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It was the 13th year of Muhammad's mission . One day he informed his companions that he had been divinely commmanded to migrate to Yathrib ,and all his followers immediately sold or discarded whatever they possessed, house or property, wealth or business ,or chards and camels . For the next forty five days they left in parties of two or three for Yathrib .They loved their houses and their lands,as we all do ,but this time they were soattuned to unquestioning obedience to the revealed word that no other consideration previled .

Mecca was now almost empty of Muslims. only the prophet himself , his friend Abu Bakr and his cousin Ali remaind . this mass migration brought neither solace nor relief to the enemies of Muhammad . On the other hand, they felt that even though the Muslims had voluntarily surrendered all they had possessed in Mecca, they had at the same time escaped beyond the pale of hardships and persecution which might have ultimately broken their risistance .Moreover, the friendship, and hospitality they were promised in Medina,would only help to confirm them in their intransigence and leave them free to subvert other tribes . They decided then on a final and desperate remedy , namely, to murder Muhammad, an idea they had long toyed with , without success. Thus it was plnnned that on a night previously fixed , they should be surround the house where Muhammad slept, and the momente he awoke to fall on him together so that the guilt of his blood should be shared by such a large number of powerful clans that Muhammad's clan , the Banu Hashim ,would not dare to face them all for revenge.

muhammad learned of the conspiracy shortly before the appinted night he handed over to Ali all the goods he held in trust for the people of Mecca . Strangely enough, for all their animosity against him ,the Meccans still entrusted him with all their valuables . It never occurred to them that a man so scrupulously honest in his personl dealings would hardly mislead them so unscrupulously in matters of faith . Muhammad made Ali lie on his bed , covered him with his sheet , and made for house of Abu Bakr "the order has come to leave," he said . Abu Bakr nearly wept with joy when he heard these words , and together they left for Yathrib. As the first light of dawn crept over the house of Abu Talib , the pagan chiefs unsheahed their swords and went towards Muhammad's bed ,only to find it occupied by Ali.

Discomfited and unhappy,they immediately despatched their best riders in pursuit of the fugitive ..Up and down they searched and hunted over all the tracks ,roads and passes leading out of Mecca ,but there was no trace of Muhammad. he and Abu Bakr had taken shelter in the cave called Thaur some distance from Mecca . for three days they hid in the cave , the pursuers hovering around . One day a band came so near the mouth of the cave tht their voices could be distinctly heard inside . Abu Bakr , greatly troubled in heart , said to Muhammad ," there are only two of us and they are many, what if we are discovered ?" Muhammad replied " Fear not there are not tw of us but three , and the third amongst us is God."

evey day towards sunset Abu Bakr's daughter Asma would send food and drink to the cave . a slave would brings goats to the mouth of the cave . milk them and leave the milk in the cave .he would also brings news regarding the movements of the enemy . after three days the slave brought tidings that coast was clear and they left for Medina, before Muhammad mounted Abu Bakr's she-camel for the journey , he settled on the price of the animal with his friends. Mecca chiefs had not given up hope of capturing their quarry or even though all their efforts had so far been unsuccessful . They now proclaimed a prize of hundrde camels for the captur of Muhammad ,aliver or dead . For an arab one hundred camels was more than a fortune. The fastest rider of them all , a man Suraqa by name heard of the prize and left in pursuit ., he was hardly past the suburbs of Mecca when his horse floundered and fell . The men did not deter him he sped towards Medina, and at last sighted his prey .His exultation however was short-lived his speeding horse was suddenly sucked down into a patch of quicksand ., he returned to Mecca on foot.

It was afternoon of Saturday , 8th of Rabi -el Awwal ,according to the Arabic calendar , when Muhammad arrived at Qibaa , a place on the outskirts of Medina where he rested for a few days ., where his cousin Ali joined him and where he built a mosque , a plase greatly revered by Muslims to this day . the Muslim Calendar begins with this year because the new chapter that opend in the career of the Prophet , and the history of the Muslim on his arrival at Medina , was a chapter of unbroken succsses and uninterrupted progress .

the news of his arrival at Qibaa soon reached Medina and every morning people gathered on the outskirts of the city to give him welcome .They would stand and wait the whole morning until the sun was high and the heat unbearable, and then return to their homes, sad and disappionted . the path leading to qubaa remaind lonely and deserted. At last the great day arrived . News was brought to Yathrib that Muhammed was at last on his way . the Banu Najjar led the welcoming crowds in full armour , their weapons glistening in the sun. the whole of Yathrib lined the road in orderly rows. Young girls played on their tambourines and sang songs of welcome . Muhammad entered with Abu Bakr shielding him against the sun with his cloak . the lead of every household in Medina went forward to meet him anxiously for the honour of offering him hospitality . Muhammad said " loosen your hold on the reins of my camel and whereever she stops , there will I stay. " the camel wandered into the quarters of the Banu Najjar and sat in an empty lot , opposite the gate where Muhannad's mosque ,"Masjid -i-Nabwi" ,stands. the land belonged to two orphan boys . Muhammad paid them the price of the land and built on it a mosque with two rooms for his own abode .While this was being built , he stayed with a pious Medinite , Abu Ayub Ansari . Before the Hijra (flight, or migration ) of Muhammad , Medina , "the city ", was called Yathrib as previously mentioned. It now came to be known as Medina- ul -Nabi,the city of the prophet, Medina for short . When the mosque was being built Muhammad and his companion worked and slaved together like labourers, digging foundations, carting stones, mixing mortar. it was a simple strcture ., at one end there was a canopy with a stone platform beneath, which served as shelter for those of Muhammad's followers who where homeless. These men called "Ehli- Suffa " "those of the stone-bench ". they were the wandering missionarise of the new faith .they would sit at the feet of their master , listen to his words and then carry them to sundry place in the peninsula . All of Muhammad's companion led simple and austere lives, but the Ahla- Suffa excelled them all in asceticism and austerity .

Muhammad's next task was to find shelter and livelihood for the men who had accompanied him from Mecca ., in their own home-town many of them were prosperous and well-to-do ,but now they were all equally destitut. as a preliminary step Muhammad enjoined the Muslims of Medina , now known as Ansar (helpers) to adopt as brothers their co-religionists from Mecca ,now known as Muhajirs (refugees), to share with them like their own kith and kin whatever they possessed , in prosperity and in want . These bonds endured and the refugees were soon absorbed into the community .

in Medina there was also a large Jewish population with whom Muhammad then negotiated an agreement in order to adjust their relation with his followers . the salient features of this agreement were as follows :-

1- Every tribe and clan would manage its affairs and settle its own disputes according to its own law.

2- No party in Medina, either Muslim or Jewish would directly negotiate any treaty or agreement at any time with any outside party residing beyond the precincts of Medina .

3- In case of war outside Medina no Medinites would be compelled to join either of the warring parties .

4- In all disputes in Medina ,Muhammad would be the final arbitrating authority .

After Muhamed and his companions left Mecca , their enemies were , for some time happy and content . this was not for long . Stories began to filter that the Medinites had accepted Muhammad as their undisputed ruler and pledged him undying support , that his faith was flourishing that the Muslims went about their pious ways without let or hindrance and feared the pagans no more ., So the desire for vengeance flared up once agin in many Meccans' hearts. They knew of a crafty and ambitious man in Medina ., Abdullh the son of Ubayy and sought to make him their ally. They invited him in secret to mobilize like-minded Medinites and to join hands with the Quraysh in exterminating the Muslims. Otherwise their ominous message ran "the Quraysh and their allies will lay your town low , kill all your men and make slaves of your women and children. ",Abdullh Ibn Ubayy, none too unwilling , called a council of his friends together with some Jewish leaders of the commuinty and told them of the communication he had received.

" let us rid ourselves of these intruders ,"he urged, "to save our lives and our honour." The conspiracy was soon brought to the notice of Muhammad .

As was his want , he went straight to Abdullh Ibn Ubayy and reasoned with him . the man prostested innocence, denied all evil intentions and sowre loyalty to the Muslims' cause . but his heart was full of treachery .

About this time a chieftain of the Aus tribe from Medina went on a pilgrimage to Mecca .,Abu Jahl came upon him and chided him furiously." How dare you come to Mecca ," He said " you , who are aiding and arming our bitterest enemy?" "Listen," said the Aus chief in reply , "we have so far given protection to your caravans passing through Medina .

We have never barred their path nor interfered with their trading , but if you insist on hostility , their safety is no longer assured."

While Muhammad was trying to foster friendship and amity among his people in Medina ,to make them forget their ancient trible feuds and to unite them into a single fraternal community , the leaders of Mecca , more frustrated than ever began to plan actively for bloodshed and aggression. all these plans soon reached Medina and Muslims prepared themselves for self-defence under their illustrious leader.

the Meccan plan was two-fold . On the one hand they engaged in preparing a large army of invasion and on the other , in inciting all the other Arab tribes to take up arms . their caravans which went on trading mission to Syria and other lands propagated hatred and hostility against the Muslims wherever halted on the way. Nearly the whole of their words and the very air began to smell of violence , directed against that small band entrenched in Medina .

 
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