History

Andalusi intellectual’s legacy lives on in Alexandria

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Alexandria’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina showcases some of the oldest, most influential texts of the 11th century

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The Manuscript Museum at Alexandria’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina currently has an impressive collection of manuscripts on display.

Among the collection is a famous Islamic jurist (faqih), Abu Bakr Al-Turtusi who lived during perilous times and traveled for knowledge extensively throughout the Arab world before settling in Alexandria where he would claim his fame and a legacy that lives on till this day.

The origin of Turtusi’s name comes from Tortosa, a city in present-day Spain in the northern region of Catalonia

It was under the reign of the Umayyads that al-Andalus first gained importance before slowly disintegrading under the Taifas in the eleventh century.

The Arab castle built during Al- Turtusi’s time still dominates Tortosa’s  skyline. It’s also a landmark not too far from the site where Al-Turtusi was born in 1059.

From Tortosa to Alexandria

Al-Turtusi first traveled to Saragossa, Spain where he became a student under Abul-Walid al-Baji, a famous scholar and poet.

Following the same path of al-Baji, he then traveled to Mecca, Basra and Baghdad, before stopping by Damascus and finally  reached Alexandria where he taught at a school.

At the time, Egypt was under Fatimid rule and al-Afdal Shahinshah ibn Badr al-Din al-Gamali was the vizier, under whom the Egyptian people were suffering.

Al-Turtusi made note of the people’s suffering and felt his mission as a jurist exceeded that of a teacher. He would travel to Cairo to meet al-Afdal and tell him of his injustices and tyranny.

“Do not let life fool you like it fooled those before you, for whatever bliss it drives your way, it is only because your predecessor had died, and one day it will disappear all of a sudden, just like it appeared all of a sudden.” – al-Turtusi to the Fatimid vizier of Egypt

Al-Turtusi mentioned how al-Afdal was overwhelmed and that he promised to change his ways.

However, as mentioned in al-Dubbi’s ‘Bughyat al-Multames,’ al-Turtusi grew popular and eventually provoked the envy of Alexandria’s judge who was eclipsed by al-Turtusi’s fame.

The judge would report him to al-Afdal after fearing that al-Turtusi would incite a rebellion.

The eager scholar was forced to stay in Fustat, the former capital of Egypt, instead of being allowed to roam free in Alexandria. Only when al-Afdal died could he return to his students and political circle in Alexandria.

His time in Fustat allowed him to reflect on the criteria of a good ruler and formulated his reflection into a masterpiece called Siraj al-Muluk (The Lamp of Kings), which he dedicated to the new Fatimid vizier, al-Bata’ahi, hoping that it would guide him to the good of his people.

The Counselor of the Princes

“A fair king should be to his people what the rain is to the thirsty plants, or even better, for the rain lasts for a while, while the blessings of justice are timeless.” – Al-Turtusi, Siraj al-Muluk

The book was well received not only by the vizier, but also by a number of scholars and intellectuals over the centuries that followed.

In his Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun praised his pioneering work and later gave al-Turtusi a title of ‘Counselor of the Princes’.

Al-Turtusi left many books and epistles such as Kitab al-Fitan and Kitab al-Hawadith, but Siraj al-Muluk is without a doubt his most famous piece of work.

Apart from sharing his own views, he lists hundreds of anecdotes and reflections by other jurists and thinkers that presented countless examples of a good ruler and the bad tyrants.

He also analyzed different regimes not only under the Muslim World, but also the Byzantine and Roman World as well as Asia.

In his text about an Indian king, he wrote: “… he suddenly turned deaf. Not being able to hear the complaints of his subjects, he ordered that only those suffering any injustice in his Kingdom should wear red clothes so that he would ‘see’ them and bring them closer to him. ‘God took away one of my sense (hearing)’ he said, ‘but not my sight, and I intend to put it into good use for the good of my people.”

Now being known as the respected faqih that he was, al-Turtusi’s involvement in the succession of events back home in al-Andalus was an important one, both directly and indirectly.

He supported calls for the Almoravid Emir Yusuf Ibn Tashfin to take over al-Andalus and put an end to the reign of taifas – this would take place in 1090.

It happened that one of al-Turtusi’s students later founded a powerful Berber dynasty that would depose al-Mahdi ibn Tumart, the father of the Almohad dynasty.

Al-Turtusi died in Alexandria in 1026.

While he may not be as famous as some Andalusi saints and scholars such as al-Mursi from Murcia or al-Shatibi from Xativa, his book Siraj al-Muluk would inspire writers and leaders to come, serving as an early manual of rule based on morality unlike Machiavelli’s more famous work, The Prince.

Source : http://camel76.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/published-al-tartushi-the-andalusi-jurist-of-alexandria/

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The modern relevance of Ibn Khaldun’s Economic Philosophy

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“The modern relevance of Ibn Khaldun’s Economic Philosophy” by David Abramsky

Ibn Khaldun Stamp

We read in the last issue of this journal that “many economists accept that the modern discipline of economics is not in a healthy state” (Lawson 2010, p. 1), and that there is “widespread dissatisfaction with […] the way economics is taught” (Skidelsky 2010, p. 1). This article seeks to put forward the work of Ibn Khaldun as part of a wider remedy to these shortcomings.

Those thinkers who demonstrated economic thought without even the awareness that they were doing so may have the most unbiased view of what economics is, as well as what it is for. Among these thinkers, there is possibly none more original or perceptive than Ibn Khaldun. Perhaps his greatest innovation was an empiricist approach to the study of economic phenomena. Ibn Khaldun says of his “original science” (Ibn Khaldun 1958, p. 78) of al-umran (roughly, civilization) that “penetrating research has shown the way to it. It does not belong to rhetoric.” (Ibid.) Each assertion on the laws that guide the course of human events is confirmed with reference to an historical example. Lacoste notes that “this is why his work seems so extraordinarily modern.” (Lacoste 1984, p. 160)

This approach sets him apart from earlier philosophers whose work included economic consideration, such as the Indian thinker Kautilya, or Greek philosophers such as Xenophon and Aristotle. Ibn Khaldun was familiar with Aristotle’s work, referring to it specifically in the Muqaddimah (Ibn Khaldun 1958). However, he advanced greatly on it by referring a priori principles to the empirical data of history. In this respect his work can be seen as an alternate branch to the modern school, since both built upon the observations of the Ethics. (Langholm 1979)

There are also undoubtedly similarities between Kautilya and Ibn Khaldun, though the latter was not aware of the former. Kautilya’s decree that “collection of revenue at a season when people were unable to pay is forbidden because it injures the source and causes immense trouble” (Gopal 1935, p. 24), for instance, foreshadows Ibn Khaldun’s discussion of the impact of excessive imposts on cultural enterprise. (Ibn Khaldun 1958) But whereas Kautilya writes in unverified, though often perceptive, axioms such as the one above, Ibn Khaldun follows up his observations with reference to specific examples of over-taxation and its effects on tax revenue in the Abbasid, Ubayyid and Almoravid dynasties. It is this investigative rigor that sets him apart as a new kind of economic observer.

It is in Ibn Khaldun’s empirical methodology that we encounter the clearest way in which his work is relevant to the modern economist. The reason he used it was as a direct response to perceived shortcomings in some of the accounts of contemporary historians, which in turn led to unsound conclusions about the causes of events. Ibn Khaldun identified the rigorous study of historical fact as an essential check on any economic theory.

In the modern field, the limitations of mathematical modeling in explaining and predicting human systems have been widely acknowledged1. Perhaps a greater emphasis on the study of historical events could provide a partial remedy. Lord Skidelsky identifies the prevalence of Chicago School economic principles in undergraduate teaching, and notes that this school rests on assumptions of “perfect information, perfect competition, and complete markets.” (Skidelsky 2010, p. 1) But Friedman, the pioneer of this school, justified and qualified his premises through groundbreaking and extensive empirical research of markets and their history. (Friedman and Schwartz 1993) For instance, in order to understand the conclusions he reached with regards to the causes and likelihood of financial bubbles, one had to be familiar with the history behind them. For example, inclusion in undergraduate courses of Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, detailing such phenomena from the foundation of the ill-fated South Sea Company in 1711, would be an excellent counter-balance to the potential complacency that mathematical modeling or the seemingly intuitive conclusions of the Chicago school can instill.

Methodology aside, some of Ibn Khaldun’s discussion does seem to presage the classical school of Smith and Ricardo. Oweiss goes so far as to argue that his economic observations make him “the father of economics.” (Oweiss 2009, p. 1) This seems a strong claim (perhaps intentionally so) for a thinker who was not widely translated into any European language until the 19th century. (De Slane 1862) In the interests of consistency, it must be acknowledged that just as Ibn Khaldun’s work was a significant advance from that of, for example, Kautilya or Aristotle, because of the added depth and methodological rigor, The Wealth of Nations stands as a far more complete and detailed analysis of markets and commerce. Ibn Khaldun’s definitions of profit, capital and commerce are often cited by those seeking to emphasize his modernity, but on the macroeconomic scale all overarching theories will share basic principles and definitions. However, there are striking parallels on the ‘micro’ scale too. Even in very specific matters, Ibn Khaldun sees to the economic heart of things.

His discussion of labor and its return in different markets is fascinating in this light. Ibn Khaldun identifies the disparity in the preponderance of certain crafts between different markets, observing that “the activities required for the necessities of life […] exist in every city. But activities required for luxury customs and conditions exist only in cities of a highly developed culture.” (Ibn Khaldun 1958, p. 302) Perhaps this seems obvious to modern readers, but it was not so well-understood that Smith felt it could go unsaid some four hundred years later. In fact, Smith describes the same phenomenon when he writes that “There are some sorts of industry, even of the lowest kind, which can be carried on nowhere but in a great town. A porter, for example, can find employment and subsistence in no other place.” (Smith 1776, Bk. 1, Ch. 3, Sec. 1.3.2)

Ibn Khaldun is also aware that identical occupations provide different wages in different places, because prices differ due to the amount of available labor. Again he exemplifies the principle empirically. He cites the difference in judges’ wages between Tlemcen, a small town in Algeria, and Fez, the thriving economic hub of the Maghreb, “the only reason for [which] is the difference in labour available in the different cities,” (Ibn Khaldun 1958, Vol. 2, p. 273) which has a knock-on effect on the cost of living. Having already explained the meaning of terms such as labor, profit, capital and commerce, Ibn Khaldun demonstrates an understanding of the impact of the specific market on any transaction.

Ibn Khaldun similarly understood the significance of transportation to the return on goods. He first observes that merchants limit the goods which they transport to those of “medium quality,” which will have the widest customer base, since “if [a merchant] restricts his [transported] goods to those needed only by a few, it may be impossible for him to sell them, since these few may for some reason find it difficult to buy them. Then, his business would slump, and he would make no profit.” Further, he notes that the most profit is obtained by the most difficult transportations, such as through the dangerous Sudan or across the long route to the East, made at the least possible expense. Smith similarly explores the increase in feasible commerce enabled between London and Calcutta solely by the availability of reliable water-carriage as opposed to land transport.

There are many parallels of the sorts described above, as Ibn Khaldun goes on to discuss commerce, hoarding, taxation, price fluctuation and many of the other questions which also preoccupied Smith. Oweiss gives a more complete account of this overlap, which attests to the universality of many of Smith’s more general maxims. Ibn Khaldun achieved such insight because he possessed something anachronistic for his time: a truly international and impartial understanding of social science. It was in part the wider prevalence of such an understanding which prompted the birth of pure economic thought in the 18th century. There was no perspective he felt bound to; as a matter of fact, he was highly critical of many aspects of Arabic culture and economic practice. This approach was a result of the philosopher’s unusual life; he travelled constantly, exercising his ambition in numerous fields in many different courts, from Muslim Spain, to the Middle East and North Africa. Rosenthal notes that this “gave him a remarkable detachment with respect to the historical events that took place before his eyes. In a sense, it enabled him to view them as an impartial observer.” (Ibn Khaldun 1958, p. xxxvi)

This is the second major reason why his thought is beneficial to an insightful study of economics in this age. The “autism” and premature specialization of economic teaching that was lamented by Lord Skidelsky can undermine the impartiality that Ibn Khaldun applied to his study. Students are encouraged to focus too soon on very particular and vocational approaches to economics, mostly based on work from the past century coming from the Western hemisphere. The conclusions of these schools of thought are then taken for granted. For example, in the widely used first year textbook Economics: A Student’s Guide, it is openly acknowledged that “neoclassical economics […] [has] created the mainstream economics that dominates this and most other textbooks.” (Beardshaw, Brewster, Cormack and Ross 2001, p. 705) It then goes on to briefly outline the primary heterodox approaches. The problem is not that priority is given to this school, which deserves its preeminence, but that insufficient acknowledgement of the existence and potential insight of other schools is instilled. In the textbook, this passage acknowledging this emphasis, and detailing alternatives, comes on page 705 and lasts 7 pages. Over the previous 700 pages all the basic principles of economics have already been laid out as though they were scientific givens. This embodies the flaw in attitude of undergraduate economic study. Reading the Muqaddimah instills some of the importance of approaching economic questions with a detachment from orthodoxy and formalism.

However, despite the overlap between Ibn Khaldun’s work and that of later economists, a sentenceby- sentence comparison can be misleading. The similarities should not be overstated. For every sentence in The Wealth of Nations that appears foreshadowed by one in the Muqaddimah, and there are many, there are many more that would have meant little to Ibn Khaldun. This is largely because a detailed account of how a commercial economy functions was never his intention. The aim of his economic investigations was to improve historiography. The economic and social laws he documented were to be applied as a test to future historical accounts, to establish whether they seemed reasonable and should be trusted. This makes the depth and accuracy of his observations even more impressive; to him, they were only a means to an end.

The real relevance of his work lies not in how much credit is due to him for economics as it is today. The simple answer is that, since the major advances on which the modern field is founded were made in ignorance of his work, little credit is due. Equally, how much he ‘got right’ by modern standards is not the best judge of merit. The most value that can be gleaned from his book lies in the incredibly fresh perspective it grants on the field of economics. The economic philosophy of the Muqaddimah provides an excellent counterweight to many of the weaknesses and blind spots in modern economic thought and methodology. Certain attitudes are incredibly hard to remove, and direct controls such as increased and improved regulation must play a large part in response to the crisis we have recently witnessed. However, to avoid future bubbles, both in the financial system and in economic thought itself, the wider study of such works would also be of great value.

Endnotes

  1. Among these false predictions were the continued rise of property values, and the value of what proved to be wholly toxic financial derivatives. See In Modelling Risk, the Human Factor Was Left Out, published November 4th 2009 in the New York Times for an overview.

Source : The TransAtlantic, Journal of Economics and Philosophy

The Spirit of Hijrah

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Hijrah, no doubt, kindled the light of hope in the hearts of the early Muslims who set a shinning example for all Muslims, in every generation, to emulate.

Hijrah, in essence, is a process of transfer to a better situation. It is not meant to find a comfortable place where one would relax and stop endeavor. Rather, it is a search for an environment more favorable to continuous and constructive effort. Immediately after reaching Madinah, the Prophet undertook an all-embracing process to establish a faithful and strong society. This is a significant aspect and important lesson to learn from Hijrah.

In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says,

(Those who believe, and migrate and strive in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are indeed the successful people. Their Lord does give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of Gardens where enduring pleasure will be theirs: They will dwell therein forever. Verily in Allah’s presence is a reward, the greatest (of all). ) (Al-Tawbah 9: 20-22)

This are our New Year of Hijrah. Our religious calendar is the Hijri calendar. It is important for us to keep in mind the meaning and significance of Hijrah.

Hijrah was one of the most important events in the history of Islam. It is for this reason `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) adopted Hijrah date to calculate years. Muslims chose Hijrah as the focal point to reckon their chronology. In physical terms, Hijrah was a journey between two cities about 300 miles apart, but in its grand significance it marked the beginning of an era, a civilization, a culture and a history for the whole mankind. Islam progressed not only from the physical Hijrah, but because Muslims took Hijrah seriously in all its aspects and dimensions.

When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made the Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah, he did not just transfer his residence or took shelter in another city, but as soon as he arrived in Madinah he began the transformation of that city in every aspect.

It is important for us to study and reflect on the things that he did in Madinah. There are many lessons for us in that history and we can learn many things for our life.

  1. Masjid (Mosque): The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) first established a Masjid for the worship of Allah. He himself worked in carrying the stones and building that small, humble but most powerful structure. This was the beginning, but soon other Masajid (mosques) were established in Madinah.
  2. Madrasah( Islamic school and educational institution for the community):. The first school under the supervision of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the school of Suffah. Later many other schools were opened. According to Maulana Shibli Numani, there were nine schools opened in Madinah alone in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
  3.  Mu’akhah: He established brotherly relations between the Muhajirun (Muslims who migrated from Makkah) and the Ansar (residents of Madinah who helped the Prophet and his Companions). Masjid and Madrasah were not enough; what was also important was to have good relations between Muslims. They should have their brotherhood on the basis of faith, not on the basis of tribes as they used to have prior to Islam.
  4. Intercommunity and Interfaith Relations: Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also established good relations with other communities living in Madinah. There was a large Jewish community as well as some other Arab tribes who had not accepted Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prepared a Mithaq (a covenant or a constitution) for relations between these communities.
  5. Cleaning the City: Yathrib (previous name of Madinah) was a dirty city. When the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions) came from Makkah to Madinah, many of them got sick and did not like that city. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked them to clean the city and remove its dirt and filth. `Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “We came to Madinah and it was the most polluted land of Allah. The water there was most stinking. (Al-Bukhari, 1756)
  6. Water System in the City: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked the Sahabah to dig wells in different parts of the city. It is mentioned that more than 50 wells were opened in the city of Madinah and there was enough clean water for every one.
  7. Agriculture and Gardening: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged the Sahabah to cultivate the land and make gardens. He told them that any one who would cultivate any dead land, would own it. Many people started working and cultivating and soon there was enough food for every one.
  8. Poverty Eradication: In a short period of time it happened that there were no poor people in Madinah. Every one had enough and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to give gifts to coming delegations.
  9. Safety, Security, Law and Order: Madinah became the safest city in the world. There were very few incidents of theft, rape, drunkenness or murder and they were immediately taken care of.

In short, Hijrah teaches us that wherever Muslims go, they should bring goodness to that land. Muslims should work for both moral and material goodness of the society.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Original:  Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi , edited : Hifzan Shafiee

Tell Your Kids the Story of Hijrah

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Today is 1st of Muharam 1434H, first day of Hijrah (Islamic New Year).

Hijrah mean : (1) migration of prophet from Mecca to Medina; (2)migration.  The concept of hijrah been widely by Muslim as revolution, transformation, migration ,new hope, turning point, a new dawn, abandon the bad. The concept that are so great and always being teach every new year.

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When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first started to tell people about the message of Islam, he was talking to people who knew him and his good and honest character.

We might think that knowing the piety of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would urge them to believe in the message and follow him (peace be upon him) but the people were living in an environment of many evils. They were engulfed in idol worship, racism, tribal and family pride and many types of injustice.

It took great faith and courage for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to trust in Allah and proclaim the message, knowing very well the negative response that would likely follow. But this was not the only act of faith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) exemplified; in fact, making Hijrah to Madina took enormous reliance on Allah and fortitude to face fierce enemies while laying the foundation of a solid Muslim community.

The disbelievers of Makkah were angry when the Prophet (peace be upon him) proclaimed that they should not worship idols. These idols were made of stone and all sorts of materials (some were even made of dates).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told them that they should only worship the One true Lord of all Creation who had sent many prophets and messengers throughout time to guide humankind.

Devotion to the stone gods was one reason why many insisted on disbelieving in the Prophet (peace be upon him), but another important aspect was based on pride, as the Quraysh (the main leading tribe in Makkah at that time) had been, for generations, responsible for providing for the pilgrims who came to Makkah every year at the time of Hajj.

At that time the Kabah was filled with idols and Quraysh thought that if they believed in the Prophet (peace be upon him) and followed him, they would lose respect among the other tribes and this important role that had been given to them by their forefathers would be removed from them.

Moreover, with the pilgrims every year, also came much economic wealth. In following the Prophet (peace be upon him) the people of Quraysh felt they had a lot to lose in worldly terms. Little did they know how much they would lose in the Hereafter if they insisted on their disbelief!

The Beginning of Hijrah

While the Prophet (peace be upon him) was patiently, gently and persistently proclaiming the message of Islam, his followers suffered under the harshness and severity of Quraysh who did their very best to persecute and torture the believers, hoping they could force them to give up their faith and return to the worship of idols and immorality.

But the faith and firmness of the believers were exemplary and they were prepared to face death if they had to in order to remain faithful to Allah Almighty.

After all efforts had been made to change the hearts of the obstinate Quraysh, the time had come for the Muslims to settle elsewhere and the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose Madinah.

Slowly and secretly the Muslims started to travel to Madinah, trying to keep their movement away from the keen eyes of Quraysh. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was waiting for Allah Almighty to order him to leave and travel to Madinah.

It was a sensitive time because Quraysh had reached the peak of anger and frustration at the growing number of Muslims and the fact that Islam was still continuing to spread despite their many efforts to thwart it. Abu Bakr remained behind in Makkah, waiting for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to receive the order from Allah Almighty to leave. He prepared two camels and provisions for the journey and waited patiently.

Unaware of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) plans, the Quraysh had devised a plot to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him) but Allah Almighty is the Best of Planners and He did not allow the disbelievers to succeed in their evil scheme. A group of young men, each one representing a tribe of Makkah, stood outside the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) home, intending to strike him (peace be upon him) one by one when he emerged and kill him.

The Quraysh were proud of their wicked plan, thinking it would rid them of Islam once and for all without them having to answer to the tribe of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who could not retaliate against every tribe! Allah the All-Knowing Knew of their plot and guided the Prophet (peace be upon him) to safety.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) to sleep in his blessed bed that night and then under the protection of Allah Almighty, the Prophet (peace be upon him) left his house and walked past the waiting men. They did not see him!

And when Ali emerged from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) house the next morning they were astonished! They had no idea how that could have happened. Because they were without true faith, they could not comprehend how it is so easy for Allah Almighty to make such a miracle happen.

Abu Bakr, the Faithful Friend

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) left his house, he went to Abu Bakr and told him it was time for them to leave. Abu Bakr was ready! The greatest manhunt was underway!

The Quraysh offered a great reward to anyone who would bring the Prophet (peace be upon him) back, dead or alive. How evil they were, and how great is the mercy, guidance and protection of Allah Almighty.

Quraysh expected the Prophet (peace be upon him) would head to Madinah, but he (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr headed off in the opposite direction at first to mislead their enemies. They camped out in a cave for some time and during this time a great lesson along with an ayat of Quran was revealed.

When first entering the cave Abu Bakr was so concerned about the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) safety and wellbeing that he insisted on entering first to rid it of any dangerous creatures, like scorpions. When he was satisfied that it was safe he and the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered it and stayed quietly there.

Asma, a daughter of Abu Bakr, used to bring them food and news from Makkah. She showed great courage in doing this and she used to hide the food in her clothing and creep out of the city going into the desert. At one time, one of the disbelievers thought she knew where the Prophet (peace be upon him) was and struck her harshly, trying to get her to talk, but she said nothing!

At one point, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr were in the cave a group of men, eager to get the reward money, stepped very close to the entrance of the cave.  Abu Bakr could see their feet and was very afraid the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be found. He did not care for his own safety; all his thoughts and concern were with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the great responsibility he felt in accompanying him on this very important journey.

Abu Bakr whispered his fears to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who comforted him saying (what means): “What do you think of two, whose third is Allah?”The Prophet (peace be upon him) was telling his great friend Abu Bakr that they should not fear as Allah was with them.

And Indeed, Allah Almighty protected them because He caused a bird to build a nest and lay eggs at the entrance of the cave and a spider to spin its web across the cave entrance. In this way, the enemies of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were convinced that he could not possible be in the cave.

When the time was right, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr left the cave and continued on their journey to Madinah. If was a long and difficult journey and the Muslims were in Madinah, eagerly awaiting their arrival. Every day men would go to the outskirts of the town, climb tall trees and try to see if the blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) was approaching.

Many days passed and still there was no sign of the Prophet (peace be upon him). There was no way for them to know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was safe; they just had to trust in Allah and wait. They had left their homes, undergone much difficulty and faced many dangers. Without the Prophet (peace be upon him) to lead them, what would they do? It was a test of their faith and patience.

Prophet Muhammad Arrives to Madinah

At last, the happy day arrived! The men, who were watching the desert every day, looking for signs of the travelers, saw dust rising in the distance! As the figures drew closer, it became clear there were two of them! And then when they drew even closer it was clear that finally the blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) had arrived!

News spread quickly throughout the town. People in their shops, in the market, and in their homes heard the news that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had arrived. Everyone rushed to welcome the Prophet (peace be upon him)!

They sang songs of joy, prayed and followed him (peace be upon him) as he entered the city. The Prophet (peace be upon him) humbly allowed his camel to be guided by Allah Almighty to the place where he would stay.

Everyone wanted the blessing of having the Prophet (peace be upon him) stay with them, so letting the camel stop where it chose showed the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) great mercy and wisdom.

There were many more trials to come but the Muslims, now in Madinah, had the Prophet (peace be upon him) with them. He was teaching them, advising them, and guiding them. Living in his midst was a great blessing and they knew it. They attended to their duties, gathered with him (peace be upon him) and grew in faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had left the city he loved so well, seeking the pleasure of Allah. And now, in Madinah, he (peace be upon him) continued to seek His pleasure and proclaim the message of Islam.

Source : OnIslam