The year 1437 is approaching in the Muslim calendar, While it is not greeted with the same fervor as the solar New Year is among non-Muslim (and also Muslim) circles, it is still a time when the stories of the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions are retold.
The Muslim calendar marks the start of a new dawn for the Muslims during the time of the Prophet, from persecuted to safe, from oppressed to free, from being subjugated to being leaders.
Today, 1437 lunar years from their migration, from risking their lives and the lives of their families, we still bear the fruits of their struggle.
Men, women and even children took the treacherous path from Makkah to Madinah, in the desert and with little or no food and supplies just so that they may be able to worship Allah alone. Their hijrah was among their greatest acts of devotion that they had to do to be able to freely worship Allah.
It is pertinent that we talk about the Hijrah again this year, especially with the mass migration that is happening to Europe from Iran, Afghanistan and especially war-torn Syria.
However, this article will look at a Hijrah of a different kind the commonest migration that occurs among Muslims who are on the internet these days. It is when Muslims leave their homes and their countries and go to the West in search of higher education, better life, jobs and security.
The writer of this article himself is a product of this system.
I moved from Bangladesh to the United Kingdom about four years ago to go to Medical School and become a doctor.
Having had my struggles and challenges, and also enjoyed lots of different opportunities, I feel it is pertinent that we talk about some important principles that will help us all bed in to our new communities.
A new country often brings along its many challenges. There is the language at times (thankfully I spoke very good English and hence didn’t have that problem), there is the food, culture, availability of other Muslims, weather etc. etc.
It is an interesting and sometimes very daunting prospect. Among the greatest fears that many have while being in a foreign country is that their dedication to faith might diminish, that they won’t feel as attached to the Masjid as they were before and worst of all, might even start to lose faith.
Make Sure the Heart Makes its own Hijrah
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim writes a beautiful verse of poetry:
“This hijrah requires an origin and a goal. A person migrates with his heart:
From loving other than Allah to loving Him,
From fearing and hoping and relying on other than Him to fearing and hoping and relying on Him;
From calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before other than Him to calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before Him.”
In short, he means that our hearts should make hijrah from other than Allah to Allah. So, while our bodies might be making hijrah for wealth, education or the promise of a better life, it is imperative that our heart remains with Allah.
No matter what we get in life, it is not worth losing Allah, and if we have Allah, then the world will follow. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever makes the world his more important matter, Allah will confound his affairs and make poverty appear before his eyes and he will not get anything from the world except what has been decreed for him.
مَنْ كَانَتِ الآخِرَةُ هَمَّهُ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ غِنَاهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَجَمَعَ لَهُ شَمْلَهُ وَأَتَتْهُ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ رَاغِمَةٌ
Whoever makes the Hereafter his most important matter, Allah will settle his affairs and make him content in his heart and the world will come to him although he does not want it.” (H.R. At-Tirmidhi)
Get Involved in the Muslim Community
أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليهوسلم قَالَ” الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ ” .
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Man is on the religion of his friend, so watch out whom you befriend.” (H.R. Abu Dawud).
One of the most important aspects of living in a non-Muslim community is that we get involved in the work of dawah, or more broadly involved in the Muslim community.
Who we hang out with, who we spend evenings with, who it is we invite for dinners and go out to eat has an enormous effect on our faith. It is important that we have good Muslim friends and acquaintances, especially in a country where we hardly know anyone.
Make a Lot of Du’a
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. (QS:Al-Mu’min:60)
Among the most important aspects of our worship is making du’a. It is that which can even change the decree that has been written for us.
It is our connection to our Lord above the seven heavens, and it is the act of worship which brings a lot of benefit and sure removes a lot of harm as well. (T/Imt/R03)
Taken from On Islam
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)