Prophet Muhammad started to suffer more from the disbelievers’ relentless attempts to uproot Islam and destroy its followers
Soon afterward, the Prophet lost his wife Khadija. Matters got worse quickly with the death of his uncle and protector Abu Talib. Prophet Muhammad started to suffer more from the disbelievers’ relentless attempts to uproot Islam and destroy its followers. During the pilgrimage season, Muhammad met in Mecca with a number of chiefs from the city of Yathrib. Having converted to Islam, the chiefs made a secret pledge to protect the Prophet against the Quraysh threats.
However, the Quraysh learned about the agreement, so the people from Yathrib had to return quickly to their city. Sensing that the danger to Muslims has increased, Muhammad instructed them to immigrate individually or in small groups to Yathrib. The Qurayshites tried to prevent Muslims from fleeing Mecca to Yathrib, but the converts continued to sneak out gradually. The continuing immigration of Muslims to Yathrib where they had allies was already very bad news for the Qurayshites. This could yet get much worse if Muhammad also would move to that city. They decided that they had no other option but to kill him.
The various clans of the tribe of Quraysh agreed to act as one and assassinate the Prophet while asleep. The idea behind acting collectively was that no one party could be blamed for the killing and become caught in a war of vengeance with the clan of Hashim.
The assassination plan, however, was sabotaged by divine intervention. The night the murder was planned to take place, Allah informed His Prophet of the danger and ordered him to secretly leave Mecca. He asked his devoted cousin Ali to sleep in his bed to prevent Qurayshites` suspicion, and in the darkness of night left Mecca toward the city of Yathrib. The latter became known as “al-Madina” (Medina), after the arrival of the Prophet.
This famous event, known as the “Hijra” (immigration), occurred in 622 CE, about twelve years after the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an. This flight was destined to have far-reaching consequences in establishing the Islamic community, strengthening the position of Islam, and spreading its message.
The Prophet lived in Medina for about ten years. By the time of his departure from this world in 632 CE, Islam had become well established as the religion of the Arabian Peninsula and had made inroads in neighboring regions; Muslims had become a major force to be reckoned with in the area.