One of the greatest events in the history of Islam is the Hijra of the Muslims from Mecca to Madina but what does the word Hijra mean? From the explanation just given, we can conclude that this means the migration from the land from where you may be currently, a land where you’ve been born and raised, a place you call home – to a land that is new to you, unfamiliar to you and a land you may have never been to before – all for the sake of Allah SWT.
Hijra often means migrating in order to protect your deen, your family and for your safety. It can mean to migrate to escape oppression or persecution. It can mean to join other Muslims to form a bigger community.
From history we know that Hijra was also done for a group of Muslims from Makkah to Abyssinia on the command of the Prophet SAWS to escape the persecution they were feeling in Makkah at the time.
Dear brothers, we can see that the conditions for the need to perform hijra is felt for all of us here. However, we ought to start by remembering that we are not alone in our challenges, wherever we are in the world because we have Allah SWT looking out for us. He conveys this to us in the Quran and the imam reminded us of this through the 30th ayat of Sura Al-Anfal which is translated to say:
Remember, when the disbelievers plotted to imprison, kill or expel you. They plotted, and Allah planned something else, and Allah is the best of planners.
Alongside this, we also have the lesson from the Messenger’s SAWS migration from Makkah which is relayed to us in the 40th ayat of Sura Tauba which is translated to say:
If you won’t help him, Allah has already helped when the disbelievers expelled him from Makkah. They were two in the cave when he said to his companion, “Do not worry. Allah is with us.” So, Allah comforted him and helped him with armied that you didn’t see, and He foiled their plan. Allah’s plan is supreme. Allah is Almighty, Wise.
And so we can see that there is both comfort in those who choose to perform hijra as well as those who choose not to. And everyone’s circumstances are different and so it is down to the individual to determine if hijra is applicable to themselves.
This reminder concludes with some pointers on the process of performing hijra, what it involves and what ought to be considered.
- One of the actions of the Prophet SAWS after hijra was to build a masjid. And so it makes sense that if one is to perform hijra today then they ought to move to a place where they are free to worship, better still where there is a masjid close by as this provides the Muslim with a community centre, a hub and a place where they can meet other Muslims and help transition the journey to a new place.
- Create a brotherhood between the Muhajireen (i.e. the one performing the Hijra) and those whose community or lands you are travelling to. There are rights for both parties and as a Muhajireen, it’s important that you respect their rights, don’t overwhelm them or impose your ways onto them as this will not create a bond but cause division between you both.
- Lastly, the Prophet SAWS did a constitution when he migrated. In our time and age this means that we understand and respect the laws of the land to which we are migrating. Again, this will help facilitate understanding and trust between the two groups.
Dear brothers, hijra is something we ought to be aware of in case it becomes necessary in our lives. We live in an increasingly unstable global landscape and so we need to be aware. However, alongside this if we are aware of the rules regarding hijra then it puts us in the best place to be able to perform it successfully and with the blessing of Allah SWT.