On the Road of Hijrah
Certainty, trust, and submission to Allah’s Will were the provisions of the Messenger (pbuh) along the path of emigration from Makkah to Al-Madinah, together with the value it held in terms of strife, sacrifice, and heading into danger and the unknown for Allah’s Sake.
(Those who believed and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah’s Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful.)
(At-Tawbah 9: 20)
There were long, wide stretches of sand to travel along with persistent steps, under tough desert conditions, away from rapidly advancing pursuers. Close behind the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companion Abu Bakr t, one of the pursuers was drawing near – Suraqah bin Malik, who was an expert tracker.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) remained steadfast; he (pbuh) never looked behind and kept engaged in reciting the Qur’an.
Abu Bakr t said, “O Messenger of Allah, the pursuers have reached us.”
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Do not grieve, Allah is with us.”
Suraqah drew closer, only a distance of two or three spear lengths away
Abu Bakr t again said, “The pursuers have reached us,” and he cried.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Why do you cry?”
Abu Bakr t said, “By Allah, I cry not for myself, but for you.”
The Prophet (pbuh) sought the true refuge and said, “O Allah, save us from him however You will.”
And instantly the legs of Suraqah’s horse sank into the sand up to its belly, which made him realize that the man he was pursuing must certainly be a true prophet protected by Allah.
Suraqah cried out, “O Muhammad, I realize that this is because of your invocation. Please supplicate to Allah for me to save me from this. By Allah, I will mislead anyone pursuing you.”
Suraqah offered the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr t food and supplies, which they refused, asking him only to discourage others from following them.1
After giving his promise to the Prophet (pbuh) to turn back anyone pursuing them and in the moment when Suraqah turned to leave, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “O Suraqah, how is it when you have the two bracelets of Khosrau (the Emperor of Persia)?”
Allah alone knows the thoughts that crossed the mind of Suraqah t as he listened to this astounding offer and prophecy of prevalence made by a person who was so pursued and alone except for one companion emigrating secretly with him.
But the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) knew the truth he held as deeply as he knew the falsehood that the people of Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Days of Ignorance of Allah) lived by the earth over.
He (pbuh) was sure this truth would defeat this falsehood.
Such truth could not exist beside such falsehood without this being the end of the falsehood.
All the roots had rotted, allowing no water or life through.
They were so rotten that they must be pulled out, while the good seed was in his hands, young and ready for growth.
He (pbuh) was confidently sure of all this.2
- Adapted from As-Salhi Ash-Shami, Subl A-Huda wa Ar-Rashad fi Sirah Khairul-‘Abad, vol. 3; Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3616; Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Zad Al-Ma‘ad, vol. 2.
- Sayyid Qutb, Al-Mustaqbal li Hadha Ad-Din (Future Belongs to This Religion), chapter of Future Belongs to this Religion, Dar Al-Shorouk.