Either after or before the treaty of Aqabah, the prophet made an announcement to the Meccan Muslims where he declared, ‘Allah has shown me the land that you shall emigrate to. I saw it in a dream. And it is a land of date palms, between two volcanic planes.’ Now this was a perfect description of Yathrib, however according to some narrations the prophet did not know where the place was at the time and guessed at Khaybar or some place in Yemen, and then Allah later told him that it was Yathrib. And so he then gave them permission to emigrate, and thus they began to leave secretly.
The first person to emigrate was Abu Salma ibn Abd Al-Asad (RA) who was the husband of Umme Salma (RA) who would later become one of the wives of the prophet. Now Abu Salama was not from the Quraish, but he had moved there to live with his wife. And both of them had actually originally emigrated to Abyssinia during the first Hijra; however when the incident of the rumour – that the entirety of the Quraish had converted – took place and those who undertook the first Hijra began to return, instead of going back to Abyssinia when they learnt that this rumour was false they actually stayed in Mecca. And so they are of the very few who actually undertook two Hijras for the sake of Allah.
As Abu Salma was the first to emigrate he did not think to do so secretly. And so as he, Umme Salma and their child were about to leave they were confronted by the Quraish who demanded, ‘O Abu Salma, where do you think you are going?’
Abu Salma responded, ‘I’m going to Yathrib – what business is this of yours? I am a freeman.’
However the Quraish would not let him go so easily, and said, ‘As for you we have no right. As for your wife, she is ours. And we will not let you take her or her son because he’s our son now.’ And so although they did not really care for Umme Salma or her child, in order to persecute the Muslims further they expelled Abu Salma without his family and so he was forced to make the Hijra on his own.
When Abu Salma’s tribe found out he had been treated this way they were insulted, so they marched over to the Quraish and demanded, ‘As for the lady, she is yours. But this boy is ours.’ And so they grasped the boy from one side, and the Quraish held on from the other side and they both began pulling on this two year old child until his hand was dislocated.
Out of fear Umme Salma cried out, ‘Let them take the boy!’ and so the Quraish let go and the boy went with the tribe. And so it ended up as Abu Salma in Yathrib, Umme Salma in Mecca and their child with Abu Salma’s tribe, all separated.
Umme Salama narrates: ‘For more than 16 months I would go to the furthest place outside of Mecca that was still in sight of the city, crying every day, not able to do anything, until finally some of my cousins had sympathy on me and begged the elders to let me go.’ So after a year and half the Quraish let her go, and she went to the tribe of her husband who had calmed down and so returned the boy to her. And then she just turned around and walked into the desert, with no idea how to get to Medina but simply putting her trust in Allah.
When she reached Taneem (a place outside of Mecca), she met Uthman ibn Talha coming back from an expedition. Now Uthman ibn Talha was not yet a Muslim, but just a young man of the Quraish. And he saw Umme Salama, a woman all alone with her young child outside of Mecca and so he asked, ‘What are you doing?’
Umme Salama replied, ‘I’m going to my husband, Abu Salama.’
‘You’re all alone?’
‘I have no-one.’
‘By Allah, this will not be. I will take you.’
And Umme Salama narrates, ‘I don’t there is any more noble gentleman amongst all of the Arabs than Uthman. He walked the entire way and he led the camel, and he didn’t say a word to me but when it was time to stop he would tell the camel to come down and he would go forward and turn his back on me (so she could descend with dignity). When I would get down, he would put me under the tree and he would sleep by the camel. And then in the morning I would get back on the camel, and we proceeded this way all the way from Mecca to Medina until finally when I could see the houses of Medina he then let me go on the camel.’
And so we see the nobility and honour of this young man Uthman ibn Talha (RA), who was not even a Muslim at this time. And because of these characteristics Allah gave him the honour of being from the last batch of converts before the conquest of Mecca, and as Allah says in the Quran, ‘Those who converted before the conquest are not equal to those who converted after.’ And he was of the three who converted last, the other two being the famous Khalid ibn Walid and Amr ibn Al-As (RA). And on top of that, after the conquest of Mecca when the large prizes were being handed out, he was the one who was given the keys to the Ka’bah. And the prophet declared, ‘It shall be with him and amongst his descendants until the day of Judgement. And anybody who tries to take it from him will be the ones in the wrong.’ And subhanallah to this day – over 1400 years later - ha that key remained with the progeny of Uthman ibn Talha.
As well as this there is also the famous story of Suhayb Ar-Rumi (RA), which we’ve previously covered, and of the Hijra of Umar ibn Khattab (RA) and his companions. Umar’s status was so powerful that he was the only person to make his emigration public. He packed his bags and armed himself, and went and made tawaf seven times around the Ka’bah. And then he made an announcement: ‘O people of Mecca, whoever wishes that his mother loses him tonight, or that his children become orphans, or his wife a widow, then know that I am doing the Hijra and you can meet me outside in this valley.’ And of course, he was so feared and respected that no one attempted to confront him.
Umar chose two people to be his companions during the Hijra – Ayyash ibn Abi Rabiah and Hisham ibn Al-As (brother of Amr ibn Al-As) (RA). And they agreed to meet in a specific place on a specific day to undertake the emigration, and that if one of them was not there by the break of dawn then they would assume that he had been stopped and would proceed without him. Hisham did not show up at the appointed time, and so the two went without him and made it to Medina.
Now Ayyash was actually the half-brother of Abu Jahal and his brother Harith, and so when they found out that Ayyash had made the journey they actually went to Medina themselves and confronted Ayyash with a story that they had made up about their shared mother, claiming that she had fallen ill because of his emigration and would not eat and that her hair had filled with lice. Now this was obviously a trap, however they kept on making more and more stories until Ayyash’s heart softened. And so Umar said to him, ‘O Ayyash they are tricking you! If she’s hungry she can eat food; if she has lice she can shave her hair off. You don’t have to go back and do that for her!’ But Abu Jahal and his brother continued to coerce Ayyash, and so he decided to go back with them.
So Umar went to Ayyash and told him, ‘If you’re going to go then take my camel, because my camel is stronger and faster than theirs. And if you find any treachery ride back immediately to Medina.’
So Ayyash went with his half-brothers and as the journey progressed they began to open up and talk, until eventually Abu Jahal said to him, ‘My camel has become weary and tired. Let me ride on yours since it is stronger and give my camel some rest.’ As soon as Ayyash sat his camel down the two brothers jumped on him, and they bound him up and made him a prisoner. And they took him back to Mecca and paraded him around, before throwing him in the same prison that they had made for Hisham (note: prisons were not a concept for the Arabs).
After some time later the prophet himself undertook the Hijra, and his first du’a Qunoot after emigrating was for the freedom of Hisham and Ayyash and the prisoners in Mecca. And he kept on asking the Muslims, ‘Who will volunteer to save Hisham and Ayash?’ And eventually it was Walid ibn Al-Walid (RA), older brother of Khalid ibn Al-Walid (RA) who decided to undertake this dangerous and difficult mission. And so he travelled to Mecca, right back into the lion’s den, and entered it in the night. And somehow he found the location of this prison and broke into it by climbing over a wall. And he cut the bonds of Hisham and Ayyash, and then sneaked them out of the prison and took them all the way back to Medina. And this was truly an impressive and legendary feat, and inshallah may Walid be rewarded for his bravery in the hereafter.
Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 026
Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 027