Hijrah: A Never-Ending Source of Inspiration

19 August, 2020
Q What are the most vital lessons that can be derived from the Hijrah of the Prophet?

Answer

Short Answer:

  • We need to pause to reflect and think beyond what we normally think about the Hijrah. What is it that we need to emigrate from in order to lead a successful life in line with our aim of worshiping Allah.
  • It does not necessarily have to be a migration from one place to another. But, it could be migration from sins to repentance to Allah the Almighty. It could be migration from evil doings to good deeds and productivity. 
  • The life of Prophet Muhammad was all about hope. Even in the most difficult times, he always gave hope to his companions.  He used to handle hardships with positivity. And we Muslims need to follow his example, with patience (sabr), hope, duaa and trust in Allah especially at this unprecedented time of the Corona pandemic.

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Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your important question to our website.

It is a momentous event in the course of Islamic history. Constituting a turning point in the history of Humanity. It is the Hijrah or the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Madina.

The Significance of the Hijrah

The term Hijrah is derived  from the Arabic root word ‘ha/ja/ra’, which primarily means to leave and to move away from. What is meant by Hijrah in this context is the emigration of Prophet Muhammad along with his noble companion Abu Bakr al-Siddiq from Mecca to Madina, which they undertook 1441 years ago. This journey is such a significant one that it was chosen to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar. 

The real reason behind the Hijrah

The question now is, why did the Prophet leave Mecca for Madina? I am aware that the common answer to this question is that it was to escape persecution by the polytheists in Mecca and save the Prophet’s life from an evil assassination plan.

However, in fact, there is another reason. Remaining in Mecca proved being unproductive in view of all those circumstances of oppression and persecution. Thus, the Prophet found out that it was not conducive for the message of Islam and it was a vital necessity to find away out in pursuit of a new avenue for the message of Islam to flourish.

For this reason, in essence, the Hijrah was not in quest of a luxurious life or an even better life. Rather, the idea was to save the message as well as to fulfill the Prophet’s mission. This is evidenced by the fact that immediately after reaching Madina, the Prophet did not just relax. On the contrary, the Prophet engaged in and conducted  an all-embracing process to establish a strong and faithful community.

For instance, the Prophet built a mosque, and established a market. Furthermore, he created a bond of unity and fraternity among the Muhajireen (The Immigrants) and the Ansaar (the Supporters)

Here, we need to pause to reflect and think beyond what we normally think about the Hijrah. What is it that we need to emigrate from in order to lead a successful life in line with our aim of worshiping Allah. It does not necessarily have to be a migration from one place to another. But, it could be migration from sins to repentance to Allah the Almighty. It could be migration from evil doings to good deeds and productivity. 

7 Practical lessons and morals that can be extracted from the Hijrah

In actuality, there are numerous lessons and morals that can be extracted from the Hijra of the Prophet to implement in our day-to-day life:

1- High Aspiration and Proactivity

We can learn this from the positive attitude of the Prophet. In spite of all the prevailing adversary circumstances, he did not quit or fall back. Contrarily, he had very high aspirations and was determined with such an unshakable resolve in the support and victory from Allah the Almighty. This is why he was proactive to move from Mecca to Madina in pursuit of a safe haven for the message of Islam to flourish and to transform the whole world. 

2- Honesty and Justice towards all

This lesson can be extracted from the instruction of the Prophet to his cousin Ali to give back the trusts and deposits to their rightful owners in Mecca. Here, I need to put you in the full picture so as to better appreciate and understand the magnitude of this act of honesty.


Even before the prophethood or the mission of Muhammad, the people of Mecca, where he grew up, used to recognize him as al-Sadiq (the truth teller) and al-Ameen (the trust worthy). This is why they used to entrust and keep with him their most valuable possessions. Obviously, because they were certain that an individual like Muhammad would safeguard their deposits. 

When it was time to leave Mecca for Madina, the Prophet instructed his cousin Ali to return the deposits to their rightful owners in Mecca.

When you stop and think of this, it can be said that anyone in his position having suffered all these hardships and endured all these abuses, would have said to himself I can take whatever I can carry with me and who cares whether or not I return their deposits.

However, this was not the approach of the Prophet. Consequently, this serves as a lesson for us that the criterion for us when dealing with others, whether or not they are Muslims, is justice and honesty, and not our whims, desires or revenge. This is how we truly become the worshipers of Allah the Almighty.

As Muslims, we are to do justice even towards our worst enemies. Evidently, this is one of the most important lessons that we need to implement in our lives when dealing with our brothers and sisters in humanity. 

3- Seeking the Lawful Means

The third lesson concerns taking the required action and using the lawful and legitimate means that Allah has provided. The Prophet and his companion went through a lot of preparation for this epic journey. For instance, they planned their means of transportation, they planned how to hide their tracks, they hired an experienced guide, whose name is Abdullah ibn Orayqit, to lead them through the most strategic route from Mecca to Medina. 

4- No Discrimination Against non-Muslims

Noteworthy, at that point ibn Orayqit was not a Muslim yet. Irrespective of the fact that he was a non-Muslim, the Prophet hired him and appointed him because he was the best for this job. Hence, as Muslims we do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their faith or religion.

5- No Discrimination on the Basis of Gender

Furthermore, the Prophet appointed the individual who would bring them food and drink each night. This individual was Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with her and her father).

Clearly, this individual was a woman and she managed to play a vital role in the Hijrah. The fact that she is a woman did not make the Prophet say she can not be part of the plan. Hence, in Islam there is no room for discrimination on the basis of gender. 

Accordingly, the abovementioned serves as a lesson to teach us that even the messenger of Allah, who is the best of mankind, and even when you pray to Allah the Almighty, still the required action needs to be taken in parallel with utilizing the lawful means to achieve one’s goals and objectives. 

6- Maintaining a high opinion of Allah

This can be highlighted during the precious moments while the Prophet and his noble companion sought refuge in the cave of Thawr. The polytheists of Mecca were able to track them down to the cave. 

As the polytheists approached the cave, Abu Bakr whispered into the ears of the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allah, if one of them were to look at his feet, they would find us.” Yet, the Prophet was very confident in Allah the Almighty. He said to his noble companion: “ O Abu Bakr, what do you expect regarding two men, Allah the Almighty is their third?” In the sense that Allah would definitely save and support them. 

Evidently, the life of Prophet Muhammad was all about hope. Even in the most difficult times, he always gave hope to his companions.  He used to handle hardships with positivity. And we Muslims need to follow his example, with patience (sabr), hope, duaa and trust in Allah especially at this unprecedented time of the Corona pandemic.

7- Authentic Reliance on Allah   

Thus, my dear brothers and sisters such powerful words should constantly be in the heart and mind as well as on the tongue of each and every Muslim man and woman whenever faced with a situation of difficulty  in their lives after having exhausted all the law and legitimate means.

This is how we can adopt a balanced and moderate approach. We take all the necessary means and on equal footing we humbly and wholeheartedly rely on Allah the Almighty. In fact, striking and maintaining the balance constitutes the essence of the concept of Tawwakul. 

In conclusion, in light of the previously highlighted lessons, we realize that the Hijrah was not only about the prophet and his noble companion. Rather, this journey is for us to learn and internalize memorable lessons to live by.

Furthermore, it is safe to state that, whether or not you are a Muslim, still you can learn and benefit from the life of Prophet Muhammad. Hence, now it is our duty to further read and reflect on the life of the Prophet.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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About Hossam Ed-Deen Allam
Hosam Ed-Deen Allam holds an MA of Diplomacy and Religion with Distinction from the Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion at Lancaster University in the UK. His main research area concerns Faith-based Diplomacy, Conflict Transformation, De-sectarianisation, and Peacebuilding. In parallel, Allam works as a member of Al-Azhar Fatwa Global Centre in addition to serving as a lecturer of the sources of Islamic jurisprudence at the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Hossam Ed-Deen is a Graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo from the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law in English. He has served as a lecturer of Islamic jurisprudence and its principles at the renowned Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo and has served as a religious leader in a number of communities in North America including NYC. Through his years of community work, he has provided training and guidance to government departments along with developing educational projects and community centers.