Family Business

I remember one of my ‘wow moments’ as a child was when I saw a presenter on TV mixing the colours blue and yellow then, hey presto, green appeared! I could not resist a smile, when years later, my science teacher overlapped beams of blue and yellow to form a circle of green light. Many events are made up of different pots of paint and beams of light that come together to colour and illuminate life.

The migration of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) with his companion Abu-Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) from Makkah to Madina was a major chapter in the history of Islam. It’s simply known as ‘The Hijra’. Abu-Bakr was going to migrate on his own until he was told by the Prophet (pbuh) to wait so that they can travel together. Abu-Bakr was chosen to accompany the Prophet (pbuh). An honour that Abu-Bakr’s family had a share in.

Abu-Bakr prepared two camels and waited for four months. When the Prophet was granted permission by Allah to make hijra with his companion they had to move quickly. With no time to waste, Asmaa the daughter of Abu-Bakr put some food in a leather bag, cut a piece from her waist-belt and tied the mouth of the leather bag. Because of that Asmaa is known as ذات النطاقين ‘She of the two girdles’.

The Prophet and his companion took a different, longer route to Madina during which they stayed in a cave in the mountain of Thaur.  They were well informed of what was happening in Makkah through Abdullah, the son of Abu-Bakr. When darkness fell, Abdullah would take the news from Makkah to his father and the Prophet (pbuh) in the cave and return before daybreak.

A tracker could have found Abdullah’s trail and exposed the whereabouts of the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu-Bakr. Here is where Aamir the son of Fuharah, Abu-Bakr’s servant, left an indelible mark. After night fall, Aamir would take the herd he was looking after to the mountain of Thaur and they would have some milk. Before daybreak and after Abdullah left, Aamir returned to Makkah with the herd taking the same path as Abdullah. That way any trail to or from the mountain was covered.

Still, the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu-Bakr almost got caught, twice. The search party had decided to check out the mountain of Thaur. When Abu-Bakr raised his head he saw their feet and said: “If any of them looks down, they will see us!”. The Prophet’s reply is stated in the Quran:

 إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ 

{If you do not help him, Allah will help him as He helped him when he was driven out with one other (Abu-Bakr) by the unbelievers. When the two were in the cave, he said to his companion: ‘Do not sorrow, Allah is with us.’ Then Allah caused His tranquillity to descend upon him and supported him with legions (of angels) you did not see, and He made the word of the unbelievers the lowest, and the Word of Allah is the highest. Allah is Mighty, Wise.}  Al-Tauhba 9:40

After three nights, the guide that the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu-Bakr hired came back to the mountain with their camels. On their journey to Madina they were intercepted by a bounty hunter called Suraqah the son of Jusham. He later accepted Islam.  

Since they heard of the Prophet’s departure from Makkah, the Muslims of Madina waited in the sun. They would only return to their homes forced by the midday heat. Such excitement must have been contagious! One day and after the Muslims had returned to their homes, a Jew saw two men emerging from the desert. He shouted: “O Arabs, here is your great man whom you have been waiting for”.

The Muslims of Madina rushed to welcome the Prophet (pbuh) and his companion Abu-Bakr whose journey beckoned a new era.  Asmaa, Abdullah, Aamir, and Suraqah were some of the strands that made up the fabric of this journey. What scene are you helping to form? Remember, even inaction is an action (of withholding).







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