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5 Lessons from Hijrah

The Migration (Hijrah) of the early Muslims from Makkah to Madinah in the early seventh century was a migration away from harm, persecution, oppression, polytheism and disbelief to peace, security, justice and Islam.

In short: it was a migration towards saving the new message of Islam and establishing a fresh society, in which Islam would flourish and spread all over the world. The migration vault [of lessons] contains a vast amount of treasures to be experienced.

What are these lessons? And how could one benefit from them? This is a large subject matter; and – in this leaflet – we will concentrate on a few of the most important ones.

It’s about Sacrifice

The early companions of the Prophet had to leave their relatives, homes, lands, wealth and businesses in Makkah for the sake of Allah. Take the case of Suhaib ibn Sinaan who gave up all his wealth in exchange for getting away; and was awarded with a verse in the Qur’an dedicated to him: {And of people: are those who purchase themselves seeking the pleasure of Allah.}; and the stamp of approval from the Prophet who said:

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“Your deal has triumphed, Aba Yahya!”

The early companions migrated to a different city, a new culture and a fresh territory that the majority had not experienced before. They had to start from off afresh. That is why the Prophet acknowledging this difficulty – paired up each new migrant with one of their Madani hosts, who displayed extreme generosity.

The story of Abdur Rahman bin Awf is an excellent example. He had nothing to start off with, and politely declined the offer of his host (Saad ibn Al-Rabee’) to share everything with him; but enthusiastically asked:

“Show me the way to the market!”

Abdur Rahman went to the market. He bought and sold; and quickly made profit. It wasn’t long before he had accumulated a gold nugget which he used as bridal money to get married.

From another angle, the migration had severe psychological and physiological effects on the new migrants who had to leave the land where they were born and brought up, the houses that they erected, the homes that they constructed and got married in and had their children.

A prime example was that of Abu Bakr and Bilal. Imam Al-Bukhari narrates that Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “When the Messenger of Allah e came to Madinah, both Abu Bakr and Bilal became ill. I entered on them, and asked:

‘My father! How do you find yourself? Bilal! How do you find yourself?”

Aishah said, “I came Messenger of Allah e and I told him, he said:

‘O Allah! Make Al-Madinah dear to us like our love for Makkah and more. O Allah! Make it healthy, and bless us in our weights and measures; and remove its disease away from it to Al-Juhfah’.”

It’s about Conviction in Allah’s Promise

The hijrah displayed a great conviction (iman) in Allah and His promises. This iman which allowed them to go against the odds; for Allah is the One who will guarantee the results. Look at the story of the migration of the Prophet and Abu Bakr who both suffered during their migration. Abu Bakr was very frightened when Quraysh were outside the cave in which they were hiding. He said: “I saw the feet of the polytheists very close to us, as we were in the cave. I said:

‘O Messenger of Allah! If one of them were to look to his sandals, he would surely see us.’

Thereupon the Prophet e replied reassuringly:

“Aba Bakr! Don’t worry! What do you make of two, whom Allah is their third?’.”

And indeed, Allah protected them and rewarded them with tranquillity and victory.

A Turning Point Worth Noting

When early Muslims migrated from Makkah to Madinah, a new history for the Muslims started, and it was marked as a turning point for Islam and Muslims. This is why the Muslims during the leadership of Umar ibn Al-Khattab designated the beginning of the Islamic calendar to be the year of the Hijrah.

Hijrah: The Wider Meaning

Imam An-Nasa’i reports in an authentic (sahih) narration that a man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Which emigration (hijrah) is best?”

The Prophet replied:

“To leave what your Lord dislikes.”

In the Prophetic definition narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari:

“The emigrant is the one who abstains from that which Allah has prohibited.”

Therefore, migration is not just about leaving one’s home or land; but it has a wider impact; and hence it becomes essential for every Muslim for be an emigrant.

Every one of us should migrate from what Allah and the Prophet hate to that which they like and encourage us to do. It is about migrating from bad to good; from evil deeds to righteous deeds; from sins to repentance; from abandoning the prayers to establishing the prayers; from abstaining of giving Zakat to performing Zakat; from adultery (minor or major) to marrying; from stealing to earning an honest halal money; from uttering lies to speaking the truth; from being mean to becoming generous; and so on. Migration, therefore, is the path of transfer to a healthy and productive life.

As Muslims, we should be living in a continuous state of migration. We should not only migrate from bad deeds to good deeds, but we should also migrate from a low level of belief (iman) to a higher level. At this higher level, we would be aiming to increase our good deeds, such as performing more voluntary or supererogatory deeds (nawafil).

Imam Al-Bukhari in his authentic collection reports from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah e said:

“Verily Allah I has said: ‘And My servant does not draw nearer to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with supererogatory (nawafil) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears; his sight with which he sees; his hand with which he strikes; and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely grant it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely give him refuge’.”

And as the physical migration came with all sorts of hardships, similarly, the wider migration comes with trials and tribulations. Take – for example – someone who migrates from abandoning prayers to performing them, truly it is a great hardship, where they have to wake up early in the morning when others are fast asleep in their warm beds, perform ablution, which is extremely difficult in the cold winter, concentrate in their prayer, and maintain the prayer daily. But, for those who want to obey Allah and migrate from what Allah and His Prophet hate to what they like, Allah will help them, and they will find prayer easy to perform. As the Prophet said:

“And he would attempts to be patient, Allah will give him patience.”

It is important for those who want to migrate from bad to good to remember that the sooner they migrate, the better; as no one knows when death with come to him. And if death does come whilst you are in migration, then your reward is saved with Allah. As He said:

{And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

One more Point

The early Muslims migrated physically in all meanings of the word. Today, we also see a lot of Muslims migrating; some succeed and some are still struggling. There are many people throughout the world who continue to face severe hardship in their lands. They want to migrate from injustice, corruption and tyranny to justice, righteousness and freedom. Tens of thousands are imprisoned, raped and killed. It is a very hard and ruthless path, and it may take many many years.

Moreover, it is very important to remember that the process of migration is only the start of another new and difficult route, where after migration, the migrants should show the whole world that the way of life that they carry is one suited for all times and all places. Therefore, come to the best work. And like any journey:

“The one who sets off early will reach his destination. Truly the commodity of Allah is expensive: Truly the commodity of Allah is al-Jannah.” (hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmidhi)

First appeared at It’s republished with kind permission.