The migration of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) illustrates the principle that everything howsoever coveted by one, ought to be sacrificed for the sake of one's faith or ideal. Worldly estate and effects or any other thing that a man is disposed to value can never take the place of his faith nor can the faith be bartered away for the entire world. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul.
Mecca was the birthplace of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). As the homeland of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of God and his companions, it must have had an attraction for all of them. Then, it had also the house of God, loved and adored by them like the light of one's eye but nothing stood in the way of bidding farewell to their hearts and homes, families and kinsmen. This was due to the fact that the pagans of Mecca would not allow them the freedom of conscience and liberty to practice their faith.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) loved Mecca but he valued his faith more. One was a natural feeling of affection and the other an insatiable thirst of soul. We find the two tenderest feelings of human nature articulately expressed by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) while leaving Mecca.
"What a nice city thou art and how ardently I love thee. Had my people not exiled me, I would have never settled anywhere save in the city." (Tirmidhi, Chap. Fadl Mecca)
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) had, in truth and reality, to leave his homeland in quest of the divine command.
"O my bondmen who believe! Lo! My earth is spacious. Therefore serve Me only." [Qur'an 29:56]
TOWARDS THE CAVE OF "MT. THAWR"
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) stealthily proceeded to the cave of Mt. Thawr. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) instructed his son 'Abdallah to find out the hostile plans and conversations of the Meccans concerning them and then relay these to him. Furthermore, he asked Amir Ibn Fuhayrah, his slave, to feed his flocks of milch ewe by the day and bring food for them in the evening. Asma, his daughter, used to bring food for them at night.
MIRACLE OF LOVE
The flame of love is the light of Heaven that illuminates the soul. It has been, ever since the creation of this world, the most ardent passion of human heart, advising, directing and guiding man along the right path in moments of danger. It is like the worried expression of one mad about something, for the innermost instinct of such a man is never remiss and is able to perceived even the slightest danger to his greedily desired object. Such were the feelings of Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) about the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of God during this journey. It is related that when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) set out for the cave on Mt. Thawr, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) sometimes went ahead of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and then behind him, until the prophet noticed his restlessness and asked, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), what's the matter? Often you come behind me and sometimes you go ahead!" Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) replied, "O Prophet (Peace be upon him) of God, when I think of those pursuing you, I come behind you but then I apprehend an ambuscade so that I go in front of you."
When the two arrived at the cave in Mt.Thawr, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) requested the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to wait until he had searched and cleaned up the cave. So, he went in, explored it and came out after cleaning up. Then he remembered that he had not properly searched one hole. He again asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to wait a bit so he can check it for the second time around. Only then did he allow the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to enter the cave after he had fully convinced himself that it did not harbor wild beasts or reptiles anymore.
THE CELESTIAL ASSISTANCE
After the two companions had entered the cave, a spider spinned its w eb across the mouthof the cave on a bush at t he entrance, concealing the Apostle from those who might look into it. Thereafter came two doves which fluttered over the cave for some time and then sat down to lay eggs there - Allah's are host of the heaven and the earth. [Qur'an 48:7]
THE MOST CRITICAL MOMENT OF HUMAN HISTORY
The most critical moment of the world's history, when the fate of mankind hanged by a thread, drew near as the Qurayshite horsemen on the look out for the two fugitives galloping over the desert came to the cave where the two had secluded themselves. The world was on a standstill, holding its breath in suspense: would a dark and disastrous future lie ahead for humanity or was it to take the most favorable turn? The pursuers, who stood debating among themselves at the mouth of the cave, resolved that nobody could be inside it.
One may think it is fantastic or miraculous but it was how God helped His Prophet (Peace be upon him).
"Then Allah caused His peace of reassurance to descend upon him and supported him with hosts ye cannot see." [Qur'an 9:40]
LO! ALLAH IS WITH US
Peeringly, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) looked over his head. He saw the blood-thirsty warriors of the Quraysh standing at the mouth of the cave. Then he said to his companion with a trembling heart, "O Prophet (Peace be upon him) of God, they will see us if anybody steps forward." "What misgivings have you," replied the Prophet, "about the two with whom the third is Allah?" (Al-Bukhaari, Kitab-ul-Tafsir) It was as if to remind that at this event, the revelation came down from God:
"When they two were in the cave, when he said to his comrade: Grieve not, Lo! Allah is with us." [Qur'an 9:40]
SURAQA FOLLOWS UP THE PROPHET (Peace be upon him)
The Quraysh offered a reward of one hundred camels to anyone who brought back the Prophet (Peace be upon him), dead or alive. On the other hand, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) spent three nights in the cave and then guided by 'Amir Ibn Fuhayrah went along the road by the sea-coast. Suraqa Ibn Malik Ibn Ju'shum heard of the price set by the Quraysh on the head of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and hurried after him. The reward of hundred camels was too tempting for him that he got up on his mare and went after fugitives tracking their footstep. He let his mare run swiftly until he nearly over-took the fugitives. But, lo, his mare stumbled abruptly, and hitherto, he was thrown off. He rose up, composed himself, and remounted the mare, and let her go ahead. Once more, the mare stumbled and he was again thrown off, but nevertheless continued the chase until he could see the three men going ahead. Suddenly, his mare stumbled for the third time, its fore-legs sinking up to the knees on the ground, and he was thrown off once again. He also saw dust rising from the ground like a sandstorm.
Suraqa was now convinced that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was protected against him and he would not in any case triumph over the latter. He called out saying that he was Suraqa Ibn Ju'shum and that he would not inflict any harm to them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) to ask him what he wants from them. Suraqa replied, "Write for me a warrant of security." Thereupon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered 'Amir Ibn Fuhayrah to write the warrant which he wrote on a piece of tanned leather or bone. Suraqa preserved the document forever long as a memento of sorts. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 489-90; Al-Bukhari, Chap. Hijratun Nabi)
The Prophet of God (Peace be upon him) had been driven out of his homeland and the enemy pursuing him was after his blood, but his mind's eye was envisioning the day when his followers would be trampling upon the realms of Ceasars and Chosroes. In those adverse circumstances, in the darkest hour of his life, he made a prediction of the bright times ahead. To Suraqa he said, "Suraqa, how would you feel when you would put on Chosroes' bracelets?"
God has indeed promised succor, victory and prosperity to His Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the triumphant ascendancy of His Religion of Truth.
"He it is who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, however much the disbelievers may averse." [Qur'an 9:33]
Those who cannot see beyond the material agency of causes and effects would shrug their shoulders at this prediction: the Quraysh discarded the forebodings of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as incredulous and inconceivable, but the foreseeing Prophet (Peace be upon him) was peeping into the future:
"Lo! Allah faileth not to keep the tryst." [Qur'an 13:31]
And the events took shape exactly in the same way as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had foretold Suraqa. When Persia was conquered and the tiara, robe and the bracelets of Chosroes were brought to 'Umar, he sent for Suraqa and asked him to put on the royal dress. (Al-Isti'ah, Vol. II, p. 597)
Suraqa took the warrant of security for he was by then convinced of the victory of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He offered some provisions and utensils, but the Prophet (Peace be upon him) accepted nothifrom him. He simply said to Suraqa, "Keep our whereabouts secret."
THE BLESSED HOST
Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) passed by the tent of Umm M'abad, a woman of Khuza'a, who had milk ewe but its udder had dried up owing to drought. God's Messenger (Peace be upon him) wiped its udder with his hand and mentioning the name of God the most High, he prayed that Umm M'abad might have a blessing in her ewe. It then gave a flow of milk. He first gave Umm M'abad and others a drink until all of them were fully satisfied, then he drank knowing everyone was thru. He milked it the second time around and when the vessel was full, left it with her. When Abu M'abad came back and his wife told him about the prodigious happening and the angelic stranger, he replied, "By God, he appears to be the same man of the Quraysh whom they are prowling after."
They continued their journey with the guide until they reached Quba in the vicinity of Madinah. This was Monday, the 12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal. (24th September, 622 A.D.) A new era was indeed commencing, because it was from the start of this year that the Islamic calendar of Hijrah took its humble beginnings!
The Lessons And Examples Can Be Taking From This Period As Follows
If the believer is confident in his spiritual crusade, he will not practice his actions secretly, instead he will make them public; and he will not pay attention to the enemies of his call if he is sure that he can surmount them, as Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) did in his emigration. Such attitude, that of being strong enough coupled with the potency of his conviction will frighten Allah's enemies and put fear in their hearts. There is no doubt that had he Makkans united, they could have beaten Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), but Umar's bravery put fear in the soul of each and everyone of his enemies. Each was afraid that if he were to attempt in stopping Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), his mother would then be bereaved of him, and the evildoers are misers in terms of giving up their lives as they greatly valued their existence in the world.
When the wrongdoers give up hope of resisting the call for truth and reform, and when the believers escape from their hands to become free from injustice, such people scout all means to kill the reformer. This is with the hope that by killing him, they would get rid of the person and and thus terminate his movement. This is the mentality of the evil enemies of reform in every epoch. We have seen and witnessed similar actions in our own lives.
The truthful soldier, who is sincere to the movement, is willing to sacrifice his life in order to protect his leader. In the safety of the leader is the safety of the movement itself. And in his death follows its defeat, destruction, weakness and disintegration. Ali's (May Allah be pleased with him) heroism on the night of the Prophet's emigration, may Allah be pleased with him, sleeping in the Prophet's bed and sacrificing his own life for that of the Messenger's (Peace be upon him), is a spark of the bravery within him. It was not a remote possibility for the swords of the young men of the Quraysh to fall upon his head in lieu of his gesture of covering-up for the Messenger's (Peace be upon him) escape. Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) did not mind that for it was enough for him that Allah's Messenger, the Prophet of the nation (Peace be upon him) and leader of the movement, escapes unscathed for the benefit of Islam and to the dismay of its enemies.
The fact that the polytheists trusted Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) with their possessions, even though they were fighting against him and insisting upon his death, is an evidence that the enemies of the mission, deep in their hearts, believed in the righteousness, honesty, and nobility of the reformer. They believed that he was better off than them in his behavior and that his heart was purer than theirs. But the insensitivity or indifference of their hearts, their stubbornness, and their resolute grip towards their errant customs and beliefs aptly known as resistance to change lured them to fight against him, harm him and finally conspire to kill him.
The decision of a leader of a movement, president of a nation, or reformer to escape from certain assassination attempts is made in order to continue his movement to a broader power base in another place. And such must not be misconstrued as cowardice, running from death, or even unwillingness to sacrifice his body and life for the sake of the message.
The attitude of Abdullah Ibn Abu Bakr proves that the youth can influence the success of the movement. They are the backbone of every reform movement. Their dedication to sacrifice and their endurance helps the mission move swiftly towards victory. We can see that all of the early believers in Islam were young. Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) was forty years old when Allah sent him the message. Abu Bakr was three years younger than him and Umar was younger than both of them. Ali was the youngest of them all. Also younger than Allah's Messenger were Uthman, Abdullah Ibn Masood, Abdul Rahman Ibn Auf, Al-Arqam Ibn Abi Al-Arqam, Saeed Ibn Zaid, Bilal Ibn Rabah, Ammar Ibn Yasar and others (may Allah be pleased with them all).
They were all young and they all carried the burden of the call upon their shoulders. For its sake, they sacrificed and endured torture, pain and death. Through them, Islam became victorious. And through their efforts and the efforts of their Muslim brethren, the state of the rightly guided Caliphs was established. They achieved the magnificent Islamic conquests that facilitated the proliferation of Islam today. And by Islam, Allah has delivered us from the ignorance of being misguided, idolaters, unbelievers and desolate.
The attitude of Aishah and Asmaa (may Allah be pleased with them) during the Messenger's emigration is a proof of the need of the movement for women. They are more sensitive, more zealous, more forgiving and their hearts are purer and softer. A woman, once she believes in something, dismisses any difficulties she may face in spreading her beliefs or inviting people to them. She will do her best to convince her husband, her brothers and her children to accept her beliefs. The jihad of women for the sake of Islam during the Messenger's life is a testimony of excellence. This assures us that the movement of Islamic reformation will remain slow and its effect upon society will be little or insignificant until the women participate in it. Their commitment will result in the raising of a generation of young women with faith, manners, nobility and purity because they are more capable of spreading proper behavior, which our society is in need of, in the community compared to men. Along with this, they're going to be wives and mothers. They did a great service by molding the young companions and their successors. Together they raised that generation with good manners and behavior, and the love of Islam and its Messenger (Peace be upon him). Such generation raised by those women during the Prophet's time came to be known as the most honorable generation in history as a result of their pious intentions, upright behavior, piety in their religion and modesty and moderation in worldly affairs.
Therefore, today, we must realize and reflect upon this fact. We must do our best to make our young women and wives carry the flag of the Islamic movement among the community of women. They account for more than half of the nation's population. We must encourage them to learn Islamic law in reliable institutions reputed for their sound Islamic teachings.
When a considerable number of these young women become knowledgeable in religion, experts in Islamic law, acquainted with Islam's history, affectionate to Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) and are living according to the norms and mores of the mothers of the believers (the Messenger's wives), then we will be able to maintain if not improve the wheels of Islamic reformation. Also, we will be able to draw closer to the day when our Islamic society will be obedient to the rules and legislation of Islam, Allah willing.
The inability of the polytheists to see Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) and his companion (May Allah be pleased with him) while they were in the Cave of Thaur, even though they were held next to its mouth, and what the narrations say about the spider's web and the birds having laid eggs near the mouth of the cave are examples of Allah's divine care towards His Messengers, His workers and beloved ones. Due to Allah's mercy for His slave, He did not allow the polytheists to put an end to the Prophet's life or his mission, as Allah sent him to be a mercy for all of mankind. Similarly, Allah is preparing His sincere slaves to become accustomed to the fact that Allah is going to be grateful to them and He will not abandon them much more fail them in times of hardship or when they are weary and feeling down and out. He will always save them in critical situations. Most of the time, He will deceive the vision of those who are waiting for them in order to keep them from being inflicted with evil and treachery. This is evident in Allah's rescue of the Messenger (Peace be upon him) and his companion (May Allah be pleased with him) when the polytheists had surrounded them in the cave, a concretization and realization of Allah's words;
"Verily We support our Messengers and those who believe, in the world and on the Day of Witness:" [Qur'an 40:51] "Lo! Allah defends those who believe" [Qur'an 22:38]
Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) feared that he and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would be discovered in the cave. This is an example of how a sincere soldier of truth should behave with respect to his honest leader upon perception of danger. The soldier should feel both frightened and worried. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was not afraid for his own life. If he was, then in the first place he would not have accompanied Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) in this dangerous emigration knowing that the least punishment he could merit once caught would be death. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) feared for the noble Messenger's life and for the future of Islam should the Messenger (Peace be upon him) fall into the hands of the polytheists.
The Messenger (Peace be upon him) eased Abu Bakr's (May Allah be pleased with him) worries by saying, "O Abu Bakr, what is your thinking of two with whom Allah is their third?" This is an example of complete trust in Allah, confidence in His support, and depending upon Him in times of hardship. It is a clear proof of the truthfulness of the Messenger (Peace be upon him) in his claim to be a Prophet. In the most critical situation he showed his confidence that Allah, the One who sent him with guidance and as a mercy to the people, would not fail him at such a time. Can anyone outside of a genuine prophet display such magnitude of confidence in Allah? In such a situation, the great divide, the difference between a real reformer to that of a pretender prevailed and showed. The hearts of the sincere believers are always filled with their happiness in Allah as well as their confidence in his victory. The others, those who pretend, fall apart in times of fear, uncertainty, danger and difficulty, and are left without a friend or supporter in Allah.
An incident involving Suraqah and the Messenger (Peace be upon him), when Suraqah caught up with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and was powerless to reach him, confirmed if not provided proof of the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). At such a time, the legs of Suraqah's mare were sinking into the sand while he headed towards the Prophet (Peace be upon him), but when Suraqah dismounted and directed the mare towards Makkah, she stood up from her place. When once again he tried to prod her towards the Messenger (Peace be upon him), the horse's powerlessness resumed and it stumbled. Could this be possible to anyone other than the messenger who is subject to Allah's help? Certainly, not. Suraqah understood this and called upon the Messenger to grant him safety. He acknowledged that the Prophet was divinely protected and that no man would be able to surmount the protection of Allah. Thus, Suraqah was pleased with the loss of the bounty and the declaration of the messenger's promise to him of the bracelets of Chosroes, the King of Persia.
The Messenger's (Peace be upon him) promise to Suraqah of the bracelets of Chosroes constitutes another miracle because a man who seems to be fleeing from his people rarely conceives that he will conquer a land like Persia and take the treasures of Chosroes, unless, of course, if one is a messenger. The Messenger's (Peace be upon him) promise to Suraqah was fulfilled. Suraqah asked Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) to fulfill the messenger's promise when he saw the bracelets of Chosroes in the booty. Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) personally placed the bracelets on Suraqah while all of the companions watched. He thanked Allah, the One Who stripped Chosroes of his bracelets, and made Suraqah Ibn Jasham (May Allah be pleased with him), the bedouin, wear them. One after another, miracles took place during the emigration in order to strengthen the believers'faith after seeing and experiencing them. Such miracles also ascertained to those who received the earlier revelations, who have denied or hesitated to believe in the Prophet (Peace be upon him), certain that he was the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds.