the journey and hired Abdullah ibn Urayqit to act as their guide. Over the years, the Messenger of Allah had developed such a reputation for honesty that the unbelieving Quraysh would deposit their valuables with him, certain that they would be safe. This day he charged Ali with the responsibility for returning all the property to its rightful owners.

The Cave 
The Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr left Makkah secretly. Abu Bakr asked his son, Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr, to find out what people were saying about them in Makkah and he asked 'Air ibn Fuhayrah, his freed slave, to graze his milking sheep in the daytime but to bring them to the each night. Asma' bint Abi Bakr would bring them food.

They went to the Cave of Thawr. Abu Bakr went in first to clean it up and to make sure that it was safe so that nothing could harm the Messenger of Allah. Once he was satisfied he called him in.

When they were inside Allah sent a spider to spin a web from a bush across the entrance to the cave. It concealed the fact that the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr had only just gone in. Allah also commanded two wild doves to fly down between the spider and the tree. They made a nest there and laid eggs. 'To Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth.' (48: 4)

The idol-worshippers followed the tracks of the Messenger of Allah's party, but when they reached the mountain they became confused. They climbed up the hillside passing close to the cave. However, when they saw the spider's web they said, 'If anyone had entered here, there would not be a spider's web across the opening. Then, they rode on. Abu Bakr saw the idol-worshippers coming. In alarm he said, 'Messenger of Allah, if one of them steps forward, he will see us.'

The Messenger of Allah replied, 'Why worry about two when Allah is the third!'

Allah says in the Qur'an, /... the second of the two; when the two were in the Cave, when he said to his companion, "Grieve not. Allah is with us." '(9: 40)

Suraqah's experience
When the Quraysh realised that the Messenger of Allah had escaped, they offered a hundred camels to anyone who handed him over, dead or alive. The Messenger of Allah remained in the cave for three days and then left with 'Air ibn Fuhayrah who guided him along the coastal route.

Suraqah ibn Malik ibn Ju'sham was eager to get the reward offered for the Messenger of Allah. He was tracking his footsteps when his horse stumbled and he was thrown off. He refused to give up so he mounted again and rode on. His horse stumbled a second time and he fell again. Determined to capture his quarry, he rode on once more. Just as he caught sight of the Messenger of Allah, his horse stumbled a third time. Its feet sank into the sand and Suraqah fell. Then he watched as dust rose from the ground like a sandstorm in front of him.

When Suraqah saw that happen, he knew that the Messenger of Allah was under the protection of Allah. He realised that the Messenger of Allah would certainly have the upper hand over his enemies. He called out, 'I am Suraqah ibn Ju'sham. Wait for me so that I can speak to you. By Allah, I will not harm you.'

The Messenger of Allah said to Abu Bakr, 'Ask him what he wants from us.'
'Write a document for me which will be a warrant of security.'

The Messenger of Allah asked 'Air ibn Fuhayrah to write it and Suraqah kept the piece of leather (or bone) on which it was written for many years. The Messenger of Allah, looking ahead to the day when the Persian empire would crumble, said to Suraqah, 'How will you feel when you are wearing the bracelets of Chosroes?'

And indeed that event took place. When Persia was conquered, the bracelets, belt and crown of Chosroes were brought to Umar. He summoned Suraqah ibn Malik and put the royal insignia on him.

Although Suraqah offered the Messenger of Allah provisions for his journey to Madinah, they were not accepted. He only asked, 'Conceal our presence.'

A blessed man
During their journey the Messenger of Allah's party passed the tent of Umm Ma'bad al-Khuza'iyyah who had a goat which was giving no milk during the drought. The Messenger of Allah stroked its udder, invoked the name of Allah and prayed for a blessing. Milk flowed. He gave Umm Ma'bad and his Companions milk to drink until they were satisfied. Then he drank last of all. The ewe was milked a second time and her milk filled a vessel. When Abu Ma'bad returned home, his wife told him what had happened, exclaiming, 'BY Allah, it could only have been a blessed man who passed by us.'

When she described the angelic stranger, he said, 'By Allah, I think it is the man whom the Quraysh are seeking.'

Madinah receives the Messenger of Allah
The Messenger of Allah and his party continued their journey to Quba' which is on the outskirts of Madinah. It was Monday the 12 of Rabi' al-Awwal and this date marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

When the Ansar heard that the Messenger of Allah had left Makkah they waited for him even more eagerly than people who are fasting wait for the new moon of the 'Id. Every day after the Morning Prayer they went to the outskirts of Madinah to look for him. They stayed there until the heat of the summer sun forced them to seek shade. They would go back into their houses feeling very disappointed.

On the day that the Messenger of Allah arrived, the people had just gone back into their houses. The Jews had taken note of what was going on and the first person to see him was indeed a Jew. He shouted as loudly as he could to announce to the Ansar that the Messenger of Allah had arrived. Everyone went out to greet him. He and Abu Bakr, who was about the same age, were sheltering under a palm-tree. Only a few of them had seen the Messenger of Allah before so most of the people in the crowd were unable to distinguish between him and Abu Bakr. Realising their confusion, Abu Bakr stood up to shade him with his cloak from the sun, thus making it clear who was the Messenger of Allah.

The Muslims were overjoyed at the arrival of the Messenger of Allah. It was the best thing that had ever happened to them. The women and children chanted, 'This is the Messenger of Allah who has come! This is the Messenger of Allah who has come!' In their delight, the girls of the Ansar recited:

The full moon shines down upon us from Thaniyat al-Wada'.
We must all give our thanksgiving all the while praising Allah
You whom Allah sends among us,
what you bring, we will obey
You've ennobled Madinah.
Welcome now! Guide us to His way!

Anas ibn Malik al-Ans a boy at that time, said, 'I saw the Messenger of Allah the day he entered Madinah. I have not seen a better or more radiant day than when he came to us in Madinah.'

The Messenger of Allah spent four days at Quba' where he established a mosque. On Friday morning, he set off again. At noon he stopped among the Banu Salim ibn Awf where he prayed the Jumu'ah. This was the first Jumu'ah in Madinah.

The house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari
In Madinah the Messenger of Allah was greeted by people, all asking him to stay with them. They grabbed the halter of his camel but he said, 'Let it go its own way. It is under orders.' That happened several times. Eventually the camel stopped at the home of Banu Malik ibn an-Najjar. By herself she kneeled at a place which today marks the door of the Prophet's mosque. At that time It was used for drying dates and belonged to two orphan boys of the Banu'n-Najjar who were the Prophet's maternal uncles.

The Messenger of Allah got off his camel. Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Zayd quickly carried his luggage into his house and the Messenger of Allah stayed with him. Abu Ayyub showed him generous hospitality and great respect. The Messenger of Allah insisted on staying on the lower floor of the house although Abu Ayyub disliked occupying the top floor above him, thinking it an insult. The Prophet, however reassured him, Saying, Abu Ayyub, it is more convenient for me and those who call on me that I stay on the lower floor.'

Messenger of Allah's Mosque
The Messenger of Allah called for the two orphans who owned the date store and asked them to name a price for it, so that a mosque could be built. They said, 'We give It to you, Messenger of Allah.' He refused to accept it as a gift, however, and insisted on paying them.

The Messenger of Allah helped In the building of the mosque, carrying bricks alongside the other Muslims As he worked he recited, 'O Allah, the true reward is the reward of the Next World, so show mercy to the Ansar and Muhajirun!'

The Muslims were happy, reciting poetry and praising Allah. Messenger of Allah stayed in the house of Abu Ayyub for seven months until his mosque and the rooms for his family were ready.

The Muhajirun joined the Messenger of Allah until none were left in Makkah except those in person or awaiting trial. Every house of the Ansar became Muslim.

The Messenger of Allah established brotherhood between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and they were put under an obligation to assist one another. The Ansar were so eager to form a brotherhood that they had to draw lots to allocate their shares. The Ansar gave the Muhajirun authority over their homes, their furniture, their land and their animals and preferred them over themselves in every way.

An Ansari would say to a Muhajir, 'Have whichever half of my property you want to take,' and the Muhajir would say, 'May Allah bless you in your family and property! Show me the market.' From the Ansar there was great benevolence as they demonstrated their generosity to their Muslim brothers while the Muhajirun retained their self-respect.

When the Messenger of Allah was secure in Madinah and Islam had been strengthened, the people would join him at prayer without a call. He disliked the way the Jews and Christians used horns and bells to announce their calls to prayer. Then Allah honoured the Muslims with the adhan. One of them saw the method in a dream. The Messenger of Allah confirmed it and prescribed it for the Muslims. He chose Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi to call the adhan. He was the mu'adhdhin of the Messenger of Allah and thus became the Imam of all the mu'adhdhins until the end of time.

The Qiblah
The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem for sixteen months after he came to Madinah but he wanted to turn to the Ka'bah. Muslims, as Arabs, had grown up with both love and esteem for the Ka'bah. They did not consider any other house equal to it nor any qiblah equal to the qiblah of Ibrahim and Isma'il. They all would have preferred to turn towards the Ka'bah. They found that the qiblah towards Jerusalem was an irritation, but they declared, 'We hear and obey' and 'We believe it. All is from our Lord.' They always obeyed the Messenger of Allah and submitted to the commands of Allah whether or not that was what they wanted.

First Allah tested their hearts for taqwa and their submission to the command of Allah. Then He turned His Messenger and the Muslims towards the Ka'bah. 
Qur'an says:

'Thus We appointed you a midmost nation that you might be witnesses to the people and that the Messenger might he! a witness to you; and We did not appoint the direction you were facing, except that We might know who followed the Messenger from him who turned on his heels it was a difficult thing except for those whom Allah has guided.' (2: 143)

The Muslims turned to the Ka'bah out of obedience to Allah and His Messenger and it became the qiblah of the Muslims for all time to come. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims turn their faces towards it when they pray.

The Quraysh are still hostile
When Islam was firmly established in Madinah, and the Quraysh knew that it was flourishing and spreading, they became hostile towards the Muslims. Allah commanded the Muslims to be steadfast and patient, saying, 'Restrain your hands and establish the prayer.' (4: 77)

When the Muslims were strong and secure, they were given permission to fight but were not obliged to do so. Allah said, 'Leave is given against those whom war is made (to fight) because they were wronged. Allah is able to help them.' (22: 39)

The Fast
In the second year of the hijrah, fasting was made obligatory. Allah revealed, 'O you who believe, the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you - perhaps you will be God-fearing.' (2: 183)

He says, 'The month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was sent down to be a guidance to the people and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Discrimination. Let those of you who are present at the month last it.' (2: 185)

Select a Chapter

Idol-worship in Makkah  The event of the elephant  Abdullah and Aminah

Noble birth    Marriage to Khadijah  Rebuilding the Ka'bah

Hilf al-Fudul  Intimations of Prophethood  First Muslims

The call to Islam on Mount Safa  The Quraysh torture the Muslims

The Muslims' hijrah to Abyssinia    

The Quraysh boycott the Banu Hashim  

The journey to Ta'if   The ascent to the heavens  The Ansar accept Islam

The Hijrah to Madinah   

The Decisive Battle of Badr  The Battle of Uhud - Revenge

Double-crossed  The Banu'n-Nadir are banished  The Battle of the Ditch

Makkah visited at last    Invitations

The Conquest of Makkah   The Tabuk Expedition

  The Prophet's Farewell Hajj

The Prophet's illness     Leaving this world


Letters of Muhammad (Peace be Upon him)


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