Chapter 4: Opposition in Mecca, Migration to Abyssinia and the Pledges of Al – Aquaabah
Part 2: In the last chapter 3, we outlined how Muhammad invited the people of Mecca to Islam openly and his speech on Mount Al-Safa. In Part 2, we will cover the opposition in Mecca and how the Muslims suffered and the first migration.
Prophet Muhammad – PBUH after addressing the Meccans openly on the Mount Al Safa, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad-PBUH made fun of him and ridiculed him. His response towards Muhammad – PBUH was very negative. Since that day, Abu Lahab and His wife made the life of Muhammad- PBUH very difficult. The wife of Abu Lahab would even throw dirt at the Prophet Muhammad – PBUH but the Prophet never uttered a word.
Even though that very few people embraced Islam and despite the hardships faced by the new converts and the Prophet –PBUH himself, they all continued to spread the words of Islam to others and their faiths became stronger and stronger day by day. The Prophet – PBUH continued received revelation and Allah was guiding him through his prophet hood. His wife Khadijah was a strong support to him as well.
Islam started spreading across Mecca and the Quraysh as a result became worried as the Prophet – PBUH was openly attacking their idols and practices. Therefore, the Quraysh decided to torture the Muslims by ensuring they do not have food work and also inflicted physical torture to the Muslims. The situation became so difficult and unbearable that Allah ordered the new Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia – Ethiopia to seek refuge and protection from the King Negus who was a Christian. Muhammad – PBUH advised the new converts to leave Mecca and to travel to the other side of the Red sea in order to escape the Meccans persecutions.
Migration to Abyssinia
As ordered by Allah and guided by the Prophet Muhammad- PBUH, the Muslims left Mecca secretly and made their first journey to Abyssinia in hope of getting refuge where they can practise Islam without any fear. The Muslims arrived in Abyssinia safely after a long difficult journey and they met by the Emperor Negus and his disciples. They were asked by the Emperor why they had left their land and the Muslims explained that Muhammad- PBUH has taught them how to be kind, helpful and how to treat others with respect and has also invited them to the new religion of Islam. They also added that they believed in Muhammad – PBUH as he is the kindest and most trustworthy amongst the Meccans and they have accepted his message. In order to convince Negus, one the Muslims recited a verse from the Holy Quran about Mary and Jesus. When Negus and his disciples heard the verses of the Quran, they were moved and they concluded that the verses recited from the Quran came from a similar source as the bible. Ultimately, the Emperor gave permission to the Muslims to remain, live and practise Islam in Abyssinia and alleged to protect them against their persecutors. Hence, the Muslims found an abode to settle and practise as well as spread the words of Allah.
Meanwhile, in Mecca, Muhammad – PBUH and some of his close companions stayed with him to help him in spreading the message of Allah. The Meccans continued to persecute the remaining Muslims or the newly converts and the situation became very difficult. However, they could not harm Muhamad – PBUH directly as Abu Talib, his uncle was protecting him. Abu Talib was a great warrior as well as a very influential man in Mecca and he was highly respected and feared too. Muhammad – PBUH was safe as long as Abu Talib was alive, however when he passed away, Muhammad’s –PBUH life was no longer safe. The Meccans attempted to hurt Muhammad- PBUH several times after the demise of Abu Talib. Unfortunately, after a few months, Khadijah, his wife and the first woman who embraced Islam also departed from the world. Muhammad – PBUH was deeply affected by the loss of his wife and he felt that it was longer safe for him and his followers to live in Mecca.
Pledges of Al- Aquaabah
During that same time, the people from Yathrib came to perform pilgrimage to Mecca. The Prophet –PBUH decided to meet them discretely and discussed about Islam and twelve of them converted to Islam. They also discussed about welcoming the Prophet – PBUH in Yathrib and they agreed and made a treaty with him. This was known as the first pledge of Al Aquaabah. The next year, seventy five people came to Mecca on trade and to offer sacrifices and they also met with Prophet Muhammad – PBUH secretly. During this visit, they also accepted Islam and they pledged allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad – PBUH. This was known as the second pledge of Al Aquaabah.
Muhammad – PBUH established a good relationship with the people of Yathrib and started preparing for the migration of the Muslims and himself to Yathrib where the people were eagerly awaiting for his arrival as well as the Muslims. During the preparation of the migration, the Muslims continued to be persecuted by the Meccans and they also attempted to kill the Prophet – PBUH.
The migration to Yathrib is known as the Hijra. As a matter of fact, the people of Yathrib played a vital role in the spread of Islam as well as protecting the Prophet Muhammad – PBUH and the Muslims. Islam indeed bloomed in Yathrib as well as to the nearby countries after the Hijra.