When the Quraysh found out that the Prophet (pbuh) had departed, leaving only Ali in his bed, covered with his mantle, they became very angry. They offered a reward of a hundred she camels to whomever brought the Prophet (pbuh) back dead or alive.
The prize of one hundred she camels was so tempting that young men were in pursuit on every tract. At one time a band of them climbed Mount Thawr and actually came to the cave. They passed by when they saw no signs of any human footprints anywhere around. Abu Bakr was filled with fear for the safety of the Prophet (pbuh). If anyone had looked down below his feet, he would surely have spotted them. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said to Abu Bakr, “What do you think of the two with whom Allah is the third?” The Prophet (pbuh) thus quieted the fear of Abu Bakr. Yet, strangely, even though the pursuers came to the mouth of the cave, they did not enter, nor did they even look inside. It was a miracle from Almighty Allah to save them.
Three Days and Nights in the Cave
Abdullah, the son of Abu Bakr, was a wise and smart young man He used to stay with them overnight. He would leave them before daybreak so that he was with the Quraysh in the morning in Makkah as if he had spent the night there. Whenever he heard of any evil plan concerning the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr, he would reach them under the cover of darkness and inform them; Aamir ibn Fuhayrah kept providing them with plenty of ewe’s milk during their stay in the cave.
The Journey Begins
After the third night in the Cave of Mount Thawr, Abdullah ibn Urayqit brought the camels, two, which belonged to the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr, and a third one for himself. The Prophet (pbuh) mounted first, Abu Bakr and his freedman Aamir ibn Fuhayrahi rode on the second camel.
The three lonely travellers thus began their long journey to Madinah. They avoided the usual route as much as possible and their expert guide, Abdullah ibn Urayqit, was very useful in helping them. They had to ride fast for almost all the night and most of the day, News of the Prophet’s emigration (Hijrah) spread across the desert like wild fire.
The guide led them along the road by the seacoast. In the beginning, they went by by paths, as the Quraysh were still in search of them, in the hope of getting the reward of a hundred she camels. They did not take the ordinary beaten track to Madinah. The journey was very hard. The weather was very hot.
Abu Jahl Slaps Asmaa bint Abu Bakr
The news of the Prophet’s hijrah made the Quraysh very angry and frustrated. The search for the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr was still going on. Abu Jahl, accompanied by other Quraysh leaders, went to the house of Abu Bakr. He knocked on the door furiously. Asmaa opened the door. “Where is your father?” yelled Abu Jahn.”I do not know,” replied Asmaa. So Abu Jahl slapped her in the face so severely that one of her earrings was sent flying in the air.
The Story of Suraaqah ibn Maalik
Suraaqah ibn Maalik was a Bedouin of the Kinaanah tribe of Banu Mudlij. He was a warrior and a poet. He lived mostly in his tribal village Qudayd near Makkah.
One day, he was sitting in one of the assemblies of his tribal people when, in the early morning, a traveller came and revealed that he had seen three riders on camels far away on the seacoast. Suraaqah thought they must have been the Prophet and his companions. He remained in the assembly for a while, and then he rose quietly and went home. He hoped to win the reward of one hundred she camels.
He took his lance, and left by a back entrance of his house. He mounted his mare and made her run fast until he approached the Prophet (pbuh) as and his companions. But suddenly his mare stumbled and he was thrown off. He remounted his mare and let her go speeding again till he could hear the Prophet (pbuh) recite the Quran. Suddenly, the forelegs of his mare sank up to the knees into the ground, and again he was thrown off.
The mare pulled up, dragging out her forelegs with difficulty, and stood again. Suraaqah called out that the travelers had nothing to fear and so they stopped. He told the Prophet (pbuh) that the Makkans had put a price on his head. He also told them what plans the people of Makkah had made concerning them. Suraaqah was overawed by the presence of the Prophe (pbuh). He was glad to get away safely, promising that he would not disclose the whereabouts of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions.
Ever since they had heard about his setting out for Madinah, the people of Madinah had been waiting, on the outskirts of the city, eagerly. As the Prophet (pbuh) spent about eleven days on his journey to the city – three concealed in the cave and eight on the little-used road – they must have waited patiently.
It was almost midday when the Prophet (pbuh) and his companion Abu Bakr reached Qubaa on the outskirts of the city. That day was 12th Rabee al-Awwal of the thirteenth year of the Prophet’s mission