Living with the prophet at the time was Ali (RA), who was about 18 years old. And so the prophet told him to remain behind in his bed instead of sleeping in his own, so that when the Quraish looked in searching for him they would think that he was still there sleeping, while it was actually Ali. And here the famous – although weak – narration in ibn Ishaq took place where, as the murderers began to surround the house of the prophet, he walked out reciting Surah Yaseen and Allah made it so they could not see him at all. And the prophet threw dust on their hair as he walked by, which was a sign of humiliation.

And from here the prophet hurried to the house of Abu Bakr in the middle of the night, and they both set off on their camels to Ghari Thowr. Now the cave of Thowr was actually in the complete opposite direction to Medina, but the prophet and Abu Bakr had already made a plan so as not to be caught on the journey: They would stay in Ghari Thowr for three days and three nights, before using a Bedouin guide to take them on another path to Medina. There was actually a highway directly between Mecca and Medina, but the path the prophet and Abu Bakr planned to take was a lesser known back road that ran near Jeddah. And as the prophet was just leaving Mecca, he turned back to the city and said, ‘You are the most blessed land on Earth and the most beloved to me. And were it not for the fact that my people have expelled me I would not have left you.’ And this was an exact echo of what Waraqa ibn Nawfal (RA) had said to the prophet 13 year prior, when he had warned him that his own people would expel him and the prophet had not been able to believe it. And now here he was, fulfilling the prophecy that Waraqa had laid out all those years before.

Now three people helped Abu Bakr and the prophet in the Ghar Thowr. The first was Abu Bakr’s son Abdullah (RA), who brought food, drink and news to the cave every day. The next was Amir ibn Fuhayra (RA), who was Abu Bakr’s former slave whom he had freed. And he worked as a shepherd, and so his job was take the flocks over the footsteps of Abdullah so that they would be covered up and he would not be able to be tracked to the cave. And the third was Abdullah ibn Uraiqat, who was a guide from one of the Bedouin tribes who was the one who would lead them to Medina along the secret route.

Meanwhile, however, when the Quraish found out that the prophet had not gone the usual way they hired an expert scout in order to find out the route that he had taken. And despite all of Abu Bakr’s provisions, somehow the scout managed to lead the Quraish all the way to the base of the Jabil Thowr. And so when Abu Bakr looked out of the cave he saw the Quraish on the mountain, and so he turned to the prophet and said, ‘All they need to do is look into this crevice and they will see us.’

And this is when the prophet said the famous phrase, ‘O Abu Bakr, what do you think will happen to two people, Allah is the third of them?’ And thus due to the mercy of Allah the Quraish did not see the prophet and his companion and they moved on from the cave.

Now there are also some weak narrations about what happened at the cave, but despite their weak isnaad there is no problem in mentioning them. The first is the incident of the snake, which took place when the prophet and Abu Bakr first entered the cave. The prophet was so tired that he fell asleep immediately with his head on the lap of Abu Bakr. However Abu Bakr noticed that there was a snake pit in the cave, and so to protect the prophet from being bitten he quickly covered it up with his foot. The snake inside of that nest began to bite the foot of Abu Bakr, causing immense pain but Abu Bakr would not move as he did not want the prophet to wake up. Such was his dedication to the messenger of Allah that even when the pain became so great that tears began to fall from his eyes, he would still not move and risk waking the prophet. However one of his tears landed on Muhammad’s face and woke him up. When the prophet saw the bites on Abu Bakr’s foot, he took some of his saliva and rubbed it on the wound. And within a few minutes the bites began to heal.

Another such weaker narration is that of the spider and the pigeons. When the Quraish were near the hiding place of the prophet and his companion, Allah sent a spider to weave a web over the entrance to the cave and some pigeons to create nests next to it and lay their eggs in them, which gave the look that no-one was living in the cave. And this caused the Quraish to turn away from the cave without searching it, and so the prophet and Abu Bakr remained hidden.

After the third night the duo met with Abdullah ibn Uraiqat and they began the journey to Medina.


Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 027