Jabal Thawr

Story Telling Time

Jabal Al Thawr is at the south of Makkah.

It is significant in the history of Islam because it was a temporary sanctuary for Prophet Muhammmad saw and Abu bakr As Siddiq in their journey of migration from Makkah to Madinah.

The Quraysh were waiting for moments to assassinate the Prophet saw. And some young men who were ready to kill Prophet Muhammad saw were already waiting outside that night. His house was sieged. Now and then they would peek waiting for Prophet Muhammad to go out in the morning giving them the opportunity to kill him.

Allah protected Prophet Mohammad saw and he escaped them. Jibrael a.s. came to the Prophet s.a.w. and ordered him not to sleep in his bed and informed him of the plot of his people. Ali bin Abi Talib slept in his bed instead. Then prophet Muhammad s.a.w. went out and stood at his door with a handful of dust which he blew to them. Allah prevented them from seeing Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and he recited Yasin 36: 1-9

Even though Madinah was in the north of Makkah, but Prophet Muhammad saw and Abu Bakr ra took a different route than the usual track to Madinah and went down south instead. They took refuge in the cave at Jabal Thawr which is 5 miles from Makah for three days.

Abu Bakr first entered to explore the cave and be sure that it was safe, closed all holes with pieces torn off from his clothes, cleaned it and then asked the Prophet [pbuh] to step in. The Prophet [pbuh] went in and immediately laid his head in Abu Bakr’s lap and fell asleep.

Suddenly Abu Bakr’s foot was stung by a poisonous insect. It hurt so much that his tears fell on the Prophet’s face. The Prophet [pbuh] immediately applied his saliva on Abu Bakr’s foot and the pain went off on the spot. They confined themselves to this cave for three nights, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Quraish, on the other hand, were quite baffled and exasperated when the news of the escape of the two companions was confirmed. They brought ‘Ali to Al-Ka‘bah, beat him brutally and confined him there for an hour attempting desperately to make him divulge the secret of the disappearance of the two ‘fugitives’, but to no avail. They then went to see Asma’, Abu Bakr’s daughter, but here also their attempts went in vain. While at her door Abu Jahl slapped the girl so severely that her earring broke up.[Rahmat-al-lil’alameen 1/96; Ibn Hisham 1/487]

The notables of Makkah convened an emergency session to determine the future course of action and explore all areas that could help arrest the two men. They decided to block all avenues leading out of Makkah and imposed heavy armed surveillance over all potential exits. A price of 100 camels was set upon the head of each one.[Bukhari 1/554] Horsemen, infantry and tracers of tracks scoured the country. Once they even reached the mouth of the cave where the Prophet [pbuh] and Abu Bakr were hiding. When he saw the enemy at a very close distance, Abu Bakr whispered to the Prophet [pbuh]: “What, if they were to look through the crevice and detect us?” The Prophet [pbuh] in his God-inspired calm replied:

Companions of the Prophet
Bukhari :: Book 5 :: Volume 57 :: Hadith 5

Narrated Abu Bakr:

I said to the Prophet while I was in the Cave. “If any of them should look under his feet, he would see us.” He said, “O Abu Bakr! What do you think of two (persons) the third of whom is Allah?”

This is the cave which Allah referred to in surah tawbah 9:40

If ye help him not, still Allah helped him when those who disbelieve drove him forth, the second of two; when they two were in the cave, when he said unto his comrade: Grieve not. Lo! Allah is with us. Then Allah caused His peace of reassurance to descend upon him and supported him with hosts ye cannot see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the nethermost, while Allah’s Word it was that became the uppermost. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (40)

Abu bakar As Siddiq ra was worried of Prophet Muhammad’s safety. If the mushrikeens were to find them, they would cause harm to the prophet saw. But Allah protected them. Allahu Akbar!

It was really a Divine miracle, the chasers were only a few steps from the cave. For three days Muhammad [pbuh] and Abu Bakr lived in the cave and Quraish continued their frantic efforts to get hold of them. Someone called ‘Abdullah bin Uraiquit, who had as yet not embraced Islam, but was trusted by Abu Bakr, and had been hired by him as a guide, reached the cave after three nights according to a plan bringing with him Abu Bakr’s two camels. His report satisfied the noble ‘fugitives’ that the search had slackened. The opportunity to depart was come. Here Abu Bakr offered the Prophet [pbuh] the swift animal to ride on. The latter agreed provided that he would pay its price.

Among those who assisted

‘Abdullah, the son of Abu Bakr would go to see them after dusk, stay the night there, apprise them of the latest situation in Makkah, and then leave in the early morning to mix with the Makkans as usual and not to draw the least attention to his clandestine activities.

‘Amir bin Fuhairah, while in the company of other shepherds of Makkah tending his master Abu Bakr’s flock, used to stole away unobserved every evening with a few goats to the cave and furnished its inmates with a plentiful supply of milk.

Throughout Prophet Muhammad saw and Abu Bakar ra stay in the cave, it was a young girl who brought them food and water. She was Asma binti Abu Bakar As Siddeeq.

This brave young girl used to cover great distances between Makkah and Mount Thawr at night; the difficulty and isolation of the journey, the presence of watchful enemies, did not deter her. She knew that by saving the life of the Prophet saw and his companion (aso her father) will help them reach their goal of going to Madinah. She was supporting the religion of Allah, and working towards making His word supreme on earth. So, she undertook her difficult mission every day, ever alert and striving to conceal herself as she walked and climbed the mountain, until she had brought whatever supplies and news she was carrying to the Prophet saw an his companion. Then she would go back down to Makkah under cover of darkness.

She was tested severely, and proved to be as solid as rock, on the day the mushrikeen surrounded her and asked about her father. She denied knowing anything, and they placed sever pressure on her. So much so that Abu Jahl struck a blow that sent her earing flting from her ear. But this did not weaken her resolve or her detrmination to keep her secret hidden. She kept up her mission of taking food and news to the Prophet saw and his Companion, until the time came for them to leave the cave and head for Madeenah.

She had already brought them provisions for the journey, but when she checked the cloth in which they were wrapped, she found that she had nothing in which to tie it apart from her own girdle. She told her father, who told her to tear it in two and use one piece  to tie the water skin an dthe other to tie the cloth holding the food.

Hence Asma’ was known as Dhat an-Nitaqayn, she of he two girdles or she of two belts.

Main reference

1. The Sealed Nectar – Biography of the Noble prophet saw – Safi-ur-Rahman Al Mubarakpuri

2. The Ideal Muslimah – Dr Muhammad Ali al Hashimi

3. History of Madinah Munawwarah – Darussalam

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Filed under Islamic Stories/ Seerah

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