Episode 27: Prophet's Emigration
The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him came to Abu Bakr and told him that God had given him permission to emigrate from Makkah. Abu Bakr exclaimed, “Together, O Prophet (peace be and blessings upon him) of God?”; for he was anxious to keep him company.” Then Abu Bakr presented two camels he had been keeping for the purpose. ‘Abdullah Ibn Urayqit was hired by Abu Bakr to act as a guide. The emigration of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him illustrates how everything howsoever coveted by one, can be sacrificed for the sake of one’s faith or ideals. 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 soul. Makkah was the birthplace of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. As the homeland of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him of God and his companions, it was very dear to them. It also had the house of God, loved and adored by them like the light of one’s eye. But nothing stood in the way of their bidding farewell to their hearts and homes, families and kinsmen. This was due to the fact that the pagans of Makkah would not allow them the freedom of conscience and liberty to practice their faith. The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him loved Makkah 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 and blessings upon him while leaving Makkah.
“No city is sweeter to me than you, are and how ardently I love you. Had my people not exiled me, I would never have lived anywhere else.” (Tirmidhi, Chap. Fadl Makkah)
The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him had, in truth, to leave his homeland to fulfill his Lord's 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 and blessings upon him and Abu Bakr stealthily proceeded to the cave of Mt. Thawr. Abu Bakr instructed his son ‘Abdullah to find out the hostile plans and conversations of the Makkans 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. Abu Bakr exhibited great concern for the Prophet of God peace be and blessings upon him during this journey. It is related that when the Prophet peace be and blessings 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 and blessings upon him and then behind him, until the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him 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 replied, “O Prophet peace be and blessings 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 they arrived at the cave in Mt. Thawr, Abu Bakr requested the Prophet peace be and blessings 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 and blessings 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 and blessings upon him to enter the cave after he had fully convinced himself that it did not harbor wild or dangerous beasts.