The Concept of Emigration between the Past and the Present

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Even if you do not help the Prophet, Allah helped him when the disbelievers drove him out: when the two of them were in the cave, he [Muhammad] said to his companion, ‘Do not worry, Allah is with us,’ and Allah sent His calm down to him, aided him with forces invisible to you, and brought down the disbelievers’ plan. Allah’s plan is higher: Allah is almighty and wise.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

When the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were severely harmed at Mecca, the Prophet (PBUH) allowed them in the fifth year of his mission to immigrateto Abyssinia, saying to them: “In abyssinia, there is a king who does not do any insjuce to anyone. So, join his land till until Allah relieves you from your distress.” So, some of the Companions immigratedto Abyssinia, and they enjoyed there a safe life and neighborhood and freely practiced their religion until they were informed that the people of Mecca entered into Islam, so they decided to return again. However, they discovered that the news was untrue, and they came to be harmed and tortured again, the Prophet (PBUH) allowed them again to immigrateto Abyssinia for the second time, and the immigrants at that time were headed byJa’farIbnAbu Talib.

When the people of Quraysh knew that those migrants were enjoying a secure life under the protection of the fair king of Abysenia, they wanted to get them back. Therefore, they sent a delegate asking the Negus to demand the return of the migrants. He answered them saying: “Nay, by God, they shall not be betrayed – a people that have sought my protection and made my country their abode and chosen me above all others! I will not give them up, until I have summoned them and questioned them concerning what these men say of them.” Ja’far Ibn Abu Taleb came and stood before the King to refue the claims of Quraysh ans said: O King, we were people steeped in ignorance, worshiping idols, eating unsacrificed carrion, committing abominations, and the strong would devour the weak. Thus we were, until Allah sent us a Messenger from out of us, one whose lineage we knew, as we knew his truthfulness and worthiness of trust and his integrity. He called us unto God, that we should testify to His Oneness and worship Him and renounce what we and our fathers had worshiped in the way of stones and idols; and he commanded us to speak truly, to fulfil our promises, to respect the ties of kinship and the rights of our neighbors, and to refrain from crimes and from bloodshed, to perform prayer, give charity, fast.. (andJa’far went on mentioning the good deeds in Islam). So, we believed in him, worshiped God alone, setting none beside Him, counting as forbidden what He has forbidden, and as permissible what He has allowed. For these reasons have our people turned against us, and have persecuted us to make us forsake our religion and revert from the worship of God to the worship of idols. That is why we have come to your country, having chosen you above all others; and we have been happy in your protection, and it is our hope, O King, that here withyou we shall not suffer wrong.” The Negus asked if they had with them any revelation that their Prophet had brought them from God and, when Ja’far answered that they had, he said: “Then recite it to me,” whereupon Ja’far recited a passage from the Surah of Mary. The Negus wept, and his bishops wept also, when they heard him recite. Then, the Negus said, “This has truly come from the same source as that which Jesus brought.” He said to the Meccans, “by God I will not deliver them unto you.”

When contemplating these twoemigrations to Abyssinia, one becomes sure that the emigration of the early Muslims was not anemigration from the land of belief to the land of disbelief, as the original ruling is do defend one’s land, not to abandon it out of fear from an oppressor or aggressor, but it was anemigration from a land of fear to a land of security, asthe Negus, at that time, was not a Muslim. However, he was a just ruler who secures the people who saought his protection. This is why it is said, “The Almighty Allah grants victory to a just state even ifit is a disbeliever one, and He, the Exalted, does not support an injust state even if it is a Muslim one.” Sovereinty may stand strong with disbelief, but it will not stand intact with injustice. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has put the just ruler in a high position, and high status on the Day of Resurrection, heading the seven categories of persons whom Allah will give them His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but the Shade of His Throne. Thisposition for the just ruler comes because, with his justice, the whole society will be upright, and with his injustice, the whole society will corrupt.

When the Almighty Allah permitted the Prophet (PBUH) to immigrate to Medina, he was supported by Allah (Almighty), because this immigration was a positive transformation to build the state, achieve peaceful coexistence and harmony, and to achieve unity so that the Prophet (PBUH) could convey the message of his Lord, the Almighty, to all people. Allah, Glory be to Him, said, “Even if you do not help the Prophet, Allah helped him when the disbelievers drove him out: when the two of them were in the cave, he [Muhammad] said to his companion, ‘Do not worry, Allah is with us,’ and Allah sent His calm down to him, aided him with forces invisible to you, and brought down the disbelievers’ plan. Allah’s plan is higher: Allah is almighty and wise.”

In the eighth year of emigration, the Almighty Allah gave His Prophet a victory at Mecca and the Meccans embraced the religion of Islam in large numbers. By this, the concept of emigration turned froma narrow and limited meaning addressing physical movement, to include wide implications that cover all walks of life. With the liberation of Mecca, migration from one place to another became inapplicable after it had been a requirement at time of weakness, as Allah, the Exalted, said, “When the angels take the souls of those who have wronged themselves, they ask them, ‘What circumstances were you in?’ They reply, ‘We were oppressed in this land,’ and the angels say, ‘But was Allah’s earth not spacious enough for you to migrate to some other place?’ These people will have Hell as their refuge, an evil destination,” The ruling of emigration changed after the conquest of Mecca, by the saying of the Prophet “There is no emigration after the conquest of Makkah, but only Jihad (in the Cause of Allah) and a good intention.”

When SafwanIbnUmayyah embraced Islam, it was said to him, “No belief is accepted from the one who does not make emigration.” He said, “I will not go home till I visit Medina. He went to Medina and went tothe Prophet (PBUH) who asked him “Why did you visit us, O Abu Wahb?”  He answered, “I was informed that that no belief is accepted from the one who does not make emigration?” The Prophet said, “Go back to Mecca andtell them that there is no Hijrah now, It is just Jihad and intention.” the Prophet (PBUH) also said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue or his hands. And a Muhajir (an emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden.”

The physical migration from Mecca to Medina is no longer applicable, However, all other noble meanings of emigration are still present. The Prophet (PBUH) stated that the real migration is to move positively towards what is better such as turning from laziness to seriousness and hardworking;  and from selfishness to altruism, sincere human fraternity, belief in diversity,freedom of belief, good neighboring relations, the work to build man religiously, scientifically, intellectually, and behaviorally, morally, economically, and socially. Such person is the one who will be able to build his country, make civilizations, work for all humanity, and preserve the dignity of man as a human being.

The proper understanding of the true meaning of the concept of Hijra indicates thatthere is a particular kind that never ever stops; it is that kind that has to do with transformation from ignorance to knowledge, from misguidance to guidance, from bad morals to good ones and from corruption to reform in a way that contributes to building civilization and the construction of the universe, since our religion is a religion of construing and reform. Allah, Most High, says, “He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it.” So, our nation is one of work, not laziness; a nation of construction, not destruction and corruption; a nation of civilization, not backwardness.

As such, every Muslim, who loves his religion and is proud of it, has to work on achieving its superiority and the dignity of his own country, away from all kinds of deviance and extremism like migration to other places to join the terrorist groups and organizationsunder the false pretext of performing Jihad, or the unlawful immigration that led to destruction and humiliation, since it is legally and lawfully prohibited because countries are as scared as homes. So, just as no one shall enter others’ housesbut after getting their permission, it is prohibited to enter others’countries except through the lawful and legal ways to do so. In other words, just as no one likes others to unlawfully or illegally gets into their countries, he should not accept that towards other countries.

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon his slave and Messenger Muhammad, his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

Celebrating this blessed occasion, we should not forget that Al-Muharram is one of the Sacred Months, so it is recommended to perform fasting in it. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Prayer offered in the middle of the night is the most excellent after the prescribed prayersand the most excellent fast after (fasting) in the month of Ramadan is the fast in the month of al-Muharram.” Muslims are also strongly recommended to fast the Day of ‘Ashura’; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.” It is also reported that when he (PBUH) came to Medina, he saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) said, ” When the Prophet (PBUH) fasted the Day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered Muslims to fast it, the companions said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, it is a Day that the Jews hold in high esteem,” so he (PBUH) said to them, “When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) died before the advent of the next year;” meaning that he (PBUH) would fast the ninth and the tenth days. So, it is recommended to fast the tenth day of Al-Muharram, and it is strongly recommended to fast the 9th and the 10th days of it.

I ask Allah to guide us to what He loves and is satisfied with, and to make this new Hijri Year one of goodness, blessings and victory to Egypt and all other Muslim countries!