More than 1438 years ago, this unlettered man received a command from His Creator to leave his hometown for a neighbouring one, Yathrib (Madinah). Why should someone leave his hometown in the first place? For many years, his Makkan kinsmen, neighbours and elders persecuted him because he humbly told them to stop worshipping idols and begin to worship the Immortal Being, Allaah – Rabbu Haadhal Bayti (Lord of this house – Ka’abah). In fact, he began his da’awah with his family members and friends – Khodeejah, ‘Ali, Abu-Bakri, Abu Jahli, Abu Lahabi, Abu Toolibi, et al. Some accepted his new belief why many booed him, despite the fact that they all knew him as a trustworthy, kind, loyal and just Qurayshi man right from his youthful days.
When the elderly Makkan pagans saw that many of their sons and daughters began to desert their false and manually created gods, they felt threatened by Islaam and this young humble man. They imprisoned many converts; they denied them food and water ; they stopped transacting with new converts ; they attacked them anywhere they observed prayers ; they killed some, tormented them with all kinds of punishment and cut family ties with many. They began to hate their own children and grand-children. Disunity and enmity shook hands with them very easily. With all these, Muhammad was calm and instructed his men to also be calm. They endured the series of persecution together, nínú òfíì, nínú òláà….
After many years of persecution on his fatherland, Allaah instructed him to leave Makkah for Yathrib (Madinah). That’s when the first hijrah (migration) was officially recorded in the history of Islaam. Limited people emigrated with Muhammad – as Islaam was still at its early stage. They all left their wealth, businesses and property behind just to protect themselves, belief, family members and the Prophet of the Ummah. Still, the pagans came after them in their new home, Madinah, and other later emigrations.
Now, the major hijrah the Muslim Ummah should do is to always reflect on what the Prophet said about a Muhaajir. Prophet Muhammad was reported to have said that a Muhaajir (a migrant) is someone who does what Allaah commands and shuns what Allaah forbids. We all know these ; so, no repetition.
As an Ummah, our hijrah should be on how we unite one another, irrespective of our ideological differences. Our hijrah should be on how we protect our sovereignty, territory and citizens from the terror of intellectual, diplomatic, political, economic and religious brainwashing. Our hijrah should be on how we assist every distressed Muslim child, woman and man in Rohingya, Syria, Gaza, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Banglandesh, Central Africa Republic, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries where wars are ongoing. Our hijrah should be on how we protect the non-Muslims living in our countries in as much as they have sworn on an allegiance to your leadership. Our hijrah should be on how we liberate our people from the dangers of kingship, autocracy, totalitarianism, fascism, democracy, political hypocrisy and conspiracy as well as anti-human policies our leaders enact.
As another hijrah year begins, it’s my and your duty to let the Ummah think beyond the ordinary meaning of the name – HIJRAH. Hijrah goes beyond MIGRATION.
Thank you for being my audience.
By Olansile Ajetunmobi Umar (OAU)