The Great Iimmigration

The new faith found new grounds to stand firmly an. Now the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered his adherents to flee Mecca, for the purpose of preserving their faith, and to set out in the direction of Madinah.

Secretly, the groups of the migrants began to arrive in the city of faith. In the heart of the night, they moved towards Madinah, leaving behind them their property and houses for the sake of Allah(45)

Fearing the consequences of the immigration, the Quraish tried to prevent same of the faithful from going to Madinah. In that, they achieved same success.

Then came the day when Allah allowed His Prophet (s.a.w) to immigrate to the blessed land. That was a consequence of a meeting held by the chiefs of the Quraish at the hall of council to settle the matter of the Prophet (s.a.w.) once and far all. There, conflicting views were expressed. One said: Draw up new agreements against him. Another proposed killing him. A third one advised them to turn him out of Mecca.

A third proposal was brought forward which won the consensus of the participants in the meeting. The proposal was that a young men should be picked from every clan of the Quraish, including Bani Hashim. They would be charged with the task of killing the Prophet (s.a.w.) with their swords. They would strike their blow together. As no specific man could be identified as the murderer of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his blood would he shed, and so Bani Hashim would not seek vengeance.

Allah, the Mast High, revealed to His Messenger their plot:

"And when those who disbelieved devised plans against you that they might confine you or slay you or drive you away; and they devised plans and Allah too had arranged a plan; and Allah is the best of planners".

Holy Qur'an (8:30)

The Quraish wanted to execute the plan at nightfall, but Abu-Lahab proposed the break of dawn as mast suitable. They posted guards around the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.) so that he would not slip out of their hands.

Ordering Ali (a.s.) to sleep in his bed and wrap him in his cloak, the Prophet (s.a.w.) made his way among them reciting the holy verse:

"And We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them, then We have covered them over so that they do not see."

Holy Qur'an (36:9)

In a certain place, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) met Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafa(46), and, then, both of them went into hiding in a cave on Mt. Thawr.

In the early morning, the young men raided the house and swept into the Prophet's bedroom. Ali (a.s.) sprang to his feet and asked them angrily, "What do you want?"

"Where is Muhammad?" , they inquired.

"Have you placed me as a watchman on him?" Ali retorted.

"Haven't you threatened to expel him from your city? He has left of his own will." (47)

They angrily turned to Abu-Lahab and beat him, saying, "You have been deceiving us all the night!" They set out for the surrounding mountains in search of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Abu Karz, renowned for his skill in tracking footprints through the desert led them, following the tracks of the Prophet (s.a.w.), to the cave. "He could never have gone farther. He must either have ascended to heaven or sunk into the earth!',(48)

They examined the entrance to the cave. A spider had spun its web on the whole mouth of the cave. "Muhammad could not have hidden here", they thought and they departed.

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) remained in the cave three nights. When he was sure that the Quraish had given up their pursuit, he set out for Madinah, accompanied by a guide whom he had hired from Mecca.

After a few days they arrived at a place called Quba, outside Madinah. There, he was received by Kulthum bin al- Hadm, an old man from the clan of Amru bin Awf.(49)

During his stay there, the Prophet (s.a.w.), built the mosque of Quba. He waited for Ali bin Abi-Talib, to whom he had written earlier asking him to hand back the articles that were entrusted to him to their owners and then join him. Acting upon the Prophet's orders, Ali (a.s.) bought camels on which he carried Fatimah his mother, Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Fatimah daughter of al-Zubair bin Abdul-Muttalib, and Fatimah the daughter of Hamzah. Before leaving, he ordered the weak among the faithful to immigrate to Madinah by night.(50)

When Ali's caravan reached Quba, the Prophet (s.a.w.) embraced Ali (a.s.) and broke into tears in sympathy with him. Ali was worn-out at the end of the tiresome journey.

Only two days after Ali's arrival at Quba the Prophet (s.a.w.) mounted his camel on his way to Madinah. "O Messenger of Allah", the clan of Amru bin Awf, gathering around him, said, "Stay with us. We are diligent and filled with fortitude. We will take up arms and protect you.".

"Leave her", he pointed to his she-camel, "go her own way. She will decide."(51) The helpers (Ansar) hurried towards him making a circle round the camel. The Prophet (s.a.w.) insisted on making way for his camel. At noon, of that day, a Friday, the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived at the residences of the clan of Salim. They urged him to dismount there. The camel stopped and sank to the ground. He dismounted and went into their mosque, which they had built before the Prophet's arrival, and lead them in prayer. He delivered a sermon, the first one after his immigration. Then, once again, proceeded, flanked by the crowds of the faithful.

In expression of their overwhelming happiness, the women and children went up the roofs and cried loudly and repeatedly "Allahu-Akbar". The Prophet had arrived in Madinah and the people hospitably and joyfully received him.

The Prophet could hardly pass a house without their people coming out and entreating him to stay with them, "O Messenger of Allah, come to power, mightiness and wealth." In response, the Prophet (s.a.w.) thankfully smiled at them pointing to his she-camel: "Leave her go her own way. She will decide." The camel moved on, but, then, at a certain place she sank. It was at the door of the house of Abu-Ayyub, Khalid bin Zaid al-Ansari that she stopped and that was the spot where the Prophet's mosque was then built.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) dismounted, and the wife of Abu Ayyub hurried to the saddle and took it from the back of the camel into her house. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was, by now, the guest of Abu-Ayyub, may Allah be pleased with him-. He remained there till the mosque was raised and a circle of houses was built around it.