Reflecting Upon the Hijrah

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) derives lessons to be learned from the Hijrah of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ . Extracts from a Friday khutbah.

Should you not reflect on why the Prophet ﷺ made the Hijrah? Why he bore those hardships? Why he was forced to migrate? He looked at the city of Makkah upon leaving it and said: “Allah knows that you are the most beloved of cities to me. Had not your people driven me out, I would not have left.” How can you live as a believer in him without realising what drove him to bear these hardships?

The noblest of creation in the sight of the Creator is our Master Muhammad. Allah was capable of making the life of the Master of His creation a life of ease and tranquillity. If Allah wished, the Prophet would not have suffered, he would not have had a camel’s entrails thrown on his back, he would not have been pelted with stones, he would not have been driven out of his own city, he would not have tied a stone to his stomach out of hunger and he would not have fought in battle. But Allah chose all of these things for our Prophet.

Tell me, where are you going in this life and what are your thoughts focused upon? What is the level of your understanding of Allah’s religion? Have you understood the wisdom behind your creation? If the purpose of man’s creation was to relax and experience comfort, then the most worthy of creation of experiencing that was the Prophet, the possessor of the highest rank in Allah’s sight. If you realise this, how can you then find comfort in base things? How can you be distracted by things with which the enemies of Allah distract you such that you possess no concern for the Ummah and no desire to benefit it, no desire to make sacrifices and no reliance upon Allah, no trust in Him and no certainty? Is this the life of someone who believes in and follows the Chosen One? Was he the only one who made these sacrifices, or did all those who believed in him from that first generation do the same? Allah Himself commends them in the Qur’an. They were people of steadfastness and sacrifice, strong in their reliance upon the All-Powerful, people of complete trust in His promises. They had complete faith in that which had been revealed to the Prophet. Do we find these attributes in ourselves? Do not leave this Jumu`ah without resolving to expend your efforts to emulate the foremost, the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers. You will then be one of those who follows them with excellence and you will receive what Allah has promised: As for the foremost, the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers, and those who follow them with excellence – this includes anyone who follows them in excellence up to this day and up until the Day of Judgement – Allah is pleased with them and they, too, are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow, in which they will abide forever. That is the supreme triumph (9:100).

This is how your Lord addresses you. How can you then allow your lower self or the Devil to make you live in heedlessness? How can you allow year after year to pass without having any awareness, any desire to draw closer to the Most High? Do you not want to be among those mentioned in the verse? Even before the Hijrah, some of the first Muslims had been martyred, such as Sumayyah, the first martyr in Islam; some had been tortured, like Bilal; some had migrated to Abyssinia; some had been enclosed in the valley of Abu Talib for three years until they were forced to eat the leaves of trees. All of them suffered and made sacrifices. On the night of the Hijrah, Sayyiduna ‘Ali bin Abu Talib sacrificed himself by sleeping on the Prophet’s bed. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr was with the Prophet, sacrificing himself and his wealth. He was with him in the Cave of Thawr, not for an hour or two, but for three nights. Every night you sleep in a house on a bed. Can you not imagine how the Beloved of Allah spent his nights in that cave?

Whose body was it that lay on the rocks of the cave patiently seeking Allah’s reward? It was the body of the one who was taken above the seven heavens, beyond the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary. When will you understand the wisdom behind your creation? When will you realise what your belief in Muhammad dictates? If you entered a cave with a stone floor with creatures living in it and sat there for an hour or two you would know the degree of the Prophet’s striving and steadfastness. The forces which call us to evil have distracted us so that we do not reflect on these realities. A believer may live his whole life and not reflect once upon these things. He rushes to attain comfort in his life, as if He has not received any directions from Allah.

The Ansar in Madinah expressed their love for those that made the Hijrah and made sacrifices to accommodate them. None of them asked: “Why have they taken our land, our homes and our wealth?” On the contrary: They love those who have sought refuge with them; they entertain no desire in their hearts for what the latter are given, but rather prefer them over themselves, even though poverty became their lot (59:9) They were worthy of being praised by Allah in His Book. There are people who are deluded by the praise of the media and are prepared to make sacrifices to gain some fame. They are not interested in aiding the cause of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and they have no realisation of what their mission is in this life. Say to them that a time will come when not a single letter will remain of the words written in those newspapers. The people who wrote those words will no longer remain, nor will those who were written about. However, the words of Allah which contain praise for those people and those who follow them in excellence will remain. Should our ambitions not be higher? Should we not seek to be mentioned in the Book of the Lord of the Mighty Throne? He praises you with those words and that praise remains until the Day of Judgement and beyond that into the Abode of Ennoblement. Our enemies have distracted us such that we have forgotten the wisdom behind our creation, but in reading and reflecting upon the Prophetic Biography in general, and the story of the Hijrah in particular, we come to realise this wisdom. We also come to know that we have a duty to make sacrifices and have complete trust and reliance in Allah.

Some Muslims believe it is impossible to convey the message of Islam to the world in this time and that power is in the hands of the disbelievers. We say to them that the events of the Hijrah are enough proof of the falsehood of this belief. Is not Allah enough for His slave? (39:36) Look at the state of the Chosen One when he was in the cave with Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and the disbelievers were at the mouth of the cave.

Abu Bakr said: “O Messenger of Allah, were one of them to look down at his feet he would see us.”

The Messenger of Allah replied: “What do you think of the state of two people and Allah is their third? Do not despair, for truly Allah is with us.”

We say to those in doubt, even if our state resembles the state of the Prophet ﷺ in the cave: “What do you think of the state of a group who still possess the light of faith? Truly Allah is with them.” Allah will cause tranquillity to descend upon them: then Allah sent down His peace upon His Messenger (9:40) and He will assist them with troops that cannot be seen, neither with the eye, nor with the help of any form of modern technology. Allah will lower the word of the disbelievers while the Word of Allah is transcendent (9:40)  Have no doubt in this.