Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ma'al Hijrah #4

Prophet’s Hijrah to Madinah.

The Hostility of the Quraish

After 13 years of struggle delivering the message of God in Makkah, Prophet Muhammad SAW had only around 300 followers, most of who were persecuted for following him. Some were imprisoned, others were tortured, and many had to endure social and economic boycott. However, the truth was bound to appeal the people.

After the pledge of 'Aqabah between Prophet Muhammad SAW and the new Muslims from Medinah which they promised to support him and defend the religion as much as they could, the Prophet SAW encouraged his followers to migrate to Medinah.

Assassination Plot

When the Quraish tribe realized that a great number of Muslims had migrated in to Madinah and were achieving a considerable measure of success, their fury knew no bounds. The chiefs of all the Quraish tribes assembled at Darul-Nadwa, a council where they usually would meet to discuss their affairs, to find the best course of actions to be pursued. They unanimously agreed that was the only way that it could achieve their objective was that Muhammad SAW should be assassinated

In order to avoid the repercussion of tribal bloodshed, Abu Jahal, one of the staunchest enemies of Prophet Muhammad SAW came with a plan that the assassination will be carried by stalwarts and young men selected from all the clans rather than being executed by one man.

The Escape to Madinah

While the Quraish were nurturing their plot, God commanded Prophet Muhammad SAW not to sleep that night in his bed. He was also told that it was time for him to migrate to Madinah.

The role of ‘Ali Abi Talib & Abu Bakar

The Prophet SAW instructed 'Ali Abi Talib to take his place in his bed, while the Prophet SAW himself would escape and meet Abu Bakar at an appointed place. The Prophet SAW left Ali behind in order to undertake the duty of returning the properties to some people in Makkah which they kept with the Prophet SAW.

Abu Bakar was similarly informed and instructed to make the necessary preparations for the journey, after which the Prophet SAW returned to his house. Shortly after dusk, all the selected youths of the Quraish laid siege to the house of the Prophet SAW so that none might come out or go in, and waited for the Prophet SAW to appear so that they might fall upon him and kill him.

Divine Miracles

In the dead of night the Prophet SAW came out of the house and cast a handful of dust at the assassins while walking through them unnoticed, reciting verses of the Noble Qur’an:

"And We have put a barrier before them, and a barrier behind them, and We have covered them up, so that they cannot see." [Surah Yasiin, 36:9]

The assassins who laid siege to the house were waiting for the zero hour when someone came and informed them that the Prophet SAW had already left. They rushed in and to their utter surprise, found that the person lying in the Prophet’s bed was ‘Ali not Muhammad. This created a stir in the whole town.

The Prophet SAW had left his house on Safar 27th, the fourteenth year of Prophethood, i.e. 12/13 September 622 A.D. After leaving the house, the Prophet SAW himself went to the appointed place where he met Abu Bakar and left with him for Madinah, first by hiding in a cave called "Thuur," situated three miles out of Makkah.

The Quraish of Makkah convened an emergency session to determine the future course of action and explored all areas that could help arrest the two men. They blocked all roads leading out of Makkah and imposed heavy armed surveillance at all potential exits. A price of 100 camels was set upon the head of each one. Horsemen, infantry and skilled trackers scoured the areas around Makkah.

Refuge in the cave Thuur

The Quraish even reached the mouth of the cave where the Prophet SAW and Abu Bakar were hiding. When Abu Bakar saw the enemy at a very close distance, he whispered to the Prophet SAW: "What if they were to look through the crevice and detect us?" The Prophet in his God-inspired calm replied: “What do you think of those two with whom the Third is Allah.”

It was such a Divine miracle; the pursuers were only a few steps from the cave, but were unable to find them.

It was for three days that Muhammad SAW and Abu Bakar lived in the cave and Quraish continued their frantic efforts and failed to find them.

Assistance of Abdullah bin Uraiquit as Guide.

A man by the name of ‘Abdullah bin Uraiquit, who had not yet embraced Islam, but was trusted by Abu Bakar, and had been hired by him as a guide, required to come to the cave after three nights in accordance with their plan. He was tasked to bring with him Abu Bakar’s two camels and report about the search for the two of them. When it had slackened and the opportunity was suitable to leave, Abu Bakar would offer the Prophet SAW a swift ride to Madinah. Abdullah agreed with plan provided that he would be paid with its price.

Asma binti Abu Bakar Assistance.

Asma’, the daughter of Abu Bakar, was given the task to assist in providing them the food provisions that were brought and tied in a bundle of her waistband.

The Prophet SAW, Abu Bakar and ‘Amir bin Fuhairah, Abu Bakar’s servant departed, and their guide ‘Abdullah bin Uraiquit led them on untrodden roads along the coastal route. Some incidents had featured during their journey to Madinah.

Suraqah Abu Malik

The Quraish had offered reward whoever captures Prophet Muhammad SAW he would receive a hundred camels. This spurred many people to try their luck. Among those who were on the lookout for the Prophet SAW and his companion in order to get the reward was Suraqah, the son of Malik. He, on receiving information that a party of four, had been spotted on a certain route, decided to pursue them secretly so that he, alone, should be the winner of the reward. Soon after the Prophet SAW had left the cave he attempted to trace him, and followed him but his horse stumbled on the way and threw him.

Hastily remounting, he continued the chase, but the horse stumbled again, throwing him violently to a considerable distance. Again he remounted and again the horse, this time when his rider was close to the Prophet SAW and was preparing to shoot an arrow, stumbled and threw him off with great force, its own feet sinking into the sand.

"Then," says Suraqa, "it dawned on me that it was pre-ordained that the Prophet's cause should succeed." Renouncing all intention of murder at the behest of this inner voice, he approached the Prophet SAW and begged his forgiveness. The Prophet SAW forgave him with a smile, and imparted to him the happy news that one day he would wear the gold bangles of the ruler of Persia. This was a true prophecy of an event which happened twenty-four years later; for these words found fulfillment when the kingdom of the Chosroes of Persia fell to the sword of 'Omar and Suraqa was sent for and decorated with the bangles.

Umm Ma’bad Al-Khuza’iyah.

The party continued its journey until it reached to solitary tents belonging to a woman called Umm Ma’bad Al-Khuza’iyah. She was a gracious lady who sat at her tent-door with a carpet spread out for any traveler that might pass that way. Fatigued and thirsty, the Prophet SAW and his companions wanted to refresh themselves with food and milk. The lady told them that the flock was out in the pasture and the goat standing nearby was almost dry.

The Prophet SAW with her permission, touched its udders reciting over them the name of Allah and to his great joy, there flowed plenty of milk out of them. The Prophet SAW first offered it to the lady of the house and what was left by her was shared by the members of the party.

After having refreshed themselves the emigrants moved further, leaving the encampment of Umm Ma'bad, Prophet Muhammad SAW and his companions resumed their journey, going through unfrequented paths and suffering great hardships on account of scarcity of water and severity of heat.

In the evening when Abu Ma'bad, the husband of Umm Ma'bad, came to his house, the lady narrated to him this strange incident and described the Prophet SAW. He said: "By God, he is the same man whom the people of al-Quraish are searching for."

Abu Buraidah

On his way to Madinah, the Prophet SAW met Abu Buraidah, one of those driven by their lust for the reward of Quraish. No sooner did he face the Prophet SAW and talk with him, than he embraced Islam along with seventy of his men. He took off his turban, tied it round his lance and took it as a banner bearing witness that the Prophet SAW of security and peace had come to imbue the whole world with justice and fairness.

‘Ali reported on his own immigration

“When the Prophet SAW left for Madinah, immigrating for God’s sake, he commanded me to stay behind so that I would return articles which people had deposited with him for safe keeping. This is made him known as Al-Ameen, which means the trustworthy. I stayed for three days, walking about every day. Then I left, and followed the Prophet’s path, until I arrived at the quarters of Amr ibn Awf in Quba, when the Prophet SAW was staying with them. I was the guest of Kulthoom ibn Al-Hidm.”

Ali’s passage to Madinah was safe. He belonged to a noble family and no one could stand to his courage. The Quraish were still busy chasing the Prophet SAW and offering a large prize for anyone who could detain and return him. This facilitated Ali’s own immigration. The situation was not so for many Muslims. Abu Salamah Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Assad was one of the first to immigrate to Madinah, but his way was far from safe, as his wife tells their story:

Umu Salamah

Abu Salamah Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Assad was one of the first to immigrate to Madinah, but his way was far from safe, as his wife tells their story:

“When Abu Salamah decided on immigrating to Madinah, he prepared a camel for me and helped me to mount, placing my son, Salamah with me on the camel back. Men from my own clan, the Al-Mugheerah, went up to him and said: ‘If you intent on leaving, why should we allow you to take this woman of ours traveling across the land?’ They pulled the camel reign out of his hand and took me away from him. This enraged the Abd Al-Assad clan, to whom Abu Salamah belonged. They told my people ‘We will not leave our son with her now that you took her away from our man.’ The two groups fought over my son, each pulling him to their side, until they dislocated his shoulder. The Abd Al-Assad people took him away. Thus I was left with my clan, while my husband left on his own to Madinah and my son was left alone with his father’s clan.

“I was in absolute grief. I went out every day to Al-Abtah where I sat on the sand crying until the evening. I continued to do this for nearly a year. One of my cousins passed by and he was sympathetic to me, told the men from my clan: ‘Why do you detain this poor woman? You have separated her from her husband and her son. Let her go.’ They told me that I could join my husband if I wished. Then the Abd Al-Assad clan returned my son back. I prepared a camel and mounted it, with my son in my lap. I moved on towards Madinah. When I reached Al-Taneem [a few kilometers outside Makkah at the time, but within its boundaries nowadays], I met Uthman ibn Talhah of the Abd Al-Dar clan who asked me where I was going. When I told him, he asked: ‘Are you traveling alone?’ I said: ‘I have none with me other than God and this son of mine.’ He said: ‘By God! You cannot be left to travel alone. I will take you.’ He held the reign of my camel and walked on. I have never accompanied an Arab who is more honorable than him. When he reached a place for rest, he would sit my camel and step behind to allow me to dismount. He would then take off the camel’s things to let him rest, after tying him to a tree. He would then lay down under another tree. When it was time to move on, he would put the things on the camel back and step behind telling me to mount. When I had settled with my son on the camel, he would hold the reign and move on. He continued to do so until we reached Madinah. As we arrived at the quarters of the clan of Amr ibn Awf, he said to me that my husband was there. He left me and went back to Makkah.”

Umu Salamah later said: “I do not know any family which suffered as much as we suffered, and I have never seen a more honorable companion than Uthman ibn Talhah.”

This story shows that among the unbelievers were some who maintained good moral values. Uthman ibn Talhah was such a man. He would not leave a woman to travel all this distance alone across the desert. So he would take her, demonstrating how an honorable man should behave in such a situation. Uthman was later to join the Muslim ranks. He went to Madinah with Khalid ibn Al-Waleed and Amr ibn Al-Aas in the seventh year after the Prophet’s immigration, i.e. one year before Makkah fell to Islam. Thus, he ranked among the Muhajireen.

The Prophet SAW and his companions reached their destination safely; they were accorded with warm welcomed by the people of Medinah, as well as the building of “Quba” Mosque. Later Prophet SAW built the Masjidil Nabawi and became his residence till his death.


1 comment:

Mekelle said...

Interesting to know.