Prof. Dr. Qani Nesimi
Mufti of Tetovo
The Hijrah-a lesson for humankind
“The faithful are indeed brothers. Therefore, make peace between your brothers and be wary of Allah, so that you may receive [His] mercy” (Hujurat 10).
“Say: ‘O People of the Book, come to fall into a common question for us and you; that we shall worship none but Allah, anything not to associate and do not treat one another as lords instead of Allah. But if they turn their head sideways, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims”! (Ali Imran, 64)
“…of the two when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. … “. (Al-Tawba, 40)
The Hijrah with the content and understanding that entails still keeps fresh the journey of Prophet SAW, although it happened more than 14 centuries. The Hijrah was the beginning of a new world, or a new world order.
The word hijra means migration, i.e. the migration of the Prophet SAW from Mecca to Medina with the command of the Almighty Allah, an event which occurred in 622, respectively in the 13 year of the declaration of the Holy Qur’an. This is also the starting date of the new Hijri year.
The Hijrah is not merely a physical displacement of a person from one to another place. In fact it is a result of divine and absolute desire of the Almighty Allah, implemented and put into practice or concretized/shaped by His beloved. The Hijrah it is not a moral and ethic formalism, and empty ideal without content. Instead it carries, within itself the message prepared by all the prophets of the Almighty Allah, from Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and to Muhammad SAW, that will be ‘baked’ and served to be ‘eaten’ in the city of Medina.
The Hijrah itself entails a mentality and a spiritual baggage that is accessible and relevant to everyone who uses reason and common sense, to every man who has no malicious background.
In other words the Hijrah presents the path to truth, justice, good and beauty.
The Hijrah later will reflect peace, freedom, coexistence, respect for the other one, these things will be seen in the letters of Muhammad SAW sent to religious and political leaders of that time, during liberation of Mecca, taking of Jerusalem, North Africa, Balkan Peninsula, Constantinople, etc.
The Almighty Allah, whenever people have deviated from the true divine path, has sent a messenger in order to restore them back to the origin, i.e. belief in the Almighty God. But, when His prophets had faced difficult situations, He supported them by sending announcements and guiding them how to cope with problems and difficulties.
The Hijrah is a divine solution similar to the Arch of the Noah SAW that the Almighty Allah gave to Muhammad SAW. The time in which we are living is full of things, cases of phenomena that have tired our eyes by seeing them, ears by listening, mind by perceiving, and in the end nothing for human kind (freedom of the soul or the right of free expression). What is even worse is that from this exhaustion yet has no hope that human kind will reach the moment of relaxation. And this psychic pressure, this immoral and inhumane torture is seen in the failure of required integration, i.e. a useful union of all human kind around the good and beauty, a mutual respect, and so on, which will be based in the divine and in the sacred. For this we must be fully convinced that remembrance and evocation of divine values from the history that have a universal message, as the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad SAW, it is more than necessary.
The Hijrah also is not running away from the problem but rather creates of a fertile platform for building good example which will serve as water of vitality for all mankind until the last day. The Hijrah more shortly is like the landing of humankind from Paradise to this World and to return back there as perfect and complete.
The Hijrah of the Prophet SAW, was the first and very important in this regard, namely in achieving integration and unification of all human kind, for the development of the human sense as well as for the realization of mutual respect between persons regardless of race, gender , language, even their religious beliefs. The Hijrah when physically happened and spiritually today, revives and refreshes the primordial religious tradition and very much needed in maintaining the necessary good interethnic and interreligious relations in the world. The Hijrah is not simply an act of an ordinary man or any action or efforts deriving from dark ideas and wrapped by various individual interests and assigned group of people. But it is a manifestation of the desire of the Almighty Allah, where as a result it is given the opportunity for retraining and revival of the society in general.
The first steps of the Prophet SAW in this direction was the establishment of the first mosque in Quba and the suffa inside the mosque of Medina known as the Mosque of the Prophet SAW and the unification of all humanity, which begins with unity and brotherhood between the Medinans (Ansar) and Meccans (Muhajirs). The first shows the religious and divine basis, the second knowledge and science base and the third represents the highest level of a society when it is united, or at least when living people feel free their selves. A society which is lacking these basic elements, experiences various crises, such as spiritual crisis, psychological depression, ecological crisis, scientific crisis, ethical crisis, crisis of true freedom of religion, crisis of expression, crisis of life, etc.
So, in other words, the purpose of the Almighty Allah with Hijrah realized through Prophet SAW was transference from lower existential forms and platforms/esfel-i safilin toward higher levels of real humanity/ahsen-i takvim. This involves religious commitment, professional training and development of a sense for a common and integrated life between people. The formation of a society where people will be free to believe, think, live, etc., As much as they would think that they are free to believe, provided that they by using their freedom not to violate or usurp the freedom of others.
Upon reaching the outskirts of Medina, at a place called Quba, the Prophet SAW was placed in the home of Bani Amr ibn Awf, where quickly was build the first mosque in the history of Muslims. In the construction of this mosque have helped themselves Muhammad SAW, Abu Bakr R.A., Umar R.A., etc,. This construction shows for the beginning of the realization of the ideal for which human kind was created and for which ideal the Almighty Allah in the holy Qur’an says:
“And not I have created the jinn and the mankind except that they worship Me. “(Dhariyaat 56)
This, also was the purpose of sending the Prophets, the announcements that has been sent to various messengers.
After this, the Prophet SAW decides to enter in Medina and there he was settled in the house of Abu Ayyub (who died in the siege of Constantinople/Istanbul after the death of the Prophet SAW). In the city of Medina, he built a mosque and within the mosque a study place called suffa. This study centres, in the today’s vocabulary can be called even a university, where it were placed the bases of the city of Medina. Here in this masjid began construction of a new diplomatic worldview, military organization that will fight for freedom and human rights. Also, here it begins the appearance of science as tafsir, hadith, fiqh, ethics, etc. Indeed the suffa was an academy in which epistemology/ilm and ontology/vuxhud were going parallel. Indeed, about human awareness rising in the holy Qur’an and Muhammad SAW have expressed the best words and most attractive in this respect.
In addition to what was indicated above, in Medina the messenger SAW also took an important step and this was the brotherhood between the Muhajirs of Mecca and Ansar of Medina/muahat. Beside this the Prophet SAW through the Constitution of Medina created equal social platform for all residents of Medina regardless whether they were Muslims or not. This Constitution itself includes obligations between Muslims and non-Muslims against each other.
First, it is said this is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation – Ummah. Muhajirs (Meccans arrived to Medina) and the Ansar (Medina who help those who had come from Mecca), each one will take care of their selves by doing righteousness; believers have no right to leave aside any disadvantaged; the violence shall be the enemy of the believers and perpetrators should not have any support from them; all together we will fight the evil even if it derives from their children; a believer should not kill a believer due to non-believer; a Muslim should not conclude peace without the permission of his brother or against his brother; believers must forgive each other or pay off with each other; guarantee of Allah is the same for all; those Jews who respect us will have our help; non-believer dears not to foster against believer; the one that will kill a believer will be killed, and if its forgiven it another issue; all believers should stand up against him who is against believers; a Muslim is not allowed to support the one who brings innovation in religion; and if you have not solution to anything then turn to Allah and His Messenger.
In addition, from the above constitution, in connection with reports of the Muslims towards the People of the Book (ahl-i kitab), respectively against the Jews, we learn that Jews are subject to us, without any injustice, will acquire the right assistance and equality; Jews of Banu ‘Awf are one Ummah with the Muslims. Jews belong to their religion, and Muslims to their religion; no one shall make a crime against allies; those who will be accommodated to the Jews (bitane), will be counted as them; Allies should be careful to mutual intrigue; they should be helped in case of danger; Medina is protected by contract; This contract does not protect him, who is a tyrant or who is guilty; in case of disagreement should address Allah and His Messenger.
From these few words that were said above about the attitude of Muslims, namely the attitude of Muhammad SAW, against others, particularly the Jews, as elaborated in the first constitution of Muslims, it is understand that the activity of Muhammad SAW, after moving to Medina, was based entirely on a mutual respect, a tolerance which also needed in modern world today. This can be seen from the very meaning of the term tolerance and similar expressions that are used in other languages. So the word tolerance (tolere) means patience, long-suffering, patience about thoughts of others, gentleness, taking into consideration others. While words tesamuh and understanding that are used instead of the word tolerance in Islamic literature, have more comprehensive meaning. So they sense a wide coexistence, of a mutual respect, staying and living together, but without trampling on personal principles and individual beliefs. In understanding the other one in Islam it does not exist that a man to force himself, but the man should accept, agree and to be satisfied with the surrounding where he lives. So, not to be tolerant that he has no possibility to kill, but to be tolerant because the other has the right to live. So, shortly, a Muslim should not maltreat himself, but he has an obligation at any time to show humanity, personality, high moral awareness.
And for end, we can say that, Hijrah and the benefits it brought to the city of Medina, the Prophet SAW and his companions gave courage to be successful when they have lived and a visionary example for future generations. Therefore with full conviction we can say that the world today can be successful in its action for dialogue, tolerance only if it is taken into account a very important condition for which Muhammad SAW took care in particular, and that is sincerity in purpose, in words and in action. This is the element by which Islam in general and in particular Hijrah challenges the history and current world.
The message of Hijrah for the today’s men in general and for the Muslims in particular, is that they cannot be successful in doing evil, thinking bad, having bad intentions, especially using the good intentions of others and at the end pretending like doing well. The Hijrah teaches us to build and not to ruin, to be beneficial and to blow to terrorism.
Even for us Muslims who live in this region, Hijrah teaches us that, to be successful we have to know ourselves and the other in order to live together, to regulate our social relations in the best way in the spirit of understanding and work in preservation and promotion of our social and religious institutions.
Islamic Religious Community of the Republic of Macedonia is the only institution that represents the Muslims in Macedonia, so every Muslim who wants to have a positive place and play a progressive role in this society, should help the institution to strengthen and promote in the best possible way. Any other tendency would only harm the people living in this place and it would be an act in contrary to the orders of the Hijrah of the Prophet SAW.
Faleminderit! Thank you.