In the early years of his mission, Prophet Muhammad saw a dream that one day he will have to leave his hometown, Mecca, for another place. He was shown the place in his dream that had gardens and springs. His imagination went towards Yamama and Hajar, but it came out to be Yathrib to the north of Mecca that came to be called Madinat-un-Nabi, the city of the Prophet, or Medina in short later.

In their continuous drive to wipe out the new religion, about a hundred top opponents of the prophet gathered to plan their next move. They agreed to murder him. They selected attackers from different tribes so that the act was shared. They started closing in around his house on the appointed day.

The Holy Prophet had also been planning to migrate to Medina. It so happened that he left quietly unnoticed the same day just before the attack and took refuge in the cave of Thaur, a few miles outside the town of Mecca.

When the attackers entered his house after nightfall, they found Ali lying in his bed. They roughed him up to find the whereabouts of the Prophet to no avail.

Not able to locate him, his opponents announced an award of a hundred camels for producing him dead or alive. Many mavericks spread around looking for him. Just imagine a reward of a hundred choice model automobiles in today’s world.

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A tracker led some of the opponents of Islam to the mouth of the cave of Thaur. The Prophet and his companion, Abu Bakr, were in the cave at the time. They could hear the approaching group of people. Stopping at the entrance to the cave, the tracker said that the tracks did not go beyond the spot; Muhammad was hiding around there or had ascended to heaven.

Someone suggested to look inside the cave. Another argued that they had been seeing the place deserted being dark and dangerous so no one could enter it and hide in it. It also is reported that a spider had woven a web at the entrance and a dove had built its nest and laid eggs in it. It is not uncommon for birds to build nests and for spiders to weave webs at deserted places.

The Prophet and his companion could see the feet of the people outside and hear them talking. Abu Bakr whispered his fear to the Prophet that if anyone bent down, they could discover them. Prophet Muhammad responded, “Don’t worry; God is with us.” He further added, “O Abu Bakr, what do you think of the two persons together when the third with them is God?”

The trackers did not look inside the cave and left.

Muhammad faced extreme persecution and opposition and faced death many times during his life, but he was saved every time because his heavenly message was destined to reach nations far and wide to bring people closer to each other and closer to God himself.

Ahmad is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages. He has translated, compiled and co-authored “A Gift for the Queen,” “Points to Ponder,” “Why Islam is my choice” and “Words of Wisdom.” He lives in Jamestown, N.D., and can be reached at syedsajidahmad@yahoo.com

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.