- This article is about Hijra of the Prophet (s) to Medina. For other event called Hijra, see Hijra (disambiguation).
Hijra to Medina (Arabic: هجرة, emigration) is the emigration of the Prophet (s) and Muslims from Mecca to Medina which was occurred 13 years after Bi'tha of the prophet (s) (622 CE). The year of the event became the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The main reason of the emigration of Muslims to Yathrib was the harassment and the pressure of the Meccan polytheists. One of the clauses of the allegiance of the people of Yathrib to the Prophet (s) (Pledge of al-'Aqaba), was to support Meccan Muslims if they emigrate to Yathrib. After Hijra, Yathrib was named "Madinat al-Rasul" (Arabic: مدینة الرسول, city of the Prophet (s), in short: Medina).
After the Pledge of al-'Aqaba and when Quraysh knew about the pledge of Aws and Khazraj with the Prophet (s), their severity with Muslims became harsher and they were harassing them harder, to the extent that living in Mecca became impossible to Muslims. So they asked the Prophet (s) permission to emigrate from Mecca, the Prophet (s) told them to go to their supporter brothers (Ansar) in Yathrib and said: "Allah has arranged some brothers and a safe place for you".
Muslims began to emigrate to Yathrib in groups, and the Prophet (s) remained in Mecca waiting for the permission of God for his Hijra. The emigration of Muslims began from Dhu al-Hijja of the year 13 after Bi'that/July 622.
Decision of Quraysh to Kill the Prophet (s)
After the second pledge of al-'Aqaba in Dhu al-Hijja of the year 13 after Bi'that/July 621, and in less than 3 months, most of the companions of the Prophet (s) emigrated to Yathrib, heads of Quraysh realized that Yathrib has become a base for the Prophet (s) and his followers, and the people of Yathrib are ready to defend Muslims, so they feared the emigration of the Prophet (s). They held a meeting in Dar al-Nadwa. It is reported that when they were entering the place, there was an old man by the door, he said: "let me in", they said: 'who are you?', he said: 'I am from Mudar tribe and I have an opinion for you'. Then they entered and began to talk, someone proposed to expel the Prophet (s), the old man said: "it's not good, if you expel him he will gain followers and attack you". Some one proposed to imprison the Prophet (s), the old man said: "it is not good, if you do this, as Muhammad is a good orator, he will gradually attract your children and slaves to himself." Finally, they decided to choose one man from each tribe and they kill the Prophet (s) altogether, so Banu Hashim could not fight all of the tribes, the old man said: 'this is the correct opinion'.
- Main article: Laylat al-Mabit
|“||When the faithless plotted against you to take you captive, or to kill or expel you. They plotted and Allah devised, and Allah is the best of devisers.||”|
|— Qur'an, 8:30|
So, on Thursday night of the Rabi' I 1 of the year 14 after Bi'that/September 27, 621; the Prophet (s) left Mecca, and Imam 'Ali (a) slept in the bed of the Prophet (s), so that the assassins will not realize the emigration of the Prophet (s) and not chase him, the night is called Laylat al-Mabit (night of the sleeping). The verse 207 of Qur'an 2 is revealed about the sacrifice of Imam 'Ali (a) for saving the life of the Prophet (s):
|“||And among the people is he who sells his soul (life) seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants.||”|
|— Quran, 2:207|
In al-Thawr Cave
|“||If you do not help him, then Allah has already helped him when the faithless expelled him, as one of two [refugees], when the two of them were in the cave, he said to his companion, 'Do not grieve; Allah is indeed with us.' Then Allah sent down His composure upon him, and strengthened him with hosts you did not see, and He made the word of the faithless the lowest; and the word of Allah is the highest; and Allah is all-mighty, all-wise.||”|
|— Quran, 9:40|
They stayed there for three days so the polytheist chasers cannot find them. After that, they headed to Yathrib.
Reaction of Quraysh
When Quraysh failed on their plan for assassinating the Prophet (s), tried hard to find him. They hired skillful chasers to trace him, they followed the footprints till they reached the front of al-Thawr cave. A Spider had spun a web over the entrance of the cave by God's will. One of them said: they did not entered the cave because the web is untouched, whether they are rose to the sky or they went down to the earth! so they returned in despair.
Role of 'Ali (a)
The next night after the beginning of the Hijra of the Prophet (s), 'Ali (a) with Hind b. Abi Hala went to al-Thawr cave, the Prophet (s) told 'Ali (a) to buy two camels for them to go to Yathrib. Abu Bakr said: I have prepared two camels. The Prophet (s) said: I will not accept them unless I pay their price, then the Prophet (s) told 'Ali (a) to pay the price of the camels to Abu Bakr.
Then the Prophet (s) told 'Ali (a) to restore all of the entrusted goods to their owners. Quraysh knew the Prophet (s) as Amin (trustworthy) and entrusted him with their properties. Also people who entered Mecca for Hajj entrusted their belongings to him. This was so, even after the Bi'tha of the Prophet (s), and even his worst enemies would entrust him with their wealth. The Prophet (s) told 'Ali (a) to announce in Abtah, in morning and evening, that: everyone who has something entrusted to Muhammad (s) come and get it. "They will not harm you, return the entrusted goods openly, I entrust you with my daughter and entrust both of you to Allah, and He is your guardian" said the Prophet (s).
Hijra of 'Ali (a)
The Prophet (s) told 'Ali (a), to buy camels for himself and "Fawatim" (Lady Fatima (a), Fatima bt. Asad, and Fatima bt. al-Zubayr) and others from Banu Hashim) who want to emigrate to Yathrib, and said: be prepared to emigrate toward Allah and His Prophet (s), and after you received my letter move without delay. 'Ali (a) stayed in Mecca for three days and returned the trusted goods, then emigrated to Yathrib with Fawatim (Lady Fatima (a), Fatima bt. Asad, Fatima bt. al-Zubayr). Some people of Quraysh tried to stop his emigration, he faced them with his sword and said: "every one of you who wants his flesh to be cut and his blood to be shed, comes near me". They chose not to fight him and came back.
Staying in Quba
The Prophet (s) reached Quba (one of the sectors of Yathrib) at the noon of Rabi' I 12/October 8, 621. The Prophet (s) stayed there for nearly 10 days in the place of Banu 'Amr b. 'Awf. They told the Prophet (s), "Do you want to reside here, so we prepare a house for you?" He answered, "I am waiting for 'Ali b. Abi Talib, as I told him to join me and he will come quickly, God willing." Abu Bakr said, "let's go to Yathrib, as people are awaiting you and will become very glad to see you. And do not wait for 'Ali, because I do not think he will reach in a month." "I will not move till my cousin, my brother, and the most beloved person of my Ahl al-Bayt joins me; as he protected me from the polytheists with his life." the Prophet (s) answered.
After 3 days 'Ali (a) joined the Prophet (s).
Beginning of the Hijri Calendar
The Prophet (s) was the first to count the years from his emigration to Yathrib (named Medina after that).
- The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from هجرت به مدینه in Farsi WikiShia.
- Al-Hakim, Muhammad Sa'id, The History of the Islamic Calendar in the Light of the Hijra, Reprinted, by courtesy of the editor, from Hamdard Islamicus, vol.IV, no.3 (1981)