During the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Medina, Quraish had declared that whoever would seize Muhammad (Peace be upon him) would receive a hundred camels as reward. This had spurred many persons to try their luck. Among those who were on the lookout for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companion in order to win the reward was Suraqah, the son of Malik. He, on receiving information that a party of four, had been spotted on a certain route, decided to pursue it secretly so that he alone should be the winner of the reward. He mounted a swift horse and went in hot pursuit of them. On the way the horse stumbled and he fell on the ground. On drawing a lot so as to divine whether he should continue the chase or not, as the Arabs used to do in such circumstances, he found the omens unpropitious. But the lust for material wealth blinded him altogether and he resumed the chase. Once more he met with the same fate but paid no heed to it. Again he jumped onto the saddle and galloped at a break-neck speed till he came quite close to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Abu Bakr’s heart agitated and he kept looking back while the Prophet (Peace be upon him) remained steadfast and continued reciting verses of the Qur’an.
The repeated stumbling of Suraqah’s horse and his falling off awakened him to the situation, and he realized that it was a constant warning of Allah for his evil design which he contemplated against the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He approached the travelling group with a penitent heart and begged of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) forgiveness in all humility. He addressed the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companion, saying: “Your people (the Quraishites) have promised a generous reward to anyone who captures you.” He added that he offered them provision but they declined his offer. They only asked him to screen off their departure and blind the polytheists to their hiding place. Then the Prophet (Peace be upon him) forgave him and confirmed it with a token written by ‘Amir bin Fuhairah on a piece of parchment. Suraqah hurried back to Makkah and tried to foil the attempts of those who were in pursuit of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his noble companions. The sworn enemy was converted into an honest believer.