In the fifth year of the prophethood of our Master Rasûlullah, despite the tortures of the polytheists, the number of Muslims continued to increase. However, the polytheists increased their tortures too and they were doing everything they could to torment Muslims. Our Master, the Prophet, was greatly saddened by the fact that his Companions were under unbearable tortures and that they were being torn apart by being tied to camels and drawn to opposite directions. These tortures intensified day by day and his heart, full of compassion, could not bear it. One day, he gathered the Ashâb-i kirâm and said, “O my Companions! Disperse over the Earth now. Allahu ta’âlâ will bring you together again soon!” They asked, “O Rasûlullah! Where shall we go?” Our Master, the Prophet, with his blessed hand, showed the land of Abyssinia and said, “There! To the land of Abyssinians! For, there is a ruler near whom no one is tyrannized. It is a country of truth. Until Allahu ta’âlâ opens a way out from your difficulties to salvation, stay there” Thus, our Master, Sarwar-i âlam Muhammad Mustafâ (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) decided that his Companions would be safe from the tortures and he himself would continue the struggle against the Meccan polytheists. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet, who said, “My Ummet (my people)! My Ummet (my people)!” when he came into the world, was making a self sacrifice for his companions’ safety. Upon this permission of his, some of the Ashâb-i kirâm left their homeland and immigrated!.. But, their sorrow was great, due to their departing from our beloved Prophet.
In this first migration, Hadrat ‘Uthmân and his wife Ruqayya binti Rasûlullah, Abû Huzayfa and his wife Sahla binti Suhayl, Zubayr bin Awwâm, Mus’ab bin Umayr, Abdurrahmân bin ‘Awf, Abû Salama bin Abdulasad and his wife Ummu Salama, Khâtib bin Amr, Âmir bin Rabîa and his wife Laylâ binti Abî Hasma, ‘Uthmân bin Maz’ûn, Abû Sabra bin Abî Ruhm and his wife Ummu Gulthum binti Suhayl, Suhayl bin Baydâ and Abdullah bin Mas’ûd had joined.
Our Master, the Prophet said about Hadrat ’Uthman, “Verily, ’Uthman is the first person who immigrated with his wife, after the prophet Lût.” Secretly, some of the Ashâb-i kirâm left Mecca on animals, some on foot. By paying fares to traders, they reached the coasts of Abyssinia on ships through the Red Sea. The polytheists learned of this and they started to track them down. But, their efforts were in vain and they returned in disappointment. The Negus, ruler of Abyssinia, treated Muslims well. He settled them in his country. The Ashâb-i kirâm said of Abyssinia, “We experienced having a good neighbor and protection here. Our religion was intact, we were not hurt. Nor did we hear any unpleasant words, either. In peace, we worshipped Allahu ta’âlâ.”