The Prophet Receives Permission For Migration
The Qurayshi polytheists had decided to kill the Messenger of God and started to do things to this end. Meanwhile, God Almighty gave the Messenger of God the order to migrate.
The Prophet used to visit Hazrat Abu Bakr in the morning or in the evening every day. However, when he received the order to migrate, he went to Abu Bakr’s house at noon, when it was very hot, by wrapping his head. When Abu Bakr was informed that the Prophet arrived, he was surprised and said, “By God, the Messenger of God never used to come at this time. There is something very unusual!” Then, he invited the Prophet inside and let him sit on the mattress and said, May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of God! What is the matter?”
The Prophet said, “God gave me the permission to leave Makkah and to migrate to Madinah.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr asked excitedly, “Will I be honored to accompany you, O Messenger of God?”
When the Prophet said “Yes...”, he became very happy and started to weep for joy.
Hazrat Aisha said, “Up to that time, I had never seen anyone to weep so much for joy!” (1), expressing the joy of her father at that time.
The Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr made an agreement with Abdullah b. Urayqit, who was a polytheist then but who was well-known as a trustable person who always kept his promise, to guide them to Madinah. They gave him two camels and agreed to meet at the foot of the Thawr Mountain.
Then the Prophet left the house of Abu Bakr and returned home. (2)
Information Given by Hazrat Jibril
Meanwhile, Jibril (pbuh), the angel of revelation, came to the Prophet, informed him about the decision of the polytheists and instructed him what to do:
“Tonight, do not sleep in the bed that you used to sleep up to now!”
Thereupon, the Messenger of God called Hazrat Ali and said to him, “Sleep in my bed tonight! Take this green cardigan of mine and cover yourself in it! Do not fear! Nothing will happen to you!”
He also told Hazrat Ali to stay in Makkah until he returned the goods trusted to the Prophet to their owners.
Makkans trusted the Prophet, whom they named “Muhammadu’l-Amin” very much and they entrusted their valuable goods, which they feared losing, to him. When the Qurayshi notables decided to kill him, there were many valuable goods entrusted to him. Despite this decision, he ordered Hazrat Ali to return the goods to their owners, showing his dignity and trustability.
The House of the Prophet is Surrounded
In accordance with the plan that had been made, about two hundred polytheists with their swords chosen from all of the tribes gathered in front of the house of the Prophet after one third of the night passed. Among them were protagonists and brutal people like Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab and Umayya b. Khalaf. The murderers were waiting for the night to end, the sun to rise and the Prophet to leave his house. According to their customs, it was a mean and cowardly act to kill someone in his house.
The Prophet leaves his House
The Messenger of God left his house while the murderers with swords were around his house. He picked a handful of soil and threw it toward their heads, reading the first eight verses of the chapter of Yasin. None of them could see him and he passed through them.
After a while, some of their fellow citizens went over them and asked them, “Why are you waiting here?”
When polytheists said, “We are waiting for Muhammad”, they said, “Muhammad threw some soil toward your heads and left a long time ago. Look at your heads and clothes!”, virtually mocking the murderers!
They looked at one another. They were covered with dust and dirt. They were surprised. They entered the house at once. They saw someone lying covered with a cardigan. They said, “There he is; Muhammad is sleeping!” and continued waiting until it started to dawn.
When they saw that Hazrat Ali got up from the bed instead of the Messenger of God, they were astonished and said, “By God, what was said to us was true!”
Then they asked Hazrat Ali, “Where is Muhammad?”
When Hazrat Ali said, “I do not know!”, they were astonished and did not know what to do.
God almighty stated the following in the verse that He sent down upon this event:
“Remember how the unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out, (of thy home). They plot and plan and God too plans but the best of planners is God.” (3)
THEY GO TO THE CAVE OF THAWR
After leaving his house, the Messenger of God went straight to the house of Hazrat Abu Bakr. They prepared some things for the expedition and put some food in a leather bag.
Then, the Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr left the house through the small door at the back of the house. They set off to Thawr Mountain, which is down in the southeast of Makkah, three miles (about an hour) away from the city.
Hazrat Abu Bakr walked sometimes in front of and sometimes at the back of the Prophet. The Prophet asked him, “O Abu Bakr! Why do you do so?” Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “In order to watch and protect you, O Messenger of God!”
The Thawr Mountain The Cave of Thawr
A Snake Bites Hazrat Abu Bakr
They arrived at the Cave of Thawr on Thursday night.
The cave was desolate. First, Hazrat Abu Bakr entered the cave. He cleaned the ground and leveled it. He blocked the holes in the cave with pieces of fabric torn off his garment. When the pieces were not enough, he blocked the last hole by putting his foot on it. Then, he called the Prophet inside the cave. The Messenger of God put his head on the knees of Abu Bakr and fell asleep.
After a while, Hazrat Abu Bakr felt a great pain in his foot that he had put on the hole. He realized that a snake had bitten him. However, he did not remove his foot. He did not even move lest the Messenger of God should wake up. He was in so much pain that tears fell down her face. When a few tears hit the face of the Messenger of God, he woke up and asked, “What is the matter, O Abu Bakr?”
Hazrat Abu Bakr, the symbol of loyalty, said, “O Messenger of God! Something bit my foot but it does not matter. May my father and mother be sacrificed for you!”
The Messenger of God rubbed the place that the snake bit with his spit. By the grace of God, the pain was eliminated and Hazrat Abu Bakr recovered.
A Spider Weaves a Web; Pigeons Build a Nest
Meanwhile, upon the command of God, a spider came to the entrance of the cave and weaved a web; and two pigeons came and built a nest. (4) Those animals started to keep guard in order to protect the Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr against Quraysh!
Makkah is searched thoroughly
When the polytheists could not find the Prophet in his house, they got very distressed and sad. They started to search Makkah thoroughly at once. They went to the house of Hazrat Abu Bakr. When they could not find them there, they got furious.
When they could not find the Messenger of God in Makkah, they hired a town crier, who shouted, “We will give one hundred camels to anyone who fetches or kills Muhammad or Abu Bakr!”
When the announcement was heard, all of the thieves, murderers and criminals took their swords and sticks; they went out of Makkah and started to run around.
Some searchers hired two trackers from Banu Mudlij. They found the footprints of the Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr. They reached the foot of the Thawr Mountain by tracking.
One of the trackers said, “By God, they did not go beyond that cave. The footprints cease here!”
Some of them went to the entrance of the cave together with Umayya b. Khalaf.
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s Sorrow
Meanwhile, the Prophet and Hazrat Abu Bakr could see the polytheists but the polytheists could not see them.
Hazrat Abu Bakr was in panic and sorrowful. He said, “O Messenger of God! I would not feel sorry at all if they killed me. I am only an individual. However, if they harmed you, it would cause the destruction of your ummah!”
The Messenger of God said securely, “Have no Fear, for God is with us”, consoling him.
Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “O Messenger of God! If one of them bends down and looks, he will see us!”
The Messenger of God said in a safe and trusting voice, “O Abu Bakr! What do you think will happen if the third person who is present here along with two of us is God? Do you think you will be caught?” (5) Then, he prayed God to make Hazrat Abu Bakr relieved. (6)
God indicates the incident in the Quran as follows:
”If ye help not (your Leader) (it is no matter): for God did indeed help him; when the unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion "Have no Fear, for God is with us": then God sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of God is exalted to the heights: for God is Exalted in might, Wise.” (7)
The Spider and the Pigeons Keeping Guard
The polytheists who came close the Cave of Thawr said, “Let us search this cave.”
The Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr could hear what they were talking.
One of them approached the entrance of the cave but he returned without looking inside the cave.
The others asked, “Why did you not look inside?”
He said, “I saw two wild pigeons had built a nest on the entrance of the cave. I never think they can be inside!”
Umayya b. Khalaf, a ferocious polytheist, shouted at his friends furiously,
“Why do you still walk around that cave? Do you not see that a spider had woven a web? By God, I think that web had been woven before Muhammad was born!” (8)
Thereupon, they moved away from the cave.
Thus, God Almighty protected His Messenger against Quraysh through the spider and the wild pigeons He appointed!
Days in the Cave
Our beloved Prophet, who entered the cave of Thawr on Thursday night with Hazrat Abu Bakr, stayed in the cave on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They stayed in the cave for three days and nights as a precaution. During this period, the polytheists would think that they had left Makkah and would loosen the search. And it happened like that.
During the period when they hid in the cave, upon the instruction of the Prophet, Abdullah, the son of Hazrat Abu Bakr, walked among the Qurayshis during the day and found out what they were talking and thinking about; at night, he went to the cave and told the Messenger of God what he had heard. He stayed in the cave and returned to Makkah at dawn.
Meanwhile, Amir b. Fuhayra, the slave of Hazrat Abu Bakr, were herding sheep nearby and erasing the tracks of Abdullah; he also took some milk to them.
Thus, three days and nights passed. The search of the Qurayshis for the Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr had loosened. That was the news brought by Hazrat Abdullah.
Meanwhile, as they had agreed beforehand, Abdullah b. Urayqit arrived at the foot of the Thawr Mount with the two camels delivered to him beforehand and his own camel on Monday morning at dawn.
Hazrat Asma Brings Food for the Journey!
A sheep was slaughtered and cooked for the Prophet and the people on the journey. Asma (may God be pleased with her), the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr, put the meat in a leather bag and took it to the cave along with a leather bottle full of water.
Hazrat Asma had forgotten to bring a band or rope to tie the mouth of the leather bag and bottle. She looked around but could not find anything to tie the bags. Then, she took off her waistband and divided it into two. She tied up the leather bag with one piece and the leather bottle with the other. Thereupon, the Messenger of God said, “There are two bands for Asma in Paradise!”
Therefore, Hazrat Asma is called “Dhat an-Nitaqayn [The One with two Waistbands]”. (9)
LEAVING THE CAVE OF THAWR
It was the fourth Monday of the month of Rabiulawwal.
It was time to leave the cave.
Hazrat Abu Bakr presented the better one of his two camels to the Prophet and said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of God! Get on it!”
The Messenger of God said, “I will not get on a camel that I do not own!”
Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “It is yours! May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. Get on it!”
The Messenger of God said, “No, I won’t” “I will not get on it unless you tell me the price you have paid for it!”
Hazrat Abu Bakr had to tell the price of the camel and the Prophet accepted to pay for it.
The Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr got on the camels. Hazrat Abu Bakr also let his freed black slave Amir b. Furayha get on the back of his camel so that he will serve them on the way.
Abdullah b. Urayqit, who was very good at leading the way, was in front of them. They left the Cave of Thawr.
The Prophet Calls out to Makkah
The Prophet was about to leave the holy city he was born in and grew up. He stopped his camel near the place called Hazrawa. He looked at the holy city sadly and said, “By God, you are the best place that God created. You are the most beloved one in the sight of God. There is no city more beloved and beautiful than you for me. If I were not forced, I would never leave you and would not settle anywhere else.” , expressing his love toward Makkah. (10)
Thereupon, God Almighty sent down the following verse to console His Prophet:
“Verily He Who ordained the Qur'an for thee, will bring thee back to the Place of Return.” (11)
They followed an unusual way toward Madinah in order to make it difficult for the enemies to follow them and to deceive them. First, they rode south, toward Tihama, which is near the Red Sea. Then, they turned north. They proceeded on the way parallel to the coast. They rode the camels until Tuesday noon without stopping. They stopped to have a rest on Tuesday in a shade. The Prophet started to sleep. Hazrat Abu Bakr was waiting like a guard next to him. He also watched around. He saw a shepherd at a distance. He went over to him. He took some milk from the shepherd and brought it to the Prophet. He gave it to the Messenger of God when he woke up. The Prophet drank it thirstily. (12)
Milkless Goat Gives Milk
Strange incidents took place during the journey.
They went over to the shepherd and asked for some milk. He said, “I have nothing with me that can give milk except that goat. It is pregnant and went dry.”
The Messenger of God reached his hands out to the udders of the goat. He rubbed them with his hands. The udders got full of milk. They all drank the milk.
The shepherd was astonished. He said, “Tell me for God’s sake, who are you? I have never met someone like you!”
The Messenger of God said, “I will tell you if you keep it a secret!”
When the shepherd said, “OK. I will.”, the Prophet said, “I am Muhammad, the Messenger of God!”
The shepherd was more astonished now. He said, “So, you are the person that the Qurayshis say, ‘He went astray. Is that right?”
The Prophet said, “That is what they say!”
Thereupon, the shepherd said, “I witness that you are a prophet! What you have brought is true. Only a prophet can do what you are doing. I will follow and obey you.” Thus, he became a Muslim.
The shepherd said that he also wanted to go with them. However, the Messenger of God said, “You cannot do it today. When you hear that I become successful, then, come and join us.” (13)
An Infertile Goat Gives Milk
The Messenger of God arrived at Qudayd, their third place of resting. While they were passing by the tent of Abu Mabad, they asked, “Do you have any dates or other food?” in order to buy.
Abu Mabad was not there. His wife, Atika Umm Mabad said, “No, there is no food.”
The Messenger of God saw a skinny goat around. He asked, “Does she not have any milk?”
Umm Mabad said, “She does not have any blood in her body; how can she give milk?”
The Prophet said, “If you let me, I will milk her.”
Umm Mabad knew very well that it was impossible for the goat which was too weak to go grazing to give milk. However, she thought it would not be a nice act to say no to a guest; so, she said, “OK. Milk her if you can!”
The Messenger of God touched the waist of the goat and rubbed her udder. Then, he said, “Bismillahirrah¬ma¬nir¬rahim” and prayed. After that, he said, “Bring a pan and milk her.”
They milked her. The big pan was full of milk!
The Prophet made Umm Mabad and the other people who were there drink as much as they wanted. Then, he drank himself. They milked again and drank it. They milked for the third time and left the milk to Umm Mabad.
Then, they set off.
After a while, Abu Mabad came. When he saw the milk in the pan, he asked, “What is this?”
Umm Mabad said, “A blessed person came here. He said this and that. He milked the goat like this.”, telling him about what happened in detail.
Abu Mabad said, “There is some wisdom behind it. What was he like, what was his face like?”
Umm Mabad said, “He was of medium height; he had black brows and eyes; he had a luminous face; he was a fine man.” She described him in detail.
Thereupon, Abu Mabad said, “By God, the person you have described is the Prophet that emerged in Quraysh. If I had been here, I would have obeyed him and asked him to go with him!” (14)
Umm Mabad, who was ordered not to slaughter that goat (or sheep) by the Messenger of God, said,
“That goat (or sheep), whose udders the Messenger of God rubbed, lived until the drought that took place on the 18th year of Hijrah, during the caliphate of Umar. When the animals could not find to eat anything on the ground, we milked her in the morning and in the evening!” (15)
Things Happen to Suraka
That Quraysh promised one hundred camels to those who captured the Prophet was heard by Banu Mudlij belonging to the tribe of Kinana and living in that area. They heard that four people traveled through the way on the coast on camels.
Suraka b. Malik, who was very brave and a very good tracker, was impressed by the reward and started to follow the Messenger of God. Acting upon what he heard, Suraka found their footprints soon. He approached the Prophet on his horse, which was galloping. There was only a small distance left. Hazrat Abu Bakr started to fear when he saw that Suraka was coming.
The Prophet said, “Have no Fear, for God is with us”, as he said in the cave and looked at Suraka. The legs of Suraka’s horse sank into the sand up to its knees. When the horse got out of the sand, Suraka started to follow them again. However, the legs of Suraka’s horse sank deep into the sand again and something like smoke came out of the ground. Then, he understood that neither he nor anybody else could touch the Prophet!
He said, “O Muhammad! Pray for me so that I will be saved. I will not touch you! I will not tell about you to the people who follow you!” (16)
The Messenger of God prayed for him. God Almighty accepted his prayer and saved Suraka from that difficult situation.
Suraka went over to the Prophet and introduced himself. He wanted a written document of security since he felt that Islam would be sovereign in the future. The Messenger of God gave him a written document of security.
According to a narration, Hazrat Abu Bakr, (17) according to another narration, Amir Ibn Fuhayra wrote the document. (18)
When Suraka received the document, he said, “O Messenger of God! Give me orders! I will do whatever you want!”
The Messenger of God said, “Go and prevent others from following us!”
Upon this instruction, Suraka returned at once. He said to the followers from Quraysh, “I searched this part. There is nobody around. Let us search somewhere else.” Thus, he sent them away from that place. (19)
It was a manifestation of Qadar that Suraka, who mounted on his horse to capture or kill the Prophet and followed the Prophet in the morning, became a guard of the Prophet and tried to protect him from the enemies who were following him in the evening!
Afterwards, when Abu Jahl found out about what Suraka had done got furious and uttered a satirical stanza against him.
Suraka, who was a witness of the miracle of the Prophet, answered him back with this stanza: “If you had seen how the legs of my horse sank deep into the sand, you would have believed in the prophethood of Muhammad, too.” (20)
In the eight year of Hijrah, Suraka visited the Prophet while he was returning from the Battle of Hunayn with his document and became a Muslim; he received compliments from the Prophet!
After Suraka left, the Messenger of God and his friends continued to ride in the hot desert. It was as if flames were coming down from the sky and sparks were coming out of the earth!
Meanwhile, a shepherd saw them. He rushed to Makkah to tell the Qurayshis about them. However, when he arrived in the city, he forgot why he had come to the city. No matter how hard he tried, he could not remember. Then, he had to return. Afterwards, he realized that someone made him forget about it! (21)
Hazrat Zubayr Meets the Prophet
Hazrat Zubayr b. Awwam was going to Makkah from Madinah with the trade caravan of Damascus. He met the Messenger of God on the way. He gave the Messenger of God and Hazrat Abu Bakr each a white Damascus mashlah (a kind of long garment) to wear. He told them that one of the Muslims of Madinah said, “The Messenger of God and his friends are late.” Thereupon, the Messenger of God started to move faster. (22)
Hazrat Zabayr b. Awwam, who went to Makkah to settle his business, migrated to Madinah after that.
Buraydah becomes a Muslim
Traveling on the camel fast, the Messenger of God and his friends reached the place called Amim.
The homeland of Banu Sahm was near that place. Having heard that Quraysh promised one hundred camels for the Prophet, Bu¬raydah b. Husayb, approached the Prophet with about eighty men.
The Messenger of God asked him, “Who are you?”
When he said, “I am Buraydah” the Prophet said to Hazrat Abu Bakr, “O Abu Bakr! Our state has become cool and nice.” (In Arabic, Buraydah is derived from the word ‘bard’, which means coolness, cold.)
The Prophet asked Buraydah again, “What is the name of your tribe?”
He answered “The tribe of Aslam”.
Thereupon, the Prophet said to Hazrat Abu Bakr, “O Abu Bakr! We have reached salvation (peace)!” (In Arabic, Aslam is derived from the word ‘silm’, which means peace.)
The Prophet asked, “From which clan of Aslam?”
Buraydah said, “From Banu Sahm”.
Thereupon the Prophet said to Hz, Abu Bakr, “O Abu Bakr! Your arrow has come out.” (In Arabic ‘Sahm’ means arrow.)
The Messenger of God never associated things with inauspiciousness or bad luck (tatayyur). (23) He always associated things with good luck. Therefore, he regarded it as something good that he met Buraydah.
Admiring at the sedateness and dignity in the words and attitudes of the Prophet and his fluency, Buraydah asked him, “Who are you?”
The Messenger of God said, “I am Muhammad, the son of Abdullah who is the son of Abdulmut¬ta¬lib, and the Messenger of God.” He asked Buraydah to become a Muslim.
Buraydah accepted his invitation at once, embraced Islam together with the people around him, and uttered kalima ash-shahada. (24)
The Prophet stayed there at night.
In the morning, Buraydah said, “O Messenger of God! It is not appropriate to enter Madinah without a flag!”
Then, he removed his turban and tied it to the head of his spear. He carried it walking in front of the Prophet until they entered Madinah.
The Messenger of God stated the following about Buraydah: “One of my Companions will die in a country. On the Day of Judgment, he will be the light of that country and the leader of the people of that country.” (25)
In fact, Buraydah made great sacrifices for Islam, went to Khorasan with the warriors of Islam, and died in Merv. (26)
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 128-129.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid., V. 2, p. 128-129; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 227-228; Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 332; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 245; Ibn Sayyid, Uyunu’l-Athar, V. 1, p. 181.
3. al-Anfal, 30
4. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 228; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 260; Ibn Sayyid, Uyunu’l-Athar, V. 1, p. 182.
5. Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 106; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 1, p. 4.
6. Isfahani, Dalail, p. 278.
7. at-Tawba, 40.
8. Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 260.
9. Ibn Hisham, ibid., V. 2, p. 131; Ibn Sa’d, ibid., V. 1, p. 229; Bukhari, ibid., V. 2, p. 332; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 247.
10. Ibn Sayyid, Uyunu’l-Athar, V. 1, p. 181; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 2, p. 176.
11. al-Qasas, 85.
12. Muslim, Sahih, V. 8, p. 236; Isfahani, Dalail, p. 279.
13. Isfahani, ibid., p. 279.
14. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 230-231; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 259; Ibn Say¬yid, ibid., V. 1, p. 188.
15. Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 2, p. 220.
16. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 134; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 232; Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 332-333; Ibn Sayyid, Uyunu’l-Athar, V. 1, p. 184-185.
17. Ibn Hisham, ibid., V. 2, p. 135; Qadi Iyad, ibid., V. 1, p. 687.
18. Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 333; Ibn Sayyid, ibid., V. 1, p. 185.
19. Ibn Sa’d, ibid., V. 1, p. 232; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 2, p. 219-22; Qadi Iyad, ibid., V. 1, p. 687.
20. Halabi, ibid., V. 2, p. 220.
21. Qadi Iyad, ibid., V. 1, p. 688; Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektubat, p. 145.
22. Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 333.
23. “Tatayyur” means to regard things especially the flight patterns and sounds of birds as inauspicious or unlucky.
24. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 4, p. 241-242; Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, V. 4, p. 471; Ibn Athir, Usdu’l-Ghaba, V. 1, p. 176.
25. Ibn Esir, ibid., V. 1, p. 176.
26. Ibn Sa’d, ibid., V. 4, p. 242; Ibn Esir, ibid., V. 1, p. 175.