The Hijrah to Madinah
Makkah was no longer a safe place for Muslims to live in. The disbelievers of Makkah were quick to realize the significance of Abu Talib’s death. They intensified their attacks on Muslims. They sought to eradicate the Muslims and Islam. Muslims had no security and no rights in Makkah. Their lives were under threat. Their property was a fair game for the Quraysh.
The Prophet (pbuh) then directed those who had returned from Ethiopia and other Muslims to emigrate and head for Madinah. Quietly, they began to move out. In a few months, more than a hundred families left their homes and emigrated to Madinah.
After the Second Pledge of Aqabah, the Quraysh’s persecution of Muslims had crossed all limits. The emigration of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions was very harmful to them. They were on their guard. They were determined to prevent it at all costs. The emigration of the Muslims from Makkah, therefore, was not easy. The Makkans caused the emigrants considerable stress. But the Muslims were determined to leave. They did not want to remain in Makkah.
The Plight of Abu Salamah and many Other Muslims
Abu Salamah belonged to the prominent Quraysh clan of Makhzum. He was the first Muslim to migrate to Madinah. Although he was under the protection of Abu Talib, he suffered much ill-treatment at the hands of the disbelievers from Quraysh.
After the death of Abu Talib, Abu Salamah’s sufferings became intense. When Abu Salamah decided to emigrate to Madinah, he saddled his camel and mounted his wife Umm Salamah on it with their son Salamah. He took hold of the camel’s halter and went ahead. When some of the men belonging to their clan saw them, they came and snatched away their son Salamah. They forced Umm Salamah to dismount the camel. Abu Salamah was separated from his wife and son. He had to emigrate to Madinah alone. Thus Umm Salamah, deprived of both husband and son, was left behind alone, weeping and lamenting. When she was ultimately allowed to leave for Madinah a year later, she set out on a journey of about 500 kilometers by herself!
Like Abu Salamah, many other Muslims were forced to leave their wives and children and to travel alone. Some had to abandon all they had earned in their lifetime. Suhayb Ar-Roomee was among those who lost all their wealth. When the Quraysh learnt that Suhayb Ar-Roomee was about to leave for Madinah, they came to him and said, “You came to us poor and you had Now that you collected great wealth while being amongst us, do you think we will let you move away with it?”Suhayb did not hesitate at all to give away all his wealth to them. When the Prophet (pbuh) heard how Suhayb had sacrificed all his wealth for the sake of Allah, he said, “Suhayb has won; indeed, Suhayb has won”
After Abu Salamah, among those first emigrants to Madinah was Aamir ibn Rabee’ah, accompanied by his wife, Layla. Also, all the household of Abdullah ibn Jahsh, including Abdullah ibn Jahsh himself migrated to Madinah. As the whole family departed, their house was locked up. The migration of the Jahsh family, who were at the centre of the city’s social life, inspired other Muslims to follow their example.
Omar ibn al-Khattab, Talha, Hamzah, Zayd ibn Haarithah, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf, Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awwaam, Abu Hudayfah, Uthman ibn Affan and others also emigrated. When Hishaam ibn Al-Aas decided to emigrate, the disbelievers caught him and put him in captivity and tortured him. Ayyaash migrated to Madinah but Abu Jahl pursued him and deceitfully brought him back to Makkah and made him a captive. But despite these impediments, the believers kept emigrating to Madinah until none remained with the Prophet (pbuh) except for those who were taken captives, apart from Ali ibn Abee Talib (ade) and Abu Bakr As-siddeeq (kee). They both were waiting for the permission of the Prophet (pbuh) to emigrate.
All the emigrants were the guests of the Muslims in Madinah. The migrating Muslims were called Al-Muhaajiroon and their helpers Madinah were known as Al-Ansaar. Allah’s guidance to His Prophet (pbuh) to turn to Madinah and its people was indeed part of His Mercy and Loving Care for His Prophet and his companions.