Episode 25: Emigration to Madinah
Thanks to the allegiance and support offered by the Ansaar, the Muslims found a new rock of refuge. The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him commanded the Muslims in Makkah to emigrate from Makkah and join their brothers-in-faith, the Ansaar, in Madinah. He told his companions, “God has provided to you some brethren and homes where you will
live in safety.” So the Muslims departed, one small group after another, from Makkah to Yathrib, leaving the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him behind in Makkah in anticipation of the command of Allah as to when he should leave the city. But it was not easy to emigrate as the Quraysh decided at once to take stringent measures against them. The pagan Quraysh did everything they could to stop the exodus such as creating obstacles along the way of the emigrants to prevent their departure. The Muslims, though, were equally determined to leave at all costs. Some, like Abu Salama, had departed alone, leaving their wives and children, while others, like Suhayb, had to give up their life-long earnings before leaving Makkah. Umm Salama relates the following about her and her husband's departure: “When Abu Salama had made up his mind to set out for Madinah, he saddled his camel and mounted me on it with my son Salama. Then, taking hold of the camel’s halter, he went ahead. When some of the men belonging to Bani al-Mughari saw him, they came near us saying, “It is alright so far as you are concerned, but how can we allow your wife to go with you?” They snatched the camel’s headstall from his hand and took me with them. At this crucial point, Banu ‘Abdul Asad, the clansmen of Abu Salama, got angry. They said: ‘By God, you have torn her from our brother, but we will not allow our son to go with her.” A scuffle started between them for the child Salama, until his arm was dislocated, and Bani Asad took him away leaving me with Bani al-Mughira while my husband went away to Madinah. Thus, all the three of us, my self, my husband and my son, were separated. I used to go out every morning to Abtah weeping till nightfall. A whole year passed in this manner when one of my cousins from Al-Mughira took pity on me and said to Bani al-Mughira: “Why don’t you let this poor woman go? You have separated her from her husband and son.” So they said to me: “You can go to your husband if you like.” Then Banu Asad reunited me with my son. I saddled my camel and taking the child with me, set out for Madinah in search of my husband accompanied by not a blessed soul with me. When I arrived at Tan’im I happened to meet ‘Uthman Ibn Talha of Bani ‘Abdul-Dar who asked me
where I intended to go. I replied that I was going to my husband in Medinah. He asked if I had anybody with me to which I said in reply, ‘None save this child and God.’
He said, ‘By God, it is not easy for you to reach your destination’. He took hold of the camel’s rope and went ahead leading it. I swear, I have never met a man nobler than he. Whenever we had to stop, he used to kneel the camel and withdraw; after I had got down, he used to unload the camel, tie it to a tree and go away to take rest under a tree. In the evening, he used to saddle the camel and load it, and then withdrew asking me to ride; he came back after I had mounted and taking the halter in his hand, he went ahead to the next destination…thus he escorted me until I reached Madinah. When he saw Quba, the habitation of Bani ‘Amr Ibn ’Auf, he said, ‘Your husband is in this village. Now go to him with the blessing of God.” Thus he bade me farewell and went off on his way back to Makkah.” She also used to say that no family in Islam suffered the hardships the way that the family of Abu Salama did. (Ibn Kathir, Vol.2, PP.215-17).
When Suhayb tried to leave for Madinah, the disbelieving Quraysh said to him, “You came to us as a destitute beggar and have grown rich among us, and now you want to go away safely with your life and wealth. By God, it shall never be so!” Suhayb asked, “Would you allow me to go if I give my property to you?” When they replied in the affirmative, Suhayb said, “I will give you the whole of it.”
When the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him was told about the incident, he exclaimed, “Suhayb has made a profit! Suhayb has made a profit!” (Ibn Kathir, Vol.2, P.233)
The emigrants to Medinah during this period were ‘Umar, Talha, Hamza, Zayd Ibn Haritha,’ Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf, Zubayr Ibn al-Awwam, Abu Hudhayafa, ‘Uthman Ibn’ Affan and several other companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all). Thereafter, the emigrants trickled away one by one. The only ones left in Makkah, besides the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him, Abu Bakr and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) were either those who are detained because of some restraints or those who had fallen victims of their own shortcomings. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 470-79)