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Early Islam

Hijra to Medina (Arabic: هجرة, emigration) is the emigration of the Prophet (s) and Muslims from Mecca to Medina which was occurred thirteen 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).


Timeline of Prophet (s) in Medina
1/622 Hijra
2/624 Marriage of Imam 'Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a)
2/624 Change of the Qibla
2/624 Battle of Badr
2/624 Battle of Banu Qaynuqa'
3/625 Battle of Uhud
3/625 Battle of Banu Nadir
5/627 Battle of Khandaq
5/627 Battle of Banu Qurayza
6/628 Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty
7/628 Battle of Khaybar
7/629 Presenting Fadak to Lady Fatima (a)
7/629 Umrat al-Qada'
7/629 Battle of Mu'ta
8/630 Conquest of Mecca
8/630 Battle of Hunayn
8/630 Battle of Ta'if
9/631 More dominance over Arabian Peninsula
9/631 Battle of Tabuk
9/631 Sanat al-Wufud
10/632 Hajjat al-Wada'
10/632 Event of Ghadir
11/632 Demise

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".[1]

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/June 622.[2]

Decision of Quraysh to Kill the Prophet (s)

After the second pledge of al-'Aqaba in Dhu al-Hijja of the year thirteen after Bi'that/June 622, and in less than three 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'.[3]

Laylat al-Mabit

God informed His Prophet (s) about the assassination plan. The verse 30 of Qur'an 8 is narrated to be revealed then:[4]

So, on Thursday night of the Rabi' I 1 of the year 14 after Bi'that/September 13, 622; 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):[5]

In al-Thawr Cave

The Prophet headed to al-Thawr cave and took Abu Bakr with him. The following verse is revealed about the event:

They stayed there for three days so the polytheist chasers cannot find them. After that, they headed to Yathrib.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Role of 'Ali (a)

Timeline of Imam 'Ali's (a) life
599 Birth
605 The beginning of the presence in the house of the Prophet (s)
610 The first person who believes in Islam
613 Supporting the Prophet (s) in the event of Yawm al-Dar
616 Presence in the siege of Shi'b Abi Talib
619 Demise of Abu Talib (Father)
622 Laylat al-Mabit: Ali (a) risked his life by sleeping in the Prophet's (s) bed
622 Emigration to Medina
624/2 Participating in the Battle of Badr
624/2 Marriage with Lady Fatima (s)
625/3 Participating in the Battle of Uhud
626/4 Demise of Fatima bt. Asad (Mother)
627/5 Participating in the Battle of Khandaq and killing 'Amr b. 'Abd Wadd
628/6 Writing the content of Hudaybiyya peace treaty by order of the Prophet (s)
629/7 Victorious of Khaybar castle in the Battle of Khaybar
630/8 Participating in Conquest of Mecca and breaking idols by the order of the Prophet (s)
630/9 Successor of the Prophet (s) in Medina in the Battle of Tabuk
631/9 Delivering the Bara'a Verses to the polytheists
631/9 Presence in the event of Mubahala
632/10 Participating in Hajjat al-Wida'
632/10 Event of Ghadir
632/11 Demise of the Prophet (s) and his burial by Imam 'Ali (a)
Three caliphs period
632/11 Incident of Saqifa and beginning of Caliphate of Abu Bakr
632/11 Attacking the house of Imam 'Ali (a) to take allegiance from him
632/11 Martyrdom of Lady Fatima (a) (wife)
634/13 Beginning of Caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khattab
644/23 Participating in Six-Member Council to appoint the caliph
644/23 Beginning of Caliphate of Uthman b. Affan
655/35 Sending al-Hasanayn (a) to protect 'Usman
655/35 Beginning of his Caliphate
656/36 The Battle of Jamal
657/37 The Battle of Siffin
658/38 The Battle of Nahrawan
661/40 Martyrdom (about 62 years old)

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.[9]

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.[10] 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/September 24, 622. The Prophet (s) stayed there for nearly ten 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).[11]

Beginning of the Hijri Calendar

The Prophet (s) was the first to count the years from his emigration to Yathrib (named Medina after that).[12]

In the time of the rule of 'Umar the Hijra of the Prophet (s) officially set as the beginning of the calendar (Hijri calendar).[13]

See Also


  1. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 226.
  2. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-Nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 76.
  3. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 2, p. 936; ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr, vol. 2, p. 53-54; Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, p. 367; Ṭūsī, Amālī, p. 463-465; Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 273-275.
  4. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, 1417 AH, p. 146.
  5. Mufīd, al-Irshād, p. 51-53.
  6. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p. 146-148.
  7. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p. 148.
  8. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p. 148; Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 273-276.
  9. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 1, p. 486.
  10. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-Nabawīyya, vol. 1, p. 485.
  11. Kulaynī, Rawḍat al-Kāfī, p. 280.
  12. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 2, p. 388.
  13. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 154.


  • ʿAyyāshī, Muḥammad b. Masʿūd al-. Tafsīr ʿAyyāshī. Tehran: Nashr al-Maktaba al-Islāmīyya, [n.d].
  • Ibn Athīr, ʿAlī b. Abī l-karam. Al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, 1385 AH.
  • Ibn Hishām, ʿAbd al-Makik. Al-Sīra al-nabawīyya. Edited by Muṣṭafā al-Saqā et.al. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
  • Ibn Saʿd, Muḥammad b. Manīʿ. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. Edited by Iḥsān ʿAbbās. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, 1968 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Rawḍat al-Kāfī. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Third edition. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1367 Sh.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Qom: Dār al-Kitāb, 1363 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Khiṣāl. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1362 Sh.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Abū l-Faḍl Ibrāhīm. Second edition. Beirut: Dār al-Turāth, 1967.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Iʿlām al-warā bi aʿlām al-hudā. Qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1417 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Dār al-Thiqāfa, 1414 AH.
  • Yaʿqūbī, Muḥamamd b. Abī Yaʿqūb al-. Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, [n.d].

Further Reading