The leaders of the Quraysh became more fearful about the threat of Muhammad’s message. They continued to try to stop people from entering Islam. But many of them knew in their hearts that the message being told by our Prophet was a revelation from God.
Despite all of the difficulties, the number of Muslims grew and they became strong. The leaders of Quraysh began to fear the new religion more than before and they devised an unexpected trick to stop it from spreading.
The disbelieving Quraysh clamped down on the Meccan believers even more when they realized the extent of Muhammad’s commitment to his message. They almost eradicated the Muslims completely when Muhammad thought of a solution to save them from this dreadful punishment and rescue the call to Islam from destruction.
In the middle of the fifth year, Surah al-Zumar was revealed, advising the Muslims to migrate. In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful, “[Say to] those who do good in this world that they will have a good reward – God’s earth is wide – and those who persevere patiently will be given a full and unstinting reward.” The Prophet considered the possible places for the Muslims to migrate to and then decided upon Abyssinia.
The first group of Companions migrated to Abyssinia during Rajab in the fifth year of the Prophecy. They numbered twelve men and four women led by ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, who was accompanied by his wife, Ruqayya, the daughter of the Prophet.
They crept away in the dead of night to avoid being apprehended by the Quraysh. They left for the sea where God provided them with two merchant ships which they sailed on to Abyssinia. However, a Qurayshi spotted them and began to follow them. But thankfully by the time the disbelievers got to the shore, the Muslims had already arrived safely in Abyssinia, and found a safe haven there.