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From the Lessons of the Prophetic Emigration: State Building

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Glorious Book, “But those who have believed, migrated, and striven for Allah’s cause, it is they who can look forward to Allah’s mercy: Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that our Master Prophet Muhammad is His Votary 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.

The emigration of the Prophet (PBUH) from Mecca to Medina represents a great historic event that has changed the course of human history. Actually, we are in a dire need to draw all meanings that contribute to the progress of our society and the building of its civilization. This emigration was a turning point between the truth and falsehood. It was a positive transformation towards the establishment of the Medina State on a sold ground of justice, equality, freedom of belief, preservation of human dignity, peaceful coexistence, social cohesion among citizens of one nation, and the cooperation in the economic activity in its different forms. The Prophet (PBUH) established the new state from various components that included:

Building a Mosque: The first thing the Prophet (PBUH) did when he arrived in Medina was building the Mosque because man’s relation with his Lord is the core of security. The true religiousness is the most important factor of building a personality that constructs and develops rather than destructs and demolishes. As much as one deviates from the true path of religion or as much as he misunderstands his religion, his character becomes troubled. Also, the Mosque has a social and scholarly message to promote in the society for its common good.

Economic Building: A strong economy is a key factor in building states and when it is absent, no state can progress. A strong and stable economy enables any state to fulfill its local and international requirements, as well as providing an honorable life for its citizens.  When an economy is weak, poverty and disease spread, life becomes disturbed, crises break out, morals go lost, and crimes increase. In such a situation, it is an opportunity for the enemies to work to bring the state down and push it into an endless mess.

Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) was eager to make Medina a society of an economic power that would enable it to fulfill the needs of its citizens, defend itself, achieve its message of peace, security and reconstruction of the universe which is the message of Islam. Thus, the Prophet (PBUH) established a large marketplace in Medina to be a source of legitimate earning and commerce, and a place for the craftsmen. This Marketplace was called “Al-Manakhah”. Ataa’ Ibn Yasar narrated that “When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) wanted to appoint a place for the market of Medina, he went to the market of Banu Qaynuqa’and said: “This is not a market for you. It will always be your market and no duty will be levied on it.” the prominent figures among the Companions worked in trade and refused to be aided financially by the Ansar.  Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Awf narrated that When the emigrants reached Medina, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) established the bond of fraternity between Abdur-Rahman and Sa’d Ibn Ar-Rabi. Sa’d said to Abdur-Rahman, “I am the richest of all the Ansar, so I want to divide my property (between us). Abdur-Rahman said, “May Allah bless your family and property for you; where is your market?”

The nations that do not own or produce its food, clothes, weapon will not be able to govern their own affairs. It is said that “When you are benevolent to someone, you become superior to him; when you  abstain from accepting others’ help, you become equal to them; and when you are in need for someone, you become a captive to him.” The Prophet (PBUH) taught us that “The upper hand is better than the lower hand, the upper hand is the one which gives and the lower hand is the begging one.” No doubt that this applies to nations, institutions, individuals, as no one can deny the importance of money in our life and in the advancement of individuals and nations and in the development of people’s lives.

With knowledge and Money people build their own kingdom

No Kingdom maybe built on ignorance and poverty

The Prophet (PBUH) stated the regulations governing these transactions. He called for kindness and tolerance in buying and selling, saying, “May Allah show mercy to a man who adopts a kind attitude when he sells, buys and demands for the repayment of loans.” He also called for truthfulness and honesty saying, “The truthful, trustworthy merchant is with the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs.” The Prophet also forbade monopoly saying, “Whoever hoards food for forty days, he will be acquitted of Allah.” Moreover, he (PBUH) used to follow the process of selling and buying in order to guide people to what is right. Abu Hurayrah narrated that once the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) pass by a heap of corn. He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers felt wetness. He said to the owner of that heap of corn, “What is this?” He replied: “O Messenger of Allah! These have been drenched by rainfall.” He remarked, “Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over the corn so that people might see it? He who deceives is not of us.”

The Medina Charter: After migrating to Median, the Prophet (PBUH) founded a strong state whose foundations are recorded in the Medina Charter. He (PBUH) did not only suffice with establishing brotherhood among the migrants and the supporters, but also wanted to highlight a very human connect through the Medina Charter which is considered the greatest document in the history of mankind ever, as it laid down the rights and duties for all the society’s members and established the rules of peaceful coexistence among the citizens of the one country on one hand and among human fellows on the other, which is why it is viewed as the greatest human document on existence throughout history. This is proved by the treaty concluded between the Prophet (PBUH) and the Jews of Medina along with others. He (PBUH) gave those Jews all the rights of Muslims, including security, peace, freedom and joint defense against the Media. One of the important terms of this Charter is “The Jews shall stand with Muslims as long as they defend the Medina; the Jews of Bani ‘Awf are one nation with Muslims, for the Jews is their religion and for Muslims is their religion.” The Charter also highlights the freedom of religion, security and joint defense against any aggression against the Medina.

This means that the civilian State in Islam includes Muslims and non-Muslims; they have the same rights and duties of the Muslims, on condition that they should abide by the social regulations that keep all the rights and duties of all the members of the society topped by peacefulness, non-aggression, not to break the terms of the social contract (the Charter) that regulates the relation among all mankind.

Peaceful coexistence among all mankind is a religious duty and a social necessity imposed by man’s reality. It will never be realized unless all people feel that they are the nationals of one country with the same rights and duties as Muslims, without any discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, etc. Allah, Most High, says, “There shall be no compulsion in religion.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions applied this principle practically. They did not force anyone to embrace Islam, nor did they demolish a church or synagogue or any House of Worship. On the contrary, places of worship were respected by Muslims, since Islam guarantees the freedom of worship for all mankind, taking into account the fact that nobody will have the ability to change this principle of diversity, as this is against the Divine Will. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” So, respecting beliefs, rights and duties of others is the cornerstone of building the State, since it has its impact on the relation between nations and societies for every nation has its own creed and principles which they adhere to and view as the most sublime, which is why Islam forbad us from criticizing the followers of other beliefs in any way that might harm them based on the fact that religions came to achieve the happiness of mankind. Allah, Most High, says, “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus, We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.”

In the same way, Islam implants the principle of righteousness and good neighboring with non-Muslims, a fact which is stressed by Sharia texts that showcase how Islam shall be practically applied in the Muslim society. Allah, Most High, says, “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”

Islam orders its followers to kindly deal with non-Muslims and to care about their feelings even in debates and conversations. It further urges Muslims to argue with them in the best way, ” And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

As such, the Medina Charter shall be a model example to be followed in preserving the human dignity that in turn attempts to achieve the national cohesion, with the aim of building the State and civilizations.

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

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His votary and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, his companions and whoever follows his guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

One’s home has a lofty status in the soul, as loving and belonging to countries are among the natural instincts upon which man was created. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered the best example ever in loving his country and belonging to it when he said, “How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have lived in other than you.” Also, when he (PBUH) migrated to the Medina and settled therein, he asked Allah, Most High, to make him love Medina more than Mecca and to make it replete with security and stability, “O Allah! Make us love Madina as much as we love Makka or even more.”

The religion-state relation is one of integration, not disagreement, and preserving countries is one of the ultimate objectives of the Sharia that should be kept, because economy cannot be stabilized unless there is continual security. Defending, protecting and sacrificing for countries is a Shari obligation and a national duty upon he who lives on its land and takes its heaven as a shelter. In truth, loving countries is not restricted to mere feelings and sentiments, but rather shall be translated into actions and good behavior which is useful for both the individual and the entire society. Therefore, we shall scarifice to make it strong.

At that point, we stress that true patriotism is not mere mottos or phrases; rather, it includes belief, behavior and giving; it is a system of life and a feeling that is aware of the challenges facing it, that makes people feel pain for its pains and to be happy for achieving its dreams, and that makes us all-ready to sacrifice in defense of it and its dignity.