‘Hijrah Teaches Us to Sacrifice Everything for the Faith’

December 3, 2012

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on November 17 organised a talk on ‘Hijrah and the Islamic Calendar’ to mark the beginning of the Islamic year 1434 and to disseminate the significance of Hijrah at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him). Maulana Raziul Islam Nadwi started his captivating speech by putting questions before the listeners. He asked why is it that the Islamic year starts with Hijrah, as there were many more important occasions which came to pass during the time when the Messenger was in Madinah. “Why was not the treaty of Hudaibiya considered significant enough to mark the beginning of the new calendar for the Muslims? The Qur’ān itself says about Hudaibiya that ‘Verily we have given you a clear victory.’ The day of Badr was mentioned as Yaum-ul-Furqan, a very significant day, yet it does not mark the beginning of the new calendar. Why Conquest of Makkah was also left out? Why even the birth of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) was not taken as the beginning of the Islamic calendar? he asked.
It was Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who decided that the Islamic year should begin with the Hijrah. There are many profound reason and unmatched wisdom behind accepting the Hijrah to be the starting point. The first point Maulana Nadwi mentioned is that Hijrah was the test of faith of the believers. It was not easy for a person to leave everything that one owns namely one’s home, wealth, comfort etc., and march forth to a place where one has no clue about. The only thing which the companions cared for is to protect their faith and nothing else. They readily accepted all the hardships and remained steadfast at the time of testing. Some of the companions managed to migrate along with their families, whereas there were many who were left with no choice but to migrate leaving behind their wives and children.
Abu Salama was one of the companions who while migrating was confronted by his family and his in-laws. He agreed to leave behind his wife and children and left for Madinah alone. For the whole one year his wife used to come at the spot where they separated and seeing her condition her family finally relented and she joined Abu Salama in Madinah.
The companions were tested with the trial of wealth as well. Suhaib, who was leaving Makkah for Madinah, was confronted by the fellow Makkans who told him that he could not take the wealth along with him as it is the wealth which he had earned being in Makkah so it should remain in Makkah. Suhaib asked them what if he gave them all the wealth. “Will you then allow me to go?” The Makkans agreed and Suhaib reached Madinah penniless.
The second significance of Hijrah is that it teaches us planning and strategy building along with putting complete trust in Allah, said Maulana Nadwi. There are immense lessons that one can draw from the Hijrah which reinforces the need to plan the moves while putting trust in Allah. If we look at the way the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) migrated from Makkah, it perplexes our minds when we start thinking about the absolute balance the Messenger maintained between extraordinary planning and unflinching support in Allah. He prayed to Allah relentlessly and then at the night of migration made Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) sleep at his place so as to give his attackers a sense that he is sleeping at his place. Then while migrating, he headed southwards and remained there for three consecutive days, though Madinah lies in the north of Makkah. Besides taking the precaution of heading south instead of north, he again chose that path to Medina which was less used and had a difficult terrain. This is how he reached Madinah. Muslims today need to learn from the Seerah of the Messenger as to how he executed the actions because what appears is that today we are unable to strike a balance between the trust in Allah and strategic thinking.
The second pledge of Aqaba also gives us lessons of strategy building. The pledge took place at the time of Hajj and though Makkah was full of people from different tribes and cities, the pledge was a secret one which took place at the dead of night. From among the Muslims there were a few who knew that the meeting for the pledge will take place. The leader of Madinah, Abdullah Ibn Ubayy was also unaware of the pledge and 75 people from Madinah which included two women were among those who pledged allegiance.
Another lesson that one can derive is that there is always a lot of risk when one carries the truth. Giving refuge and protection to the Messenger of Allah was like giving an open invitation to the hostilities of Quraish, however the Ansars remained steadfast. Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Ansars before the pledge whether they would be able to protect him. To which the Ansars gave an assuring reply, saying they were warriors and they would protect him until they all would die.
The third lesson is that the carrier of the Daee should remain firm and must have conviction about the call he is calling people towards. The sense of conviction or yaqeen is very important and again we must look at the Seerah. When the Messenger of Allah was in the Cave Thawr and the Quraish came looking for them which made Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) a little nervous, the Messenger spoke with conviction “Innallaha Ma’ana” (Verily, Allah is with us).
Hence Hijrah remained the most significant event in the history of Islam and offers umpteen numbers of lessons for the Muslims even today. It changed the very nature of the conflict with the Quraish as unlike before, Quraish were then to fight not the individual Muslims, weak and oppressed and with no power to resist, but the Islamic state.

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