Recently my teacher was lecturing on the life story of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (sws). I was very disturbed when she referred to his moving to Madinah from Makkah in words like he 'sneaked away' or 'fled'. She is not a Muslim and neither are many of the students who are taking this course at my University. Through another source I was given the impression that the Holy Prophet (sws) had migrated to Madinah. I was wondering if you could guide me through this. I would be very grateful.
It is a well known historical fact that the Holy Prophet (sws) faced severe difficulties in Makkah and when he was commanded to leave the city because the Makkans were out to kill him. But it is evident that he did not leave Makkah for fear of his life rather he migrated to Madinah on divine bidding like many other messengers of Allah did (for example the Holy Prophet (sws) Moses, Noah and Abraham). In all cases, the migration undoubtedly was done as required by the Almighty in the course of the preaching mission of the respective Holy Prophet (sws) to save them from the vicious intentions of the disbelievers and punish the rejecters after them. This obviously does not translate into the cowardice of the Messengers of Allah. We well know the Holy Prophet (sws) faced severe persecution at the hands of the people of Makkah and faced it with steadfastness.
A person is expected to mention this reality as it is but if someone speaks of it in offensive tone we can only argue with him to consider the reality and also to respect at least the personalities which are revered by a large number of people in the world. We cannot criticize and condemn such people severely. We can only discuss the point with them politely. The best course for you would be ignore the remarks as it would do not good to fret over this for long. However, the concern you show over the matter reflects your love and belief in the Messenger of Allah.