23 October 2017 11:08 PM

Prophet Muhammad's Hijra

Sunday، 02 October 2016 - 01:36 PM

The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Madina, in 622 CE. In May 622 CE, after being warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly left his home in Mecca to emigrate to Yathrib, 320 km (200 mi) north of Mecca, along with his companion Abu Bakr. Yathrib was soon renamed Al-Madina Al-Monawara.

The Hijra is also often identified erroneously with the start of the Islamic calendar, which was set to Julian 16 July 622.

Muhammad's Hijra

In Mecca, at the pilgrimage season of 620, Muhammad met six men of the Banu Khazraj from Madina, propounded to them the doctrines of Islam, and recited portions of the Quran. Impressed by this, the six embraced Islam,and at the Pilgrimage of 621, five of them brought seven others with them. These twelve informed Muhammad of the beginning of gradual development of Islam in Madina, and took a formal pledge of allegiance at Muhammad's hand, promising to accept him as a prophet, to worship none but one God, and to renounce certain sins such as theft, adultery, and murder. This is known as the "First Pledge of al-Aqaba". At their request, Muhammad sent with them Mus‘ab ibn 'Umair to teach them the instructions of Islam. Biographers have recorded the considerable success of Mus`ab ibn `Umair in preaching the message of Islam and bringing people under the umbrella of Islam in Madina.

The next year, at the pilgrimage of 622, a delegation of around 75 Muslims of the Banu Aws and Khazraj from Madina came, and in addition to restating the formal promises, they also assured Muhammad of their full support and protection if the latter would migrate to their land. They invited him to come to Madina as an arbitrator to reconcile among the hostile tribes. This is known as the "second pledge at al-Aqabah", and was a 'politico-religious' success that paved the way for his and his followers' immigration to Madina. Following the pledges, Muhammad encouraged his followers to migrate to Madina, and in a span of two months, nearly all the Muslims of Mecca migrated to Madina.

The Migration

According to Muslims tradition, when he received divine direction to depart from Mecca, Muhammad began taking preparation and informed Abu Bakr Al Sedeik of his plan. On the night of his departure, Muhammad's house was besieged by men of the Quraysh who planned to kill him in the morning. At the time, Muhammad possessed property of the Quraysh given to him in trust, so he handed it over to Ali Ibn Abi Talib and directed him to return it to its owners, and asked him to lie down on his bed assuring him of God's protection. It is said that when Muhammad emerged from his house, he recited the ninth verse of surah Ya Sin of the Quran and threw a handful of dust at the direction of the besiegers, causing the besiegers to be unable to see him. Soon Muhammad joined Abu Bakr, left the city, and the two took shelter in a cave outside the city. Next morning, the besiegers were frustrated to find ‘Ali in Muhammad's place. Fooled and thwarted by Muhammad's plan, they rummaged the city in search for him, and some of them eventually reached the threshold of the cave, but success eluded them. They did not enter the cave because there was an unbroken spider's web at the entrance. When the Quraysh came to know of Muhammad's escape, they announced heavy reward for bringing Muhammad back to them, alive or dead. Unable to resist this temptation, pursuers scattered in all directions. After staying for three days, Muhammad and Abu Bakr resumed their journey and were pursued by Suraqa bin Malik. But each time he neared Muhammad's party, his horse stumbled and he finally abandoned his desire of capturing Muhammad. After eight days' journey, Muhammad entered the outskirts of Medina on 24 May 622, but did not enter the city directly. He stopped at a place called Quba', a place some miles from the main city, and established a mosque there. After a four-day stay at Quba', Muhammad along with Abu Bakr continued their migration to Medina, participated in their first Friday prayer on the way, and upon reaching the city, were greeted cordially by its people.

 

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