Top 8 Lessons We can Learn from The Hijrah – Islamic New Year!
The beginning of a new Hijri year is a prime occasion to ponder the lessons to be learnt from the migration. The day of the Prophet’s migration was so significant that it was chosen to mark the first day in the Islamic calendar. This day took precedence over other great days in the history of Islam; such as the day of revelation or the conquest of Makkah.
One must pause to embrace the new Hijri year with the same determination, resolve, and faith that enabled Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), to complete this most pivotal journey from Makkah to Madinah.
Muslims can derive many benefits from retelling the story of the migration. We are in need of acquiring the principle that each one of us has a duty to think ahead, work hard, plan strategically and logically, and then hope for the best. The migration to Madinah was a superb example of having trust in Allah, yet at the same time using the best tactics and strategies humanly possible.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), had no doubt in Allah’s protection but he still took all the necessary precautions for a safe departure. We could gain much from studying this part of the dawn of Islamic history and the life of the best teacher that mankind has ever witnessed.
1. The exact time and day of the migration was kept secret from everyone, even the Prophet’s trusted friend, Abu Bakr. This aspect of the Hijra or migration shows that one should conduct his/her important affairs in life in privacy and with a certain degree of confidentiality.
2. Planning the migration secretly and asking Ali to sleep in the Prophet’s bed so that his departure would go unnoticed were examples of mastering an efficient plan and also proof of the boundless love that Ali and all the companions had for the Prophet.
3. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), picked the least expected time to leave his house; in midday in the summer when the people of Quraish usually stayed in their homes to take repose from the intolerable heat of the sun.
4. Heading South towards the cave of Thawr was an intelligent diversion because it was in the opposite direction of Madinah.
5. Abdullah, the son of Abu Bakr, was appointed as a spy by the Prophet (peace be upon him), to report to him the developments going on in Makkah, so the Prophet (peace be upon him), and his companion could catch the window of opportunity to continue their journey.
6. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), made concealed arrangements with a courageous person to bring provisions of food and drink to the cave for himself and his companion while they hid there for three days. The self-sacrificing person chosen for this heroic and risky position was Asmaa, daughter of Abu Bakr, and she was in her later stages of pregnancy at the time. The Prophet (peace be upon him), clearly demonstrated that women are active, productive, and capable participants in Muslim society and in the struggles that Muslims face. Asmaa tied the provisions around her waist under a cloak and trekked up the mountain to deliver food to her father and the Prophet (peace be upon him), and she was unsuspected by Quraish because of her pregnant belly. Here was a woman risking her own life, taking on an active and essential role in one of the most important journeys ever to be recorded in history.
7. The young man, Amir bin Fuhaira, was instructed to cover up the footprints made by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and Abu Bakr to prevent Quraish from tracing their trail.
8. Abu Bakr walked at a few paces behind the Prophet to protect his back. Whenever a wanderer spotted them and asked Abu Bakr who was with him, Abu Bakr would reply, “This man is showing me the way.” Abu Bakr did not expose the identity of the Prophet (peace be upon him), so as not do endanger him nor did he diminish his own integrity by telling a lie.
Although the Prophet (peace be upon him), scrupulously planned for the migration, he was relying on Allah first and foremost to save him. He was confident that he would not perish at the hands of Quraish because he had a noble mission to fulfill; calling people to Islam.
It is this tawakkul or trust in Allah that gave him the tranquility of mind and he soothed his agitated friend in the cave by saying, as is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, “Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us.”
Did we take the time to understand the lessons behind every move and every decision made for the successful culmination of the Hijra?
The migration can take on more than one form; it can be physical or ideological or emotional or all of these forms combined. It is a migration towards the Lord, whether in body, mind, heart, or soul.
The Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “The Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hand, and the emigrant is the one who gives up what Allah has forbidden.”
So if we adhere to this hadeeth, we can all perform a noble migration. The new Hijri year is the perfect time to renew and purify our intentions and to remember the stories that our rich Islamic heritage has to tell. All peoples of the past who strayed away from their Lord and the teachings of their prophets were destroyed; so we must avoid making the same mistakes made by those before us.
There is some truth to the saying: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
-Dr. Walid Fitaihi