Tracking The Prophet & The Miracles At Cave Thawr - Our Prophet 5 - Road To Medina
So, in any case, the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi, along with Abu Bakr, he goes towards the cave. They realized that their plot failed. So, what do they do? They go and bring a 'Qaif'. 'Qaif' is a person who is an expert in feet and footsteps. In the past, you had people like that. Just like today, you have palm experts, what do you call them? You know, those people who read your palm and they tell you all about you? Palm readers, right? You had foot readers back then.
And basically they brought an expert who would examine footsteps on the sand and he could trace those footsteps and tell who the person is. So, they brought someone and they told him, look around the house of the Prophet, try to locate the Prophet's footsteps and see where he went. So, he came and he was following the footsteps of the Prophet until he reaches a point. He tells him, look, somebody else joined the Prophet. That is the area where Abu Bakr joins the prophet. He tells them, now there is two people. First there was the Prophet alone. Now you have an additional person joining the Prophet.
So they go and they follow the footsteps. They go south, 4 km, about two 2.5 miles south of Masjid ul-Haram. They go south, following the footsteps, until they reach a cave. This cave had two mouths, two openings, one on the eastern side, one on the western side. The footsteps led them to which side? The western side, the western mouth opening of the cave.
Now, once they reach the mouth of the cave, they found something unusual. The footsteps clearly lead into the cave. I mean, they just stop at the opening of the cave. Meaning the person who was treading this path yesterday definitely went in there but they see three unusual things or signs at the mouth of the cave.
First of all, there were a lot of tree branches covering the mouth of the cave. So, you have to kind of move them around in order to get in. That is number one. Number two, they saw a wild pigeon. It had nested on the branches of that tree, which was at the mouth of the cave. And the pigeon was sitting there on its egg. Now, with a wild pigeon like that, if you try to move the branches and get in, first of all, you would have probably dislocated the nest. The egg would have fallen out and the wild pigeon would have left.
So, for the wild pigeon to be there in that state, it indicated to them that for many, many weeks or days, this place has been deserted and no one entered the cave. That was the second sign. The third one was the spider that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala sent to the mouth of the cave. And that spider had formed a web completely sealing the mouth of the cave with its web.
So, they realized, okay, it is impossible for him to have entered so recently. So, that Qaif that expert of footsteps, when he looked at that scene, he was puzzled. He told them, look, the guy you are looking for, either the earth swallowed him or he just flew in the sky. I do not know what happened to him, but he did come here. But then what happened? We do not know.
So, the Prophet and Abu Bakr, they were in the cave at that time, and they were listening to what they were saying. So that is how Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, protects his Prophet in the cave from these evil Mushrikin [Associaters of partners to Allah].
Now, by the way, speaking of the cave, I remember many, many years ago I was in Manchester in the UK. I was speaking at a conference on Imam Al-Mahdi Ajjal Allahu Ta'ala farajahu. One of the people at the conference posed this question. He said, you know, you Shi'a have this very silly belief that your Mahdi, your Imam went hiding into a basement in Samarrah. What is this nonsense? If Imam Al-Mahdi is really the Imam whom God has appointed and he is divinely guided by God, what is this nonsense for him to go and hide in a basement?
So, I told him, first of all, that basement was his father's house. You know, some people just do not know the historical context of what happened. Bani al-Abbas had guards intruding into the house of Imam Al-'Askari to search for a potential heir to Imam Al-'Askari. They had heard something, maybe he has a boy or a child, so they were searching.
Now imagine if the authorities are in your father's house, your own house, right? And they are searching, and you could go into a basement or somewhere to hide. Is that unnatural? That is his father's house for God's sake. What is so unusual about that? That is the first point.
Then I told him, look, the same God who protected his Messenger in a cave from the unbelievers can protect his representative in a basement. What is the difference? If you want to make a mockery out of the basement story, well, non-Muslims can also make a mockery out of the cave story. Ah, your messenger hid in a cave and some spider came out of nowhere. What is this nonsense?
The same God who will protect Rasul Allah, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, in a cave and have him hide there, can have al-Imam Al-Mahdi hide in a basement. What is the big deal here? What is so illogical about that? If Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala wants it? So, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala does protect the Holy Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, while he was in the cave.