Hijrah Dialogue

Session Details
Guest Name Dr. Munir El-Kassem, Famous Da`iyah and Muslim Chaplain at the University of Western Ontario, Canada 
Subject Hijrah: Are There Further Lessons to Be Learned?
Date Sunday,Feb 13 ,2005
Time Makkah
… 17:50…To… 20:00
… 14:50…To…17:00 
Host    – 
Answer Dear visitors,

The session has just started. Please feel free to join us with your questions.

After the session has ended, you can view the whole dialogue by clicking Recent Sessions, or later on Archive .

For feedback and suggestions, please e-mail us at EngLivedialogue@islamonline.net.


Islamonline Live Dialogue Editing Desk

Mutawkil    – Sri Lanka
Question Part of the meaning of the word ‘Hijrah’ is to forsake sins. How can we utilize the Hijrah event in forsaking sins and being better Muslims?
Answer Bismillah

In my last Fridaykhutbah, which is available on islamonline, I advanced a new definition for the Arabic term ‘Hijrah’. This definition is not a new in the sense that I am advancing new Islamic concept, but rather based on what Hijrah has done to the life of early Muslims. I found a new light within the concept of Hijrah and not the word in itself. Hijrah can be better understood as transformation and not only migration.

Hijrah as one can understand from many verses in the Qur’an is much more than to go from one place to another. For example inSurat Al-Ankabut, Allah tells us what Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Verily, I am turning (muhajir) towards my lord.” In my opinion, this part of theaya teaches us the true meaning of Hijrah whereby Allah is the Destination and we His servants are the travelers. In this sense, Hijrah should be a continuous phenomenon in our life. Not only we are physically moving towards the hereafter, but we should be making transformation away from the carnal desires that Satan lures us into and go by virtue of Hijrah towards the mercy of Allah’s acceptance.

Now, coming more specifically to the realm of the question, I will say that all humans, as told by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, are sinners by nature. Prescribedibadat or acts of worship and suggested codes of behavior ormu’amalaatshould become our helpers in making our continuous Hijrah towards Allah something that is more spontaneous. In Summary, following the Qur’an and Sunnah is the answer to a successful Hijrah. 

Shadi    – 
Question In the incident of Hijrah, the Prophet hired a non-Muslim man, who was an expert in the desert routes, to be their guide. Doesn’t this prove that Muslims should cooperate with non-Muslims in beneficial causes?
Answer This is a very important question because it sheds light on the mindset of how Muslims view interaction among members of the human family as well as the objective of the final message of Islam.

Allah SWT addresses His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by saying: “We have not sent you save as a mercy to all mankind.” We should never continue to separate this world into Muslims and non-Muslims except for purposes of communication and identification.

Muslims SHOULD make it their duty to work with non-Muslims at all levels to pass on to them the ideals of Islam. Otherwise, isolation will only result in more polarization and misunderstanding that leads to enmity and lack of willingness on the part of non-Muslims to accept anything Islamic.

On the occasion of migration and many other occasions, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) showed us how embracing Islam is. And if one reads the Qur’an with understanding, one finds manyayat that demonstrate the techniques of cooperation between Muslims and non-Muslims without compromising the core of Islamic `Aqeedah.

We should nowadays not confuse our feelings towards the attacks launched against Islam and Muslims with our continued efforts to work towards reconciliation and bringing non-Muslims to a better understanding of Islam and Muslims. Let us look back into history to find out how hope was born out of desperation. When Muslim lands seemed to be falling under the conquers of the Tartars, those unrelenting armies accepted Islam because of the clarity of vision of early Muslims. 

Abu Salma    – Egypt
Question Dear sir,

After more than 1400 years from Hijrah, how can Muslims still seek lessons to be driven from that incident? Would you please elaborate on this a little bit showing how can Muslims benefit from the event and how can it reflect on their current state of affairs?

Answer Muslims do not look at their history in isolation. Muslims do not consider their past as irrelevant when looking at their future. More than any other faith group, Muslims always lean on their glorious history to draw lessons from.

Therefore, I advise that we make the life history of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) a must to study at all levels: within the family, at Islamic schools, during lectures at Islamic centers, and so on. A better appreciation from those events will definitely bring us slashes of ideas on how we should tackle new situations in our lives. 

Akmal    – 
Question How can a Muslim migrate by his heart to Allah?
Answer This has been partly alluded to in my answer to the first question in this session. Migration of the heart is not something that happens overnight. It is a gradual process that is the result of continuous training based on proper understanding of Aqeedah, especially the Oneness of Allah. Quiet often, Muslims fail to understand that the most important and arduous pillar to apply in their life is the first one:la illah illah Allah, Muhammad rasullah.

Actually if we look at the physical Hijrah of early Muslims to Abyssinia and the later one to Madinah, we may clearly conclude that those migrations were made to establish the broader migration towards Allah and that is to allow the early Muslims to have an environment conducive to a true understanding the Shahadah or Kalimah.

As a matter of fact, 13 out of the 23 years of the Prophetic message were spent before physical Hijrah teaching the pioneer Muslims the true meaning of Shahadah. When those Muslims made the inner Hijrah towards Allah, permission was given to make the outer Hijrah to Madinah. My advice is re-discover and revisit our Aqeedah by stressing the important of tawheed in all aspects of our lives. If we achieve this result, we would have made Hijrah to Allah SWT.

Selma    – 
Question Do you think that Muslims nowadays are able to conceive the proper meaning of Hijrah which should not be limited to leaving one’s country and settling in another?
Answer The short answer to this question is No. Muslims are making migration a means to improve their financial status or a way to seek security by running away from political instability. Rarely do we find Muslims making migration by upholding the proper intention.

In all collections of Hadith we find the first hadith is that talking about intention: “Verily actions are judged by intentions. Whosoever migrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, then such is his destination. And whosoever migrates for the sake of a trade or marriage prospect, then such will be all what he will achieve.”

Migrant Muslims all over the world are not yet displaying the level of Prophetic maturity that was displayed when early Muslims migrated to Madinah. This lack of maturity in my estimation can be focused on the three most important achievements that the early migration made:

1.The role of the Masjid in the life of the community.

2. Establishing true ties of brotherhood between the migrants and the host community.

3. Having a constitution to abide by.

Muslims in the lands of migration are yet to give the Masjid its due importance in establishing a network of services to help new immigrants. The Masjid in the lands of migration is more than a place for daily prayers.

As far as the ties of brotherhood are concerned, Muslims are not rushing to the aid of new immigrants to help them establish themselves in the lands of migration. We all know what the Ansar offered to the Muhajireen. If this example could be duplicated with the same degree of sincerity, Muslims will be a much stronger community than they are now.

Finally, Muslims should have a better appreciation of what constitutions and laws are all about. Some may think that by being in a new land it is incumbent upon them to abide by the laws of the new land as they used to do in their lands of origin. This is totally against Prophetic injunctions. 

Abdul Basit    – 
Question The Prophet did not immigrate alone, he took a companion with him. This may draw our attention to an important point, that is, when we try to imitate the prophet and apply the Hijrah by shunning bad deeds we need companions who would help us in this way, could you illuminate this point?
Answer Absolutely. The Prophetic example brought a new concept to religious literature. This is the concept of “companion”. We always talk about the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in order for us to appreciate that despite the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not need support from any human being, he did enjoy being physically and spiritually close to a multitude of believers. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to consult with them, study with them, travel with them, and live his life with them. In all of that Islam reached us today through the example of how those companions supported one another in their quest for a stronger faith in Allah. 
Haydar    – 
Question Many scholars and callers to Islam focus while discussing the occasion of Hijrah on speeches about forsaking evil deeds and habits etc. This is a fine thing but why not take a further step. I mean to provide practical programs, workable tips and steps towards this end. For example a father may gather his children, recount to them the events and lessons of Hijrah and then make with them a commitment to abandon a certain habit or bad act for example.
Answer I did mention earlier that we should re-discover the Prophetic life history (Seerah) at all levels, whether it is the level of the family or the level of the community or the level of national organization or the level or international Muslim organization. Each of those levels presents a practical alternative to making Seerah a part of our life. I do agree that speeches do not provide the true medicine for our ailments, but they could clarify the plan of action. 
Hany    – 
Question How was the Prophet protected in the cave, a lot of people say the story of the pigeon and web is fake?
Answer Without getting into technicalities of how the hadith is rated, I would say that there are scholarly accounts that do not accept the authenticity of the pigeon and the spider account. At any rate, whether the spider did weave a web or not or whether the pigeon did sit in its nest or not, Allah SWT did provide protection for His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companion. The proof is in what Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) while sitting with him in the cave, “By Allah, if any one of them would look at the position of his feet, he would see us.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered, “Abu Bakr what are your thoughts concerning two individuals with Allah being thee third?” This is an indication that Allah had provided the necessary protection with or without the pigeon and the spider. You can also refer to the verse in Surat At-Tawbah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was supported with “divine elements that were not seen by you.” 
Hind    – 
Question Hijrah, as far as I know, was a turning point in the history of Islam. Could you please shed some light on the spirit of Hijrah? What should Muslims learn from this great occasion?
Answer It was the great vision of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab that he used Hijrah as the marker for the Islamic calendar. He had many other choices but he did not settle on any of them because of what all of us see through this great historical event. I would focus on the lessons that one may draw from Hijrah through the following points:

1. Feeling weak and hopeless and stopping to affect any change because of that is totally unacceptable to Allah. Allah says: “Was not the land of Allah vast enough for you to spread therein.” A Muslim should always seek a new horizon to establish his strength.

2. The Muslim should not be tied to one place because of emotional attachment to such a place. Let us remember that even after the liberation of Makkah, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went back to Madinah.

3. There is a need to have long-term planning and to be recognizant of how humans deal with certain plans. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made allegiance with people of Yathrib for over a year before he would need with a bigger group of Madinans in total secret. In this regard one should recognize that divine intervention should not be the cushion to lean against all the time.

4. As one of callers mentioned earlier, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sought help from a guide he planned to go south before heading north, he arranged with the children of Abu Bakr to look after the logistics of the early stretch of the trip to Madinah, and he hid for three nights in the cave of Thawr. This is an indication for the Muslims to recognize the cause and effect relationship. 

Hasna    – Spain
Question Which and how many days are the best to fast in Muharram?
Answer Dearest question, as you can see this is not a Live Fatwa session. In addition, the topic of the Live Dialogue is different. Please refer to the following helpful links:

Virtues of the Month of Muharram & Fasting during It

Days of Muharram: Ethics and Significance

Oom Tommy    – 
Question How can we differentiate that a ‘hijrah’ that we made is not actually running away from a problem that we have without trying to solve it in the first place?

Thank you.

Answer It is very important for us not to feel that the Hijrah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was an escape. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions were not running away from the unfavorable environment in Makkah, but rather as history proves it, they were re-grouping and establishing a strategy to face the problem head on as we saw in the liberation of Makkah.

For us, we need to evaluate our Hijrah from time to time and make sure that we are not making certain move because we want to choose the easy way out but that we are changing strategies to achieve more strength in dealing with our problems. 

Ruqqayah    – Nigeria
Profession student
Question What can one do in a situation where the environment is full of a lot of fitnah? There is a will to do the Hijrah, yet there are so many constraints such as money, family ties etc…
Answer Again, I will ask the person who asked the question to review all the answers to all the questions given. In that we should understand that Hijrah requires sacrifice. The Muhajireen, many of whom rich and had lots of wealth in Makkah, left everything behind to make a true Hijrah towards Allah SWT. They were very clear that their wealth was directly coming from Allah. By going towards Allah they knew that if He wishes their wealth will be replaced, for example Abdurrahman Ibn `Awf. The starting point then is true faith in Allah and a strength necessary to achieve sacrifice. 
muslim    – 
Question What lessons can we take from the Hijrah now? Where can we make Hijrah too? The whole world is corrupt and there is no Muslim leader. We are citizens of a corrupt world.
Answer Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, but I refer you to an aya in the Qur’an which indicate that strong belief is the answer to all kinds of change: “Allah will never change things within a community of people until they are ready to make necessary changes within their inner selves.”

By making a call to all the Muslims to start a Hijrah towards Allah with sincerity, political change and all other forms of change will be the end result. We many not see this clearly now, but if we become better Muslims, things will become clearer to us.


About MuQeet

This is MuQeet. Author. Educator. Soft Skill Trainer. Freelancer. Editor. YasSarNalQuR'aN is my primary blog. There are two other amazing blogs: www.Muqith.wordpress.com and www.IslamCalling.wordpress.com Subscribe if you wish to stay connected, InshaaAllah. Thank you.
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