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Second migration to Abyssinia

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This is a sub-article to Muhammad before Medina and Muhammad in Medina

Following the return from the First migration to Abyssinia, the Muslims continued to suffer Persecution by the Meccans [1]. This time, in Template:BH almost one hundred Muslims made a second migration back to Ethiopia where they stayed protected [2].

After the Muslims in Arabia had migrated to Medina in Template:AH [2] and attained security, the Muslims in Ethiopia migrated back to Arabia and reunited with them in Medina [1] after six years absence [2].


Following the first migration to Abyssinia, the Meccan polytheists were on the alert for a second migration, however they were not able to stop the Muslims' escape [1].

Second migration

The second migration took place in 616 CE [3]. The group of emigrants this time comprised eighty three men and eighteen to nineteen women [1].

Delegation from Mecca

The Meccan polytheists did not appreciate that the Muslim had found a refuge, so they equipped ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Rabi‘a with valuable gifts and sent them to the court of Aksum. They became successful in winning some of the courtiers over to their side and argued that the King should expel the Muslims back to Mecca and made over to them, on the grounds that they had apostated and preached a religion alien to both the Meccan religion and Christianity, the official Aksumite religion [1].

First meeting

The king of Aksum, Ashama ibn Abjar in the Muslim tradition (Ella Seham and variants in the Ethiopian), summoned the Muslims to the court and asked them to explain the teachings of their religion. The Muslim emigrants had decided to tell the whole truth whatever the consequences were. Ja'far ibn Abu Talib, the son of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the powerful Banu Hashim leader, stood up and addressed the king in the following words [1]:

O king! we were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism; we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, we ate the dead bodies, and we spoke abominations, we disregarded every feeling of humanity, and the duties of hospitality and neighbourhood were neglected; we knew no law but that of the strong, when Template:Allah raised among us a man, of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware; and he called to the Oneness of God, and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us the worship of idols; and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to regard the rights of the neighbours and kith and kin; he forbade us to speak evil of women, or to eat the substance of orphans; he ordered us to fly from the vices, and to abstain from evil; to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe fast. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship God, and not to associate anything with Him, and we have allowed what He has allowed, and prohibited what He has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us, have persecuted us in order to make us forsake the worship of God and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and injured us, until finding no safety among them, we have come to your country, and hope you will protect us from oppression. [1]

Ashama was impressed by the speech and asked for some of God's Revelations. Ja‘far recited the opening verses of Surah Maryam. The chapter is about the birth of John and Jesus, and Mary having been fed with the food miraculously [1]. The story moved to tears the bishops and king who exclaimed: "It seems as if these words and those which were revealed to Jesus are the rays of the light which have radiated from the same source." Turning to the crest-fallen envoys of Quraish, he said, "I am afraid, I cannot give you back these refugees. They are free to live and worship in my realm as they please." [1].

Second meeting

The following day, the ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Rabi‘a went to the king and said that Muhammad and his followers blasphemed Jesus. Ja‘far again stood up and replied: "We speak about Jesus as we have been taught by our prophet, that is, he is the servant of Allâh, His Messenger, His spirit and his word breathed into Virgin Mary." The king replied, "Even so do we believe. Blessed be you, and blessed be your master." The king turned to the two frowning Meccan envoys and to his bishops who got angry, he said: "You may fret and fume as you like but Jesus is nothing more than what Ja‘far has said about him."

The King assured the Muslims full protection and returned the gifts to the envoys of Quraish and sent them away.

Return to Arabia

The Muslims lived in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) unmolested for a number of years. During this period were the Muslims in Arabia subjected to the Meccan boycott of the Hashemites (617), the Year of Sorrow (619), Muhammad's visit to Ta'if (620), the Isra and Mi'raj (621) and finally the Migration to Medina (622) [1]. The Muslims in Ethiopia would not return to Arabia and reunited with their fellow Muslims in Medina until in Template:AH [2] according to Tabari</ref>

During this migration, the prophet Muhammad married Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan while not present there, since her husband relapsed to Christianity.

They returned to Mecca after some years under the protection of Ashama ibn Abjar, the Emperor of Ethiopia.


Follows a list of those who fled. A '*' indicates that they were in the first wave of the migration.


  1. Ja`far ibn Abī Tālib[4]
  2. Uthman * [1][5].
  3. Khalid ibn Said – was chosen by Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan to act as her legal guardian at her marriage to Muhammad.
  4. Abu Hudhayfah ibn Utbah
  5. Abdu ibn Jahsh [6]
  6. Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah
  7. Khunais ibn Hudhaifa [7]
  8. Hisham ibn Al-Aas
  9. Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf[4]
  10. Khalid ibn Sa'id ibn al-Aas was also present, although its uncertain if he was present from the start.
  11. Sakran, the first husband of Sawda bint Zama[8]


  1. Ruqayyah bint Muhammad * [1][5].
  2. Asma bint Umays[9]
  3. A'isha
  4. Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh – went to Abyssinia with his wife where he converted to Christianity and later died.
  5. Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan – was married to Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh, then remarried to Muhammad.
  6. Sawda bint Zama[8]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 The Sealed Nectar [1] on
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Christdot :: Christ. Period. :: The "Satanic Verses": Did Muhammad Compromise Islam?
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographies of the Companions of the Prophet
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sahabah Migation to Abyssina
  6. AlMaghrib Forums
  7. IslamWeb
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hazrat Sawdah
  9. Historians state that she was present at Fatima's wedding ceremony, as well as that of Aisha. One theory states that Asma Bint Umais had actually immigrated with her husband to Habashah, but repeatedly returned to Mecca and Medina.

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