In the name of Allah, all praise is due to Him for granting victory to the religion of Islam, spreading it throughout the world. Blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad SAW, who migrated from Mecca to Medina and propagated Islam to reach us, also upon his family and companions, as well as those who follow their path.
The term “Hijrah” originates from the word الهجر, which is the opposite of الوصل (connection). It signifies something severe, like how a person isolates someone and refuses to converse, thus breaking the communication between them. Hijrah means someone leaving one place to move to another. Ibn Manzur quotes from al-Azhari that the original usage of hijrah referred to the Bedouins leaving the hinterland for the city. Similarly, it refers to someone vacating their home and leaving their community to join another.
Therefore, those who migrated were called “Muhajirin” because they left their homeland and homes for the sake of Allah, heading to a land -Medina- where they had no family or possessions.
In the history of Islam during the time of Prophet Muhammad SAW, migration occurred twice. The first migration was to Abyssinia (Habasha), and the second and most significant was the migration to Medina, undertaken to safeguard the Islam they believed in. The strategies employed by Prophet Muhammad SAW and his companions in this migration were crucial for the spread of Islam to this day. It wasn’t easy to leave behind one’s homeland, family, and possessions to go to a new place empty-handed. Great sacrifices were required.
Due to their immense sacrifices, they deserve forgiveness from Allah, as mentioned in the words of the Prophet SAW: “Indeed, migration wipes away what came before it.” – Narrated by Imam Muslim.
In fact, the Prophet SAW honored those who migrated by making migration one of the criteria for choosing an imam. The Prophet’s saying about the excellence of choosing an imam in prayer goes: “The one who leads the prayer is the one who recites the Quran best. If they are equal in recitation, then the one most knowledgeable about the Sunnah. If they are equal in knowledge of the Sunnah, then the one who migrated first. If they are equal in migration, then the one who embraced Islam first.” – Narrated by Imam Muslim
Here, the virtue is clearly given to those who migrated earlier than others. But can migration still occur? Migration can still occur when someone needs to safeguard their faith by moving to a safe place where they can practice their religion, like performing prayers, fasting, and more.
However, there are narrations that negate migration, as mentioned by the Prophet SAW: “There is no migration after the Conquest (of Mecca) except for jihad and a good intention.” – Narrated by Imam Muslim
Nevertheless, Aisha explained this narration by saying: “There is no more migration today. In the past, believers migrated to bring their religion to Allah and His Messenger, fearing that their religion would be compromised. Today, Allah has granted victory to Islam. Today, a person can worship his Lord wherever he wishes (freely practice religion). But what remains is jihad and intention.” The door of migration remains open as long as there is a need for someone to safeguard their faith within them.
Another question arises: What if a Muslim lives in an Islamic country, surrounded by fellow Muslims who practice Islam, but they themselves are distant from the faith? Should they migrate? In such a case, migration is necessary, but not a physical migration to another place where they find like-minded people. Instead, they need to migrate their soul from bad character to good, from being distant from religion to getting closer, from committing sins to abandoning them. This is also part of the concept of migration.
The Prophet SAW was asked about the best type of migration. He replied: “The one who leaves what Allah has prohibited upon them.” – Narrated by Imam Abu Dawud
In this hadith, it is evident that migration is not merely about a physical relocation; it also involves a spiritual shift from bad to good. A Muslim must resist their desires and the temptations of Satan, striving to reach the light of truth. The temptations of Satan must be fought against, the urge to commit sins must be suppressed, and the resolve to become a better person must be established.
Returning to the hadith of the Prophet SAW: “There is no migration after the Conquest (of Mecca) except for jihad and intention.” Az-Zabidi, in “Tajul Arus,” states: the reality of jihad, as mentioned by Ar-Raghib, is to exert effort and energy into something disliked. There are three types: fighting against outward enemies, Satan, and one’s desires. All three are encompassed in the Quranic verse:
وَجَـٰهِدُوا۟ فِى ٱللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِۦ ۚ : ٧٨
“Strive for ˹the cause of˺ Allah in the way He deserves.” – Al-Hajj, 22:78
Try listing your daily shortcomings, such as using harsh language, quick anger, rudeness towards family and children, laziness in establishing prayers, neglecting the recitation of the Quran, and so on. Then set targets for when you will stop and leave these bad habits.
Next, create a plan for how to overcome these issues and prevent them from continuing to hold you back. For instance, if you’re lazy in reading the Quran, schedule a specific time for daily Quran reading, such as after Maghrib prayer. Make sure to keep that time slot consistently open for Quran reading.
Once a routine is established over, let’s say, three months, you’ll find it easier to read the Quran during that time because it has become a part of your daily routine. This approach can be applied to other aspects as well.
As humans, we are prone to overlooking the good due to the constant temptation of Satan. Therefore, we must strive to become better, leaving behind our negative traits. Physical migration, like the one undertaken by the Muhajirin, may not be necessary. However, our souls must migrate from bad to good, purifying our earnings from the unlawful to the lawful, replacing slander with praise, envy with obedience.
This is the migration that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke of: “Migration has two aspects: one is the migration from evil, and the other is the migration towards Allah and His Messenger. And migration will never cease as long as the door of repentance is open. Repentance will continue to be accepted until the sun rises from the west. When it rises, the door of repentance will be closed, and whatever a person has done will be sufficient for them.” – Narrated by Imam Ahmad
So, let us embark on this journey of spiritual migration, striving to leave behind our negative traits, purify our intentions, and draw closer to Allah.
Abdul Rahman Rahuni
Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni is a Malaysian shariah advisor at Muslim Pro. He is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah, studying in the field of Islamic Sharia. Ustaz Abdul Rahman is currently a lecturer at Sekolah Menengah Agama Islamiah, Tawau, Sabah.
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