It was after the pledges of Aqabah that the idea of migrating to Yasrib was born in the heart of the Holy Prophet PBUH, but there were also strong reasons, which compelled him to leave Makkah for Yasrib.
The people ot Makkah were generally hard and ill tempered. On the other hand, the people of Yasrib were tender hearted. and considerate, so Islam could find a more suitable ground in Yasrib then at Makkah in its early period of expansion.
The Holy Prophet PBUH was hated and despised by his own people in Makkah, but he was invited by the people of Yasrib to come to their city.
The priests of Makkah opposed Islam from the very beginning, because the Success of Islam meant their own destruction, as Islam is opposed to idol worship. In Yasrib, however, there was no priest class, so it was easier to preach Islam there.
In Yasrib the two’tribes of Aus and Khazraj, who had been at war with each other looked for a strong leader who could establish peace in their land, so they invited the Holy Prophet PBUH to come to their city.
The Jews, who were living at Yasrib, had been informed of the coming of the Holy Prophet PBUH as a supporter of their scriptures, so they were eager to receive him.
The aggressive attitude of the Quraish and their persecution was an important factor in the migration to Yasrib, specially the death of Abu Talib who had been his protector from the very beginning.
After the pledges of Aqabah, the Muslims realized that the people of Yasrib were ready to welcome them and there was a place where they could seek refuge.
b) Event of Migration
When the unbelievers came to know of these developments, they redoubled their persecution of the Holy Prophet PBUH and his followers. The Prophet PBUH, therefore, advised them to emigrate to Yasrib secretly. Thereafter family after family left in this manner. By and by, all the companions of the Holy Prophet PBUH except Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Ali succeeded in migrating to Yasrib.
The Quraish held a meeting in the council hall, Dar-un-Nadwa, where it was decided that one person from each tribe should be selected who would simultaneously attack the Holy Prophet PBUH and kill him. This way their object would be achieved and the Banu Hashim would not be able to take revenge.
The Holy Prophet PBUH was informed of this plan of his enemies by Allah and was told to leave Makkah that same night.
“Remember how the unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or stay thee, or get thee out (of thy home) They plot and plan, and Allah too plans, But the best of planners is Allah.” (8:30)
The Holy Prophet PBUH asked Ali to sleep on his bed, and to return the valuables entrusted to the Prophet PBUH by various people. Then quietly, he left the house unnoticed by anyone Accompanied by Abu Bakr. he made his way to Yasrib.
As his enemies were looking for him everywhere. he stayed in the cave of Saur for three days and nights. Next morning. when the chiefs of Makkah found Ali in Hazrat Muhammad’s bed they were furious Determined more than ever to find him they offered a huge reward of one hundred camels for his capture, dead or alive.
Many young men of the Qurarsh went out in search of the Holy Prophet and came close to the cave. Hazrat Abu Bakr trembled with fear and expected them to break into the cave. He said to the Holy Prophet PBUH, “If anyone of them looks down, he will find us.” To this the Holy Prophet PBUH answered: “O Abu Bakr, how can you fear for two men whose constant companion is Allah Himself?”.
This incident is mentioned in the Quran in the following words, “For Allah did indeed help him, When the unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: The two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, ‘Have no fear, for Allah is with us (9: 40)
Some members of the Quraish party climbed upto the cave and the foremost of them turned around as he saw the cave entrance. His companion asked him why he did not go into the cave. He answered “lts entrance is covered with cobwebs and there is a pair of wild pigeons on the threshold. Obviously, no one could have gone in without disturbung the pigeons and destroying the cobwebs.”
The Quraish were further convinced that the cave was empty when they saw its entrance covered with branches growing from a nearby tree. They agreed to leave and called one another to return to Makkah.
During their brief stay at the cave, Abdullah son of Hazrat Abu Bakr brought news of the Quraish and Asma daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr, brought them food. On the third day, when they were sure that the Quraish had given up their search, the Holy Prophet PBUH and Hazrat Abu Bakr continued their journey to Yasrib.
On the way, the Holy Prophet PBUH stopped at Quba, where he was joined by Harrat Ali. Here he built a mosque, which is known as Masjid-e-Quba. After a few days stay in Quba, the Holy Prophet PBUH left for Yasrib on Friday.
On his way, in the quarters of Bani Salim, the Holy Prophet offered his Friday prayers in which he also addressed the people, This was the first Friday address which was delivered by the Holy Prophet PBUH.
The news of the migration of the Holy Prophet PBUH had already reached Yasrib. On their arrival, the Holy Prophet PBUH was greeted with joy by the people of Yasrib who were waiting eagerly for this moment, The chief of every household was eager to offer him hospitality. The Holy Prophet PBUH said that he would stay at the place where his camel stopped. The camel sat in an empty plot of land where now the Masjid-e-Nabawi stands. The plot belonged to two orphan boys. The Holy Prophet PBUH paid the price for it and built on it the mosque with two rooms for his own abode. While the mosque was being built, he stayed in the house of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari.
The name of the city Yasrib was changed to Madinat-un-Nabi which was later shortened to Madinah. This is called the Hijrat, or the emigration of the Holy Prophet PBUH from Makkah to Yasrib. This marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
c) Importance of Migration
The importance of migration can be judged from the fact that the Muslim calender starts from this event and not from any other incident in the life of the Prophet PBUH.
The migration not only completely altered the prevailing conditions of Arabia, but it changed the entire course of human history. Those who embraced Islam before migration used to pray secretly for fear of the unbelievers. As they were weak and in minority and the unbelievers were powerful and strong, it was not possible for them to fight for their faith or to defend themselves from the torture and persecution. It was after migration that Muslims became strong enough to stand against injustice and peisttution.
In Makkah, the Holy Prophet PBUH could not preach his faith as openly as he Wished; whereas, in Madinah, he got the chance to preach and explain his faith and show his followers how to act upon the commandments of Allah. He also got the chance to organize his followers into a disciplined community.
Despite differences of colour, race, social and ‘economic status, Muslims became one nation and Madinah became the place where the Holy Prophet’s PBUH call received response and continued to grow and expand.
The Muslims had to leave their homes and property, and in some cases, even their wives and children when they migrated. They thus, proved that Allah and His religion were more important for them than anything else in the world.
Among the numerous blessings of migration, one of the most important was the creation of brotherhood between the emigrants from Makkah known as Muhajirin and the helpers of Madinah known as Ansar. According to this brotherhood, the Ansar shared all their possessions with the emigrants who had left all their belongings in Makkah and were in great need of Such help.
Migration also proved to be a turning point in the life of the Holy Prophet PBUH. The years of persecution and humiliation at Makkan were over and the years of Success had begun. At Madinah, he was made the head of the state. He who, had till now been a religious teacher, took on the role or a statesman and politician, at which he proved equally capable.