Today being the first day of Muharram 1436 A.H (after Hijrah), Muslims worldwide are prayerful and expressing gratitude for witnessing the new year.
As expected, the ummah will recall the essence and significant of the migration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Abubakr to Madina from Mecca to escape the persecution from the unbelievers mostly the Quraysh, the tribe the Prophet belonged to.
Most times when the Hijrah is discussed, we tend to limit ourselves to the details describing how the Prophet hid in a cave or how he was received in Medina. Though it is important to discuss these developments, it inevitably diverts us from discussing the true substance of the event of the migration.
According to Sahar El-Nadi: “Within a modern setting where we have cars, planes and internet, a trip in the desert on camel-back to reach a distant oasis with sword-wielding infidel thugs in pursuit becomes more of a folktale than a true-life experience rich with lessons we could all learn and practice until the end of time, no matter how modern or educated we are.
“Very few of us realise that Hijrah did not end as soon as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reached Madina safely and was welcomed with the famous song. Most Muslims are not aware that Hijrah actually extends until our present day so each one of us could enjoy some of its benefits.
He said another dimension of Hijrah happens discreetly in the heart, and eventually reflects on one’s behaviour and relationship with the rest of the world and not just physically moving to a new place, but also spiritually and ethically, by choosing good over evil and ethics over corruption, and pledging to withstand the tribulations of struggling to stay on that path for life.
“This implies being knowledgeable and mindful of God’s commands and prohibitions in the Quran and Sunnah, being strong enough to control one’s urges, being aware of the world around us, and seeking to rise in rank in the sight of God by constantly working to be a better person and a better Muslim,” he said.
“Say (O Muhammad): If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surah Al-Imran 3: 31).
“And whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and whatever he forbids, avoid (Surah AI-Hashr 59: 7).
Muslims are also enjoined to uphold the regular and special acts of worship including fasting, obligatory and supererogatory prayers, Zakat and sadaqah, and Hajj among others observed in the last 354 days of the 12 months. May Allah count us among the inhabitants of Jannah (Paradise).