By the thirteenth year of the Prophethood, nearly all the inhabitants of Yathrib (Madinah) knew about Islam.
Mus’ab, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) first envoy to Madinah, had done an excellent job inviting people to Islam, as mentioned in the last article. Almost every house now had at least one man or woman who had accepted Islam.
In view of this positive situation, Mus’ab traveled to Makkah before the new pilgrimage season to inform the Prophet (peace be upon him). He knew Muslims were facing difficult challenges there, and suggested Madinah as a good place for them to seek refuge.
In June 622, over seventy converts from Madinah came to Makkah with Mus’ab to meet the Prophet (peace be upon him). Seventy-three men and two women came with the pilgrims’ Hajj delegation.
They met him in secret on the last night of Hajj. Al-Abbas, Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) uncle, was present at that meeting. He had not yet converted to Islam, but he attended to make sure his nephew would be safe in Madinah. He told the Madinah delegation:
“… if you think you can carry out what you promise while inviting him to your town, and if you can defend him against the enemies, then assume the burden that you have taken. But if you are going to surrender him and betray him after having taken him away with you, you had better leave him now because he is respected and well defended in his own place.” (The Sealed Nectar)
The delegation then asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) what his conditions were to move to Madinah. He responded that they would listen and obey, and that they would defend him as they defended their own families.
They then asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) what would happen if he were to be victorious. Would he leave them and return to Makkah? The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded:
“…In life and death I will be with you and you with me. I will fight whom you fight and I will make peace with those with whom you make peace.”
This was an important promise that the Prophet (peace be upon him) kept. Around eight years later, after the conquest of Makkah, the Muslims of Madinah (the Ansar) thought he would abandon them. But no; Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) kept his promise and returned with them to Madinah.
They asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) what their reward would be if they observed the terms of this pact. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Paradise is in store for you.” Then they asked him to stretch out his hand, and they all stretched out their hands and took the pledge.
A Brave Muslim Woman
As for the two women in the delegation, they gave their pledge verbally. One of them was Nusaybah bint Ka’b. She gave the oath of allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and lived up to it.
Four years later, in the Battle of Uhud, she went out with the army as a volunteer to nurse the wounded. She ended up physically defending the Prophet (peace be upon him) at a difficult time of the battle when he needed protection.
Seeing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in danger, Nusaybah armed herself and joined a tight circular formation to protect him. She put into practice the pledge of Aqabah and helped save the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But as a consequence, she suffered from 12 wounds. In later years, at the age of 60, she joined the Muslim army led by Khaled ibn Al-Waleed at the battle of Yarmouk.
New Convert Sisters Today
So, from the very start, Muslim women have played an important role in pubic life. And they should continue to do so today. New convert sisters should not be disheartened if they face situations that prevent them making a positive contribution to the community. They should claim their rights and do their best to get them, inspired by the first generation of Muslim women.
For example, some mosques in Europe today unfortunately don’t have a suitable space for women to pray. This situation must change, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Do not prevent your women from going to the mosque, even though their houses are better for them. (Abu Dawud)
In the Seerah, we will see many more shining examples of Muslim women who did a lot for Islam. In addition to Lady Khadijah, they include Asmaa (the daughter of Abu Bakr), Lady Aishah, and Umm Salamah.
The First Family to Migrate
Now going back to Makkah, Umm Salamah was married to Abu Salamah at the time. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had given his companions the green light to start moving to Madinah. Abu Salamah and his wife and child were the first family to attempt the journey.
It was not an easy move, as the people of Makkah made every effort to stop Muslims from leaving town. When Abu Salamah started the journey, he was stopped. His in-laws prevented his wife from going with him to Madinah and snatched his son.
Every day for a year, Umm Salamah went to the place where she had been separated from her family and wept. Eventually, one of her relatives felt sorry for her and convinced her family to allow her to leave. Reunited with her son, they set out on their own to Madinah, a journey 500 km long.
But at a place outside Makkah called Al-Tan’eem, Uthman ibn Talhah, a non-Muslim, offered to escort her on the journey. He took her all the way to Quba’, a place outside Madinah, where her husband was located. And the family was reunited after that difficult hardship.
After that, more Muslims decided to move to Madinah, including Suhaib the Roman and Umar ibn Al-Khattab. Concerned for his companions, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) waited till most of them had left to Madinah.
What happened next?
More events from the Seerah will be detailed in the next part of this series, in sha’ Allah.
So please stay tuned…
Activities for New Converts Following this Series
1- The Public Role of Muslim Women in Islam
In this part of the Seerah, we saw the example of an outstanding Muslim woman, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab. She travelled to Makkah from Madinah to witness the Second Aqabah Pledge. The following links give further examples of the public role of Muslim women in Islam:
- The Status of Women in Islam (Special Folder)
- World’s First University Was Founded by a Muslim Woman
- What Islam Really Says About Women (TED Talk)
- Ten Inspiring Muslim Women Everyone Should Know
2- Keeping Promises
This article dealt with the Second Aqabah Pledge. Keeping promises is very important in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always kept his promises and urged his companions to do the same.
Please check the following materials for more details:
- Prophet Muhammad Never Broke Promises
- What is the Importance of Keeping Promises?
- 5 Beautiful Promises of Allah to the Believers
- Is Breaking Promise with Wife Allowed?
3- Sample of Contemporary Stories of Women Converts to Islam
- I Studied to Be a Catholic Nun Then I Found Islam
- Women in Islam Are Like Diamonds
- I’ve Been Muslim All My Life But I Didn’t Know It
- What Really Makes Women Convert to Islam?
4- Send us your questions on this series to [email protected]
This is a special series for new converts to learn about Islam in a comprehensive way through learning the Seerah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) in a gradual, chronological way. We add a few more resources of other related areas of Islamic knowledge in each part of the Seerah at the end of each article as extra learning resources.
We are also adding videos to this series as we progress from Year 1 to Year 23 in sha’ Allah.
The references we use in each article are given below for further details. Please feel free to send us any questions you may have to this e-mail: [email protected]
You may also wish to join our Facebook Group, Islam 101, for further learning and also to interact with fellow new converts and those who are new to Islam here.
The Sealed Nectar – Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri