The Hijrah is the migration of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ from Makkah to Madinah, and is one of the most significant moments in the history of Islam.
Prior to the migration, the Muslims in Makkah faced severe persecution for following the religion of Islam. They were boycotted, abused, and outcast to the outskirts of Makkah for their beliefs, and were forced to live life in the most horrible conditions for years on end.
Being unable to bear the torture, Muslims were in dire need of a safe haven and a place where they could freely practice their faith in peace and security.
This distant hope was however to soon become a reality after groups of people in the city of Yathrib, or what we now know as Madinah, began to embrace Islam.
The Muslims of Madinah soon visited the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and promised him security and safety for the Muslims were they to migrate. They gave their allegiance to the Prophet ﷺ and thus the believers of Makkah began to make the journey. Within two months, almost all the Muslims of Makkah had migrated.
However, the Prophet ﷺ himself stayed behind, awaiting the specific permission of Allah to leave. Once he received permission, he rushed to the house of Abu Bakr in the noon and advised him it was time he was to make the journey. Abu Bakr pleaded if he could accompany the Messenger الصحبة الصحبة to which the Prophet ﷺ replied yes. Abu Bakr burst into tears of joy knowing he was to accompany the Messenger on one of the most important journeys of his life.
That evening a group of leaders of the Quraish met up to devise a plan to bring a halt to the mission of the Prophet ﷺ. They had realized the Muslims were gaining traction in Madinah and devised a plan to end Islam once and for all. And as per the suggestion of Abu Jahal, they agreed to assassinate the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
They elected a representative from each tribe to storm the house of the Prophet ﷺ and assassinate him collectively. That way, no one individual could be held accountable.
It was at this moment, Angel Gibreel descended and informed the Prophet ﷺ to leave immediately. He rushed to the house of Abu Bakr and the two of them quickly set out on two camels that Abu Bakr had prepared previously.
Prior to leaving, the Prophet ﷺ instructed Ali, his cousin, to return all the goods he had been entrusted with to the people of Makkah. And when the assassins broke into the house of the Messenger, they were shocked to see Ali instead.
As the Prophet ﷺ began to make his way out of Makkah, he turned towards the city and bid farewell, saying “I swear by Allah! You are the best of the lands of Allah, and you are the most beloved land to Allah. Had your people not forced me out of you, I would have never left you and would have never resided in any other city but you.”
He then continued with Abu Bakr towards the mountain of Thawr. It was there, where they were to hideout for three nights.
Upon realizing the Prophet’s escape, the leaders of the Quraish set out to find him. They put a bounty of 100 camels on the Prophet and searched for him eagerly. And through the help of an expert desert tracker, they were able to trace the Prophet ﷺ all the way to the base of the Mountain of Thawr.
Abu Bakr could see Abu Jahal and those with him through the crevice of the cave; were they to look down they would be able to see him too. He was overtaken by grief, fearing for the life of his beloved Messenger ﷺ.
The Prophet ﷺ quickly turned to Abu Bakr and reassured him not to be saddened for Allah ﷻ was with them.
Of course, the help of Allah soon ensued and after realizing an intact spider’s web enclosing the cave’s entrance, the search was thwarted and called off.
The following Monday morning, the Prophet ﷺ, and Abu Bakr set out and made their way to Madinah, with the help of a professional guide, taking an unorthodox route.
It is while on their journey that they were soon noticed by a man by the name of Suraqah Ibn Malik on horseback. He quickly set chase behind the Messenger in hopes of being the one to win the bounty. Yet as he approached his horse quickly came to a halt, with its legs sinking into the sand, causing him to fall. He quickly remounted his horse, the same thing happened again three times. He realized that he was doing something grave and that the Prophet ﷺ must have been spiritually protected, he called out to the Prophet ﷺ to grant him safety and protection, to which the Prophet did. He promised the Prophet that he will not disclose his location and returned back to Makkah. He too gave up his search.
After a journey of one week, the Prophet ﷺ arrived in Quba, a city on the borders of Madinah. It was there where he built the first Mosque in Islam, and rested for four days.
And on the Friday of that week, on the 12th of Rabii Al-Awal in the fourteenth year of his Prophethood, the Prophet ﷺ finally entered the city of Madinah. The Ansaar and the Muhajireen flooded the streets as they rushed out to welcome the Messenger. Hundreds if not thousands of men, women, and children, beaming with joy and happiness as they embraced the Prophet ﷺ. His Hijrah was finally complete and after years of persecution in Makkah, Madinah was now declared the new home of the Muslims.
He soon built his sacred Mosque in Madinah and declared the city a sacred precinct. He called upon Allah “O Allah! Make us love Madinah as much as we love Makkah or even more.” And in another narration “O Allah! Bestow on Medina twice the blessings You bestowed on Mecca.”
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