One day the Holy Prophet ﷺ knocked at the door of Abu Bakr R.A.
The time has come. The Prophet ﷺ informed him that he has been granted the permission to migrate to Yathrib by Allah ﷻ . Abu Bakr, who has been preparing for this day in advance, could only shed tears at the Prophet’s ﷺ welcoming words.
Ayesha R.A., who had been witnessing all this later stated- “By Allah, I have never seen anyone weeping out of joy until I saw my father (Abu Bakr) on that day weeping out of joy.”
So, the journey began silently in the night. While the Qureysh stood alert outside the Prophet’s ﷺ house to assassinate him, yet Allah’s messenger left the house in front of them without their realizing so.
Abu Bakr R.A. made sure throughout the journey that his beloved messenger had no discomfort. Whenever they dismounted their camels to rest, he would find a shelter, clean it and place his mantle on the ground for the Prophet ﷺ to lie upon.
He was truly as siddiq.
It was during this journey that the travelers happened to meet Umm Ma’bad. The woman who was mesmerized by the Messenger ﷺ and gave the most beautiful description of him.
His was an innocently bright and broad countenance. His manners were fine. Neither was his belly bulging out nor was his head deprived of hair. He had black attractive eyes finely arched by continuous eyebrows. His hair, glossy and black, inclined to curl, he wore it long. His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large and well formed and set on a slender neck. His expression was pensive and contemplative, serene and sublime. The stranger was fascinated from the distance, but no sooner he became intimate with him, this fascination was changed into attachment and respect. His expression was very sweet and distinct. His speech was well set and free from the use of superfluous words, as if it were a rosary of beads. His stature was neither too high nor too small so as to look repulsive.
He was a twig among the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surrounded by his companions. Whenever he uttered something the listeners would hear him with rapt attention and whenever he issued any command, they vied with each other in carrying it out. He was a master and a commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehood and lies.
The meeting with Umm Ma’bad sparked the rumours of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ arrival spread across Yathrib. The people would collect every morning and wait for them to arrive. They would only return home when the sun had set and no sign of the travelers could be seen. This continued for some days. Once a Jew climbed the top of a hillock and saw three distant figures winding there way through. He recognized them to be the Prophet ﷺ and his companions and out of excitement shouted at the top of his voice:
“O ye people of Arabia! He has come! He has come! He, for whom you have been waiting this long has come!”
And in an instant people flooded out to meet their guest. That day a bond of brotherhood emerged between the muhajirin and the ansar amidst the shouts of Allahu Akbar.
Now that the Prophet ﷺ had arrived, the hospitality of the Arab required an important question to be answered- In whose house will the Prophet stay?
Who could bear to see him staying in someone else’s house? Everyone wanted to be his host.
The Prophet ﷺ loosened the reins of his camel and told the crowd- ” This camel is commanded by Allah and Wherever it stops, it will be my abode.”
And his camel stopped by the house of Abu Ayyub R.A. who came out well pleased and took the luggage of the Prophet ﷺ honored to have him as his guest.
“A man is with his luggage” the Prophet remarked humorously, settling the affair. Abu Ayyub R.A. offered the upper storey of his house to the messenger of Allah ﷺ . However, he ﷺ could not agree to this proposal thinking that people frequently coming to meet him will cause disturbance to him and his family.
Thus, it was agreed and the family of Abu Ayyub R.A. vacated the ground floor.
Look at the adab this man had for the Prophet ﷺ ! He couldn’t walk around the house out of fear of showing disrespect to the Prophet ﷺ . He would tell his wife-“How can I keep my feet where Rasool Allah ﷺ has kept his head?”
It was unbearable for him to stay at the upper storey while the Prophet ﷺ stayed below them. And many a sleep less nights were passed in this concern until he gathered the courage to mention this to the Prophet ﷺ .
This is the adab we have lost in our time. This man would sit in one corner of his room and pass the night in that state out of fear of disrespecting the Prophet ﷺ .
While we walk around proudly exclaiming- “It is just a sunnah, it isn’t fard.” If only our eyes could see the status Allah ﷻ has given his last messenger! Obeying him equates to obeying Allah ﷻ. And leaving behind his sunnah is the way to deviation and fire.
The Prophet ﷺ agreed to his request and shifted to the upper storey.