The Prophet’s Arrival in Medina

وَبَرَكَاتُهُ اللهِ وَرَحْمَةُ عَلَيْكُمْ السَّلاَمُ

The news spread to the Ansar that the prophet was soon to arrive in Medina, so every morning they would go to the outskirts of the city to Quba’ and wait for his arrival. And they would wait until about midday when it became too hot to stay out, then they would return back to the city to sleep. One Monday – in the first week or so of Rabi Al-Awwal – they went out to wait for the prophet in the morning like normal, however he did not arrive and so near midday they returned to Medina. And so when the prophet and Abu Bakr (RA) appeared in the distance there was no one there to greet them. However since the Jewish tribes used to live on the outskirts of Medina, it just so happened that one of the Jews was nearby on top of a tree plucking dates. And he saw the prophet and Abu Bakr arriving, and the excitement of waiting for them had gotten so much that it had even affected the Jews and so the man cried out, ‘O Arabs, your king has arrived!’

The news spread rapidly, and the Ansar rushed out of their houses in hordes to welcome the prophet. And over 500 men came dressed up to meet and accompany him, the women climbed up to the tops of the houses and the children thronged about jostling to see him. And this represented a massive change, as for the first time the prophet was not being persecuted or having to fear for his life, but was instead publically heralded by the largest number of Muslims even seen in the time.

At this point it was completely obligatory for any Muslims to make the migration to Medina. And in fact the prophet was one of the last of the Muslims to make the Hijra apart from Ali (RA) and Abu Bakr’s family, as Ali had been left behind to return some items that the people had left in the prophet’s house for safekeeping (amanaat). However, still in Mecca there remained a group of Muslims who had kept their conversions secret, as well as some people who converted after the prophet left the city. And so to make them to undertake the Hijra Allah revealed multiple verses in the Quran telling these people that they had to emigrate. For example Surah Hajj, ayat 58 and 59, which encouraged the Muslims to emigrate with the promise of reward:

وَٱلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ قُتِلُوٓاْ أَوْ مَاتُواْ لَيَرْزُقَنَّهُمُ ٱللَّهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًاۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهُوَ خَيْرُ ٱلرَّٰزِقِينَ


And those who emigrated for the cause of Allah and then were killed or died, Allah will surely provide for them a good reward. And indeed, it is Allah who is the best of providers.


لَيُدْخِلَنَّهُم مُّدْخَلًا يَرْضَوْنَهُۗ  وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ


He will surely cause them to enter an entrance with which they will be pleased, and indeed, Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.



However despite this these closeted Muslims did not tell the people of their Islam even until the Battle of Badr two years later, and so were forced to participate on the wrong side. They didn’t actually fight but simply lingered at the back, however some of them were killed by the Muslims. And so Allah revealed Surah An-Nisa, ayat 97 which was one of the strictest verses telling the Muslims they had to migrate. And note how Allah did not begin by warning or threatening the Muslims to emigrate in Surah Hajj but instead promised them rewards, and it was only later that the warnings of what would happen if they did not undertake the Hijra were given:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَفَّىٰهُمُ ٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ ظَالِمِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُواْ فِيمَ كُنتُمْۖ قَالُواْ كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِۚ قَالُوٓاْ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ ٱللَّهِ وَٰسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُواْ فِيهَاۚ فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ مَأْوَىٰهُمْ جَهَنَّمُۖ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيرًا


Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while they were wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination.



So verse 97 was sent from Medina to the Muslims of Mecca, and so some of them tried to emigrate. However the Quraish prevented them and so they remained once again. That was, except for one sahabi Junda ibn Dhamurah (RA), who had converted after the prophet had left Mecca. Junda was so weak and elderly that he was in fact blind and could not walk. And yet when this verse came to him he declared, ‘I am not of those who have an excuse. I will not spend another night in this city.’ And so he commanded his servants to lift him up on his chair and to take him outside of Mecca, so that he could somehow find a way to Medina. But Allah had mercy on him and he passed away in Taneem – which was just outside of the city – and while he was on his death bed he put his right hand in his left hand and said, ‘O Allah, this is my oath to Rasulallah upon what he wanted me to do.’ And so the next ayat of Surah An-Nisa was revealed for him:

إِلَّا ٱلْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ وَٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلْوِلْدَٰنِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلً


Except for the oppressed among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan nor are they directed to a way



However for those who still remained in Mecca without an excuse, Allah revealed Surah Al-Ankabut, ayat 10, which was even stricter again:

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ فَإِذَآ أُوذِىَ فِى ٱللَّهِ جَعَلَ فِتْنَةَ ٱلنَّاسِ كَعَذَابِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَئِن جَآءَ نَصْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّا كُنَّا مَعَكُمْۚ أَوَلَيْسَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَعْلَمَ بِمَا فِى صُدُورِ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ


And of the people are some who say, "We believe in Allah," but when one [of them] is irritated for [the cause of] Allah, they consider the test from the people as [equal to] the punishment of Allah. But if victory comes from your Lord, they say, "Indeed, We were with you." Is not Allah most knowing of what is within the breasts of all creatures?



So here Allah rebukes those who remained even after Surah An-Nisa was sent, and the word meaning ‘irritated’ is used for what the Quraish did to stop them from emigrating, showing that it was not so serious that they should have remained. And yet when victory came to the believers they wished to share in it as well, while staying in Mecca where they could remain with their wealth and property.

Now after the Battle of The Trench in the 5th year of the Hijra, it became clear that the Muslims were stronger now than the pagans and so the ruling saying that all Muslims had to emigrate to Medina became more lax. And then finally after the conquest of Mecca this ruling became abrogated, and the Muslims were allowed to live where they liked and the journey from Mecca to Medina was no longer a Hijra.

And so from this a major modern-day question arises: is it permissible for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim land out of choice? The majority opinion is that yes, it is, as long as you are not being persecuted for your faith and are able to worship Allah freely. And this opinion is based off an authentic hadith: Long after the conquest of Mecca, a sahabi called Fudayq (RA) came to Medina from his tribe in central Arabia. And he went to the prophet and asked him,’ O Rasulallah, the people are saying that whoever does not do Hijra will be destroyed. My people are upon shirk but I am a Muslim, and so I have been told that I have to make Hijra.’

So the prophet said, ‘O Fudayq, establish prayer, and avoid the sins, and live with your people wherever you like.’ And so we see that although Fudayq was living in a non-Muslim land, the prophet told him that as long as he prayed and was essentially a good Muslim, he could still live with them. And so many of the modern scholars have the same opinion.

Now when the prophet arrived at Quba’ he waited there for around a week for Ali, Aisha and Asma (RA) to arrive. And after they arrived the prophet entered the actual city of Medina escorted by a delegation of the Ansar, and this happened on a Friday. And here the famous story of the girls is often told, that they were singing the song ‘Tala’a Al-Badaru ‘Alayna’ as the prophet entered. However the truth is that this incident certainly did not happen here, if it happened at all. And one of the main things that tells us this is that the line in the song, ‘Min Thaniyatil Wada’ has nothing to do with the road to Mecca.  In fact, Thaniyatil Wada is on the exact opposite side of Medina, and if this incident occurred then it would have actually happened after the Battle of Tabuk.

However what did take place here is that as the prophet entered Medina every one of the Ansar asked him to stay with them. So the prophet declared, ‘Let the camel be, for Allah has taken charge of it.’ And the camel that he was riding on sat down in a small plantation, and Muhammad understood that this was where Allah had decided that his masjid would be. And he asked, ‘Whose house of our family member’s is the closest from here?’

And Khalid ibn Zayd (RA) – also known as Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari – claimed, ‘O Rasulallah, (I am) Banu Najjar.’ Now the prophet’s great grandmother Salma was from the Banu Najjar, and so the prophet was a distant cousin of Abu Ayyub and thus decided to stay with him. And he lived with him for about half a year while the masjid was being built. And we have a few narrations from this time.

Abu Ayyub’s house had two storeys, which was fairly uncommon. And so when the prophet moved in Abu Ayyub and his wife moved upstairs, while the prophet and Abu Bakr (RA) remained downstairs. Now one night Abu Ayyub turned over in his sleep and knocked over the water jug. And he became worried that the water would seep from the second floor and drip onto the prophet as he was sleeping. And so he woke his wife up and the two of them spent the entire night soaking their own blankets with the water, so that not a single drop of water would irritate the prophet.

Another evening, Abu Ayyub and his wife were upstairs when all of a sudden Abu Ayyub realised that he was walking above the head of the prophet. And so he and his wife spent that night cramped next to the sides of the room, so that they would not have their feet directly over the head of the prophet. And the next morning they went to the prophet and told him, ‘O Rasulallah, you have to move up.’

The prophet said, ‘The bottom floor is easier for me.’

‘No, by Allah Rasulallah, we can never ever be on top of you on a roof that your head is under.’ And so the prophet was forced to move upstairs, albeit out of respect.

Now what Abu Ayyub normally did was to cook the food and then send it all upstairs to the prophet, after which he and his wife would eat the leftovers. One day, however, the food returned untouched, and Abu Ayyub panicked. And so he hurried to the prophet and asked him, ‘O Rasulallah, what have I done? Have I done anything wrong?’

And the prophet replied, ‘No, but it has (uncooked) garlic in it.’

‘Is garlic haraam?’

‘No, but I speak to those whom you don’t speak to.’ And here the prophet was referring to the angels. Now eating uncooked garlic leaves a very bad smell on the breath, and so the prophet has said, ‘Whoever eats (uncooked) garlic should not come to the masjid,’ and this is because the masjid is the place of angels.

And so we gain an introduction to the Madani part of the Seerah. Next we shall study the building of all of the early masjids in Medina, which the prophet built before he even built his own house.


Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 029

Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 030