Dead or alive, the Quraish had put a bounty of a 100 camels on the heads of Abu Bakr and Muhammad and this was a great amount of money at the time. Now a man named Suraqa ibn Malik (RA) was a leader of one of the Bedouin tribes of the area, and he was sitting with his fellow tribesmen when the news came that the Quraish were searching for three riders in the desert. And then soon after one of his people came to him returning from a hunting expedition, and he said, ‘I saw three people in the distance. I am sure this must be the three that the Quraish are looking for.’

Now Suraqa got greedy, and he wanted the bounty all for himself. And so he lied and claimed that actually he knew who those three were, but that they were not the ones the Quraish were searching for but instead some other party. And so the man sat down and soon forgot about what had happened, however after a while Suraqa excused himself from the congregation and immediately set off on his horse to where the prophet and Abu Bakr had been sighted.

As soon as he caught sight of Muhammad and Abu Bakr in the distance, Suraqa’s horse sunk into the ground and threw him off. And it had never done this before, so Suraqa pulled out some arrows which the Arabs would use to predict the future and threw them onto the ground.  And the reading that he got from them was to not proceed. But because of his greed, he ignored it and remounted his horse and carried on. And then, when Suraqa got closer the exact same thing happened, and his horse threw him off and Suraqa once again threw out his arrows and was told not to proceed. And once again Suraqa ignored it and carried on. And he managed to get in yelling distance of the party, before once again his horse sunk into the sand and Suraqa was thrown off even more violently, and this time he realised that the prophet was protected and that he would never be able to reach him.

And he narrates: ‘I knew that the affair of this man would spread. So I called out to them, asking for permission to come close. And I asked permission from the prophet to give me protection in writing.’ Subhanallah, look how in just one moment Suraqa ibn Malik goes from wanting to try to kill the prophet to asking him for protection. And the prophet granted him this protection, and got Abdullah to write it down.

When Suraqa turned to leave, the prophet turned to him and asked, ‘O Suraqa, how will you be the day that you put on the bracelets of Kisra?’ That is, Kisra the leader of the Persian Sassanid empire, the untouchable superpower of the time.

Suraqa was so shocked that he exclaimed, ‘Kisra, the son of Hormizd?’

And this was a prophecy that would become a miracle. Because after the battle of Hunayn the tribe of Suraqa was conquered, so Suraqa pulled out the very piece of writing that he had been given all those years before and he was recognised by the prophet and given the protection that he was promised. And he became a Muslim and a famous sahabi after this, and came to live in Medina. And then after the prophet died, Umar ibn Khattab (RA) went on to conquer the Sassanids and their capital Persepolis fell to him. And all of the riches of the palace were sent back to him, and so Umar ordered for Suraqa to be called and he put him on his own chair. And within that pile of treasures Umar found the famous bracelets of Kisra and put them on the hands of Suraqa himself. And thus the prophecy that Mohammad had made all those years ago was finally completed.

During the Hijra one other incident took place, and that was the story of Umme Ma’bad (RA). Now Umme Ma’bad was an old woman, and she and her husband were Bedouin nomads who lived entirely on their own. And she was sitting in her tent, waiting for her husband who had gone to find food, when the prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr came and asked permission to come in. And she let them enter as she was very poor and so had nothing to be stolen, and they came in and asked her, ’May we purchase any food from you?’

Umme Ma’bad apologised and told them that she had absolutely nothing to share with them. However the prophet noticed an old goat in the corner of the tent, so old that it could no longer produce milk or give birth and was just waiting to be slaughtered. And he asked Umme Ma’bad if he could milk the goat, to which Umme Ma’bad just smiled and said, ‘That day has long gone.’ Despite that the prophet asked to be allowed to milk it, and although in Umme Ma’bad’s mind it was completely impossible for the goat to give milk she still gave permission for the prophet to try.

So the prophet made du’a to Allah, and he moved his hand under the udder and it began to swell up with milk right then and there. And Abu Bakr proceeded to milk the goat, and the milk filled the container right to the top and both the he and the prophet drank their fill and left the remainder for Umme Ma’bad and her husband. Then later when her husband returned he was shocked to find milk, and Umme Ma’bad told him the whole story of what had happened. And her husband told her, ‘Those are the two that the Quraish are searching for. Do you not know that one of them claims to be a prophet?’

And when Umme Ma’bad heard this she realised that this was not just a claim but the truth, and so both her and her husband accepted Islam.

It is also narrated that once a caravan passed by the prophet and Abu Bakr after their guide Abdullah had left them. And the caravan approached the pair in order to talk with the travellers, and one of the people in it recognised Abu Bakr from a trading expedition. Now this caravan had not heard about the bounty, and the man asked Abu Bakr, ‘Who is this man with you?’

And Abu Bakr responded wisely, ‘He is my guide, guiding me to the path.’ Now this was an example of tawriya or double-meaning, which is allowed in Islam. For Abu Bakr the prophet was his spiritual guide leading him to the right path which was Islam, however the caravan would assume he’s a physical guide leading him on the path to Medina. And so he cleverly concealed the identity of the prophet without telling a lie.

What lessons are there to be taken from the incident of the prophet’s Hijra. First and foremost we see the wisdom of good planning and doing as much as possible to make sure an endeavour succeeds. There was a great amount of meticulous planning that the prophet and Abu Bakr undertook to make sure their emigration was successful, from the stay in Ghari Thowr, the roles of the three helpers Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr, Amir ibn Fuhayra and Abdullah ibn Uraiqat, to the choice of taking an alternate path to Medina. The pair did not just walk into the desert and say that Allah would take care of them. As the famous saying goes, first tie up your camel and then put your trust in Allah. But we can also see the extent of that trust, especially in the cave when Abu Bakr was scared of being found by the Quraish and the prophet reassured him that Allah would take care of them. And as well as this we see the great companionship of Abu Bakr (RA), who is the only sahabi who had his companionship directly affirmed by Allah in the Quran. He made many sacrifices to go with the prophet, such as leaving his family behind and he also spent a great deal in preparations for the journey, such as his organisation of the three helpers and the alternate route. And he stayed with the prophet throughout the entire Hijra and suffered alongside him, and he risked being caught in the cave by the Quraish and being killed for the bounty on his head. And because of these reasons Abu Bakr is considered the closest companion to the prophet, and thus we are also required to love him and respect him as a great Muslim and role model.


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

Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 028