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All praise is due to Allah, the Subduer. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad saws is His slave and Messenger.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah as He should be feared that you may prosper in this world and the hereafter.
Fellow Muslims! The fulfillment of one’s religious obligations and aspiration for lofty goals takes a great personal effort, and the sacrifice of one’s time and wealth. Even one’s life may be at stake in the course of fulfilling this great obligation, in addition to losing one’s friends, gaining more enemies, exposing oneself to ridicule, and having few helpers and protectors. This, in fact, was the Prophet’s very situation during his propagation of Islam.
Allah sent Muhammad saws to Mankind at a time when they were most in need of his message and religion. The People of the Book had then altered their books and the whole world was in total darkness of shirk and ignorance. It was then that Allah sent His slave Muhammad saws to all people. The Almighty says,
“Say (O Muhammad) to mankind: ‘Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He, Who gives life and causes death.'”
(Al-A’raaf 7: 158).
The Prophet saws found people worshipping different deities like trees, stones, the moon, angels, jinns, ‘Eesa etc. He found them calling unto these deities, seeking their assistance, taking refuge with them, beseeching them for benefits, slaughtering for them, vowing to them, and taking them as intermediaries thinking that they could bring them closer to Allah. He found them consulting fortune-tellers and sorcerers, spreading immoralities, maltreating neighbours, severing bonds of kinship, earning money from both lawful and unlawful means, practising usury and usurping other people’s properties. Their religion, customs and traditions were based on personal interests and material considerations. Then the Messenger of Allah saws came, calling people to the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad saws is the Messenger of Allah. He called to all that this statement entailed such as devoting all acts of worship like du’aa, slaughtering, vowing, seeking help and refuge, making tawaf, etc. to Allah alone. Allah says,
“Say (O Muhammad) : ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from. Join not anything in worship with Him '”
(Al-An’aam 6: 151)
He also called them to follow him alone. Allah says,
“Whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad saws) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).”
(Al-Hashr 59: 7).
The Prophet of mercy saws came to enjoin on people chaste life, noble characters, firmness in faith, doing good to the kith and kin, good neighbourliness and abstention from injustice and forbidden things. He enjoined them to consult the Book of Allah in their affairs, forbade them from visiting soothsayers, he enjoined earning from lawful means and spending in lawful causes, and made all people equal in the eyes of Allah’s law. Allah says,
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are al-fawaish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds) unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.”
(Al-A’raaf 7: 33).
He also says,
“Verily, Allah enjoins al-‘adl (i.e. justice, and worshipping none but Allah alone – Islamic Monotheism) and al-ihsaan (i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet sawsin perfect manner) and giving (help) to kith and kin.”
(An-Nahl 16: 90).
Ibn Jareer related from Ibn ‘Abaas that he said,
“When Abu Taalib fell sick, Quraysh elders – including Abu Jahl – visited him and they told him: ‘Your nephew insults our gods and does so-and-so. Do justice to us and stop him from insulting our gods and we also will leave him and his God!’ Abu Taalib then addressed the Prophet: ‘O nephew! Why do your people complain and claim that you insult their gods?’ The Prophet saws replied, ‘O uncle! I only want them to utter a word through which the Arabs will feel indebted to them and on which account the non-Arabs will have to pay them jizyah (tribute).’ Abu Jahl said, ‘We will say it even ten times.’ Then the Prophet said, ‘Say, Laa ilaaha illa Allah.’ [i.e. there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah]. The Quraysh elders were dismayed when they heard that and turned their backs dusting their garments and saying, ‘Will he turn all the gods into one god? This is really an amazing thing.’
These elders knew the meaning of this word; that it transformed man totally in his worship, interactions and his whole life as Allah says,
“Say (O Muhammad), ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Aalameen. He has no partners, and of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.'”
(Al-An’aam 162: 163).
This is actually the meaning of the kalimah from which the Quraysh idolaters fled. The Prophet called all people to this concept; a religion that elevates man to highest ranks and which can make him have eternal happiness. Only a few weak people responded to his call and they were severely persecuted by the unbelievers. The Prophet saws himself was faced by three sets of people: the envious ones, arrogant people who knew the truth, and yet denied it; and the misled ignorant ones. These people exerted all their effort to stop the spread of Islam.
“They intend to put out the light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will complete His light even though the disbelievers hate (it).”
(As-Saff 61: 8)
When the torment became severe in Makkah, and the idolaters wanted to assassinate the Messenger of Allah, angel Jibreel came to him and said,
“Allah has given you permission to migrate to al-Madeenah, do not therefore pass this night in your house so that they may not get you.”
While the idolaters were lying in wait for him to come out so that they might strike him all at the same time, he came out reciting the opening verses of Surah Yaaseen and throwing sand on their heads. Allah prevented them from seeing him and made slumber overtake them. The Messenger of Allah saws and his companion hid in the cave of Thaur for three days until the search for them subsided.
The Quraysh searched for him in every nook and cranny and followed his tracks until they were at the entrance of the cave. Abu Bakr then said,
“If one of them looks at the place of his feet, he will see us.” The Prophet saws replied, “What do you think about two companions, of whom Allah is the third?”
They got a guide after three days and proceeded to Al-Madeenah. Thus did Hijrah take place and it was really a victory for Islam and Muslims in that Allah rendered the disbelievers’ plot fruitless. Allah says,
“If you help him ( i.e. Muhammad saws) not (it does not matter) for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of two, when they (Muhammad and Abu Bakr) were in the cave and he (Muhammad saws) said to his companion (Abu Bakr), ‘Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His sakeenah (calmness, tranquillity, peace) upon him and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while it was the word of Allah that became the uppermost, and Allah is the Almighty, All-Wise.”
(At-Tawbahj 9: 40).
The Messenger of Allah saws was exposed to assassination attempts many times before and after his migration. In Makkah, Abu Jahl had attempted to kill him before Allah sent angel Jibreel to prevent him from carrying out his devilish act. At the battle of TAbuk, an attempt was made on his life by some hypocrites. Even in his mosque in Al-Madeenah, an attempt was made to kill him by poisoning, but Allah saved him from all these attempts for his perfection in actualising Tawheed, and his sincere dependence on Allah. Allah says,
“And whoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”
(Talaaq 65: 3).
On his way to Al-Madeenah during migration, Suraaqah bin Malik pursued him in order to get at him and win the Quraysh prize (money that had been put on the Prophet’s head), but Allah made Suraaqh embrace Islam and abandon his pursuit. The Messenger of Allah informed him that he would wear the bracelets of Chosros – King of Persia. This prophecy later came to pass when Muslims conquered Persia and ‘Umar – then the Khalifah – dressed him with Chosros’s bracelets.
The Prophet saws and his companion Abu Bakr entered Al-Madeenah gloriously and honourably, bought a house there, built his mosque and quarters of his wives and started a new era full of blessings, victory and divine support. Afterwards, Hijrah became compulsory from Makkah to Medinah during the time of the Prophet saws and from all places where a Muslim is unable to practice his religion. The Messenger of Allah said,
“Islam erases whatever was done before it, and Hijrah erases whatever was done before it.”
After the conquest of Makkah, emigration from there was abrogated. As for other places where one cannot perfectly practice his religion, emigration from there is valid until the Last Day. The Prophet saws 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 in itself was a kind of miracle, for the city was very meagre in terms of it’s commerce, infrastructure and agricultural resources before Hijrah, and the place was even tight for its inhabitants. In human estimation, emigration to a city with all these deficiencies would cause a lot of economic and social problems but as Allah would have it, the reverse was the case in the Hijrah to Madeenah, for the emigration to Madeenah brought all good things to the town. People had the opportunity of meeting the Prophet saws, learning their religion from him, emulating his noble character, preserving his sunnah, knowing much of his public and private life and loving him.
Hijrah had a great impact on Islam and Muslims, for Allah bestowed a lot of His blessings on Muslims through Hijrah. Although the Muslims faced some difficulties in the first days of their emigration to Madeenah, they were able to overcome these difficulties through their Eeman and perseverance. The Prophet saws used to feel compassion for them and was full of love for their children. Then Allah brought good things to Al-Madeenah from all walks of life.
Dear Muslim brother! As you have missed the reward of making Hijrah to Allah and His Messenger during the prophetic era, there is another type of Hijrah in which you can earn great reward: Emigrate from disobedience to obedience; shun negligence in religious matters and migrate to uprightness; emigrate from sins to submission to Allah; emigrate from laziness and false hopes to seriousness and striving in what pleases Allah and emigrate with your heart from affinity to the mundane life to the love of the hereafter. The Prophet saws said,
“The Muslim is one who does not harm other Muslims with his hand or tongue and the Muhajir is the one who shuns all that Allah has forbidden.”
He also said,
“An act of worship during the time of fitnah (trials) is like an act of emigration to me in reward.”
“Verily, those who have believed and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Al-Baqarah 2: 218)
Brothers in faith! Fear Allah as he should be feared, and die not except in the state of Islam.
Fellow Muslims! The All-Mighty says,
“And He (Allah) it is who has put the night and day in succession for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.”
(Al-Furqan 25: 62).
Succession of night and day is one of the great signs of Allah. It enables him who misses a righteous deed in the night to make it up during the day and vice versa. Further, there are in the Prophet’s Hijrah lessons and admonitions for Muslims and a good example of patience and perseverance.
One of its lessons is that, it was the will of Allah to make His Prophet saws perform the Hijrah with means that human beings were accustomed to, like riding on a camel and hiring a guide. If He had wished, He could have let him do the Hijrah on al-Buraaq but He wanted Muslims to emulate him and help their religion with whatever means Allah facilitated for them.
The greatest duty upon you then, dear brother, is to help the religion of Allah in yourself by practising it and calling to it in your community and being patient with that.
Indeed, the situation of the Muslims today throughout the world necessitates that we benefit from the lessons to be learned from the Hijrah. We should know that the condition of Muslims of this generation cannot improve except by what improved the condition of our righteous predecessors, namely; Sincere ‘Eeman, honest actualisation of Tawheed, noble characters, putting trust in Allah, patience and perfection of acts of worship in accordance with the sunnah. The Prophet saws said,
“Fear Allah wherever you are, follow an evil deed with a good one; it will erase it, and be well mannered in your dealings with people.”