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The Prophetic Hijrah: A Turning Point in History

The Arabic noun Hijrah literally refers to the act of abandoning or relinquishin
g. Hence, the derived word Muhaajir, as mentioned in a Hadeeth, is a person who
renounces what Allah The Almighty prohibited. This is not confined to a certain
time or place; anyone who abides by the commands of Allah the Almighty and aband
ons sins, is considered a Muhaajir.
However, the Hijrah of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Alla
h exalt his mention ) has a different dimension to it; it refers to his emigrati
on, seeking the satisfaction of Allah The Almighty, despite his attachment to hi
s homeland and affinity to its natural and social environment. That longing for
Makkah was also fervently expressed by the Muhaajiroon those who emigrated with
him sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) particula
rly during the first melancholy days.
That was so, because Hijrah required adapting to the new atmosphere of Madeenah,
in terms of a differing climate, which caused some of the Muhaajiroon to suffer
from fever; as well as economy, since it was agriculture-based here, whereas it
was commerce-based back home in Makkah, where they had left behind property and
wealth.
However, Hijrah was a Divine obligation to be obeyed and all difficulties endure
d in its undertaking. When it began, processions of the Muhaajiroon successively
set out to the new land the abode of emigration. Women also took part in this b
lessed event, such as Umm Salamah Hind bint Abu Umayyah, may Allah be pleased wi
th her, who was exposed to great harm at the hands of the disbelievers in Makkah
. In an effort to prevent her from Hijrah, they had pulled her newborn from her
until his hand was dislocated; but she persisted and succeeded in emigrating, de
spite the danger and hardship.
Another woman was Asmaa' bint Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with her, who immor
talized her name in history, earning the title, Thaat An-Nitaaqayn (the one with
two waistbands), because she tore her waistband in half, in order to carry prov
isions for the two pursued emigrants, i.e., the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi w
a sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased wi
th him. Later, the sporadic Hijrah of women continued until it became an obligat
ion; Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, when the be
lieving women come to you as emigrants, examine them.} [Quran 60:10]
The commandment was general for all believers, as Quranic verses were intermitte
ntly revealed, pointing out the merits for performing the Hijrah; this occurred
since the beginning of emigration,well until the year 8 AH, when it was revoked
after the conquest of Makkah. This was in accordance with the declaration of the
Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam: "There is no Hijrah after the conquest of
Makkah; but, [there is] Jihaad and good intention [to perform good deeds]. So, w
hen you are commanded to set forth [for Jihad], you must immediately."
As for Madeenah being the destination of Hijrah, Allah The Almighty Himself had
specified it, revealing it to the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( ma
y Allah exalt his mention ) who said: "I have seen in my vision that I am migra
ting from Makkah to a land with palm-trees. At first, I thought it was Al-Yamaam
ah or Hajar, but it was Madeenah (Yathrib)."
It would later become clear that this city, already burgeoning with faith, had r
equired the mass arrival of Muslims, to safeguard it from the lurking enemies am
ong Quraysh, the Jews and the Bedouins, against whom Jihaad was ordained. Thus,
Allah The Almighty revealed motivational verses for emigrants, Saying (what mean
s):

{Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the
cause of Allah - those expect the mercy of Allah.} [Quran 2:218]
{And those who emigrated for [the cause of] Allah after they had been wronged We will surely settle them in this world in a good place.} [Quran 16:41]
{And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many [alter
native] locations and abundance.} [Quran 4:100]
True to His noble Promise, the Muhaajiroon attained great honor in this life, ap
art from reward from Him. By being the first people to establish a Muslim state,
they gained the Pleasure of Allah The Almighty and closeness to Him, as He Says
(what means): {And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhaajiroon a
nd the Ansaar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased w
ith them.} [Quran 9:100]
Thus, Allah The Almighty memorialized them in the Quran, which is, and will be,
recited by Muslims as worship to Him until the end of time.
Hijrah: a norm of the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention
The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) w
as not the first to emigrate for the cause of Allah The Almighty. Many prophets,
may Allah exalt their mention, underwent such a trial. Allah The Almighty infor
med us that Ibraaheem (Abraham) emigrated from his homeland to Egypt and other c
ountries, preaching Tawheed (monotheism); Yaqoob (Jacob) and Yoosuf (Joseph), may
Allah exalt their mention, went from Palestine to Egypt; Loote, may Allah exalt
his mention, abandoned his valley because of its corruption and disregard of hi
s message; and Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, emigrated with his pe
ople from Egypt to Sinai in order to escape with their religion from the tyranny
of Firawn (Pharaoh).
Thus, Hijrah is a custom of the prophets, with the emigration of the Prophet Muh
ammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) being t
he last and most significant in its impact.
Hijrah: A Turning Point in History
The Hijrah brought about the establishment of a Muslim state in Madeenah, that c
onsolidated the society on the basis of solidarity, love, brotherhood, freedom,
equality and guaranteeing of rights.
The Prophet sallallaahu
alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) w
as the head of government, the commander in chief, the supreme judge and the for
emost mentor. He sallallaahu
alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mentio
n ) gradually implemented the Islamic Shareeah, as it was revealed to him, verse
by verse. The Companions would study it and apply it to themselves, after learni
ng its interpretation from the Prophet sallallaahu
alayhi wa sallam ( may
Allah exalt his mention ).
Hence, they formed a God-conscious generation that was able to merge the worship
of Allah The Almighty with inhabiting this worldly life. They worked under the
motto: work for your life as if you will live forever and for your Hereafter as
if you will die tomorrow.
Within a decade, most of the Arabian Peninsula united under this banner of Islam
that swathed large areas of land, extending from As-Sind in the east, to the At
lantic in the west, with most of the people embracing Islam and its Shareeah. The
y formed a flourishing civilization that produced its fruit for many centuries i
n the fields of legislation, education, cosmography and physics.