Story of the three Sahabah(r.a) who lagged behind- Part 1

Lessons in Staying Behind – Part 1: “I Wish I had Done So

Posted by: Mariam E. April 5, 2010

It is the 9th year after Hijrah. Madīnah, the place that witnessed the occurrence of this story, sits under the glaring sun. The season is an extremely hot one, when the palms are about to bear their fruits, and the shade is in abundance.

But the leader of this city has plans far more meritorious than reclining beneath the shade. He is setting out on a military expedition headed for Tabuk, a city north of Madīnah, over 600 km away. The journey was one of extreme heat, thirst and lengthy distances over hot sands. The true believers prepare themselves to go out with their leader (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam), except for around 80 men, who remain engulfed by the darkness of hypocrisy. They preferred to stay beneath the shade and care for their ripening dates over responding to the call of Allāh and His Messenger.

Besides them, there were three who stayed behind, but were among the sincere and true believers: Hilal ibn Umayyah, Mirarah ibn Alrabee’ and the narrator of the story behind the subject of our discussion; Ka’b ibn Malik (radhiAllahu anhum). Through his eloquent narration, one can almost feel his emotions of regret, truthfulness, pain, sorrow and at last, extreme joy. He says as narrated by his son, Abdullah:

I did not remain behind Allāh’s Apostle in any Ghazwa (battle) that he fought except the Battle of Tabuk, and I failed to take part in the Battle of Badr, but Allāh did not admonish anyone who had not participated in it, for in fact, Allāh’s Apostle had gone out in search of the caravan of Quraish till Allāh made them (i.e. the Muslims) and their enemy meet without any appointment. I witnessed the night of Al-‘Aqaba (pledge) with Allāh’s Apostle when we pledged for Islam, and I would not exchange it for the battle of Badr although the battle of Badr is more popular amongst the people than it (i.e. Al-‘Aqaba pledge). As for my news (in this battle of Tabuk), I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind the Prophet in that battle.

By Allāh, never had I two she-camels before, but I had then at the time of this battle. Whenever Allāh’s Apostle wanted to make a Ghazwa, he used to hide his intention by apparently referring to different battle till it was the time of that Ghazwa (of Tabuk) which Allāh’s Apostle fought in severe heat, facing, a long journey, desert, and the great number of enemy. So the Prophet announced to the Muslims clearly (their destination) so that they might get prepared for their battle. So he informed them clearly of the destination he was going to. Allāh’s Apostle was accompanied by a large number of Muslims who could not be listed in a book namely, a register.” Ka’b added, “Any man who intended to be absent would think that the matter would remain hidden unless Allāh revealed it through Divine Revelation.

He then describes that his situation at the time was not one that permitted excuses to stay behind and not be with the Muslims for this battle, for he even had 2 camels, instead of one. In addition, he emphasizes his point by stating that the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) was very clear on his mission, and was not vague, contrary to the case of other expeditions where being unclear was used as a military tactic.

It is clear that Ka’b (radhiAllahu anhu) tells his story only to pass on the great lessons he acquired from this incident that profoundly affected his life forever. Likewise, if a mistake in our life led to a lesson-filled experience, we may share it with others with intentions of desiring good for them and hope that they will not fall victims to the same error.

So if Ka’b (radhiAllahu anhu) faced no obstacles in terms of health and provisions, what then held him back for proceeding with the army?

Let’s reflect for a moment on our own lives and consider our situation when we have the necessary means to do something and a will to do it, yet we are not doing it. There is usually one reason; we have put it ‘on-hold’. When there is no other excuse in our path, procrastination becomes a leading factor that pulls us away from superior goals and hinders productivity. Nothing held Ka’b (radhiAllahu anhu) from joining the Muslims at the time but this deceptive force. He continues, saying:

So Allāh’s Apostle fought that battle at the time when the fruits had ripened and the shade looked pleasant. Allāh’s Apostle and his companions prepared for the battle and I started to go out in order to get myself ready along with them, but I returned without doing anything. I would say to myself, ‘I can do that.’ So I kept on delaying it every now and then till the people got ready and Allāh’s Apostle and the Muslims along with him departed, and I had not prepared anything for my departure, and I said, I will prepare myself (for departure) one or two days after him, and then join them.’ In the morning following their departure, I went out to get myself ready but returned having done nothing. Then again in the next morning, I went out to get ready but returned without doing anything.

Such was the case with me till they hurried away and the battle was missed (by me). Even then I intended to depart to take them over. I wish I had done so! But it was not in my luck (qadar). So, after the departure of Allāh’s Apostle, whenever I went out and walked amongst the people (i.e, the remaining persons), it grieved me that I could see none around me, but one accused of hypocrisy or one of those weak men whom Allāh had excused.

Indeed, ‘I wish I had done so!’; a line of regret, familiar to our ears, our tongues and sometimes hidden away in our hearts. Its bitterness is more tasted so when it is related to the matters of the Hereafter.

Allāh (subhanahu wata’ala) says,

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous. (Aal-‘Imran 3:133).

The best example in hastening to do good is that of our Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam).

Uqbah bin Al-Harith (radhiAllahu anhu) narrates: “Once I performed the ‘‘aṣr prayer in Al-Madīnah behind the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam). He (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) got up quickly after finishing the prayer with taslim, and stepping over the people, went to one of the rooms of his wives. The people were startled at his haste, and when he came out and saw their astonishment at his urgency he said, “I recalled that there was left with me some gold which was meant for charity; I did not like to keep it any longer, so I gave orders that it should be distributed” (Bukhāri). In another narration, the Messenger of Allāh said, “I had left some gold for Sadaqah in the house, and did not wish to keep it overnight.”

Regardless of the fact that stepping over the people in the mosque is disliked according the majority opinion, the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) deemed it very important that he should not delay giving the charity that remained in his house.

Redirecting our attention to the story of Ka’b, we notice evidence therein pointing to the fact that the Muslim society at the time was accustomed to being quick in responding to do good. A walk through the streets of the city would lead Ka’b to find none left except “one accused of hypocrisy or one of those weak men whom Allāh had excused.” It is clear that they understood that striving and working for this Religion was a duty upon them all; not the duty of the youth or a specific group of society alone. From the same segment, it is derived that if we do not hasten to befriend the righteous and be in their company, it is likely that we may find ourselves surrounded by their opposites.

The Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) taught us in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah:

“Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions.” Then (giving a warning) he said, “Are you waiting for such poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion; or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or disease as will disable you, or such senility as will make you mentally unstable, or sudden death, or Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected absent, or the Hour, and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter.” (Tirmidhi).

Abiding by such a principle in our lives would surely lead to a significant leap in terms of good deeds, as well as faith.

Hastening to do Good when Called to it

When Allāh opens for us a door of mercy and virtue, our immediate reaction should be to enter it. Otherwise, it is very possible that the when such opportunities are ignored, we may find that the door has been shut on us, while we thought it would remain open forever. Whether it is adhering to proper hijab, seeking knowledge or attending congregational prayer, the short 3 letter word sawfa (سَوفَ meaning, ‘I shall’ or ‘I will’) should be viewed as barrier, preventing us from the good we desire.

The greatest challenge in doing good is to have firm resolution in the face of chances and not fall prey to incapability. The determined one of us is he who when he hears an inspiring talk or reads an informative article, seeks to apply at once. Not the next morning, because perhaps the door may have been closed by then.

Ka’b ibn Malik (radhiAllahu anhu) was a companion of the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam); meaning, a member of the best generation of this nation, yet he was still tested greatly and lost in the reward of fighting in the way of Allāh with the army of the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) because of this one mistake: delaying his preparations. Our state should then be a more fearful one.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) saw some of his companions falling back (in the rows for prayer) and said to them: “Come forward and follow me (in prayer), and let those who come after you follow you. People will persist in falling back until Allāh puts them back.” (Muslim). If we continuously allow ourselves to fall back or be late for worship, then Allāh may punish us by causing us to be late.

Hastening to Accept the Truth after Knowing it

Inclusive in the discussion of hastening towards good, is accepting the Truth after knowing it. Failing to accept the Truth when it is clear to us may result in one being afflicted with lack of understanding and deviation of the heart from the Straight Path. Allāh (subhanahu wata’ala) says,

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَارَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ

And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly. (al-An’aam 6:110)
In another āyah:

فَلَمَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

So when they turned away (from the Path of Allāh), Allāh turned their hearts away (from the Right Path). And Allāh guides not the people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allāh). (al-Saff 61:5)

These verses clearly show us that the heart may return to falsehood, before it sees the light because of refusing to accept the Truth from the beginning. They also portray our weakness and that it is Allāh who will guide us to do good or prevent us from it.

Allāh commands the believers:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

O you who have believed, respond to Allāh and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allāh intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. (al-Anfaal 8:24).

Al-Suddi commented on this verse saying, “Prevents oneself from his own heart, so he will neither believe nor disbelieve except by His leave.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 4:287).

Thus, it is upon us to realize that being late in doing good, even if our hearts desired it, may eventually lead to being prevented from it altogether.

Hastening to Patience in the Face of a Calamity

Anas ibn Malik narrated , “The Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He told her to fear Allāh and be patient. She said to him, “Go away, for you have not been afflicted with a calamity like mine.” And she did not recognize him. Then she was informed that he was the Prophet. So she went to the house of the Prophet and there she did not find any guard. Then she said to him, “I did not recognize you.” He said, “Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.” (Bukhāri)

Even in patience, we are taught that the reward is for those hasten to it in the face of trials.

From only this short portion of the hadeeth of Ka’b (radhiAllahu anhu) we have learned the decisive factor that ultimately lead to the occurrence of this lesson laden story. We previously read that he said, “I wish I had done so!” But, he also added, “But it was not in my luck (qadar).”

Perhaps Allāh willed for him to go through this experience so that generations after him would take heed and respond to the words of Allāh;

فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ

“So hasten towards all that is good.” (al-Baqarah 2:148).



Hijrah of Prophet(pbuh)

Migration of the Prophet [pbuh]

When the iniquitous decision had been made, Gabriel was sent down to Muhammad
[pbuh] to reveal to him Quraish’s plot and give him his Lord’s Permission to leave
Makkah. He fixed to him the time of migration and asked him not to sleep that night
in his usual bed. At noon, the Prophet [pbuh] went to see his Companion Abu Bakr
and arranged with him everything for the intended migration. Abu Bakr was
surprised to see the Prophet [pbuh] masked coming to visit him at that unusual
time, but he soon learned that Allâh’s Command had arrived, and he proposed that
they should migrate together, to which the Prophet [pbuh] gave his consent.[Bukhari
To make the necessary preparations for the implementation of their devilish plan, the
chiefs of Makkah had chosen eleven men: Abu Jahl, Hakam bin Abil Al-‘As, ‘Uqbah
bin Abi Mu‘ait, An-Nadr bin Harith, Omaiyah bin Khalaf, Zama‘a bin Al-Aswad,
Tu‘aima bin ‘Adi, Abu Lahab, Ubai bin Khalaf, Nabih bin Al-Hajjaj and his brother
Munbih bin Al-Hajjaj. All were on the alert. As night advanced, they posted assassins
around the Prophet’s house. Thus they kept vigil all night long, waiting to kill him the
moment he left his house early in the morning, peeping now and then through a hole
in the door to make sure that he was still lying in his bed. Abu Jahl, the great enemy
of Islam, used to walk about haughtily and arrogantly jeering at Muhammad’s words,
saying to the people around him: “Muhammad claims that if you follow him, he will
appoint you rulers over the Arabs and non-Arabs and in the Hereafter your reward
will be Gardens similar to those in Jordan, otherwise, he will slaughter you and after
death you will be burnt in fire.”[Ibn Hisham 1/483] He was too confident of the success of
his devilish plan. Allâh, the All-Mighty, however, in Whose Hands lie the sovereignty
of the heavens and earth, does what He desires; He renders succour and can never
be overpowered. He did exactly what He later said to His Prophet:
“And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad
[pbuh]) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home,
i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allâh too was planning, and Allâh is the
Best of the planners.” [Al-Qur’an 8:30]
At that critical time the plans of Quraish utterly failed despite the tight siege they laid
to the Prophet’s house, the Prophet [pbuh] and ‘Ali were inside the house. The
Prophet [pbuh] told ‘Ali to sleep in his bed and cover himself with his green mantle
and assured him full security under Allâh’s protection and told him that no harm
would come to him. The Prophet [pbuh] then came out of the room and cast a
handful of dust at the assassins and managed to work his way through them reciting
verses of the Noble Qur’ân:
“And We have put a barrier before them, and a barrier behind them, and We
have covered them up, so that they cannot see.” [Al-Qur’an 36:9]
He proceeded direct to the house of Abu Bakr who, immediately accompanied him
and both set out southwards, clambered up the lofty peak of Mountain Thawr, and
decided to take refuge in a cave.[Ibn Hisham 1/483; Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/52]
The assassins who laid siege to the house were waiting for the zero hour when
someone came and informed them that the Prophet [pbuh] had already left. They
rushed in and to their utter surprise, found that the person lying in the Prophet’s bed

was ‘Ali not Muhammad [pbuh]. This created a stir in the whole town. The Prophet
[pbuh] had thus left his house on Safar 27th, the fourteenth year of Prophethood,
i.e. 12/13 September 622 A.D.[Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/95]
Knowing already that Quraish would mobilize all its potentials to find him, he played
a clever trick on them and instead of taking the road to Madinah in north side of
Makkah as the polythiest would expect, he walked along a road least expected lying
south of Makkah and leading to Yemen. He walked for 5 miles until he reached a
rough rocky mountain called Thawr. There his shoes were worn out, some said he
used to walk tiptoe in order not to leave a trail behind him. Abu Bakr [R] carried him
up the mountain to a cave called after the name of the mountain, Cave Thawr. Abu
Bakr first entered to explore the cave and be sure that it was safe, closed all holes
with pieces torn off from his clothes, cleaned it and then asked the Prophet [pbuh] to
step in. The Prophet [pbuh] went in and immediately laid his head in Abu Bakr’s lap
and fell asleep. Suddenly Abu Bakr’s foot was stung by a poisonous insect. It hurt so
much that his tears fell on the Prophet’s face. The Prophet [pbuh] immediately
applied his saliva on Abu Bakr’s foot and the pain went off on the spot. They confined
themselves to this cave for three nights, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. ‘Abdullah, the
son of Abu Bakr would go to see them after dusk, stay the night there, apprise them
of the latest situation in Makkah, and then leave in the early morning to mix with the
Makkans as usual and not to draw the least attention to his clandestine activities.
‘Amir bin Fuhairah, while in the company of other shepherds of Makkah tending his
master Abu Bakr’s flock, used to stole away unobserved every evening with a few
goats to the cave and furnished its inmates with a plentiful supply of milk.[Bukhari 1/553;
Ibn Hisham 1/486]
Quraish, on the other hand, were quite baffled and exasperated when the news of
the escape of the two companions was confirmed. They brought ‘Ali to Al-Ka‘bah,
beat him brutally and confined him there for an hour attempting desperately to make
him divulge the secret of the disappearance of the two ‘fugitives’, but to no avail.
They then went to see Asma’, Abu Bakr’s daughter, but here also their attempts
went in vain. While at her door Abu Jahl slapped the girl so severely that her earring
broke up.[Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/96; Ibn Hisham 1/487]
The notables of Makkah convened an emergency session to determine the future
course of action and explore all areas that could help arrest the two men. They
decided to block all avenues leading out of Makkah and imposed heavy armed
surveillance over all potential exits. A price of 100 camels was set upon the head of
each one.[Bukhari 1/554] Horsemen, infantry and tracers of tracks scoured the country.
Once they even reached the mouth of the cave where the Prophet [pbuh] and Abu
Bakr were hiding. When he saw the enemy at a very close distance, Abu Bakr
whispered to the Prophet [pbuh]: “What, if they were to look through the crevice and
detect us?” The Prophet [pbuh] in his God-inspired calm replied:
“Silence Abu Bakr! What do you think of those two with whom the Third is
Allâh.”[Bukhari 1/516; Mukhtasar Seerat Ar-Rasool p.168]
It was really a Divine miracle, the chasers were only a few steps from the cave.
For three days Muhammad [pbuh] and Abu Bakr lived in the cave and Quraish
continued their frantic efforts to get hold of them.

Someone called ‘Abdullah bin Uraiquit, who had as yet not embraced Islam, but was
trusted by Abu Bakr, and had been hired by him as a guide, reached the cave after
three nights according to a plan bringing with him Abu Bakr’s two camels. His report
satisfied the noble ‘fugitives’ that the search had slackened. The opportunity to
depart was come. Here Abu Bakr offered the Prophet [pbuh] the swift animal to ride
on. The latter agreed provided that he would pay its price. They took with them the
food provisions that Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr, brought and tied in a bundle of
her waistband, after tearing it into two parts, hence the appellation attached to her:
“Asma’ of the two waistbands.” The Prophet [pbuh], Abu Bakr and ‘Amir bin Fuhairah
departed, and their guide ‘Abdullah bin Uraiquit led them on hardly ever trodden
ways along the coastal route. That was in Rabi‘ Al- Awwal, 1st year A.H., i.e.
September 622 A.D. The little caravan travelled through many villages on their way
to Quba’. In this context, it is relevant to introduce some interesting incidents that
featured their wearying journey:
1. One day they could find no shelter from the scorching heat so Abu Bakr [R]
cast a glance and found a little shade beside a rock. He cleaned the ground,
spread his mantle for the Prophet [pbuh] to lie on and himself went off in
search of food. He came across a shepherd, a bedouin boy, who was also
seeking a shelter. Abu Bakr asked him for some milk and took it to the
Prophet [pbuh], cooled it with some water and waited till the Prophet [pbuh]
woke up and quenched his thirst.[Bukhari 1/510]
2. Whoever asked Abu Bakr [R] about the identity of his honourable companion,
he would reply that he was a man who guided him on his way. The questioner
would think that Muhammad [pbuh] was a guide, in terms of roads, whereas
Abu Bakr used to mean guide to the way of righteousness.[Bukhari 1/556]
3. Quraish, as we have already mentioned, had declared that whoever would
seize Muhammad [pbuh] would receive a hundred camels as reward. This had
spurred many persons to try their luck. Among those who were on the
lookout for the Prophet [pbuh] and his companion in order to win the reward
was Suraqah, the son of Malik. He, on receiving information that a party of
four, had been spotted on a certain route, decided to pursue it secretly so
that he alone should be the winner of the reward. He mounted a swift horse
and went in hot pursuit of them. On the way the horse stumbled and he fell
on the ground. On drawing a lot so as to divine whether he should continue
the chase or not, as the Arabs used to do in such circumstances, he found the
omens unpropitious. But the lust for material wealth blinded him altogether
and he resumed the chase. Once more he met with the same fate but paid no
heed to it. Again he jumped onto the saddle and galloped at a break-neck
speed till he came quite close to the Prophet [pbuh]. Abu Bakr’s heart
agitated and he kept looking back while the Prophet [pbuh] remained
steadfast and continued reciting verses of the Qur’ân.
The repeated stumbling of Suraqah’s horse and his falling off awakened him
to the situation, and he realized that it was a constant warning of Allâh for his
evil design which he contemplated against the Prophet [pbuh]. He approached
the travelling group with a penitent heart and begged of the Prophet [pbuh]
forgiveness in all humility. He addressed the Prophet [pbuh] and his
companion, saying: “Your people (the Quraishites) have promised a generous
reward to anyone who captures you.” He added that he offered them
provision but they declined his offer. They only asked him to screen off their
departure and blind the polytheists to their hiding place. Then the Prophet

[pbuh] forgave him and confirmed it with a token written by ‘Amir bin
Fuhairah on a piece of parchment. Suraqah hurried back to Makkah and tried
to foil the attempts of those who were in pursuit of Muhammad [pbuh] and
his noble companions. The sworn enemy was converted into an honest
believer.[Bukhari 1/516, 1/554; Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/53]
In a version by Abu Bakr [R], he said: “We emigrated while the Makkans were
in pursuit of us. None caught up with us except Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju‘sham
on a horse. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, this one has caught up with us.’ The
Prophet [pbuh] replied:
‘Don’t be cast down, verily, Allâh is with us.’”
4. The party continued its journey until it reached to solitary tents belonging to a
woman called Umm Ma‘bad Al-Khuza‘iyah. She was a gracious lady who sat at
her tent-door with a mat spread out for any chance traveller that might pass
by the way. Fatigued and thirsty, the Prophet [pbuh] and his companions
wanted to refresh themselves with food and some milk. The lady told them
that the flock was out in the pasture and the goat standing nearby was almost
dry. It was a rainless year. The Prophet [pbuh], with her permission, touched
its udders, reciting over them the Name of Allâh, and to their great joy, there
flowed plenty of milk out of them. The Prophet [pbuh] first offered that to the
lady of the house, and he shared what was left with the members of the
party. Before he left, he milked the goat, filled the container and gave it to
Umm Ma‘bad. Later on, her husband arrived with slender goats hardly having
any milk in their udders. He was astonished to see milk in the house. His wife
told him that a blessed man passed by the way, and then she gave details
about his physical appearance and manner of talk. Here Abu Ma‘bad realized
on the spot that the man was the one whom Quraish were searching for and
asked her to give full description of him. She gave a wonderful account of his
physique and manners, to which we will go in detail later in the process of
talking about his attributes and merits.
Abu Ma‘bad, after listening to his wife’s account, expressed a sincere wish to
accompany the Prophet [pbuh] whenever that was possible, and reiterated his
admiration in verses of poetry that echoed all over Makkah to such an extent
that the people therein thought it was a jinn inculcating words in their ears.
Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr, on hearing those lines, got to know that the
two companions were heading for Madinah .[Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/54] The short poem
opened with thanks giving to Allâh having given them (the Ma‘bads) the
chance to host the Prophet [pbuh] for a while. It then gave an account of the
bliss that would settle in the heart of the Prophet’s companion whosoever he
was; it closed with an invitation to all mankind to come and see by
themselves Umm Ma‘bad, her goat and the container of milk that would all
testify to the truthfulness of the Prophet [pbuh] .
5. On his way to Madinah , the Prophet [pbuh] met Abu Buraidah, one of those
driven by their lust for the reward of Quraish. No sooner did he face the
Prophet [pbuh] and talk with him, than he embraced Islam along with

seventy of his men. He took off his turban, tied it round his lance and took it
as a banner bearing witness that the angel of security and peace had come to
imbue the whole world with justice and fairness.[Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/101]
6. The two Emigrants resumed their journey. It was during this time that they
met Az-Zubair at the head of a caravan returning from Syria. There was
warm greeting and Az-Zubair presented to them two white garments which
they thankfully accepted.[Bukhari 1/554]
On Monday, 8th Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, the fourteenth year of Prophethood, i.e. September
23rd. 622, the Messenger of Allâh arrived at Quba’.[Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/102]
As soon as the news of Muhammad’s arrival began to spread, crowds came flocking
out of Madinah . They would come every morning and wait eagerly for his
appearance until forced by the unbearable heat of the midday sun to return. One day
they had gone as usual, and after a long wait and watch they retired to the city when
a Jew, catching a glimpse of three travellers clad in white winding their way to
Madinah , shouted from the top of a hillock: “O you people of Arabia! Your
grandfather has come! He, whom you have been eagerly waiting for, has come!” The
Muslims immediately rushed holding their weapons, (to defend him)[Bukhari 1/555]
. The joyful news soon spread through the city and people marched forward to greet
their noble guest.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “The shouts of ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (Allâh is Great) resounded in Banu
‘Amr bin ‘Auf. Muhammad’s [pbuh] elation correspondingly increased, but with rare
sense of timing and propriety, called a halt. Serenity enveloped him and the
ñevelation was sent down:[Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/54]
“… then verily, Allâh is his Maula (Lord, Master or Protector), and Gabriel,
and the righteous among the believers, – and furthermore, the angels – are
his helpers.” [Al-Qur’an 66:4][Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/54; Ibn Hisham 1/493]
‘Urwah bin Az-Zubair said: They received the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] , and went
with them to the right. There Banu ‘Amr bin ‘Awf hosted him. That was on Monday,
Rabi‘ Al-Awwal. He sat down silent, and Al-Ansar (the Helpers), who had not had the
opportunity to see him before, came in to greet him: It is said that the sun became
too hot so Abu Bakr stood up to shade him from the hot sun rays.[Bukhari 1/555] It was
really an unprecedented day in Madinah . The Jews could perceive concretely the
veracity of their Prophet Habquq, who said: ‘God has come from At-Taiman, and the
Qudus one from Faran Mount.’
Muhammad [pbuh] stayed in Quba’ with Kulthum bin Al-Hadm, a hospitable chief of
the tribe of ‘Amr bin ‘Awf. Here he spent four days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday . It was during this period that the foundation of Quba’ Mosque was
laid on the basis of pure piety. ‘Ali hung back in Makkah for three days to return the
trusts, on behalf of the Prophet [pbuh], to their respective owners. After that he
started his emigration journey to catch up with him at Quba’.[Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/54; Ibn Hisham
On Friday morning, the Prophet [pbuh], sent for Bani An-Najjar, his maternal uncles,
to come and escort him and Abu Bakr to Madinah . He rode towards the new
headquarters amidst the cordial greetings of his Madinese followers who had lined
his path. He halted at a place in the vale of Banu Salim and there he performed his

Friday prayer with a hundred others [Bukhari 1/555] . Meanwhile the tribes and
families of Madinah , the new name for Yathrib and a short form of ‘The Messenger’s
Madinah (City)’, came streaming forth, and vied with one another in inviting the
noble visitor to their homes. The girls of the Madinese used to chant beautiful verses
of welcome rich in all meanings of obedience and dutifulness to the new Messenger.
Though not wealthy, every Ansar (Helper) was wholeheartedly eager and anxious to
receive the Messenger in his house. It was indeed a triumphal procession. Around
the camel of Muhammad [pbuh] and his immediate followers, rode the chiefs of the
city in their best raiment and in glittering armour, everyone saying: “Alight here O
Messenger of Allâh, abide by us.” Muhammad [pbuh] used to answer everyone
courteously and kindly: “This camel is commanded by Allâh, wherever it stops, that
will be my abode.”
The camel moved onward with slackened rein, reached the site of the Prophetic
Mosque and knelt down. He did not dismount until it rose up again, went on forward,
turned back and then returned to kneel down in the very former spot. Here, he
alighted in a quarter inhabited by Banu Najjar, a tribe related to the Prophet [pbuh]
from the maternal side. In fact, it was his wish to honour his maternal uncles and
live among them. The fortunate host, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, stepped forward with
unbounded joy for the Divine blessing appropriated to him, welcomed the Noble
Guest and solicited him to enter his house. [Za’d Al-Ma’ad 2/55]
A few days later, there arrived the Prophet’s spouse Sawdah, his two daughters
Fatimah and Umm Kulthum, Usama bin Zaid, Umm Aiman, ‘Abdullah — son of Abu
Bakr with Abu Bakr’s house-hold including ‘Aishah [R]Ç. Zainab was not able to
emigrate and stayed with her husband Abi Al- ‘As till Badr Battle. [Bukhari 1/556]
‘Aishah [R]Ç said: “When the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] arrived in Madinah , both
Abu Bakr and Bilal fell ill. I used to attend to their needs. When the fever took firm
grip of Abu Bakr he used to recite verses of poetry that smacked of near death; Bilal,
when the fit of fever alleviated, would also recite verses of poetry that pointed to
clear homesickness.” ‘Aishah [R]Ç added:
“I briefed the Prophet [pbuh] on their grave situation, and he replied: O Allâh, we
entreat You to establish in our hearts a strong love for Madinah equal to that we
used to have for Makkah, or even more. O Allâh, bless and increase the wealth of
Madinah and we beseech You to transmute its rotten mud into wholesome edible
fat.” [Bukhari 1/588]



Hijrah route presentaion link :



SURAH  AL E  IMRAN 145-155:




Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.




And it is not [possible] for one to die except by permission of Allah at a decree determined. And whoever desires the reward of this world – We will give him thereof; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter – We will give him thereof. And we will reward the grateful.

The Journey to Allâh, the Sublime

Symptoms of Farewell
When the Call to Islam grew complete and the new faith dominated the whole
situation. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] started to develop certain symptoms that
bespoke of leave-taking. They could be perceived through his statements and deeds:
In Ramadan in the tenth year of Al-Hijra he secluded himself for twenty days
in contrast to ten, previously.
The archangel Gabriel reviewed the Qur’ân twice with him.
His words in the Farewell Pilgrimage (i.e. Al-Wida‘):”I do not know whether
I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year.”
The revelation of An-Nasr Chapter amid At-Tashreeq Days. So when it was
sent down on him, he realized that it was the parting time and that Surah was
an announcement of his approaching death.
On the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet [pbuh]
went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer to the martyrs. It looked
like saying goodbye to both the dead and the living alike. He then ascended
the pulpit and addressed the people saying: “I am to precede you and I
have been made witness upon you. By Allâh, you will meet me at the
‘Fountain’ very soon. I have been given the keys of worldly treasures.
By Allâh, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me.
But I do fear that acquisition of worldly riches should entice you to
strike one another’s neck.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/585]
One day, at midnight he went to Al-Baqee‘ cemetry, and implored Allâh to
forgive the martyrs of Islam. He said: “Peace be upon you tomb-dwellers!
May that morning that dawns upon you be more relieving than that which
dawn upon the living. Afflictions are approaching them like cloudy lumps of a
dark night — the last of which follows the first. The last one is bearing more
evil than the first.” He comforted them saying: “We will follow you.”
The Start of the Disease
On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al- Hijra, he participated
in funeral rites in Al-Baqee‘. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature
rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband.
He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number
of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.
The Last Week
When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: “Where shall I stay tomorrow?”
“Where shall I stay?” They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay
wherever he wished. He moved to ‘Aishah’s room leaning — while he was walking —
on Al- Fadl bin Al-‘Abbas and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. Head banded as he was, he dragged
his feet till he came into her abode. It was there that he spent the last week of his
During that period, ‘Aishah used to recite Al-Mu‘awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of
the Qur’ân) and other supplications which he had already taught her.
Five days before death
On Wednesday, five days before he died the Prophet’s temperature rose so high
signalling the severeness of his disease. He fainted and suffered from pain. “Pour out
on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that I may go out to
meet people and talk to them.” So they seated him in a container (usually used for
washing) and poured out water on him till he said: “That is enough. That is enough.”
Then he felt well enough to enter the Mosque. He entered it band-headed, sat on the
pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. He
“The curse of Allâh falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made
their Prophets’ tombs places of worship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/62; Mustta’ Imam
Malik p.360]
Then he said:
“Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol.” [Muatta’ Imam Malik p.65]
Then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have
inflicted on them, saying:
“He whom I have ever lashed his back, I offer him my back so that he may
avenge himself on me. He whom I have ever blasphemed his honour, here I
am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself.”
Then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. Again he returned to the pulpit
and sat on it. He resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things.
A man then said: “You owe me three Dirhams.” The Prophet [pbuh] said: “Fadl, pay
him the money.” He went on saying:
“I admonish you to be good to Al-Ansar (the Helpers). They are my family
and with them I found shelter. They have acquitted themselves credibly of
the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have
to do. You should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they
have shown, and should overlook their faults.”
In another version:
“The number of believers would increase, but the number of Helpers would
decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. So
he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful
enough to do harm or good to the people, he should fully acknowledge and
appreciate the favour that these benefactors have shown and overlook their
faults.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/536]
And said:
“Allâh, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice
between whatever he desires of Allâh’s provisions in this world, and what
He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter.”
Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: “Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice
our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a
thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] says about
a slave of Allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world
and the bounty of Allâh in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and
mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged
that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us.” [Mishkat Al-Masabih 2/546]
Then the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] said:
“The fellow I feel most secure in his company is Abu Bakr. If I were to make
friendship with any other one than Allâh, I would have Abu Bakr a bosom
friend of mine. For him I feel affection and brotherhood of Islam. No gate
shall be kept open in the Mosque except that of Abu Bakr’s.” [Sahih Al-
Bukhari 1/22, 429, 449, 2/638; Mishkat Al-Masabih 2/548]
Four days before his death
On Thursday, four days before the death of the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh], he said to
people — though he was suffering from a severe pain: “Come here. I will cause you
to write something so that you will never fall into error.” Upon this ‘Umar bin Al-
Khattab said: “The Prophet of Allâh [pbuh] is suffering from acute pain and you have
the Qur’ân with you; the Book of Allâh is sufficient unto you.” Others however
wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad [pbuh] heard them debating over
it, he ordered them to go away and leave him alone. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/637]
That day he recommended three things:
1. Jews, Christians and polytheists should be expelled out of Arabia.
2. He recommended that delegations should be honoured and entertained, in a
way similar to the one he used to do.
3. As for the third — the narrator said that he had forgotten it. It could have
been adherence to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. It was likely to be the
accomplishment and the mobilization of Osamah’s army, or it could have been
performance of prayers and being attentive to slaves.
In spite of the strain of disease and suffering from pain, the Prophet [pbuh] used to
lead all the prayers till that Thursday — four days before he died. On that day he led
the sunset prayer and recited:
“By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allâh) sent forth one after
another.” [Al-Qur’an 77:1] [Mishkat Al-Masabih 1/102]
In the evening he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or
go out to enter the Mosque. ‘Aishah said: The Prophet [pbuh] asked: “Have the
people performed the prayer?” “No. They haven’t. They are waiting for you.” “Put
some water in the washing pot.” Said he. We did what he ordered. So he washed
and wanted to stand up, but he fainted. When he came round he asked again “Have
the people prayed?” Then the same sequence of events took place again and again
for the second and the third times from the time he washed to the time he fainted
after his attempts to stand up. Therefore he sent to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer
himself. Abu Bakr then led the prayer during those days. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/99]
They were seventeen prayers in the lifetime of Muhammad [pbuh].
Three or four times ‘Aishah talked to the Prophet [pbuh] to exempt Abu Bakr from
leadership in prayer lest people should despair of him, but he refused and said:
“You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into
immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.”
A Day or Two prior to Death
On Saturday or on Sunday, the Prophet [pbuh] felt that he was well enough to
perform the prayer; so he went out leaning on two men in order to perform the noon
prayer. Abu Bakr, who was then about to lead the prayer withdrew when he saw him
coming; but the Prophet [pbuh] made him a gesture to stay where he was and said:
“Seat me next to him.” They seated him on the left hand side of Abu Bakr. The
Prophet [pbuh] led the prayer, and Abu Bakr followed him and raised his voice at
every ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (i.e. Allâh is the Greatest) the Prophet [pbuh] said, so that the
people may hear clearly. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/98,99]
A Day before his Death
On Sunday, a day before he died, the Prophet [pbuh] set his slaves free, paid as a
charity the seven Dinars he owned and gave his weapons as a present to the
Muslims. So when night fell ‘Aishah had to borrow some oil from her neighbour to
light her oil-lantern.
Even his armour was mortgaged as a security with a Jew for thirty Sa‘ (a cubic
measure) of barley.
The Last Day Alive
In a narration by Anas bin Malik, he said: “While the Muslims were performing the
dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] raising the curtain of ‘Aishah’s room. He looked at them
while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu
Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he
thought that the Prophet [pbuh] wanted to go out and pray.” Anas said: “The
Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured
at their prayers. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] made them a gesture to continue
their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain.” [ibid 2/640]
The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] did not live for the next prayer time.
When it was daytime, the Prophet [pbuh] called Fatimah and told her something in a
secret voice that made her cry. Then he whispered to her something else which
made her laugh. ‘Aishah enquired from her after the Prophet’s death, as to this
weeping and laughing to which Fatimah replied: “The first time he disclosed to me
that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would
be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/638]
He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the
world. [Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 1/282]
Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: “What great
pain my father is in!”. To these words, the Prophet [pbuh] remarked:
“He will not suffer any more when today is over.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/641]
He asked that Al-Hasan and Al-Husain be brought to him. He kissed them and
recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were
brought to him. He preached them and told them to remember Allâh. Pain grew so
much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaibar came to light. It was so sore
that he said to ‘Aishah: “I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaibar.
I feel as if death is approaching.” [ibid 2/637] He ordered the people to perform the
prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times. [ibid 2/637]
The Prophet [pbuh] breathes his Last
When the pangs of death started, ‘Aishah leant him against her. She used to say:
One of Allâh’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] died in my
house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was
leaning against me. Allâh has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur
Rahman — the son of Abu Bakr — came in with a Siwak (i.e. the root of a desert
plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allâh
[pbuh] against me. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak, so I asked him — for
I knew that he wanted it — “Would you like me to take it for you?” He nodded in
agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him
“Shall I soften it for you?” He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva
and he passed it (on his teeth).
In another version it is said: “So he brushed (Istanna) his teeth as nice as he could.”
There was a water container (Rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He
put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said:
“There is no god but Allâh. Death is full of agonies.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/640]
As soon as he had finished his Siwak brushing, he raised his hand or his finger up,
looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘Aishah listened to him. She
heard him say: “With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the
Prophets and the Truthful ones (As-Siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the good doers. O
Allâh, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on
high.” [ibid 2/638-641] Then at intervals he uttered these words: “The most exalted
Companionship on high. To Allâh we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last
abode.” This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi‘
Al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Al-Hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days
old when he died.
The Companions’ concern over the Prophet’s Death
The great (loss) news was soon known by everybody in Madinah. Dark grief spread
on all areas and horizons of Madinah. Anas said:
“I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the
Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] came to us; and I have never witnessed a more
awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
died on.” [Mishkat-ul-Masabih 2/547]
When he died, Fatimah said: “O Father, whom his Lord responded to his
supplication! O Father, whose abode is Paradise. O Father, whom I announce his
death to Gabriel.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/641]
‘Umar’s Attitude
‘Umar, who was so stunned that he almost lost consciousness and stood before
people addressing them: “Some of the hypocrites claim that the Messenger of Allâh
[pbuh] died. The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] did not die, but went to his Lord in the
same way as Moses bin ‘Imran did. He stayed away for forty nights, but finally came
back though they said he had been dead. By Allâh, the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
will come back and he will cut off the hands and legs of those who claim his death.”
[Ibn Hisham 2/655]
Abu Bakr’s Attitude
Abu Bakr left his house at As-Sunh and came forth to the Mosque on a mare-back.
At the Mosque, he dismounted and entered. He talked to nobody but went on till he
entered ‘Aishah’s abode, and went directly to where the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh]
was. The Prophet [pbuh] was covered with a Yemeni mantle. He uncovered his face
and tended down, kissed him and cried. Then he said: “I sacrifice my father and
mother for your sake. Allâh, verily, will not cause you to die twice. You have just
experienced the death that Allâh had ordained.”
Then he went out and found ‘Umar talking to people. He said: “‘Umar, be seated.”
‘Umar refused to do so. People parted ‘Umar and came towards Abu Bakr, who
started a speech saying:
“And now, he who worships Muhammad [pbuh]. Muhammad is dead now.
But he who worships Allâh, He is Ever Living and He never dies. Allâh says:
‘Muhammad ([pbuh])is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many)
Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you
then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on
his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, and Allâh will give reward
to those who are grateful.’” [Al-Qur’an 3:144]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “By Allâh, it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’ânic
verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So people started reciting it till there was
no man who did not recite it.”
Ibn Al-Musaiyab said that ‘Umar had said: “By Allâh, as soon as I heard Abu Bakr
say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me so I
collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad [pbuh]
had really died.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/640,641]
Burial and Farewell Preparations to his Honourable Body
Dispute about who would succeed him [pbuh] broke out even before having the
Messenger of Allâh’s body prepared for burial. Lots of arguments, discussions,
dialogues took place between the Helpers and Emigrants in the roofed passage
(portico) of Bani Sa‘ida. Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr [R]e as a caliph. They
spent the whole Monday there till it was night. People were so busy with their
arguments that it was late night — just about dawn of Tuesday — yet his blessed
body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the
On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by Al-‘Abbas,
‘Ali, Al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of Al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the
Messenger’s freed slave, Osamah bin Zaid and Aws bin Khauli. Al-‘Abbas, Al-Fadl and
Qathm turned his body round, whereas Osamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali
washed him and Aws leant him against his chest.
They shrouded him in three white Sahooli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth
[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/169; Sahih Muslim 1/306] nor a casing and inserted him in.
A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place. Abu Bakr said: “I heard
the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ So Abu
Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make
the tomb.
People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet [pbuh]. The first to
pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women
prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray.
This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes
Wednesday morning). ‘Aishah said: “We did not know that the Prophet [pbuh] was
being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of
Wednesday night.” [Mukhtasar Seerat Ar-Rasool p.471; Ibn Hisham 2/649-665; Talqeeh Fuhoom Ahl Al-Athar p.38, 39;
Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 1/277-286]