Written by: Shazia Chowdhury


From the Hijrah until the Prophet Muhammad settled in Madinah


Quraysh found out that there were some people from Yathrib (Madinah) who became Muslims, so they intensified their persecution of the believers in Makkah. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked these people to migrate to Madinah secretly, apart from Umar. When the Quraysh figured that Muslims were being honoured and protected in Madinah, they met in the Daar an-Nadwah to plan how they could kill Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

They chose a strong man from each tribe and wanted all those men to kill him. This way, the responsibility would be shared among all of them, so they would have to accept the diyah (blood-money). The young men who were charged with the killing of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ met at his door on the night of Hijrah, waiting for him to come out so that they could kill him.

That night, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ didn’t sleep in his own bed, he had asked Ali to sleep in his bed and told him that the following morning, he should return the items that the kufar of Quraysh had entrusted to him for safekeeping to their owners. The fact that the mushrikeen had left items for safekeeping with the Messenger of Allah, even though they were fighting him and were determined to kill him, indicates that the enemies of reform are certain in their hearts that the Messenger of Allah is righteous, trustworthy and honest, and that he is better than them in his conduct and attitude and purer in heart. Their blindness, stubbornness on clinging on tradition misguided beliefs is what made them fight him, plot against him and conspire to kill him.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ left his house and went to the house of Abu Bakr, who had prepared for two mounts for himself and the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bakr hired ‘Abdullah ibn Urayqit ad-Diyali, who was a mushrik, to act as their guide, telling him to avoid the usual route to Madinah and follow another route that the kufar of Quraysh didn’t know.

The Messenger of Allah was 40 years old when his mission began, and Abu Bakr was three years younger than him. On Thursday 1st Rabee’ al-Awwal, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and his Companion Abu Bakr set out. During that time, the Messenger of Allah was 53 years old. No one knew about his migration except for Ali and the family of Abu Bakr. Aishah and Asma, daughters of Abu Bakr prepared food for their journey. Asma tore a piece from her nitaaq (waist-wrapper) and used it to tie up the vessel of food, hence later she was given the nickname, Dhaat an-Nitaaqayn (she of the 2 waist-wrappers).

They set out with their guide, going towards Yemen until they reached the cave of Thawr, in which they stayed for three nights, and ‘Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr stayed with them. He was an intelligent young man who was quick to grasp things. ‘Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr would leave them before dawn and spend the morning with the Quraysh in Makkah as if he had slept among them; He had shared with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ all the plottings, the Quraysh planned against them.

Cave of Thawr

The Quraysh was very upset when they figured, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ escaped assassination, so they went out to look for him. They tried the road towards Yemen and stood at the mouth of the cave of Thawr (this is where Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Abu Bakr hid) but they guessed they weren’t there, as they found a big spider web and birds nesting. It was Allah (SWT) who saved them after being surrounded by the mushrikeen at the cave of Thawr.

Allah (SWT) said:

“We support Our messengers and the believers, in the present life and on the Day when witnesses arise.”

– Qur’an (40:51)

The Quraysh sent words to the tribes encouraging them to look for them and even offered a huge amount of money as an enticement. Before long, the search for the Messenger of Allah and his companions was called off. But, Suraaqah ibn Ja’sham wanted the prize and kept looking for them.

The Messenger of Allah and his companions headed towards the coast of the Red Sea. After they covered a long distance, Suraaqah caught up with them, but when getting closer, his horse’s feet sank into the sand and failed to get up. He tried to make the horse move, but the horse refused. At that point, he was convinced that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a noble Messenger, and asked Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to promise him something if he supported him. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ promised to let him wear the two armbands of Chosroes. Suraaqah returned to Makkah and pretended that he had not found anyone.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his Companions reached Madinah on the 12th day of Rabee’ al-Awwal. People rejoiced when they saw them. Little girls sang: 

“Tala’a al-badru ‘alayna…The full moon has risen upon us from the valley of Al-Wadaa’

We must be grateful so long as the caller calls us to Allah.

O’ you who have been sent among us, you have come with a command that must be obeyed.”

When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was on his way to Madinah, he reached Quba’ which is a village two miles to the south of Madinah. There he laid the foundations for the first mosque to be built in Islam. He stayed there for four days, later on, Friday morning, he went on to Madinah. The time for Jumu’ah, Friday prayer came when he was among Banu Saalim ibn ‘Awf, so he built a mosque there, where the first Jumu’ah prayers in Islam were held, and the first Khutbah, (sermon) in Islam was delivered.

Masjid Quba First Mosque built in Islam

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ then went on to Madinah and the first thing he did was to choose the place where his she-camel sat down to be his mosque. The place belonged to two orphans among the Ansaar. He wanted to negotiate the price with them, and they said “No, we will give it to you, O’ Messenger of Allah” But he insisted on buying it from them for 10 dinars of gold which he paid from the wealth of Abu Bakr.  The Messenger of Allah urged the Muslims to join him in building the mosque, and they hastened to do so. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ carried bricks with them until the mosque was built, with its walls made of bricks and roof made of palm trees.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ established brotherhood between the Muhajireen and the Ansaar. The Muhajiroon were people who had left their wealth and their land for the sake of Allah (SWT), and they had come to Madinah with no worldly goods in their possessions. The Ansaar were rich people with their agriculture, wealth and industry.

The Messenger of Allah gave each Ansaari a brother from among the Muhajireen.  Each Ansaari took his Muhajir brother to his house and offered to share with him everything that he had in his house. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ wrote a covenant between the Muhajireen and the Ansaar, in which he made a friendly agreement with the Jews and assured them in their religion and property. It set out the principles on which the first Muslim state was established, and it contains principles of humanity, social justice, religious tolerance and cooperation in the interest of society, that every student should study, seek to understand and memorize.

The general principles that the historical document included:

  1. Muslim ummah should be united and undivided
  2. Members of the ummah are equal in rights and honour
  3. Ummah should stand firm against evildoing, sin and transgression
  4. Ummah should reach an agreement as to how its enemies are to be dealt with, and no believer should make a peace treaty without consulting other believers
  5. The society is to be based on the best, most correct and strongest system
  6. Those who rebel against the state and its public systems should be fought and not supported
  7. Those who want to live with the Muslims in a cooperative and peaceful manner should be protected, and they should not be oppressed or harmed
  8. Non-Muslims have the right to their own religion and their wealth. They should not be forced to embrace Islam, and their wealth should not be taken from them
  9. Non-Muslims should contribute to the expenses of the state just as Muslims do
  10. Non-Muslims should cooperate with Muslims in warding off threats to the state from all enemies
  11. They should contribute to the state’s defence budget so long as it in a state of war
  12. The state must help those (non-Muslims) who are oppressed, just as it must help every Muslim who is the victim of aggression
  13. Muslims and others must refrain from protecting the enemies of the state and those who help them
  14. If the interests of the ummah are best served by a peace treaty, then all the subjects of the state, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must accept that peace treaty
  15. No person is to be taken to task for the sin of another, and the offender harms no one except himself and his family
  16. Freedom of movement within the state and to areas outside it is guaranteed and protected by the state
  17. No protection is to be given to a sinner or wrongdoer
  18. The society is based on a foundation of cooperation in righteousness and piety, not in sin and transgression

These principles are supported and protected by the people’s belief in Allah (SWT), and their awareness that He is watching, and that He takes care of those who are sincere and honest, and by the head of the state represented by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

“This is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it…”

– Qur’an (6:153)


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