WHAT IS HIJRAH?
The new year of Muslims around the world starts from 1st of Muharram, 1432 A.H.; which corresponds to the 7th of December, 2010 A.D.
Here A.D. refers to Anno Domini/Domino .i.e. after the supposed birth of Jesus Christ. Similarly, A.H. refers to Anno Hijri .i.e. After Hijrah (the migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina)
Hijrah, literally, means moving from one place to another .i.e. emigration; while figuratively, it means to shun bad habits or traditions. It also means to abandon a certain culture to adopt another.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIJRAH
The Hijrah proved to be a turning point that transferred the status of Muslims from weakness to strength. It helped them get rid of the state of poverty and danger that they suffered and gave them a chance to show their productive capabilities in both states of war and peace. It also helped change their state from instability to togetherness and establishment of state and nation. Because of Hijrah, the most truthful and the strongest bond of brotherhood was established between the emigrants (known as ‘Muhaajir’) and the Arab residents of Medinah (known as ‘Ansaar’). This bond was such that the world had never witnessed before. The Ansaar were ready to part with half of everything they owned to give it to their brother Muhaajir. One Ansaar, by the name of Sa’d ibn Ar-Rabii’a, said to his brother Muhaajir, by the name of ‘AbdurRehmaan ibn Awf: “O brother, I’m the richest in Al Medinah. Take half of my fortune. And I have two wives. Choose the one you like better and I’ll divorce her for you to marry.” So `AbdurRehman ibn Awf said: “May Allah bless your family and money. Show me the way to the market.” He went to the market, bought, sold, and gained profit.
Such was the brotherhood that one was ready to part, not only with his money, but the wife whom the Muhaajir liked. But the Muhaajir didn’t want to burden the Ansaar, so they asked Allah to bless the Ansaar and went towards the market to find work.
Allah said in the Quran in Surah al-Hujuraat, Chapter 49, verse 10: “The Believers are nothing else but brothers…” This brotherhood was founded in sincerity to Allah and it broke all social castes.
Allah said in the Quran in Surah al-Hujuraat, chapter 49, verse 13: “Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the one who has piety and fear of Allah”
It was because of piety and fear of Allah that they would see to it that their brother in faith slept with a full stomach even if they had to sleep with an empty stomach.
HADITH (BUKHARI): A man came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Poverty has stuck me.’ The Prophet sent a messenger to his wives (to bring something for that man to eat) but they said that they had nothing. Then Allah’s Messenger said: ‘Who will invite this person or entertain him as a guest tonight; may Allah grant him His Mercy to him who does so?’ A man from the Ansaar said: ‘I, O Allah’s Messenger!’ So he took him to his wife and said to her. ‘Entertain the guest of Allah’s Messenger generously.’ She said: ‘By Allah! We have nothing except the meal for my children.’ He said: ‘Let your children go to sleep if they ask for supper. Then turn off the lamp and we go to bed tonight while hungry.’ She did what he asked her to do. In the morning the man from the Ansaar went to Allah’s Messenger who said: ‘Allah wondered (favorably) or laughed at the action of so-and-so (the man from the Ansaar) and his wife’ Then Allah revealed Surah al-Hashr, chapter 59’s verse 8-10: “…and they gave preference over themselves even though they were in need of that…”
Thus, they always wished for something better than what they had for their brother-in-faith.
Such was the impact of migration that it helped in building an Islamic state, created strong brotherhood among the believers, showed the victory of Islam, helped in the rapid spread of Islam and also made those who expelled the Prophet from his home to later reinstate him as the leader of that very place from which they expelled him.
ONE MAY WONDER: Can I do a Hijrah similar to that of the Prophet and his Companions? As stated earlier, the figurative meaning of Hijrah is to shun bad habits or traditions or to abandon a certain culture to adopt another.
We, as Muslims, are required to make a Hijrah by reviewing our manners and personal attitudes in life and we must do our best to break the fetters that prevent us from following the right path of Islam and that prevent us from calling others to it.
Why is it that we are talking especially about Hijrah (the 1st of Muharram), and not about other month like Shawwal/ Safar/ etc…?
This is because the Hijrah or Muharram comes after the season of Hajj, the season of forgiveness and mercy. During the Hajj season, we ask Allah for forgiveness, but it doesn’t end at that. We are required to repent to Allah for our short-comings. Repentance means asking Allah for forgiveness and trying to correct ourselves such that we don’t repeat that sin for which we asked Allah’s forgiveness. Here, we must do the same Hijrah (in the figurative sense) which the Prophet and his Companions did. We must try to migrate away from our sins and establish ourselves in the best manner possible, be it by praying, fasting, giving charity (no matter the amount – even a small deed is counted as charity, like smiling to your brother, or removing a thorn from the road, etc…) or by speaking good/advising your brother, etc…
Allah says in Hadith Qudsi (Bukhari): “…If he (my servant) moves towards Me as much as a hand span, I shall move towards him an arm’s length. If he moves towards Me an arm’s length, I shall move towards him two arm’s length. If he comes towards Me walking, I will run towards him”
Allah says in the Quran in Surah Yusuf, chapter 12, verse 11: “Verily, Allah will not condition of a people till they change their (own) state”
Thus, if we want Allah to help us so that we can attain Paradise, we must first change ourselves.
I ask Allah, the Guide, to help us migrate to the right path of Islam and to help us to establish ourselves on Islam in the best manner possible. I also ask Him, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the Ever-Forgiving, to forgive us our mistakes. I also ask him to make us die as Muslims, and to resurrect us as Muslims and to grant us Paradise and His Pleasure. Ameen!