Chapter 40: Allegiance of the Madinites to the Prophet
We have already mentioned that in the thirteenth year of the Prophet's mission the elders of Madina took the oath of allegiance to him in the valley of Mina, and Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib took a promise from them that they would not fail to assist the Holy Prophet. Some historians say that Abbas addressed them thus: "O people of Khazraj! Now that you are inviting Muhammad to come to your city you should know that he is honored and enjoys amongst us a position about which you are well aware. I swear by Allah that we, Bani Hashim, who have expressed belief in him as well as those who have not done so, are prepared to sacrifice our lives for him and will defend him as a matter of faith and also as a matter of family honor. Muhammad is respected and honored in his own city as well as in his own family.
Now that out of all the people he has chosen to go with you, you should think over the matter very carefully. If you feel that you will remain faithful to him and support him against his enemies and are strong, brave and experienced in warfare and able to withstand the enmity of all the Arabs who will rise collectively to fight against you, only then you should pursue the task which you have undertaken to accomplish.
In case, however, you are afraid that after taking him to your city you will withhold support from him and leave him friendless, you should leave him alone just now, because he is respectable and powerful amongst his relatives and in his city. You should consult one another and take a decision in the matter and should not disperse without a final decision, because the best words are those which are truer".
After Abbas had spoken, Bara bin Marur, one of the distinguished companions of the Prophet, said: "We have heard what you have said. By Allah if we had thought of something other than that mentioned by you, we would have spoken about it. However, we are determined to support the Prophet sincerely and not to spare even our lives in the path of Allah and His Prophet".
Abbas bin Ubada said: "O people of Khazraj tribe! Do you know on What matter you are taking the oath of allegiance to this man?" They replied in the affirmative. Thereupon he said: "You are taking the oath of allegiance to him with the intention that you will fight for his sake with the red and the black people. In case, therefore, you feel that you will desert him when you are required to spend your wealth for his sake or when your elders are killed you should abandon the idea of taking the oath of allegiance just now, because by Allah such an action is the cause of disgrace in this world as well as in the Hereafter.
However, if you feel that even after spending wealth and in spite of your nobles and elders being killed you will remain faithful to him, you must not forsake him, because I swear by Allah that in this lies the happiness of both the worlds. Thereupon all of them said with one voice: "We are ready to take the oath of allegiance notwithstanding the fact that we have to sacrifice our wealth and our elders are killed".
Then they asked the Holy Prophet: "What shall we gain if we remain faithful?" He replied: "The Paradise". They said: "Then stretch forth your hand so that we may take the oath of allegiance to you". According to Ibn Ishaq the Holy Prophet commenced his discourse by reciting the Holy Qur'an, inviting them to Allah and encouraging them to embrace Islam. He then said: "I accept your allegiance on the condition that you will support me in the same manner in which you support your women and children".
Bara bin Marur held the hand of the Holy Prophet and said: "I swear by Allah who has sent you as the true Prophet that we will certainly defend you in the same manner in which we defend our women and our honor. O Prophet of Allah! Do accept our oath of allegiance. By Allah we are well-versed in fighting and are ready to fight. In fact we have inherited warfare as our way of life from generation to generation".
At this stage Abul Haitham bin Tayhan who was one of the elders of the Ansar and the martyrs of Siffin interrupted Bara bin Marur and said: "A Prophet of Allah! There are relations between the Jews and us and we are going to sever them now. Let it not be that we should leave our confederates and later when Allah makes you successful you should return to your people and leave us helpless", The Holy Prophet smiled and said: "This will never happen and the contrary your blood is my blood and my honor is your honor. I belong to you and you belong to me. I will fight against anyone who fights against you, and will be at peace with him who is at peace with you". Upon this the Ansar declared: "We accept the invitation of the Holy Prophet and take the oath of allegiance to him and are prepared to give our wealth and property in this path, even though our elders may be killed".
Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib who was holding the hand of the Holy Prophet said: "Speak in low tones because spies have been appointed to keep a watch on us. Keep your aged persons in the front so that we may talk with them and you should disperse after taking the oath of allegiance and every one of you should return to his own place".
The first person who took the oath of allegiance to the Holy Prophet was Bara bin Marur. According to another narration it was Abul Haitham ibn Tayhan and according to still another narration it was As'ad bin Zurara. Thereafter the remaining seventy persons put their hands in the hand of the Holy Prophet and took the oath of allegiance. Then twelve persons were selected from amongst them as Naqib (guards) and made responsible to look after the affairs of their people. In this way Yathrib i.e. the city which was named Madinatur Rasul (the city of the Prophet) after the Holy Prophet's migration, became the greatest center of Islamic propagation.
The migration of the Muslims to Madina began in the month of Zil-Haj of the thirteenth year of the Holy Prophet's mission, because after the return of the seventy five persons to Madina, who took the second oath of allegiance at Aqaba and the Quraysh having come to know that the tribes of Aws and Khazraj had made a pact with the Holy Prophet and taken the oath of allegiance to him, the persecution of the Muslims by them became severer. They began abusing and torturing them more than before and life became unbearable for the Muslims in Makkah.
They, therefore, sought the Holy Prophet's permission to migrate and the Holy Prophet permitted them to go to Madina and join their brethren, the Ansar, and said to them: "The Almighty Allah has made Yathrib, a place of peace for you and its residents your brothers". The Muslims proceeded from Makkah to Madina in groups and the Holy Prophet also awaited the Command of his Lord telling him to migrate from Makkah and go to Madina. The Quraysh, too, conspired to kill the Prophet of Allah and drew a plan in this behalf with great precision.
They did not, however, know that Allah intended to take out His Prophet from the city of his relatives and kin, and place him amongst the people who were more kind and devoted than any father or brother and ready to support him and make sacrifices for his sake. The idolaters were planning to kill the Holy Prophet and Allah also willed to protect him for the advancement of Islam as a universal religion. Allah says:
The unbelievers planned to imprison, murder or expel you (Muhammad) from your city. They make evil plans, but Allah too plans and Allah's plans are the best. (Surah al-Anfal, 8:30)
The Prophet of Allah left Makkah during the first night of the month of Rabiul Awwal of the fourteenth year of his mission. After remaining hidden for three nights in the cave of Thaur he proceeded to Madina accompanied by two Muslims as well as a polytheist, who had been hired as a guide. On the 12th of Rabiul Awwal he arrived in Quba, a place in Madina. The people of Madina accorded him a hearty welcome and the gay voices of the people were resounding in the city.
They recited the poetic verses thus: "The full moon has risen from Thaniyatul Wida (name of a place). So long as one prays to Allah it is necessary for us to thank the Almighty for this blessing. O you, who have been raised amongst us by Allah! You have come and arrived amongst us in such circumstances that we are prepared to obey all your orders"