Last friday, we have been reminded about the great event in Islamic history called the Hijrah. The event which marked the beginning of the Islamic Calendar. Our most beloved Prophet Muhammad praises of Allah be upon him migrated from the city of Mekkah to the city of Medina. But have we noticed, it was not just a physical shift and movement. It was a change; a change from the torturings and sufferings in Mekkah to the gradual development of an ummah, a people whose strength and unity was respected by many. This clearly showed that Hijrah was a change in condition. A change from a sad condition to another which is honourable and exemplary. This is the hijrah, and the kind of migration that Prophet Muhammad praises of Allah be upon Him meant when he said in his Hadith
“لاَ هِجْرَةَ بَعدَ الفَتْحِ وَلَكِن جِهَادٌ وَنِيَّةٌ”
”There is no more Hijrah after the victory of Mekkah, but there is struggle and good intentions”
Let us ask ourselves. Does hijrah only occur during the life of Prophet Muhammad praises of Allah be upon him? Can we still perform the hijrah today? Everytime, when 1st of Muharram comes, do we only narrate the stories of Hijrah? The great achievements of Prophet? Would all these be sufficient for us? With all confidence, I believe our response is no. Hijrah still exists. Hijrah is still alive. However, this Hijrah is not a physical shift, not a physical migration. It does not at all mean moving house or changing citizenships. Hijrah is all about changing our conditions for the better. Improving on our conditions, individually, our families, our community and our ummah. But Dear Brothers, would you not agree that we won’t be able to do all that, as long as we have not even identified our own weaknesses?
For a start, let us investigate our attitudes and behaviour. And this investigation hasn’t come at a better time than now. Allah reminds us in the Holy Quran Surah Al-Hasyr verse 18 :
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
”O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for the morrow. Fear Allah: for Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do”.
So let us analyse ourselves. What is our attitude towards all our responsibilities? What has been our attitude towards our beloved families? What is our attitude towards seeking knowledge? What is our real attitude towards development in all areas of life that we dream of? All my dear young men, what is your attitude towards your education in schools, colleges and universities? What has been your attitude towards this religion, and this faith that you all embrace? Have we thought of all these questions? Lets just say, if we find out that our attitudes are not the best, we don’t dedicate the proper attention to such things, or we just do as we wish, and if its too difficult, we pretend as if such things are not important, shall we not now resolve to work on such attitudes? Let us all perform a hijrah, a hijrah of attitudes. The choice is ours. To have a positive attitude. To have a more rewarding attitude. Let’s decide and resolve to have the best attitude for ourselves. And the more we should, because we all belong to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h.
We hope that we have not forgotten that all of us belong to this ummah, the ummah of the Leader of all Prophets. He, the Prophet praises of Allah be upon Him, has shown to us, that he does not do but the best, he does not say, but the most kind and soft words, he does not show but the most honourable attitude, he does not produce but the best actions. Hence Brothers, this is our Hijrah. And these are opportunities for us to work very hard and prove our true covenant to God. What if we still continue with our old ways, what if we are still not taking our responsibilities seriously, not taking knowledge, our families, our children all seriously, what would our children learn from us? They learn more from looking at us than hearing our words, no matter how loud those words or shoutings are. They will follow subconsciously how we do things, rather than what we tell them to do. And certainly, we would never condone our children to have negative attitudes towards all good things, towards their education and schooling. We must always remind ourselves that the greatest teacher for our kids are ourselves, parents.
We must analyse our attitudes carefully. If we have been negligent and ignorant in our lives, let us change this attitude. Let us change to become obedient Muslims, and let us regret the past. If we have had no time for the really important and fundamental things in our lives, let us think again and identify what’s really important, our spouses, families, kids, parents, neighbours, helping those in need. Have we spent time with them, asking them how they are, whether they need our help or at least our listening ears. Have we spent time to reflect on the Quran, read and try to understand it? Have we spent time on thinking of the wonders of the creations of Allah? Have we spent time to cheer up the less priviledged and the destitute?
Let us move from just understanding the basics about Islam to learning deeper and broader on this religion. Let us change our attitudes from just thinking about ourselves, from being selfish to being selfless individuals, working for the good of the community and our nation. Let us also change from being narrow-minded and having a rigid thinking, refusing to explore new horizons in thinking for solutions to problems of the day. Let us change from just giving damaging criticisms and comments, and having wild misconceptions on things heard or seen, to becoming objective Muslims, willing to discuss and debate rationally and constructively. These are the ”hijrahs” that we can do.
All of us need to think of what hijrah we afford to do. After we have identified it, we must resolve to carry them out in an uncomprising manner. And we seek the help of Allah to do it successfully.