Migration of the Muslims to Abyssinia. As more and more persons in Makkah became Muslims, the Quraish lost their nerve, and intensified their persecutions against the Muslims. Seeing the afflictions on his companions, the Holy Prophet advised them to migrate to Abyssinia, the ruler whereof was known for his tolerance. When the first batch of the Muslims migrated to Abyssinia, Abu Bakr decided to stay in Makkah to be by the side of the Holy Prophet.
Boycott against the Banu Hashim. Some time in 617 C.E., the Quraish enforced a boycott against the Banu Hashim, and the Holy Prophet and whole of Banu Hashim, except Abu Lahab and his family, were shut up in a pass away from Makkah. All social relations with the Banu Hashim were cut off and their state was that of a sort of imprisonment.
Three groups of the Muslims. At this stage the Muslims came to be divided in three groups. One group comprised of the emigrants to Abyssinia. The other group comprised of the Banu Hashim who were ex-communicated. The rest of the Muslims formed the third group. They were not ex-communicated. but there was no relaxation in their persecution by the unbelievers.
Abu Bakr's migration. Abu Bakr belonged to the third group. He felt sad at the ex-communication of the Banu Hashim. As Abu Bakr looked around him he felt much distressed. With a heavy heart, Abu Bakr left Makkah one day with the intention to migrate to Abyssinia. He took the road to Yemen from where he was to sail for Abyssinia. When he had proceeded some five stages from Makkah, he met Ad-Dughna at Barka al Ghamaad Ad-Dughna was an old friend of Abu Bakr. He was the chief of the Qarah tribe, a section of the Quraish. The Qarah tribe was in alliance with the Bani Zuhra.
Ad-Dughnas's offer of protection. Ad-Dughna inquired of Abu Bakr as to where he was going, and he told him that he was going to seek refuge in Abyssinia as the Quraish of Makkah would allow him no peace. Ad-Dughna who had a high opinion about Abu Bakr said: "O Abu Bakr, we cannot suffer you to go from Makkah. You are an asset to the city. You are always keen to fulfill the needs of others. You are so good and noble. I take you under my protection, and you should come back with me to Makkah. Rest assured no harm will come to you."