Monday, June 2, 2014

GHAR (CAVE) AL-THAWR

Posted by Hashim Abd Ghani On 3:23 PM
Ghar al-Thawr : Summit of Jabal Thar
During Umrah pilgrimmage, the Jemaah  will be brought to various historical location surrounding Makkah. All these locations were related to the early period when Prophet  Muhammad  صلى الله عليه   وسلم  was preaching Islam to the Quriash Of Makkah.

 One of the location is the cave known as Ghar (cave) al-Thawr, situated on Jabal Thawr  is the name of a mountain rises about 760 meters above sea level in Saudi Arabia located in the lower part of Makkah to the south of the district of Misfalah. During the Hijrah, Prophet Muhammad   صلى الله عليه   وسلم and Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  took refuge in the cave, with the help of Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه family and slave.

Prophet  صلى الله عليه  وسلم and Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه sought refuge for three days and nights from the Quriash, as they left Makkah and emigrated to Madinah. When the Quraish came to look for them, Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  worriedly  told Prophet Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم  that they were only two people, but Prophet Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم  assured him that Allah سبحانه وتعالى  was the third in the cave. When the Quraish reached the cave, they thought that nobody could go to a cave with a spider web spread across the entrance and birds nesting near it. The pursuers thought it was impossible that someone could have entered the cave without ruining the spider web.

  • When the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  and Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  arrived at the cave on Mount Thawr, Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  entered first to clear away anything that might injure the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. He found a few holes and stuffed them with pieces of cloth. The Prophet   صلى الله عليه وسلم then entered and went to sleep on Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه  lap. Suddenly, something stung Abu Bakar’s  رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا  foot, but he did not twitch, fearing he would wake the Prophet. The pain was so intense that tears began to run down his cheeks and onto the Prophet’s  صلى الله عليه وسلم  face. The Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  woke up and saw that Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه was in pain. He applied his spittle on the injury and the pain disappeared.
  • For three consecutive nights the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and Abu Bakar  رضي الله عنه  remained hidden in the cave. During this period, Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه son, Abdullah, would pass his nights nearby. The young man would return to Makkah very early in the morning so that the Quraish had no idea that he had slept elsewhere. Each day in Makkah he collected information about the activities of the Quraish, and each night went back to Jabal Thawr to inform the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  and his father Abu Bakar    رضي الله عنه   .
  • Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه  slave, Amir bin Fuhayra  رضي الله عنه  , would graze Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه  goats near the cave so that both men could drink fresh milk. Early the next morning Amir would drive the goats back to Makkah along the same route that Abu Bakar’s   رضي الله عنه  son took, to obscure his footprints.
  • When they were inside Allah سبحانه وتعالى   sent a spider to spin a web from a bush across the entrance to the cave. Allah  سبحانه وتعالى  also commanded two doves to fly down between the spider and the tree, make a nest and lay eggs. Meanwhile the Quraish search party scoured the area south of Makkah where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  and Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  where hiding. They came upon the mouth of the cave, and had they looked down while standing at the edge of the cave, they would have surely found the men they were hunting.
  • With the Quraish so close to discovering their hiding place, Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  became very tense about the Prophet’s  صلى الله عليه وسلم  safety. The Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم reassured him, “How can you be apprehensive about two with whom is a third, especially when the third one is Allah سبحانه وتعالى ?”
  • On seeing the spider’s web and dove nest, the Quraish concluded that no one could have entered the cave and left. Describing this scene the Quran mentions in Surah At-Taubah :

ِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا 
وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

“If you help him ( Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم ),not (it does not matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the disbelievers drove him out : the second of the two ; when they (Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم and Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه ) were in the cave, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said to his  companion ( Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه): “Be not sad (or afraid),surely Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His Sakinah (calmness, tranquility, peace) upon him, and strengthen him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and make word of those who disbelieved and the lowermost, while the Words of Allah that became the uppermost; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise [9:40]

  • After three days when they learnt that the search by the Quraish had petered out left the cave and headed towards Yathrib (Madinah). Asma رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَاthe daughter of Abu Bakar   رضي الله عنه  came to them bringing food for the journey. When they were about to start she could find nothing to tie it to their saddles with and so she undid her waistband, tore it in two, wore half and tied the food with the other half. This ready solution won her praise from the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  who also named her ‘She of the two waistband’. And ever after that the Muslims knew her by that name.
Entrance of Ghar al-Thawr

References:  
1. When the Moon Split – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, The Life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) – Tahia Al-Ismail.

2. Translation of the meanings of The Noble Qur’ân in the English Language by Dr Muhammad Taqî-ud-Dîn al-Hilâlî and Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khân.

3. Goggle Earth Image.

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