What is The First Year of Hegira? What Happened to The First Year of Hegira? The Events of The First Year of Migration.
The migration of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to Medina marked a new era, turning a brand new page in history for Islam and the Muslims.
The Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was not a refugee in Medina. Much rather, he was the chief architect of a future world, its guide, the leader of the emerging Islamic state and, in short, its life and soul. With his arrival to Medina, the movement of Islam and its communication to the world received an enormous impetus.
Until the completion of the Mosque of Medina, the Masjid’un-Nabi, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- remained as guest, for seven months, at the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. But the lodging at the house of Abu Ayyub, the flag bearer of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- , had in fact a history going back a few centuries.
Seven hundred years before, Tubba’ Abu Karib, one of the kings of Yemen, had come to Medina, known then as Yathrib. Finding out from Jewish scholars of the future emergence of a Meccan Prophet who would then migrate to Medina, he had a house built in the town. He then entrusted a gold sealed letter with the grandest scholar in Medina at the time, requesting it be passed on, in case he did not live to see the day, from generation to another, and presented to the coming Prophet.
And the Tubba’, as early as then, declared belief in the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and became Muslim.
Passing on through the years from father to son, the house, which fell to the east of the Masjid, was finally handed down to Abu Ayyib Khalid ibn Zayd r.a., reputed to be one of the descendants of the said scholar.
Those who had the Tubba’s letter in their safekeeping sent Abu Layla, a trustable man from the tribe of Sulaym, with the letter to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- , upon hearing him approach Medina. Abu Layla tracked the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- on the Meccan road; though it was the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- who first called out.
“Are you Abu Layla?”
“Yes”, he replied.
“I believe you have the Tubba’s letter with you. Can I see it?”
Abu Layla had never before seen the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. He was stunned.
“And who might you be? You certainly do not look like a sorcerer…Yet how did you know I have the letter?” he asked, astounded.
“Rest at ease, for I am Muhammad. Please, give me the letter,” he said.
Taking out the letter, Abu Layla handed it over to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- . After Abu Bakr r.a. read the letter aloud, the Messenger of Allah said, three times:
“Greetings to the Tubba, our virtuous brother!”
He then advised Abu Layla to return to Medina, who swiftly made his way back, delivering the good news of the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- approaching, for which he was offered a treat by each Medinan as a show of appreciation.
 Ibn Asakir, III, 334-335; Samhûdî, I, 188-189.
 Ahmad, V, 340.
 Ibn Asakir, III, 335; Aynî, IV, 176.