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Arrival at Yathrib

Arrival at Yathrib

Arrival at Yathrib

Upon the arrival of `Al¢ at Qub¡, the Holy Prophet headed for Yathrib with a group of Ban£’l-Najj¡r (his maternal uncles). On their way, he performed the first Friday Prayer at the resort of Ban£-S¡lim ibn `Awf. Upon their arrival at Yathrib, they were passionately welcomed by people. The heads and chiefs of the tribes took the rein of the Holy Prophet's palfrey and begged him to stay with them. He answered, “Let the camel proceed; it has a mission to perform; wherever it sleeps, I will stay.”

By this decision, the Holy Prophet most probably wanted not to give the honor of being the host to any special group so that he could avoid future conflicts. His discretion was similar to one concerning the place of the installation of the Black Stone of the Kaaba.

Finally, the camel came to rest in the district of Ban£’l-Najj¡r, on a piece of land belonging to the two orphans, close to the house of Ab£-Ayy£b An¥¡r¢ (Kh¡lid ibn Zayd Khazraj¢). All people were now crowding around the Holy Prophet; they asked him to give them the honor to be their guest. Ab£-Ayy£b took the Holy Prophet's baggage to his own home and the Holy Prophet followed. He stayed there until the Masjid al-Nab¢ (The Prophet’s Mosque) was established and there was a room built next to it for the Holy Prophet to live in.[1]

The Start of the Hijri Calendar

The Prophet's migration was the basis of a great change; it was a focal point in the progress of Islam. Due to this historic event, Muslims were free from shackles and they could live freely and run gatherings. This was of utmost significance at that time. If this migration had not occurred, Islam would have been strangled in Mecca and it would have never had any chance to grow. After the migration, Muslims could establish their political and military organization and Islam grew in the Arabian Peninsula.

However, the following two questions require answer: Who established this calendar for the first time? Since when was it put into effect? Muslim historians unanimously agree that this feat was done by `Umar ibn al-Kha§§¡b after consultation and deliberations with the Holy Prophet's grand companions.[2] However, another research indicates that the initiator for this feat was the Holy Prophet himself. Some great Muslim historians have written that the Holy Prophet, after his migration to Yathrib in Rab¢` al-Awwal, ordered that events should be referred in relation to this day.[3] The documents for this claim are some of the Holy Prophet's letters, documents and communications which are handed down to us and dated from the above date. There are two samples here:

(1) The Holy Prophet signed a treaty with the Jews of Muqn¡ ending with the following statement: Written by `Al¢ ibn Ab¢-±¡lib in the ninth year of Hegira.[4]

(2) In a treaty with the Christians of Najr¡n, we read the following: The Holy Prophet ordered `Al¢ to write down: This treaty is signed in the fifth year of Hegira.[5]

Based on some documents, the recording of events and affairs up to the fifth year of Hegira took place on the basis of months alone. Here are some such documents:

Ab£-Sa`¢d Khidr¢ says: Fasting during the month of Rama¤¡n was enacted as obligatory one month after the change of the kiblah (i.e. the direction faced in prayers) during the eighteenth month of Hegira.[6]

`Abdull¡h Ibn Unays, the commander of the army sent to war against Sufy¡n ibn Kh¡lid writes: I left Medina on Monday, the fifth of Mu¦arram; the fiftieth month of Hegira.”[7]

Mu¦ammad ibn Maslamah, recounting the campaign against the tribe of Qur§¡,[8] writes: I left Medina on the tenth of Mu¦arram and returned on the last night of Mu¦arram, the fiftieth month after Hegira, after a leave of nineteen days.”[9]

For these reasons, the founder of the Hijri calendar was the Holy Prophet;[10] and since, in the reign of `Umar, there appeared some disagreements on the exact dates of some historical events,[11] he formalized this calendar on the sixteenth year of Hegira, and in place of Rab¢` al-Awwal—the month in which the Holy Prophet arrived in Medina—he appointed Mu¦arram as the starting point of the Hijri calendar.[12]

[1] op cit.

[2] T¡r¢kh al-Ya`q£b¢ 2:135; Mas`£d¢, al-Tanb¢h wa’l-Ishr¡f, pp. 252, Ibn al-Ath¢r, Al-K¡mil f¢’l-T¡r¢kh 1:10; `Abd al-Q¡dir Badr¡n, Tahdh¢b T¡r¢kh Dimashq 1:23-24.

[3] T¡r¢kh al-±abar¢ 2:252; N£r al-D¢n al-Samh£d¢, Waf¡' al-Waf¡' 1:248; al-Majlis¢, Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 40:218 as reported by Ibn Shahr¡sh£b.

[4] al-Bul¡dhar¢, Fut£¦ al-Buld¡n, pp. 71-72. In the body of this document, the name of `Al¢ ibn Ab¢-±¡lib is recorded; see 3:46-48.

[5] `Abd al-°ayy al-Kitt¡n¢, al-Tar¡t¢b al-Id¡riyyah 1:181.

[6] °usayn Diy¡rbakr¢, T¡r¢kh al-Kham¢s 1:368.

[7] al-W¡qid¢, al-Magh¡z¢ 2:531.

[8] A branch of Ban£-Bakr tribe.

[9] al-W¡qid¢, op cit, pp. 534.

[10] Murta¤¡ al-`ªmil¢, al-¯a¦¢¦ min S¢rat al-Nab¢ al-A`¨am 3:55.

[11] ±abar¢, op cit, pp. 252; Ibn Kath¢r, al-Bid¡yah wa’l-Nih¡yah 7:73-74; Ibn Ab¢’l-°ad¢d, Shar¦ Nahj al-Bal¡ghah 12:74; Ibn al-Ath¢r, Al-K¡mil f¢’l-T¡r¢kh 1:10-11.

[12] Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, Man¡qib 1:175; Murta¤¡ al-`ªmil¢, al-¯a¦¢¦ min S¢rat al-Nab¢ al-A`¨am 3:35. Refer to this book for further information.

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