Why Prophet Mohammad chose Medina as destination
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) didn’t choose to migrate to neighboring cities of Mecca, such as Taif or Abyssinia, but rather he preferred to respond to the call of Medina and to establish the base of Islam over their territory due to several reasons:
First: Mecca was the most preferable place for early Muslims because of the presence of Holy Ka’ba, while at the same time it was full of infidels. And without defeating infidels, the call to Islam would be in vain.
Thus, it was necessary to go to a place close to Mecca so that Prophet (pbuh) could monitor the situation and practice the economic, political and military pressure over it. Medina was the destination which was enjoying all the necessary specifications since it was located on the road of commercial convoys, which would help the Prophet to impose an economic blockade and, consequently, could control Mecca and eliminate polytheism, which is one of the most important goals of Islam.
Second: Medina was agriculturally rich and wouldn’t be affected by any commercial or economic pressure. Moreover, Islam was facing major challenges because it was leading a comprehensive process of change. Thus it was in need to live in an economically stable environment that could provide Prophet Mohammad with an opportunity to spread Islam.
Third: In Medina, there were talks about the signs of emergence of a new prophet in the region. Jewish and Christian scholars were circulating such news based on the Torah, the Bible and other celestial books. Therefore, people of Medina were ready to respond to the Prophet as the way had been paved for the new religion.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh): HijraFourth: A large number of people of Medina, from the tribes of Banu Aws and Khazraj, had converted to Islam, pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and bore the burdens of preaching of Islam and of Jihad. Just before the Prophet’s migration, a lot of people became Muslim believers and asked the Prophet (pbuh) to immigrate to their land. They expressed their full willingness to support him as well and to stand by his side, and to be the firm base upon which he would rely in building the Islamic political state and community.
Cities of Persian and Roman Empires were not appropriate for immigration
Once we examine other potential cities for immigration at the time – i.e. the Taif, Yemen, Romanian state in the Levant, Farsi state of Iran and the Abyssinia – we would find that none of them were safe for the Islamic Da’wa and the establishment of the Muslim community.
A decision to immigrate to the Taif was not going to work, because its people refused to respond to the call of the Prophet (pbuh) when he moved to it in the tenth year of the Mission. People of Taif were also economically and commercially linked to Mecca. They used to export their fruit crops – the cornerstone of their agricultural harvest, under the approval of Quraish, as the owner of the main market. People of Taif wouldn’t accept Islam because they felt they were in need to satisfy Meccans so as not to be subjected to a social boycott or to an economic blockade by Quraish.
Moreover, the migration to Yemen, the Levant, Iran or other neighboring countries was subjected to the influence of the two great nations at the time, the Romanian and the Farsi, both of which were not willing to welcome Muslims in their areas of influence.
Furthermore, the migration to Abyssinia was not a viable option for the Prophet (pbuh) as well, because it was geographically separated from Mecca and was lacking any land passage linking it to the homeland of Ka’ba.
Thus, it became clear that there wasn’t any place suitable for the Prophet’s migration other than the Medina.