The party. The party that book the road to Yathrib consisted of four persons. The Holy Prophet and the guide Abdullah b. Ariqat rode on one camel. Abu Bakr and his servant Ibn Fuhayra rode on another camel. The party struck off by a track considerably to the left of the common road. Hurrying westward, the party soon gained the vicinity of the sea shore. The party traveled during the night, and spent the day resting in some sheltered place. They traveled through unfrequented ways. It was an arduous, and nerve racking journey. They were haunted by the fear of the pursuit of the Quraish, but they were upheld by the faith that God would protect them.
Suraqah b Malik. The Quraish had offered a reward of one hundred she camels to any one who could pursue and apprehend the Holy Prophet and his companion. Suraqah b Malik an expert horseman scoured the country side in search of the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr. It was reported to him that four men had been seen moving to the west along the sea shore. Suraqah felt convinced that these four men must be the Holy Prophet and his party. He pursued the party. After some fast riding he came to within seeing distance. He felt happy that these were the men he was in search of. At this stage his horse stumbled and he fell on the ground. He resorted to divination through arrows, and the oracle did not favor his advance. Ignoring the oracle he remounted the horse and galloped fast until he came within talking distance of the Holy Prophet and his party. Seeing Suraqah, Abu Bakr felt uneasy. The Holy Prophet counseled him not to worry, for God was with them. At this stage the horse of Suraqah stumbled again. He resorted to divination, and once again the verdict was unfavorable. Suraqah now felt that some supernatural power protected the Holy Prophet and his party and it would be futile to contend against supernatural powers. He remounted the horse and galloped again When he came close to the party, he shouted that he was not coming as a pursuer; he was coming as a friend. He said that he wanted that a certificate of immunity should be granted to him. Suraqah approached the party and the Holy Prophet asked Abu Bakr to write for Suraqah a document of immunity. With this document, Suraqah returned to Makkah. In the way he met some other persons who were in pursuit of the Holy Prophet and his party. He made them turn back saying that the party had not gone that way. Suraqah presented this document at the time of the conquest of Makkah, and he was duly rewarded. He was also converted to Islam, and he regarded this conversion as the greatest reward.
Umm Ma’bad. After the encounter with Suraqah the party reached the encampment of Umm Ma bad. Umm Ma’bad was a gracious old lady. She welcomed the party. Her flock was in the pasture, and with her was a goat which was dry. She therefore regretted that she was not in a position to offer them any milk. Taking the name of Allah, the Holy Prophet touched the udders of the goat, and plenty of milk cowed therefrom which was not only sufficient for the guests, but considerable quantity was left for the hostess as well. Umm Ma’bad wondered at the miracle. She wanted the party to stay for the night with her, but they thanked her saying that they had a long way to go and they had to travel during the night.
Zubayr. When the party were two or three stages from Madina, they came to the main road. Now they were out of the danger of pursuit. Here they met a caravan from Syria led by Zubayr. Zubayr presented the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr some garments that he had brought with them to Syria. He told them that the people of Yathrib were keenly awaiting their arrival.
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