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Excerpts from Juma'a Khutba by the famous scholar Dr. M. Rateb Al Nabulsi.

Subject: What Hijra (emigration) of Prophet Mohammad – Peace be upon him—

means (3/Dec/2010).

Hijra (emigration of Prophet Mohammad –peace be upon him—is motion:

Soon we shall celebrate the occasion of Hijra; The emigration of Prophet Mohammad
–peace be upon him—from Mecca to Medina during the period when Muslims were
persecuted in Mecca: it is the Hijri New Year. Hijra is movement. In religion, there is
no "inactive Islam". If you live (as you please) following your whims, yet at the same
time you are fond of this religion, highly appreciate the greatness of it, and you keep
telling people that this religion is The Truth and that the Holy Quran is The Truth,
then you are living a negative state. It is negative adoration which has no place in
faith. Religion is movement; unless you move from one place to another, from one
position to another, from friends with whom you mingled before you knew Allah to
friends that you should be with after you knew Allah; unless there is movement;
unless there is transition; then the Islam that you are embracing is an idle (inactive)

It is for this reason that Moslems (during Caliphate Omar) decided that Islamic
calendar (and history) was not on the day that The Prophet –peace be upon him—
was born, but it was chosen to start with the day of his Hijra (emigration) because
Hijra (emigration) is movement. Before I carry on, I wish that each one of you take a
deep look on where he stands: unless you take a specific stand; unless you give;
unless you take; unless you get angry; unless you are content; unless you joined
(what Allah has order you to join); unless you sever (what Allah has ordered you to
sever); unless you move from one place to another, from one location to another due
to your faith then this faith that you are embracing is not the faith that Allah –High and
Sublime is He—wantes.

Hijra is the pinnacle of sacrificing this world for the Hereafter and the pinnacle
of preferring The Truth over Falsehood.

Yes, Hijra is the pinnacle of sacrificing this world for the hereafter. Every person has
a social status in his own country; he has means of sustenance and support, friends,
and acquaintances. Yet when he feels – beyond any reasonable doubt— that if he
stays in that country this will impedes his religious progress he must emigrate. In its
very specific meaning Hijra is not the movement of a man from a nearby country to a
far away country; it is not the travel of a poor man from some wasteland to a fertile
one; it is rather forcing a man who is safe within his flock, having roots in his place of
living; forcing him to throw away his interests, sacrifice his wealth, liquidate his
position, and run for dear life with the sole reason which is to avoid serious tests in
his faith that will cause him to deviate from his belief. In this regards, the driving force
is religion. Sadly today the driving force behind emigration is money and wealth only.
A person will gladly emigrate from a country in which The Lord Guardian of All
Creation is worshiped, to a country where the detachment (from the orders of Allah)
will cause the most devout believer to stray away from religion.
The difficulties of Hijra can only be embraced by a believer who fears for the
integrity of his belief:

On the other hand, a weakling worried person can never embark on anything
remotely resembling (Hijra). Allah –High is He—said:
َ ُ ‫فسك‬ َ َ َ َ ‫و أ َّنا ك َت َب َْنا‬
ْ ُ ‫رك‬
‫م‬ ِ ‫ن ِدَيا‬
ْ ‫م‬
ِ ‫جوا‬
ُ ‫خُر‬
ْ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬
ْ ‫مأ‬ ْ َ ُ ‫قت ُُلوا أن‬ ْ ‫نا‬ْ ‫أ‬ ‫م‬
ْ ‫ه‬ ِ ْ ‫علي‬ ْ َ ‫ول‬
َ ﴿
﴾ ‫م‬ْ ‫ه‬ُ ْ ‫من‬
ِ ‫ل‬ َ ‫عُلوهُ إ ِّل‬
ٌ ‫قِلي‬ َ ‫ف‬َ ‫ما‬َ
(4:66) And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones
kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes," very few of them would have done it;

It is etched in the very basic human nature to love and cling to one's place of birth,
where customs, traditions, acquaintances, friends, and relatives live. However, a
person my discover – and that is rare in the Muslim world—that this society is pulling
him away from His Lord Guardian. It is under such circumstances when Hijra
becomes a must. In some cases Hijra is leaving a group of friends to another group
after you commit to the rules and regulations of your faith. This is a form of positive
motion. In other situations Hijra is to leave a trade that Allah is not pleased with –
where its earnings are ill-gotten (Haram)— towards a trade which earnings are lawful
(Halal). I want to broaden the meaning of Hijra to encompass leaving anything that
will pull you away from Allah to something that will make you nearer to Him; it may be
leaving a living quarter to another, it may be leaving a job (or trade) to another, or it
may be leaving a group of friends to another group.

The Prophet's Hijra –peace be upon him—is an act; a method; and a legislation.

Let us keep in mind that between the forces of evil and the forces of good is a great
contradiction, an ongoing fight, and a vicious war. Allah –High is He—said:
َ َ ‫قت ُُلو‬ َ َ ‫فروا ل ِيث ْبُتو‬
َ ‫جو‬
‫ك‬ ُ ‫ر‬
ِ ‫خ‬
ْ ُ‫و ي‬
ْ ‫كأ‬ ْ َ‫و ي‬ْ ‫كأ‬ ِ ُ ُ َ َ‫ن ك‬َ ‫ذي‬ ِ ّ ‫ك ال‬َ ِ ‫مك ُُر ب‬
ْ َ ‫وإ ِذْ ي‬َ ﴿
﴾‫ن‬ َ ‫ري‬ َ ْ ‫خي ُْر ال‬
ِ ِ ‫ماك‬ ُ ّ ‫والل‬
َ ‫ه‬ ُ ّ ‫مك ُُر الل‬
َ ‫ه‬ ْ َ ‫وي‬َ ‫ن‬َ ‫مك ُُرو‬ ْ َ ‫وي‬
(8:30) And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad –
peace be upon him) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home,
i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allâh too was plotting; and Allâh is the Best of
those who plot.

Whatever did the Prophet –peace be upon him—do so that those (disbelievers)
plotted against him? They know him before anyone else ever knew him; they know
his truthfulness, honesty, virtuousness, his lineage … they know that he did nothing
more than simply calling them to Allah to worship Him alone and stop worshipping
others with Him. They know that he ordered them to speak only truths, give back
what's in their custody for safekeeping to its rightful owner, to "join the wombs" (pay
attention and keep in touch with relatives), to be a good neighbor, and to keep one's
arms away from what Allah has prohibited, and to stay away from bloodshed. They
know that he has prohibited them from committing Vuahc (evil deeds and immoral
acts), telling falsehoods, consuming the wealth of orphans, and slandering chaste
women. They know him exactly as they know their own sons. He is a gift of mercy,
and a blessing to behold.

Dear brothers, is such a prime creation and such a prophet messenger worthy of
plotting against? Is such a human being worthy of scheming against? Yet, it is the
battle between Truth and falsehood!

Truth can only get stronger when it is challenged.

Other than Allah, everything else may or may not happen and exist.

Is it not possible that Allah may have chosen to create the disbelievers of this earth
on another planet altogether, in a separate far away continent, or in an era of their
own? Yet the wisdom of Allah decreed that believers and disbelievers coexist
together. Everywhere and in every time there are believers and disbelievers, straight
and devious people, truthful people and liars, good and bad in every country. The
question is why? Because Truth can only be strengthen when challenged, and
because the people of Truth do not deserve Paradise unless they sacrifice. This is
our destiny, so accept it. This battle between Truth and falsehood is everlasting:

َ ‫ك‬ َ َ ‫وك‬
َ ّ ‫فى ب َِرب‬ َ ‫ن‬
َ ‫مي‬
ِ ‫ر‬
ِ ‫ج‬ ُ ْ ‫ن ال‬
ْ ‫م‬ ْ ‫م‬
ِ ‫وا‬ ّ ُ‫عد‬
َ ‫ي‬ ّ ُ ‫عل َْنا ل ِك‬
ّ ِ ‫ل ن َب‬ َ ‫ج‬ َ ِ ‫وك َذَل‬
َ ‫ك‬ َ ﴿
﴾ ‫صيًرا‬ ِ َ ‫ون‬َ
(25:31) Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the Mujrimûn
(disbelievers, polytheists, criminals). But Sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and

Even prophets, who are the elite of humanity, have enemies!

This earthly life is the house of duties, tests, and interruptions; the Hereafter is
the house of honor, rewards, and eternity.

Dear brothers, the fact is that this earthly life is the house of duties, of tests and of
interruptions. House of duties because your duty is to worship Allah; it is the reason
of your existence.

ِ ‫دو‬ ْ َ ‫س إ ِّل ل ِي‬
ُ ُ ‫عب‬ َ ْ ‫واْل ِن‬
َ ‫ن‬ ِ ْ ‫ت ال‬
ّ ‫ج‬ ْ َ ‫خل‬
ُ ‫ق‬ َ ‫ما‬
َ ‫و‬
َ ﴿
(51:56) And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should
worship Me (Alone).

It is the house of tests:

﴾‫ن‬ ُ َ ‫ن ك ُّنا ل‬
َ ‫مب ْت َِلي‬ ْ ِ ‫وإ‬
َ ﴿
(23:30) … for sure We are ever putting (men) to the test.

Everything that affects any human being is a test: if it is good, it is a test, if it is evil it
is a test. You are tested with wealth, and you are tested with poverty. You are tested
with power, and you are tested with weakness, you are tested with health, and you
are tested with sickness.
This earthly life is the house of "bends and twists" not the house of "straight and
direct"; the house of sadness not the house of happiness; so he who knows it is
never happy with easy life, and never sad with difficult life. Allah has decreed it to be
the house of tests and decreed the Hereafter to be the house of rewards. So He
decreed the tests and difficulties of this earthly life to be the reason for the rewards of
the hereafter, and He decreed the rewards of the Hereafter to be the return payment
of this earthly life's tests and difficulties. He takes to give back, and tests to reward.

Tests reveal the reality of a believer's true self, to himself first and foremost,
and to those around him as well:

Tests reveal the believer's steadfast on his principals, his insistence to please his
Lord Guardian, and his love of Allah –High is He. Tests reveals that he is willing to
sacrifice for Him all that he's got, no matter how much he treasures it. Tests reveal
the believer's patience and endurance of difficult times to safe-keep his religion.
Difficulties push him to put his trust in Allah. In putting his trust in Allah evil is directed
away from him, and good results and plenty is directed towards him. The results of
putting his trust in Allah increase his knowledge of his Lord Guardian, and his love for
Him. All this is deduced from His saying –High is He:

ٍ ‫ع‬ ْ ُ ‫ضك‬
ْ َ ‫م ب ِب‬ َ ‫ع‬ َ ُ ‫ن ل ِي َب ْل‬
ْ َ ‫وا ب‬ ْ ِ ‫ول َك‬
َ ‫م‬
ْ ‫ه‬
ُ ْ ‫من‬ َ َ ‫ه َلن ْت‬
ِ ‫صَر‬ ُ ّ ‫شاءُ الل‬ ْ َ ‫ول‬
َ َ‫و ي‬ َ ﴿
(47:4) … but if it had been Allâh’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished
them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others.

َ ُ ‫ون َب ْل‬
‫و‬ َ ‫ن‬
َ ‫ري‬
ِ ِ ‫صاب‬
ّ ‫وال‬ ْ ُ ‫من ْك‬
َ ‫م‬ ِ ‫ن‬
َ ‫دي‬
ِ ‫ه‬ِ ‫جا‬
َ ‫م‬ُ ْ ‫م ال‬
َ َ ‫عل‬
ْ َ ‫حّتى ن‬
َ ‫م‬ َ ُ ‫ول َن َب ْل‬
ْ ُ ‫ون ّك‬ َ ﴿
﴾‫م‬ ُ َ
ْ ‫خَباَرك‬ْ ‫أ‬
(47:31) And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause
of Allâh) and As-Sâbirûn (the patient), and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who
is a liar, and the one who is truthful).

Dear brothers; what is the result of tests and hardships? It is The Prize Reward.
There are tests, and there are prize rewards. The prize rewards are attained in this
earthly life as well as the Hereafter. Protection and victory for the believers is their
Prize Reward, while depression and let-down for the non-believers is what will they
reap. The blessed end for the devout believers and the Mercy of Allah are ever near
to the well doers.

‫م‬ ُ َ‫م ل‬
ْ ‫ه‬ ْ ‫ه‬ُ ّ ‫ن*إ ِن‬
َ ‫سِلي‬ ُ ْ ‫عَباِدَنا ال‬
َ ‫مْر‬ َ ِ ‫ت ك َل‬
ِ ِ ‫مت َُنا ل‬ ْ ‫ق‬َ َ ‫سب‬
َ ْ ‫قد‬َ َ ‫ول‬
َ ﴿
﴾‫ن‬َ ‫غال ُِبو‬ ْ
َ ‫م ال‬ْ ‫ه‬ َ
ُ ‫جندََنا ل‬ ُ ‫ن‬ ّ ِ ‫وإ‬
َ *‫ن‬ َ ‫صوُرو‬ ُ ‫من‬ ْ
َ ‫ال‬
(37 :171 – 173) And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our slaves, the
Messengers* That they verily would be made triumphant* That they verily would be
made triumphant, And that Our hosts! they verily would be the victors.

And that Our hosts! they verily would be the victors.

That is the natural law and order of things.

Practical applications of Hijra in our times:

If we ask the Question: what are the practical applications of Hijra in our times?

If you are living in a place where many tests confronts you, and the possibilities of
you weakening in the face of those tests is ever present, so Hijra means that you
leave this place to another (safer) one. It may happen that the other place holds less
income for you, but better safety with Allah. The bottom line is that you move towards
a place that brings you nearer to Allah compared to the place that you left; that you
mingle and socialize with people who will bring you nearer to Allah, and that you
detach yourself from people who push you away from Allah –High and Sublime is He.
We live these concepts of the "minor" Hijra every day. That is why, dear brothers,
there is a wide chasm between he who opposes The Truth, and he who supports it. It
is a far cry between he who believes The Prophet and he who does not, between he
who drives The Prophet away and he who backs him up, and between he who fights
The Prophet and he who fights with him. It is a far cry indeed between the believer
and non-believer. In my opinion, there is no one on earth more miserable than he
who stands in a trench against The Truth. Be with The Trtuh; be with the people of
faith even if they were poor and weak, and don't be with the people of aggression
and tyranny even if they were rich and powerful:

َ ‫وو‬ ْ َ ‫سقا ً َل ي‬
ُ َ ‫ست‬ َ ‫ن‬
ِ ‫فا‬ َ ‫ن‬
َ ‫كا‬ َ َ ‫منا ً ك‬
ْ ‫م‬ ْ ‫م‬
ِ ‫ؤ‬ ُ ‫ن‬ َ ‫ن‬
َ ‫كا‬ ْ ‫م‬ َ َ‫﴿ أ‬
َ ‫ف‬
(32:18) Is then he who is a believer like him who is a Fâsiq (disbeliever and
disobedient to Allâh)? Not equal are they.
َ َ َ
َ ‫نآ‬ َ ‫ذي‬ ِ ّ ‫كال‬
َ ‫م‬ ُ َ ‫عل‬
ْ ‫ه‬ َ ‫ج‬ْ َ‫ن ن‬ ْ ‫تأ‬ ِ ‫سي َّئا‬ّ ‫حوا ال‬ ُ ‫جت ََر‬ْ ‫نا‬َ ‫ذي‬ِ ّ ‫ب ال‬َ ‫س‬
ِ ‫ح‬
َ ‫م‬ ْ ‫﴿أ‬
﴾‫ن‬َ ‫مو‬ ُ ُ ‫حك‬
ْ َ ‫ما ي‬ َ َ‫ساء‬َ ‫م‬ ْ ‫ه‬ ُ ُ ‫مات‬َ ‫م‬َ ‫و‬َ ‫م‬ْ ‫ه‬ ُ ‫حَيا‬
ْ ‫م‬
َ ً‫واء‬َ ‫س‬ َ ‫ت‬ ِ ‫حا‬َ ِ ‫صال‬ّ ‫مُلوا ال‬
ِ ‫ع‬َ ‫و‬َ
(45:21) Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with
those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous
good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that
they make.

Man must embrace causality as if it is everything, and put his trust in Allah as
if causality is nothing at all:

An important lesson of Hijra that Muslims need to grasp wherever they are living: that
is to "put your trust in Allah" (or "Trust in Allah"). The proper concept of Trust in Allah
is to embrace causality as if it is the reason for everything to happen and to put your
trust in Allah as if causality doesn’t work at all. It is very easy to embrace causality
and put your trust in it –in the same manner that The West is doing—actually even to
idolize it, and even to forget Allah when you put your trust in it. This is easy. It is also
very easy to adopt the stand of the people The East who do not embrace causality at
all and claim (falsely) to put their trust in Allah, which –in fact—does not please Allah.
Both cases are signs of illness: it is a sign of illness to embrace causality, put your
trust in it, and forget Allah; it is also a sign of illness to disregard causality out of
laziness and claim that you are putting your trust in Allah. The perfect stance is the
one which The Prophet –peace be upon him—and his companions adopted: you
embrace causality as if it is everything, and you put your trust in Allah as if causality
is nothing at all. In his Hijra, the Prophet –peace be upon him—departed from his
house at a time when there was barely anybody moving on the streets. He headed
towards the cave known as "Thour" (in an opposite direction of Madina) in which he
stayed for three days. He hired a tracker –an expert in the various routs to Madina—
and traveled with a friend. He took all the necessary precautions (thus embraced
causality) as if causality is everything. Yet once the infidels of Mecca reached him at
the cave's mouth, our master Abu Bakr Al Siddeeq said: O Messenger of Allah, if any
of them looked down towards where his feet are stepping he would see us. The
Messenger replied: O Abu Bakr, what your thoughts of two people who have Allah as
their third (companion)?

At that specific moment, the Prophet –peace be upon him—was not embracing
causality (or the precautionary measures which he took), but he was putting his
whole trust in Allah –High and Sublime is He. Here is where your prowess lies.
Whether a believer is a student involved in his studies, commercial activities, medical
practice, engineering, or anything else, the believer takes The Prophet –peace be
upon him—as his role model to follow. Consequently the believer embraces causality
as if it is everything and puts his trust in Allah as if causality is nothing.

So once again, The Prophet embraced causality and took all possible precautionary
measures one can think of. Yet when Suraqa followed him (hoping to capture The
Prohet and cash in on the reward which the infidels of Mecca put on The Prohet's
head) he had his full trust in Allah. The Prophet told Suraqa: O suraqa what do you
think of yourself when you wear the two bracelets of Cicerone (The King of Persia)?

Think of the situation: A person on the run, wanted dead or alive, with a prize of one
hundred camels on his head, and yet he tells Suraqa: O suraqa what do you think of
yourself when you wear the two bracelets of Cicerone? In other words, he is telling
Suraqa that I shall arrive to Medina, I shall establish a state with an army, and I shall
fight with this army one of the most powerful states of the world (at the time), and I
shall win the war, and the spoils of war will be brought to me here, and you Suraqa,
will have the two bracelets of Cicerone. This actually took place during the era of
Omar Bin Al Khattab when the treasures of Cicerone where brought to Omar. He
(Omar) asked for Suraqa and gave him the two bracelets of Cicerone to wear. He
(Omar) then said: What a nice thing to happen; a small bedwen (Arabian nomad)
from the sons of Midlidg is wearing the two bracelets of Cicerone?!

Dear Brothers. Any one of you –myself included— can make Hijra. When we have
friends who act in ways that do not please Allah, then leaving them is Hijra; there are
meetings that do not please Allah, abandoning them is Hijra. There are jobs that yield
great income yet these jobs involve many ambiguities in whether the income is
permissible (Halal); leaving these jobs is Hijra. Always Hijra has two meanings: a
narrow one, which indicates the movements from Mecca to Madina; or any other city
for that matter until the end of time. As for the wider meaning it is to leave what Allah
–High and Sublime is He—prohibited.

Now I have good tidings for those who worship Allah during the times of tests. The
Prophet –peace be upon him—said in an authentic Hadith:
(( ‫هْرج كهجرة إلي‬
َ ‫عبادَةَ في ال‬
ِ ‫))ال‬
Worshipping Allah during the times of great tests, random killings, and huge
confusion is equivalent to Hijra towards me. (Narrated by Timithi).

Nowadays all over the world, and all around us we find women who are "dressed in
an undressed fashion", porn, cable networks with lucid and promiscuous contents,
perversion, night clubs, immorality, and sex is idolized and worshiped instead of
Allah. In such hard times, and during this era of promiscuity, nightclubs, where
everything is "Halal", and anything that is connected to religion people avoid, in our
current times: " Worshipping Allah during the times of great tests, random killings,
and huge confusion is equivalent to Hijra towards me".

Translated into English by:

Wael F. AlTabba'