Laylat al-Mabīt (Arabic: لیلة المبیت, lit. the night of sleeping) is the title of the night on which Imam Ali (a) slept in the bed of the Prophet (s) because Polytheists of Quraysh had plotted to assassinate him. The Prophet (s) started his emigration from Mecca to Medina in the night, and Imam Ali (a) slept in his bed, so the assassins would not notice his absence. The verse 207 of the Qur'an 2 is revealed about the sacrifice of Ali (a) for saving the life of the Prophet (s).
Plan of Assassination of the Prophet (s)
After the demise of Abu Talib, the Quraysh polytheists intensified the harassment of Muslims. As the life of Muslims was in danger, the Prophet (s) ordered Muslims to emigrate to Yathrib. The Prophet (s) had recently made an allegiance with the people of Yathrib, so the Muslims were safe there. The Muslims started to emigrate to Yathrib covertly in small groups.
Chiefs of Quraysh gathered in Dar al-Nadwa to decide about their encounter with the Prophet (s). At last, with the plot of Abu Jahl, it was decided that selected brave men from every tribe attack the Prophet (s) together and assassinate him at his home. Thus, all the tribes have a part in the assassination of the Prophet (s) so Banu Hashim, who were his family and his avengers, could not fight all the tribes and have to accept the blood money.
Information of the Prophet (s)
After the decision of Quraysh to assassinate the Prophet (s), the angle Jabra'il (Gabriel) informed the Prophet (s) about the plan and revealed the verse 30 of Qur'an 8: "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", so the Prophet (s) decided to emigrate to Yathrib. While he was leaving, he recited: "And We have put a barrier before them, and a barrier behind them, then We have blind-folded them, so they do not see" (Quran 36: 9), so the polytheists could not see him.
Emigration to Yathrib
- Main article: hijra
On the night of Rabi' I 1, the Prophet (s) told Ali (a): "the angel descended to me and informed me that Quraysh polytheists are united to kill me, and he recommended me from my God to emigrate from my tribe, and go to the Thawr cave tonight, and he ordered me to order you to sleep in my bed so my trace will become hidden by that; so what do you say and what will you do?", so Ali (a) said: "will you be safe by my sleeping there?", the Prophet (s) said: "yes", so Ali (a) smiled and bowed down to perform sajda al-shukr (prostration of thankfulness) out of happiness, then said: "Go as you are ordered, may my ears, eyes, and my very heart be sacrificed for you, order me as you wish, I am like your assistant, I will do it as you want, and my success is only by Allah." the Prophet (s) said: "sleep in my bed, and put on my clothes, and I inform you that Allah tests his friends according to their faith and their rank in His religion, so the most hardly tested people are the prophets, then their successors, etc., so He is testing you and is testing me with you, like He tested His friend Ibrahim (a), and Isma'il (a) (when Ibrahim was commanded to slaughter Isma'il), so be patient, be patient, for 'indeed Allah's mercy is close to the virtuous'" then embraced Ali (a) and both cried, then they separated.
The polytheists besieged the house of the Prophet (s) from the beginning of the night. They were expecting midnight to attack, but Abu Lahab said: "Some women and children are in the house and maybe they become harmed and later this will be a shame for us between 'Arabs" (So they postponed the attack to the sunrise.)
Ali (a) slept in the bed of the Prophet (s), the polytheists were throwing little stones at him to ensure that someone is sleeping in the bed, and they were certain that he is the Prophet (s).
In the morning, when they attacked the house with drawn swords, they saw Ali (a) in the bed of the Prophet (s) and said: "Where is Muhammad?" Ali (a) said: "Were you entrusted him to me that you are asking me about him? Were not you saying that you will expel him from your land?" They attacked Ali (a) and beat him, saying: "You have been tricking us for the night!" Then they started to search for the Prophet (s).
There is also another report: when the sun started to rise, they feared being exposed by the morning, so they attacked, at the time the houses in Mecca did not have doors and only curtains were used, when Ali (a) saw them coming to him with drawn swords, and Khalid b. al-Walid is leading them, Ali (a) jumped to him, took his sword and broke his hand, so Khalid started to jump up and down and yelling like a camel, the others were still on the stairs when Ali (a) went to them with the sword, they fled like a herd of sheep. They went to the roof, and suddenly they discovered that this is Ali. "Are you Ali?" they asked. "I am Ali," he replied. They said: "We do not intend you, where is Muhammad?". "I do not know", Ali (a) said. So they got on their horses and camels and went after the Prophet (s).
Revelation of a Verse about Ali (a)
- Main article: Al-Shira' Verse
- "And among the people is he who sells his soul seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants". (Qur'an 2:207)
Blessing of Angels on Ali
The Prophet (s) said: "Allah told Jabra'il and Mika'il: 'I have made you two brothers and made the life of one of you shorter than the other, which one of you would prefer his brother (to live longer)?' both of them disliked the death, then Allah told them: Are not you like My friend, Ali b. Abi Talib?. I made him brother with My Prophet, and he preferred him to live then slept in his bed, sacrificing his life for him. Both of you descend to the earth and protect him from his enemies'. Then Jabra'il descended to the top of his head, and Mika'il descended to his feet, and Jabra'il said: 'Good for someone like you, O the son of Abu Talib, that Allah is proud of you in front of the angles.'"
- Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol.1, p.480.
- Tabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p.88.
- وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ
- Ḥalabī, al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya, vol. 2, p. 32.
- وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدًّا وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ
- Subḥānī, Furūgh-i abadīyyat, vol. 1, p. 420.
- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 19, p. 60.
- Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 466.
- Ḥalabī, al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya, vol. 2, p. 32.
- Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 298.
- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 19, p. 92.
- Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 467.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 99-100.
- Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, al-Mustadrak ʿalā l-ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 3, p. 5; ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, vol. 1, p. 101.
- وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
- Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 469; Fakhr al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 5, p. 174.
- ʿAyyāshī, Muḥammad b. Masʿūd al-. Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī. Edited by Sayyid Hāshim Rasūlī. Tehran: Maktabat al-ʿIlmīyya al-Islāmīyya, 1363 Sh.
- Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Al-Mustadrak ʿalā l-ṣaḥīḥayn. Edited by Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭā. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, [n.d].
- Ḥalabī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
- Ibn Hishām, ʿAbd al-Malik. Al-Sīra al-nabawīyya. Edited by Muḥammad Muḥyī l-Dīn ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd. Cairo: Maktabat Muḥammad ʿAlī Ṣabīḥ, [n.d].
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Beirut: Dār al-Wafāʾ, 1403 AH.
- Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Biʿtha, 1417 AH.
- Subḥānī, Jaʿfar. Furūgh-i abadīyyat. Qom: Būstān-i Kitāb, 1386 Sh.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Third edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1973 AH.
- Tabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Iʿlām al-warā bi aʿlām al-hudā. Qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt li-Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth, 1417 AH.
- Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Dār al-Thirqāfa, 1414 AH.