By Sheik Ali Al Hudayfi
All praise is due to Allaah, the Subduer. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared so that you will prosper in this world and the Hereafter.
Fellow Muslims! The aspiration of lofty goals and the fulfilment of one’s religious obligations require a great deal of time, effort and wealth. One’s very life may even be at stake during the course of fulfilling these great objectives in addition to the loss of friends, the gaining of enemies, the exposition of oneself to ridicule and the vulnerability of having few helpers and protectors. This in fact was exactly the situation of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam during his propagation of Islam.
Allaah sent Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind at the time when they were most in need of his message. The People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians) had by then altered their books and the whole world was in the total darkness of polytheism and ignorance. It was at this time that Allaah chose to send His slave Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind.
The Almighty says that which translates as: “Say [O Muhammad], ‘O Mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allaah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death.’” (Al-A’raaf: 158).
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was sent at a time when people were worshipping unworthy objects such as trees, stones, the moon, angels, Jinns, the prophet ‘Iesaa (or Jesus, peace be upon him) etc. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam found them supplicating to these deities, seeking assistance and refuge with them, beseeching them for benefits, slaughtering for them, vowing to them, and taking them as intermediaries to Allaah. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also found them consulting fortune-tellers and sorcerers, spreading immorality, mistreating neighbours, severing bonds of kinship, earning money from dubious means, practicing interest-based transactions and usurping other people’s properties. This was in addition to all the other well-known evils that were prevalent in that society. Their religion, customs and traditions were purely based on personal interests and material considerations.
It was at this very time that Allaah sent His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind, calling people to testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah alone and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam called to all that this statement entailed such as devoting all acts of worship like Du’aa’, or supplication, slaughtering, vowing, and seeking help and refuge, making Tawaaf, or circumambulation of the Ka’bah, etc. to Allaah alone. Allaah says that which translates as: “Say, ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him…'” (Al-An’aam: 151).
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also called on mankind to take himself as the only example for guidance. Allaah says that which translates as: “…And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from.” (Al-Hashr: 7).
The Prophet of mercy sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam came to enjoin on people chastity, noble manners and characteristics, firmness in faith, kindness to kith and kin, good neighbourliness and abstention from injustice and oppression. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam enjoined them to consult the Book of Allaah in all their affairs and forbade them from visiting soothsayers. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam enjoined earning from lawful means and spending in virtuous ways and made everybody equal with respect to the law of Allaah. Allaah says that which translates as: “Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allaah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allaah that which you do not know.’” (Al-A’raaf: 33).
He also says that which translates as: “Indeed, Allaah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives…” (An-Nahl: 90).
Ibn Jareer, who was one of the great early Qur’aanic commentators, related from Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said: “When Abu Taalib, the uncle of the messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam fell sick, the elders of Quraysh, including Abu Jahl, visited him and said: ‘Your nephew insults our gods. Do justice to us and stop him from insulting them. If he does so then we will leave him and his God alone in return’.
Abu Taalib then addressed the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who was among them, and said: ‘O nephew! Why do your people complain that you insult their gods?’ The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: ‘O uncle! I only want them to utter a statement through which all the Arabs will be indebted to them (i.e. the Quraysh) and due to which the non-Arabs (read, non-muslims) will have to pay them Jizyah (poll-tax).’ Abu Jahl remarked, ‘If this is the case, then we will even say it ten times if need be.’ Then the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: ‘Then say: Laa Ilaaha Ill-Allaah.’ [i.e., the Kalimah: there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah]. The Quraysh elders were disgusted when they heard this and turned their backs dusting their garments (this is an expression of utter rejection) saying: ‘Does he want that we give up all our gods and only worship his One God? This is really an amazing thing!’
These elders fully appreciated the ramifications of uttering this statement; that it would transform man totally in his worship, social interactions and whole way of life; as Allaah says that which translates as: “Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.” (Al-An’aam: 162-163).
This is the true meaning of the Kalimah from which the Quraysh idolaters fled. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam called all of mankind to this concept; to a religion that elevates man to highest ranks and which can make him achieve eternal happiness.
Only a few weak people responded to his call and they were severely persecuted by the disbelievers. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was opposed by three sets of people: the envious, the arrogant who knew the truth yet denied it; and the misled ignorant ones. These people exerted all their efforts to stop the spread of Islam.
“They want to extinguish the light of Allaah with their mouths, but Allaah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.” (As-Saff: 8).
When the torment became severe in Makkah and the idolaters wanted to assassinate the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the angel Jibreel, peace be upon him, came to him and said: “Allaah has given you permission to migrate to Al-Madeenah; therefore, do not spend tonight in your house; giving them (the idolaters) the chance to get to you.” While the idolaters were lying in wait outside the house of the messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam for him to come out – so that they could all strike him at the same time, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam emerged, reciting the opening verses of Soorat Yaaseen and throwing sand in their faces. Allaah prevented the idolaters from seeing him and made slumber overtake them. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companion, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, hid in the cave of Thawr for three days until the search for them subsided.
Quraysh searched for him in every nook and cranny and followed his tracks until they were at the very entrance of the cave that they were hiding in. Abu Bakr then said, ‘If any of them looks down at their feet, they will see us.’ The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, assuring him: “What do you think about two companions, of whom Allaah is the third? (i.e. in terms of assistance)”.
After three days, the two companions found a guide and proceeded to Madeenah. This is the story of how Hijrah took place and it represented a manifest victory for Islaam and the Muslims in that Allaah rendered the disbelievers’ plots fruitless.
Allaah says that which translates as: “If you do not aid him (i.e. the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) – Allaah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of the two, when they [i.e. Muhammad and Abu Bakr] were in the cave and he [i.e. Muhammad] said to his companion. ‘Do not grieve; indeed Allaah is with us.’ And Allaah sent down His tranquillity, upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e. angels] you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allaah – that is the highest. And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (At-Tawbah: 40).
The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was exposed to several assassination attempts, both before and after his migration. In Makkah, Abu Jahl had attempted to kill him before Allaah sent the angel Jibreel, peace be upon him, to prevent him from carrying out this devilish act. At the battle of Tabook, an attempt was made on his life by some of the hypocrites. Even in his own mosque in Madeenah, an attempt was made to kill him by poisoning, but Allaah saved him from all these attempts. This was due to him actualising all forms of worship totally for the sake of Allaah and for his sincere dependence on Him. Allaah says that which translates as: “…And whoever relies upon Allaah – the He is sufficient for him.” (Talaaq: 3).
While the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was on his way to Madeenah during his migration, Suraaqah bin Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, who had not yet embraced Islaam at that time, pursued the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in order to capture or kill him and win the prize money that Quraysh had offered for doing so. However, Allah intended that Suraaqah, may Allaah be pleased with him, would change his mind and ask the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to forgive him instead.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companion Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, entered Madeenah gloriously and honourably. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam then moved into a house, built his mosque with quarters for his wives and started a new era full of blessings and victories based on divine support. After this, Hijrah from Makkah to Madeenah became compulsory on every Muslim, until the conquest of Makkah by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Also, Hijrah is compulsory upon all Muslims from all places at all times from where they are unable to practice their religion. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Embracing Islaam wipes out all sins which were committed before it and making Hijrah also erases all the sins that were committed before it.” He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “Hijrah will not cease until there is no more repentance and repentance will not cease until the sun rises from the west.”
The issue of Hijrah to Madeenah was a miracle in itself, for the city at that time was very meagre in terms of commerce, infrastructure and agricultural resources. In fact, living in the city was financially-restrictive even for its inhabitants. By any human estimation, emigration to such a city, with all its deficiencies, would cause immense economic and social difficulties, but as Allaah would have it, the reverse was the case for the Hijrah to Madeenah.
This Hijrah was the cause the town accomplishing an immense amount of benefit. People now had the opportunity of meeting the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, learning their religion from him, emulating his noble character, preserving his Sunnah, knowing much of his public and private life and everything else about the religion of Islaam. Hijrah had a great impact on Islaam and the Muslims, for Allaah bestowed a lot of His blessings on Muslims through this.
Although the Muslims faced some difficulties during the first days of their emigration to Madeenah, they were able to overcome these difficulties through their strong belief, patience and perseverance. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was full of love and compassion for the people in general and their children in particular. After the initial period of hardships, Allaah bestowed good things in abundance upon Madeenah in all areas of life.
Dear Muslims! We have all missed out on the reward of making Hijrah to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam during the prophetic era, but there is another type of Hijrah which we can make and which will earn us immense rewards: We must emigrate from disobedience to obedience of Allaah; shun negligence in religious matters and migrate to adherence; emigrate from sins to submission to Allaah; emigrate from laziness and false hopes to diligence, seriousness and striving in what pleases Allaah; and emigration of our hearts from affinity to this mundane life to the love of the hereafter.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The Muslim is one who does not harm other Muslims with his hands or tongue and the Muhajir (or emigrant) is the one who shuns all that Allaah has forbidden.” He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “An act of worship performed during the time of Fitnah (trials) is equal to an act of emigration to me in reward.” Allaah says that which translates as: “Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allaah – those expect the mercy of Allaah. And Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 218).
Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah as he should be feared and do not die except as Muslims. Fellow Muslims! The All-Mighty says that which translates as: “And it is He who has made the night and day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude.” (Al-Furqaan: 62).
Indeed, the succession of day and night is one of the great signs of Allaah and a great mercy from Him. It allows a person who has missed out on the performance of a righteous deed in the night to make it up during the next day and vice versa.
Brothers in Islaam! There are in the in the Prophet’s Hijrah admonitions and lessons for every Muslim, especially of patience and perseverance. Also, another of its lessons is that it was the will of Allaah to make His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam perform the Hijrah with means that human beings are well accustomed to, such as riding on a camel and hiring a guide. If He had wished, He could have willed that his Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam did the Hijrah on Al-Buraaq (an extraordinary animal that moved at great speed), but the will of Allaah was that He wanted the Muslims to emulate their Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and to aid and assist their religion with whatever means that Allaah He has facilitated for them. The greatest obligation upon you all then, dear brothers, is to aid and assist the religion of Allaah by practicing it and calling to it in your community and being patient upon that.
Indeed, the current predicament of the Muslims throughout the world necessitates that we benefit from the lessons derived from the Hijrah. We must realise that the situation of this generation of Muslims cannot improve except by that which improved the condition of our righteous predecessors, namely; Sincere and correct belief, an real actualisation of Tawheed, or the unity of Allaah in terms of worship, noble manners and characters, absolute trust in Allaah, patience and perfection of acts of worship in accordance with the sunnah. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Fear Allaah wherever you are, follow up an evil deed with a good one; for it will erase it – and be well mannered in your dealings with people.”