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Did Abu Bakr want to migrate to Abyssinia due to Meccan persecution?

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Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in the English language. I also studied at Temple University in the US.
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In a Nutshell:
Yes, he was wanting to do so immediately before the migration to Medina was ordained, given Quraysh was persecuting him.

It was narrated Quraysh was persecuting Abu Bakr (ra) and preventing him from worshipping Allah. He therefore prepared himself for migration to Abyssinia to accompany Muslims there.

Whilst he was setting on his way there, one of the Meccan tribal leaders asked him to stay and he would provide him with protection; Abu Bakr (ra) accepted this protection and went back and continued worshipping Allah.

Abu Bakr (ra) then built a small mosque in the courtyard of his house, an action that led to the withdrawal of protection.

After a few days, Abu Bakr (ra) and the Prophet (saw) migrated to Medina.

A'isha narrated:

لَمْ أَعْقِلْ أَبَوَىَّ إِلاَّ وَهُمَا يَدِينَانِ الدِّينَ‏.‏ وَقَالَ أَبُو صَالِحٍ حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ عَنْ يُونُسَ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ لَمْ أَعْقِلْ أَبَوَىَّ قَطُّ، إِلاَّ وَهُمَا يَدِينَانِ الدِّينَ، وَلَمْ يَمُرَّ عَلَيْنَا يَوْمٌ إِلاَّ يَأْتِينَا فِيهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم طَرَفَىِ النَّهَارِ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيَّةً، فَلَمَّا ابْتُلِيَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ خَرَجَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مُهَاجِرًا قِبَلَ الْحَبَشَةِ…
قَالَ ابْنُ الدَّغِنَةِ إِنَّ مِثْلَكَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ وَلاَ يُخْرَجُ، ... فَرَجَعَ مَعَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، ... فَأَنْفَذَتْ قُرَيْشٌ جِوَارَ ابْنِ الدَّغِنَةِ ... ثُمَّ بَدَا لأَبِي بَكْرٍ فَابْتَنَى مَسْجِدًا بِفِنَاءِ دَارِهِ، وَبَرَزَ فَكَانَ يُصَلِّي فِيهِ، وَيَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ، ...
فَأَفْزَعَ ذَلِكَ أَشْرَافَ قُرَيْشٍ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ، فَأَرْسَلُوا إِلَى ابْنِ الدَّغِنَةِ فَقَدِمَ عَلَيْهِمْ، ... َأَتَى ابْنُ الدَّغِنَةِ أَبَا بَكْرٍ، فَقَالَ قَدْ عَلِمْتَ الَّذِي عَقَدْتُ لَكَ عَلَيْهِ، فَإِمَّا أَنْ تَقْتَصِرَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ وَإِمَّا أَنْ تَرُدَّ إِلَىَّ ذِمَّتِي، فَإِنِّي لاَ أُحِبُّ أَنْ تَسْمَعَ الْعَرَبُ أَنِّي أُخْفِرْتُ فِي رَجُلٍ عَقَدْتُ لَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ إِنِّي أَرُدُّ إِلَيْكَ جِوَارَكَ، وَأَرْضَى بِجِوَارِ اللَّهِ‏.‏ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَئِذٍ بِمَكَّةَ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ قَدْ أُرِيتُ دَارَ هِجْرَتِكُمْ، رَأَيْتُ سَبْخَةً ذَاتَ نَخْلٍ بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْنِ ‏"‏‏.‏ وَهُمَا الْحَرَّتَانِ،
فَهَاجَرَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ قِبَلَ الْمَدِينَةِ حِينَ ذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وَرَجَعَ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ بَعْضُ مَنْ كَانَ هَاجَرَ إِلَى أَرْضِ الْحَبَشَةِ، وَتَجَهَّزَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مُهَاجِرًا، فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ عَلَى رِسْلِكَ فَإِنِّي أَرْجُو أَنْ يُؤْذَنَ لِي ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ هَلْ تَرْجُو ذَلِكَ بِأَبِي أَنْتَ قَالَ ‏"‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَحَبَسَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ نَفْسَهُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِيَصْحَبَهُ وَعَلَفَ رَاحِلَتَيْنِ كَانَتَا عِنْدَهُ وَرَقَ السَّمُرِ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ‏.‏
"Since I reached the age when I could remember things, I have seen my parents worshipping according to the right faith of Islam. Not a single day passed but Allah's Messenger (saw) visited us both in the morning and in the evening. When the Muslims were persecuted, Abu Bakr set out for Abyssinia as an immigrant. …

Did Abu Bakr want to migrate to Abyssinia due to Meccan persecution?

Ibn Ad- Daghna said, "A man like you will not go out, nor will he be turned out … Ibn Ad-Daghna went along with Abu Bakr … So, Quraish allowed Ibn Ad-Daghna's guarantee of protection and told Abu- Bakr that he was secure …
Later on, Abu Bakr had an idea of building a mosque in the courtyard of his house. He fulfilled that idea and started praying and reciting Qur'an there publicly. … This horrified the pagan chiefs of Quraish. They sent for Ibn Ad-Daghna …
Ibn Ad-Daghna came to Abu Bakr and said, "You know the conditions on which I gave you protection, so you should either abide by those conditions or revoke my protection, as I do not like to hear the 'Arabs saying that Ibn Ad-Daghna gave the pledge of protection to a person and his people did not respect it." Abu Bakr said, "I revoke your pledge of protection and am satisfied with Allah's protection."
At that time Allah's Messenger (saw) was still in Mecca and he said to his companions, "Your place of emigration has been shown to me. I have seen salty land, planted with date-palms and situated between two mountains which are the two Harras."
So, when the Prophet (saw) told it, some of the companions migrated to Medina, and some of those who had migrated to Ethiopia returned to Medina. When Abu Bakr prepared for emigration, Allah's Messenger (saw) said to him, "Wait, for I expect to be permitted to emigrate."
Abu Bakr asked, "May my father be sacrificed for your sake, do you really expect that?" Allah's Messenger (saw) replied in the affirmative. So, Abu Bakr postponed his departure in order to accompany Allah's Messenger (saw) and fed two camels which he had, with the leaves of Samor trees for four months." (Sahih al-Bukhari 2297)


Conclusion

Abu Bakr was wanting to do so immediately before the migration to Medina was ordained due to Quraish's persecution.


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