The Migration (al-Hijrah)
The Great and Precious Lessons
I Praise Allah the Lord of the worlds, to Him belong the Everlastingness and the befitting Attributes. May Allah raise the rank and increase the honor of our great Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and protect his Muslim nation from that which he fears for it.
Thereafter, another lunar year has passed and 1431 H is about to begin to remind us of the glorious memory of the great day in which the Prophet migrated to al-Madinah. The blessed Migration displayed an honorable strife for human excellence and contained several lessons of patience, forbearance, knowledge and wisdom; an enrichment for future generations to implement and use to iron out difficulties and overcome hardships and learn to persevere.
Allah said in Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 39:
الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالاَتِ اللهِ وَيَخشَونَهُ وَلاَ يَخشَونَ أَحَدًا إِلاَّ الَلهَ
This means: “Those who convey the orders of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear anyone except Allah.”
Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, received the revelation in Makkah and therein he was ordered to teach and spread among a society drowning in ignorance the rules of Islam, the religion of all the Prophets, so that excellence, justice and peace prevail and winning the hereafter may be achieved. The people at that time used to worship idols, bury their newly born female daughters while alive and commit many acts of wickedness and debauchery; they were devoted to an immoral style of living that opposed the proper manners and ethics taught by the Prophets of Allah .
Allah the Exalted has sent His Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, with guidance to renew the call for Islam. During the prime trading season the Prophet used to pass among the people in Makkah and tell them: “Say La ilaha illallah (There is no God except Allah) and you will win.” He brought them the good news of the great reward for those who believed and warned those who did not believe a severe torture in the hereafter.
In the outset of his Call a few people believed in him but the majority renounced his Call and denied his prophethood. However, the Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, persisted and eventually met in Makkah some people of Yathrib (Madinah) from the tribes of Al-‘Aws and al-Khazraj; he invited them to embrace Islam so six of them accepted at first. When they left to go to Madinah, he sent with them Ibn Umm Maktum and Mus^ab Ibn ^Umayr to teach the Qur’an to the ones who believed and to call upon the ones who did not embrace Islam to do so; hence, their number increased by the following year.
The harm and harassment of the blasphemers against the Prophet increased after the death of his uncle Abu Talib, and his wife Khadijah may Allah raise her rank. He was harmed personally along with his oppressed followers. Bilal the son of Rabah al-Habashiyy was tortured under the scorching heat of the sun and on the burning sand of the desert; they used to put rocks on his chest during the hot noon time. Sumayyah, the mother of ^Ammar and her husband Yasir died as martyrs for not submitting to the wishes of the blasphemers of Quraysh and persisting to not revoke their state of belief; ^Ammar, the son of Yasir was tortured too.
The Prophet and his Companions who believed in him endured and tolerated the wrong doings of the blasphemers by remaining steadfast to the path of Islam and acting in accordance with what is incumbent upon them of its rules. The blasphemers of the tribe of Quraysh opposed their call and harassed them in many ways. One day a person named ^Uqbah dared to come to the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, held him by his shoulders and strangled him so strongly until Abu Bakr came and stopped him and said: “ Do you want to kill a man who says Allah is my Lord and who has provided proofs from Allah.”
The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, advised his companions to migrate to Al-Habashah (Abyssiniah) where a just king—Christian at the time– presides and rules. Ten men and four women migrated at first and their number increased until it reached eighty three men and seventeen women other than the children. To protect themselves against harm and to find comfort and justice under the king of Al-Habashah they migrated out of fear of sedition and for preserving their religiosity to Allah . This was the the first Migration in Islam.
An-Najashiyy, The king of Abyssiniah, received and treated them well and they enjoyed peace and safety as guests in his land. The blasphemers of Quraysh attempted to sway an-Najashiyy by offering him precious gifts but to no avail; he turned their attempt down when he heard from the companions blessed recitation of Qur’an regarding Prophet ^Isa and his mother Lady Maryam. He believed the Muslims and maintained his support of them and became himself a highly pious Muslim.
When the number of the believers increased in Madinah, Allah revealed to the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, to migrate to it. The Muslims then started to migrate one after another in compliance to the order of Allah and in obedience to the order of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.
The blasphemers of Quraysh were severely shocked by the speedy way the Religion of Islam was spreading and they wanted to find a way to eliminate it.
The blasphemers of the tribe of Quraysh noticed the continuous migration of the Companions to Madinah. So, they feared that the Prophet would do the same and leave Makkah. They held a meeting in Dar an-Nadwah and submitted to the opinion of ^Amr Ibn Hisham (Abu Jahl) and collectively conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. In order to avoid revenge from the family of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, they decided to spread his blood among the tribes. So they schemed to have one man from every tribe strike the Prophet with their swords all at once, thus it would be hard to seek revenge from all the tribes. Angel Jibril peace be upon him descended and informed the Prophet about Quraysh’s scheme of killing him and ordered him not to sleep in his regular sleeping place. Jibril also conveyed to him Allah’s permission to migrate. The Prophet ordered his cousin ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib to sleep in his place and to cover himself with the Prophet’s green shawl and to return the belongings of the people which they had kept with the Prophet for safe keeping; ^Aliyy obeyed the order. By that time the blasphemers had already gathered at the Prophet’s door.
Fully relying upon Allah the Exalted, the Messenger of Allah left his house with his hands full of soil and he sprinkled the soil over the heads of the conspirators while reciting verses from Surah Yasin.
وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدًّا وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُبْصِرُونَ
This means: We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them, so We have covered them over so that they cannot see.
Thus, Allah blocked His Prophet from their sight. In the morning they went into the Prophet’s house to kill him but instead they found ^Aliyy sleeping in his place. They erupted in rage and fury out of humiliation and embarrassment, especially when they found the soil on their heads. Angry, furious, and nervous they left the house seeking the trails of the Prophet.
Allah revealed the support of His Prophet in an astounding glorious event when Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and Abu-Bakr may Allah raise his rank went to the cave of Thawr to get out of sight. Allah ordered a tree to grow at the mouth of the cave to cover it and two wild pigeons were ordered to sit in front of the cave one of which laid eggs. A spider was inspired to weave a web at the mouth of the cave. When the men of Quraysh came holding their staffs and swords, they stood by the cave and looked around and they saw the pigeons with their eggs and the spider web. They figured that if the Prophet and his companion had entered the cave they would have destroyed the eggs and the web, so they turned back and left defeated. What they did not know is that they were forty cubits away from the Prophet and his companion.
The cave was privileged by hosting the Prophet and his companion for Three days. ^Amir Ibn Fuhayrah, Abu Bakr’s slave whom he had set free, used to graze his flock next to the cave so that they could milk the sheep and drink and ^Abdullah the son of Abu Bakr used to keep them abreast of the news and until the people lost hope in finding them and the situation calmed down. On the forth day ^Abdullah Ibn Al-‘Urayqit provided two camels for them and they headed toward Madinah.
Quraysh assigned a great amount of money as a bounty to whoever captures Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and his companion. Surraqah Ibn Ju^shum was blinded by greed and money, he followed the trails of the migrating Prophet and his companion until he was as close as a spear’s measure of distance from them. Abu Bakr was scared for the life of the Prophet, but the Prophet comforted him and said calmly: “Allah is with us” that is He supports and protects. The legs of Surraqah’s horse sank deep in the sand until its stomach touched the ground while he was still mounting it. He got terrified and realized at that moment that a miracle was taking place to protect a great prophet. He asked the Prophet to make a supplication to Allah asking Him to have the legs of his horse back on the surface of the ground, he promised the Prophet that he would leave and will not reveal to the men of Quraysh their trails. The Prophet did so and Surraqah left while in shock and honored his promise; he embraced Islam eight years after that great event.
The Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, migrated to Madinah with Abu Bakr after staying in Makkah for thirteen years calling people to embrace Islam and to believe in one God. The Migration of our beloved and great Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, was neither for money nor for fame but rather in obedience to the orders of Allah and relying on Him. Neither the great number of the blasphemers nor the danger of the trip stopped them from migrating because all they wanted was to obey God. Thus, the plan of the blasphemers failed.
Allah said in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah at-Tawbah, Verse 40:
إلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَد نَصَرَهُ اللهُ إِذ أَخرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثنَينِ إِذ هُمَا فِي الغَارِ إِذ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحزَن إِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا
This means: “When you did not support him, Allah indeed supported him (Prophet Muhammad)when the blasphemers harassed him. He was the second of two (the Prophet and Abu Bakr) while they were in the cave he said to his Companion: ‘Do not be sad Allah is protecting us.’ ”
The Prophet arrived at Madinah to start a new era rich of Islamic Knowledge and good manners. He was capable by his guidance, instructions, and directives to unite the believers as if they all had the heart of a single man; particularly during the hard times. Moreover, he guided them to perform the obligations and to refrain from the prohibitions. He also taught them to love for their brothers what they love for themselves, advised them to have mercy among each other, and to help each other in their hardship. In his Hadith that was related by Ibn Hibban, the Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, also warned them from extremism and exceeding the proper bounds of the Religion and that it destroyed their predecessors, he said:
“إياكُم والغُلو، فإنَ الغُلو أهلَكَ مَن كَانَ قَبلَكُم”
This means: “Do not dare to ever exceed the proper bounds of the Religion, for extremism is what destroyed the nations before you.”
From Madinah the rays of light beamed strongly led by the greatest Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, to wipe out the darkness of ignorance and disbelief. This leadership pushed the Islamic Call forward with an amazing thrust to build the barricades of truth and justice and to destroy the forces of blasphemy, disbelief, and corruption. Allah the Exalted bestowed His endowments and blessings upon the Prophet and his Companions, He enabled them to conquer Makkah after a long struggle and a series of battles led by the great Prophet alongside his Companions, afterwards people embraced Islam in large multitudes.
Allah the Exalted said:
إذَا جَاءَ نَصرُ اللهِ والفَتحُ وَرَأيتَ النَّاسَ يَدخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ أَفواَجًا
فسَبِّح بِحَمدِ رَبِّكَ وَاستَغفِرهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابَا
The meaning of Surat an-Nasr: “When the support of Allah comes and you see people embrace Islam in multitudes, proceed to Glorify and praise your Lord and seek forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives.”
The fragrance of the Migration keeps on scenting, and its splendor keeps on spreading. The fair person with a sound mind cannot afford ignoring it or ignoring its traces and bright illumination.
The migration of a Prophet, his companion, and their guide from the best land, Makkah, to al-Madinah al-Munawwarah in compliance to the order of Allah turned over societies, changed standards and balances, states and habits ceased to exist, it also resulted in the change in the status of some people. It was a dawn which had broken on millions of humans in the east, the west, north, and south. It was the sun of a civilization which shone to propagate progress, development, knowledge, urbanization, and high manners to the different platforms of the universe.
The history of Islam is rich with wisdoms and examples. As we celebrate a new Hijriyy (Lunar) year which reminds us of the jihad of the last of the Prophets and the Master of all of the Messengers with his Companion Abu Bakr as–Siddiq, and it reminds us of how his Companions battled calamities and torture with patience and endurance, we need to intelligently read the history and heed the proper lessons from it so that we do not miss the chance of understanding the events of the present time and we do not miss the good management of a wishful future.
Among the lessons is that Islam, to which Prophet Muhammad renewed the call, is the religion of all the Prophets and Messengers who came before him. All of them in succession conveyed the religion which Allah accepts to their respective audiences until the religion was fully completed by revealing the Qur’an to the last of the Prophets Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. Allah said Surah al-Baqarah. 136:
قُولُواْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
This means: ” Say you we believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma^il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes of Al-Asbat, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we submit to Allah in Islam.”
Also Among the lessons of the blessed Migration is to be steadfast to the only Religion which Allah accepts from his slaves, Islam, and to sacrifice for the sake of Allah . Also to be detached from the worldly interests in order to get the great rewards on the Day of Judgment. This was the lesson that the Prophet taught his Companions and the entire nation.
When his uncle came to him with the offer of Quraysh who said:
“ If you want money we will give you until you become the richest among us, and if you want position and fame we will make you our dignitary, so that we will not do anything without consulting you, and if you are seeking to be a king we will make you our king.”, to that the Prophet responded to his uncle:
“والله يا عم لو وضعوا الشمس بيميني والقمر بيساري على أن أترك هذا الأمر ما تركته حتى يظهره الله أو أهلِكَ دونه”
This means: “O uncle I swear by Allah that if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in order to have me leave this call I will not stop preaching and spreading Islam until Allah reveals it or I die for it.”
So he taught us a great lesson of how the person who is calling for the truth remains steadfast to the True belief, and to teaching people the good, no matter how much seductive offers he gets. This was clearly seen when the Companions of the Prophet migrated from Makkah to Yathrib leaving behind them their families, monies, homes, and lands for one thing only, which is seeking the reward from Allah.
Besides the lesson of sacrifice for the sake of Allah, we see the lesson of bravery in supporting the truth and confronting falsehood, which normally vanishes no matter how great power and strength it has.
Allah said in Surah ‘Al-^Imran, 173
الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُم النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَد جَمَعُوا لَكُم فَاخشَوهُم فَزَادَهُم إِيمَاناً وَقَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا اللّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
This means: People said to them: “A great army is gathering against you so fear them “: But it (only) increased their Faith: They said: “For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.”
We take the example of al-Faruq ^Umar Ibn al-Khattab who migrated from Makkah with forty of the oppressed Companions, he went to the gathering club of the leaders of Quraysh and said to them:
“من أراد أن تثكله أمه أو ترمل زوجته أو تذهب روحه فليتبعني وراء هذا الوادي فإني مهاجر”
This means: “He who wants his mother to lose him, or his kids to be orphaned, or his wife be widowed, or to lose his soul, then let him follow me; for I am migrating.” Yet, none of them dared to follow him. So where do we find nowadays that superior bravery which is accompanied with great wisdom?
Another lesson is the good reliance on Allah and the confidence of the heart in Allah, and the firm belief that victory is provided by Allah only. When the blasphemers of Quraysh agreed collectively to kill our Master Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, he displayed the full bravery and relaince upon Allah and also ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib who slept in his place.
We also see in the events of the blessed Migration the great attachment and love of the Companions to this great leader. During the trip of the Migration Abu Bakr would walk once in front of the Prophet, once, behind him, once to his right, and once to his left. The Messenger of Allah then would ask him about the reason for that. Abu Bakr would say: “O Messenger of Allah, if I walk in front of you, I am worried that the enemy might come from behind you and if I were to walk to your right, I am worried that the enemy might come from your left side.”
So let us learn that obeying Allah brings goodness, all goodness, and that the one who is God-fearing, Allah will ease things for him and would provide him with sustenance from where he does not expect.
The unity of brotherhood between the people of al-Madinah (al-Ansar) and the Migrants of Makkah is a rich and important lesson for us. The migrants came to al-Madinah (al-Muhajirin) after they left back their monies, lands, and families with nothing with them but reliance upon Allah wanting to be obedient to their Lord. The Master of the creations, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, united them with brotherhood, the people of Madinah shared their monirs and homes with the migrants. They did that because they loved each other for the sake of Allah.
Those who love each other for the sake of Allah will be on illuminated platforms and in the shade of the ^Arsh (the ceiling of Paradise) on the Day of Judgment, when there will be no shade but the shade of the ^Arsh.
Then we find that as the Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, leaves the honorable Makkah, he looks at it and bids farewell to it with sweet soft words which carry deep meanings, and great guidance, he said:
“والله إني لأعلم أنك أحب أرض الله إلى الله والله لولا أن أهلك أخرجوني ما خرجت”
This means: “By Allah, I know that you are the most beloved land to Allah, by Allah I would have not left you had your people not caused me to leave.”
We come to know from that emotional farewell how much was the Prophet attached to Makkah. It is the land where the first house on Earth which was dedicated to worship Allah, the honorable Ka^bah, was built by the father of the humans our Master Adam peace be upon him. The Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, taught us how to attach our hearts to the blessed lands as Makkah, al-Madinah, and the blessed land of ash-Sham. He also taught us not to neglect our land rights. The Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, did not leave Makkah for good, but rather he left it in obedience to the order of Allah. He returned to it eight years later.
The Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, had built the glory of this nation on solid foundations when he united around the correct Creed the disunited Arab tribes which used to fight for silliest reasons. Whom among us hasn’t heard of the wars of: Dahis wal-Ghabra’, al-Busus, and the wars of al-Aws and al-Khazraj during the era of ignorance (Jahiliyyah). The Messenger of Allah , sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, unified these tribes to make of them one nation under one banner which is the banner of: “La ilaha illallah” and spreads one creed which is the creed of at-Tawhid. The creed of clearing Allah from resembling the creations, the creed of clearing Allah of having a partner or residing in a place; this state of belief and unity extended eventually to larger areas and big countries.
All of that took place when we were united as if we were one man with one heart clear of any greed or envy, helping one another and supporting one another. During that period of time, our nation prevailed over the world in civilization and in the different universal sciences.
So whom among us does not know about the gift that was sent from Harun ar-Rashid to Charlman, the King of Germany, which was the first clock to be made in history.
And whom among us hasn’t heard of al-Khawarizmiyy the one who put the rules of the science of calculus in mathematics, and the rules of the science of fractions in arithmetic in order to serve the science of inheritance.
So, are we going to forget Ibn al-Haitham, who excelled in optics, or Ibn an-Nafis, the doctor, who stated that blood definitely passes from the right ventricle to the left ventricle by way of lungs. As such, he had discovered the pulmonary circulation. It cannot be missed that the Muslim doctors were the first ones who used anesthesia in surgeries,
Is there anybody who does not recognize the Turkish Muslim architect Sinan, who built tens of mosques, hospitals, and corners where the Religious Knowledge used to be taught. He was the one who built the highest dome in history, the dome of Suleimiyyah in Istanbul and many other projects.
So know and be certain that the route to our victory and success is by obeying Allah, and our unity that Allah accepts from us is the path to our prosperity.
We must employ this occasion and be guided by the teachings of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and unite the Muslims. We must actively speak as one and act in good will. We need to gracefully return to Allah and His book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, with obedience and stronger belief. Allah said in Surah Al-Ma‘idah, 16:
قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ يَهْدِي بِهِ اللّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنِ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
This means: Indeed, there has come to you light and a clear Book from Allah; with it, Allah guides him who will seek His acceptance into the ways of peace and safety and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His will and guides them to the right path.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, guided us in his Farewell Speech when he graciously advised: ” I have left among you two things that if you adhere to them you shall never be misguided, the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.”
We ask Allah to enable us to heed the proper lessons from the Blessed Migration and to instill its rich meanings into our hearts and to answer our supplication and to make this occasion full of blessings, benediction, and charity and to guide us to march head straight in the footsteps of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.