Explanation of the City's Welcome
having heard the news of his emigration, of quraysh's plot to kill him, and of his travel in midsummer on an untrodden path ridden with hardships across rocky mountains and valleys aglow with fire under the torrid sun individuals and groups of men and women went out to welcome muhammad to their city. excited by their own curiosity after the spread of the news of muhammad's mission throughout the arabian peninsula, the people of yathrib went out to see and meet the author of this call to renounce the holy faith and sacred beliefs of their ancestors. more importantly, they went out to meet muhammad and to welcome him because his intention was henceforth to live with them in their own city. every clan and tribe of yathrib well knew what political, social, and other advantages it stood to gain should it succeed in convincing the new guest to reside in its midst. indeed, they went out to take a look at this man that they might confirm their intuition concerning him. hence, neither the unbelievers of yathrib nor its jews were any less enthusiastic than the muslims, whether muhajirun or ansar. that is why they came from all sides to walk in his procession although each was naturally moved by different feelings. as muhammad allowed his camel to run loose, they followed him in a disorderly manner; it was as if he had intended it that way in order to give each one of them a chance to come closer to him to take a nearer glimpse of his face. it was as if everyone had come out in order to gather in one moment of consciousness all that he had heard about and all that he could see of the person to whom he had given the grand oath of allegiance at al `aqabah where he pledged to lay down his life when necessary in fighting any man whatever that stood in the way of the faith. it was, furthermore, as if everyone wanted to see the man who taught the unity of god based upon a scientific investigation of the cosmos and an objective search for the truth: a doctrine for the sake of which he had abandoned his native town, its people, and borne their enmity and harm for some thirteen consecutive years.