|Imam Zijad’s Corner: SIGNIFICANCE OF HIJRAH FOR MUSLIMS OF TODAY
The Hijrah for us is a process which continues and we have to be part of it. This is a process which is in another form in our time, but its aim is still the same.
The aim of our Hijrah is a move towards ‘our new Madinah’ – to the Islamic way of life, behavior and thinking, for Allah has given us an opportunity to establish His Din here that we can live in peace, harmony, brotherhood, and share the message of Islam with others.
What are the messages of the Hijrah? What do we learn from the Hijrah of our times? Basically, the Hijrah institutioned three important aspects of life: social, economic, and political.
During the first twelve years of the revelation of the Qur’an, the Message focused on the strengthening of Iman while no pattern of a collective life based on true religious concepts could be presented to the community and the world. It was only after the Hijrah that people began to see clearly that Islam is a complete way of life which pays attention to every aspect of human life, giving direction to almost every moment of one’s conscious time. Only after this event, the non-Muslim society could see this aspect of social decency and success under Islam.
The second reason for the importance of the Hijrah, for us, living here in North America, is in view of its economic aspect. Ansar did not only provide a shelter and a new peaceful home for the migrating Muslims – Muhajirs, but Ansar with all their love for the new brothers and sisters, helped them in all ways and by all means. That was a time when trade came into contact with agriculture and artisanship resulting in an economic revolution for the place. Muhajirs from Makkah having been taught and reformed by the Messenger of Allah for twelve years were not carefree and irresponsible people; they were aware of Allah and were righteous. The Ansar were ready to divide all their belongings and share with Muhajirs, but the latter were not prepared to accept a status of mere idle dependents; so each one of them adopted ways and means to earn righteously for themselves and their families and did not like to be permanent burden on others.
Initially, the Muhajirs worked as laborers in the fields and gardens and construction works. Later they, being traders, started small trading activities which brought them into an economic competition with the Jews of Madinah. Thus, it was only after the Hijrah that agriculture, industry, and trade freely helped one another to bring about an integrated, balanced, and unfettered economy for the Muslims.
The third reason which made the Hijrah a very important event is the political freedom for the Muslims. Before the Hijrah Muslims had no say in any matter, internal or external. They were minority against majority who did not like them.
The Hijrah made Muslims ‘masters’ of their internal affairs, external relations, and matters relating to the defense. This showed that autonomous Muslim set up was coming into existence. This was a beginning of a city-state which, within the life-time of the Messenger or within a period of 10 years, expanded so as to encompass the entire Arabian peninsula. It is thus evident that the event of the Hijrah turned a few hundred persons into a highly successful society – the best community ever appeared on the face of earth (Khayra Ummatin Ukhrijat linnas).