The Hijrah: From the House of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r) to the Cave of Secrets

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Story: From House of Abū Bakr to the Cave of Secrets
The importance of Hijrah is not to go in the desert to seek a dalīl, a guide. Why does the Prophet (s) need a dalīl? But he took one in order to teach us: we need a guide, a teacher, a master, a shaykh to reach the Prophet (s). You cannot reach barefoot in the desert, or your feet will burn. You need someone to guide you. This life is worse than the desert. So how can you travel all this distance without a guide, without a master, without a shaykh?
So, the Prophet (s) dressed Sayyīdinā `Alī (ra) with all these secrets when he left him in his bed. Now he wanted to dress Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr: he went to his house, took him and left.
Prophet Muhammad (s), the one who read the following verse and threw sand (in the faces of the enemies, which prevented them from seeing him):

وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدًّا وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُبْصِرُون

And We have put a bar in front of them and a bar behind them, and further, We have covered them up; so that they cannot see.180
Was he not able to throw it in the face of the enemy when they came after him? Allah (swt) said, “Go to the cave, O believers, O human beings, and Allah (swt) will spread His mercy on you.” Go to the cave means go back to your spirituality, go back to your heart. Go back to the cave of the Ummah. The cave hides the needy ones, the cave is Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s), he is the cave of the Ummah.

فَأْوُوا إِلَى الْكَهْفِ

Run to the cave181

He wanted to show Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr as-Siddiq (ra) the real cave. He wanted to spread his mercy. He gave Sayyīdinā `Alī, now he wants to give to Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr. He went to a cave. Was Allah unable to prevent the enemy from seeing? But no, the plan was not like that. The plan has to be as Allah planned (swt). That is why you don’t plan for yourself anything, leave everything to Allah. When you leave everything to Allah everything will come out good for you. When you leave things to your Creator, all will come good.
We are ţarīqah people. We are trying to follow the way of the Prophet (s). We cannot say “yes, we followed”, but we are trying. So what did the Prophet (s) do in Ghaari Thawr? The Prophet (s) entered and Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr Siddiq (ra) put his leg down for the Prophet (s) to put his head to rest. As the Prophet (s) was resting, a snake came from the hole. Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr Siddiq (ra) saw it and was thinking the snake is hungry, “Let the snake eat me and then my Prophet (s) will be safe.”
If people don’t give up themselves, they aren’t going to get heavenly knowledge. If we are not going to give up backbiting and bad character, we will not achieve.
So Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr (ra) put his leg in the hole through which that snake was coming, and the snake began to eat from the leg of Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr . When a snake eats, it is not like other animals, like the biting of a lion; it takes everything inside and crushes everything, crushing bones and crushing the meat. Yet, out of his love for the Prophet (s), Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr (ra) did not feel any of that. He was worrying, “When that snake finishes eating me, it will eat my Prophet!” At that thought, a tear came from his eye and dropped on the blessed face of the Prophet (s).
The Prophet (s) woke up and said, “O Abū Bakr do not worry, Allah is with us.” Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr said, “O Prophet of Allah (s), I know that Allah is with us, but a snake is eating my leg and when it finishes, I am worried it will come and eat you.” Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s) looked and the snake backed up. Then the Prophet (s) took his saliva and put it on Abū Bakr as-Siddiq’s leg and it was miraculously restored to what it was before. Then the Prophet (s) said to the snake, “Don’t you know that Allah (swt) has forbidden snakes to eat the flesh of prophets and siddiqs, veracious ones? The snake said, “O Prophet (s), I was alive for thousands of years and I heard of your name, and throughout this time I was yearning to see you. Then you came here and as-Siddiq’s leg was blocking me from seeing you.” The Prophet (s) said, “Okay, come out.” And that snake looked at the Prophet (s) and then gave the Shahaadah and died.
Look at the wisdom in that event. That snake wanted to see the Prophet (s), and Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr was to be tested. At the end, Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr (ra) gave himself to Prophet (s) as Sayyīdinā `Alī (ra) gave his life to Sayyīdinā Muhammad (s). So, the Prophet (s) then dressed Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr with `Uloom al-Awwaleen wal-Akhireen, Knowledge of the Firsts and the Lasts.
That is why we see that 41 ţarīqahs take from that knowledge of the Prophet (s), 40 coming from Sayyīdinā `Alī (ra) and one coming from Sayyīdinā Abū Bakr (ra). That is the need to give oneself in Islam, submission.



180 Sūrat YaaSeen, 36:9.
181 Sūratu ’l-Kahf 18:16.

[Excerpted from the newly published book: Makkan Openings: A Pilgrim’s Guide to Divine Secrets]

Makkan Revelations: A Pilgrim's Guide to Divine Secrets