By Haroon Ishola Balogun
The new Islamic year (1442 Hijri) is finally here. This is different from the Gregorian calendar where the new year is marked with fanfare and explosives. The Prophet of Islam did not declare any new hijri a celebration or festive day. In as much as Muslims like to identify with the Islamic new year, care must be taken not to over do it in a manner that will run ultra vires to the dictates of Islam.
Muslims you should constantly use the occasion to assess their lives, set goals and make decision to change the the tide for positive development.
Historically, Islamic calendar is dated from the time of the immigration to Medina as it marked the turning point in Islamic history from being in an oppressed minority situation to becoming the majority in terms of religious, political, and military power.
Hijrah is can be said to be the momentous migration made by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Mecca to Medina. It was an occasion of great celebration and joy, a celebration of freedom from oppression. It marked the expansion of Islam worldwide. It was the start of a period when the moved from being the oppressed man of Makkah to the one who returned as a compassionate ruler.
Again, this of course does not limit the action to only Muharram 1, a Muslim must reflect daily and seek to change bad situation all the time.
Hijrah is about change in one’s life. It is about bringing positive development and advancement in one’s life.
Our personal lives are not immune from this turmoil. Many times we all seek to correct the course of our lives to maximize our share of worldly and spiritual fulfillment. Whether its to inculcate better Islamic habits or others related to secular aspects of our lives, the process of personal change provides us with an opportunity to improve ourselves.
On great lessons about Hijrah is the brotherhood. Muslims emigrated from Makkah with little or nothing with them, and they were given a warm welcome in Madinah giving them all what their blood brothers could not give them in Makkah. They shared their houses, food and whatever they had to help their Muslim brothers from Makkah and make them comfortable. This remains the best expressions of brotherhood in the history of humanity. This was the unity of the Ummah under Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and that has continued to spread among Muslims.
As we mark Hijrah, let us reflect as the world slips into chaos, disintegration, disease and anarchy, life becomes difficult again. We can only reflect and change our ways, make our own Hijrah- from sinful acts to righteousness, that is when we will gain the pleasure of Allah.
Again, another valuable lessons of Hijrah is that it should provide us the strength to face the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the entailing economic downturn and then change the tide. If we have the determination and the political will to do, then it will be achieved. We have the capacity and the essential wherewithal to change the situation as given by Almighty Allah. If we choose the wrong path, or take the wrong decision, that will not mean predestination or the “Will of Allah” but our own calamitous path we chose to follow. Some countries took the hard decision and they are better off today. Yes, it might be a very painful decision but the end will will be better.
The truth indeed is that you can not be better today if you did not set out to become better yesterday and took the necessary actions for that betterment. It is not easy leaving your birth place, families, friends, and close associate and sought a new life elsewhere as done by the Prophet and his few companions then. The Prophet (s.a.w) had to slip away in the night avoiding murderers and returned years later as a victor. The migration was not about saving his life, but it was about saving the message and fulfilling his mission. The lessons from the Hijrah are timeless and for us forever to reflect upon. It will forever remain a reference point in Islam.
Hijrah is a process of transfer to a better situation to enable you to be productive and active vicegerent on Earth.
It is not meant to be a means to find a comfortable place where one would relax and stop being productive. Rather, it is a search for an environment more favorable to continuous and constructive productivity for Allah’s sake.
Also, your hijrah doesn’t have to be migration from place to place, but it could be migration from a non-halal job to a halal one, or migration from sins to repentance, or from evil deeds to good deeds.
Therefore, to seek a change in our conditions, we must do things differently from the usual way. So, the road from misery to fulfillment, from good to great, and from Allah’s displeasure to seeking His pleasure starts with you getting on the process of change and hijah. As Allah says in the Quran: “Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves” (Suratur-Raa’d 13:11].