The Significance of Hijrah

All praise is due to Allah as is befitting Him. I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah Who has no partner and is sovereign over all things. I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master Muhammad, his family, his companions, and all those who will follow them in the righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

Oh Muslims! I urge you and myself to be ever God-conscious and to construct your lives in the shadow of divine obedience. Allah -the Exalted - says, "And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out, And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him." (At-Talaq: 2-3) O servants of Allah, At the beginning of every new Hijri year, we turn our thought to the memory of the Prophet (PBOH)'s Hijra (migration) from Mecca to Madina, as it has brought in the seeds of development and achievements. It laid the ground for a new and generous community based on a solid faith in Allah.

In describing such a cohesive and interconnected society, the Almighty says,"But those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith,- show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot)." (Al-Hashr:9) The Hijra is of a great spiritual value that inspires reflection, strengthens the wills and sharpens our resolve. It is an event through which Muslims can learn how to shape their lives on the basis of principles and values. That is why the Companions - may Allah be pleased with them, chose it to be a historical milestone to mark the beginning of the Islamic year and the start of an era. They have preferred it over other great events so that people be associated with it throughout the ages thereafter.

The Hijra has a broad meaning. It can denote any process through whicha Muslim goesto free his soul and senses, let us say, from ignorance to knowledge, from bad to good company, from bad to good attitude, from laziness to fruitful work, from dispersion to union, from conflict to harmony, from aberration to righteousness and all of the nobleteachings of Islam. Allah-the Almighty-says, "A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe. An emigrant (muhajir) is someone who abandons what Allah has forbidden." (Sahih al Bukhari:10). However, the message brought by the Prophet (PBOH) and for the sake ofwhich he migrated was met with intransigence. Waraqabin Naufal told Muhammad (PBOH), "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain Alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." (Al Bukhari: 3).

Indeed, the unbelievers' bitter stance against his message was the reason for their intent to harm him and drive him away. Allah-the Exalted- says, "Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah." (Al Anfal:30). Allah's order came for Muhammad (PBOH) to migrate to Medina. The prophet (PBOH) left Mecca under duress because it was where he grew up and the dearestplace to his heart. Abdullah bin Adi said that he heard the Prophet (PBOH) say while standing at Al Hazwara (a small hill in the market place of Mecca), "By Allah! You (O Makkah) are the best of Allah’s land, and most beloved to Him. Had I not been driven away from you, I would have never departed (from you)." (At-Tirmidhi: 3925). Our prophet (PBOH) was an epitome of complete trust in Allah-the Exalted. Indeed, Muhammad (PBOH) laid the foundations of a successful migration by first choosing his companion for the blessed journey of whom he said, “Allah sent me (as a Prophet) to you (people) but you said (to me), 'You are telling a lie,' while Abu Bakr said, 'He has said the truth,' and consoled me with himself and his money." (Al Bukhari: 3661)

He likewise set forth his camel and got ready for the journey. He departed under the cover of darkness to ensure a smooth movement out from Mecca. Well prepared for the travel, he beseeched the protection of Allah-the Almighty. Then he travelled southwards in the opposite direction of Medina to outmaneuver those bounty hunters and trouble makers who had put up chase. He stayed three days in a cave in Mount Thawr until the intense search of the unbelievers would subside. Meanwhile, he asked someone to bring him news. Despite all of this, the will of Alllah had it that the unbelievers could reach him, but this did not shake his confidence in Allah-the Almighty. This is because he depended not on means only but, first and foremost, on Allah-the Almighty.

When finally the unbelievers besieged the cave, Abu Bakr whispered to the Prophet (PBOH), "what if they were to look through the crevice and detect us? The Prophet (PBOH) replied, "What do you think of those two with whom the third is Allah?" (Sahih Al Bukhari: 3653). In support of His messenger (PBOH), Allah, the Almighty, says "If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear, for Allah is with us." (At-Tauba:40).

The Hijra has taught us that good planning is one of the requirements of attaining success and getting support. Muslim women, for their part, can contribute in appropriate circumstances. Asmaa bint Abu Bakr, May Allah be pleased with them, used to provide the Prophet (PBOH) and his companion in the cave with the supply they needed. She did so bravely, strapping against one side of her waist a pouch and on the other a water jar. That is why she was later given the nickname of Dhat an-Nitaqayn (the one with The Two Waistbands). Truly, the Hijra has taught us the meaning of love for Allah. Abu Bakr, for example, sacrificed himself, his money and family for the sake of love for Allah and his Prophet (PBOH). The Hijra is also significant in the sense that it shows us that the youth is the ultimate asset for every community.

Young people played a great role in the success of the migration thanks to their valuable contributions and patience throughout the journey. We ask Allah-the Almighty- on this occasion to make this year a happy and blessed one for our beloved country, our wise leadership and people as well as for all the Muslim Umma.

We also implore Him to help us all to obey Him and those He ordained us to obey, as the Almighty says: "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you." (An-Nisa: 59).


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