The month of Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar. As we enter this blessed month we should remind ourselves about the Hijrah and the actions that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم took to make the Hijrah. More specifically, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم sought Nusrah from powerful tribes, so that they would believe in Islam and support him. This support came from the Ansar (ra) who saw the immense opportunity in serving in the cause of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
During the Khilafah of Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) the Sahabah (ra) agreed to start the Islamic calendar in the year that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم made Hijrah (i.e. migration from Makkah) to Madinah and established the first Islamic State. According to the Seerah of ibn Hisham, he صلى الله عليه وسلم arrived in Madinah on the 12th of Rabi Al-Awwal. As we enter the blessed month of Muharram in the year 1431, we should remind ourselves of the Hijrah and its significance.
The Seerah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم is dear to the hearts of all believers. It is part of our iman to love the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and therefore we joyfully analyze each detail of his blessed life. However, it is important that we do not stop there. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has made it fard (obligatory) to follow the Sunnah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم. Therefore, when we look at the Seerah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم - and the Hijrah in particular - we should focus on what actions he undertook to achieve such a feat. As we know, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم did not do anything related to the Deen out of his own desires. Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
"Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed." [An-Najm, 53:3-4]
Consequently, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was guided by the Wahy (revelation) from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to undertake those actions necessary to make the Hijrah from dar-al kufr to dar-al Islam.
Hijrah: Its Relationship to Seeking Nusrah
The Seerah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم is an integral part of the Sunnah, and is just as much a part of the revelation as is the Qur'an. More importantly, we are obligated to follow the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم - even in his method of Da'wah. As Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed in the following ayat:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
"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." [Al-Imran, 3:31]
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
"And whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and whatever he forbids you avoid it." [Al-Hashr, 59:7]
Consequently, when examining the amazing journey of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم, it is important to recognize that the Hijrah did not just happen by accident. Rather, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم undertook the action of seeking ‘Nusrah' (i.e. seeking the support of the people of power in society who would believe in Islam and transfer authority to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). According to the Seerah, the Hijrah marks the transition from the phase in the Da'wah known as "Seeking the Nusrah" to the phase where Islam is implemented in the form of a state. The Hijrah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم was a direct result of seeking, and subsequently receiving the Nusrah. As narrated in the following hadith, Allah سبحانه وتعالى ordered the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to seek Nusrah:
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas (ra) in Ibn Hajar's Fath ul Bari, Tuhaft ul Ahwadhi & al Kalam as well as Hakim, Abu Nua'im and Baihaqi in Dala'il with sound narrations, Ibn Abbas quotes Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) who says:
"When Allah سبحانه وتعالى ordered the Prophet to approach the Arab tribes, I and Abu Bakr accompanied the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to Mina until the court of the Arab tribes."
Although the Muslims did enjoy safety in Madinah, it was not the main objective of the Hijrah. That is, the Hijrah to Madinah was not made to relieve the Muslims of persecution in Makkah, or to find them a safe haven. We see this clearly in fact that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم was seeking much more than safety for himself and the Sahabah (ra) when he refused the conditional offer of support from the tribe of Bani Shaiban, who offered to protect the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم from the Arabs but not the Persians. He replied to their offer by saying:
"Your reply is in no way bad, for you have spoken eloquently and truthfully. (But) God's religion can only be engaged in by those who encompass all sides." [Abu Nu'aym, Al-Hakim and Al-Bayhaqi]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم continued to seek Nusrah despite the refusal of several tribes; he did not waver, nor despair or change his course. ‘Zaad al Ma'ad' reports from al-Waqidi said:
"The tribes known to us whom the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم approached and called them are Banu ‘Aamer ibn Sa'sa', Muharib ibn Hafsah, Fazarah, Ghassan, Murrah, Haneefah, Sulaym, ‘Abs, Banu Nadhar, Banu Bika', Kindah, Kalb, Harith ibn Ka'ab, ‘Udrah and the Hadhramis. None of them responded positively."
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم persisted in seeking Nusrah until Allah سبحانه وتعالى blessed His Deen with Nusrah from the Ansar. His persistence on seeking the Nusrah demonstrates that this action (of seeking Nusrah) is fard (obligatory) when seeking authority for Islam.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى Grants His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم the Support
When Mus'ab ibn Umair (ra) was sent to Madinah to spread the Message of Islam, it took him one year of tireless work in that city before its leaders journeyed to Makkah to transfer their authority over to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by giving him the Ba'yah. This Ba'yah was called Bayat-ul Harb (Allegiance of War). Although there was no war, it was called Bayat-ul Harb because it indicated the willingness of the Muslims to fight, when necessary, to protect the Da'wah and the newly established Islamic State. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had invested four years of Da'wah, towards most of the tribes in Najd (the large area between Makkah and Madinah) before he received the Nusrah.
The Quraysh understood the political importance of Nusrah. They understood that once RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم was able to achieve the leadership in Madinah that he would challenge their dominance over the Arabs. Consequently, they became desperate and resorted to means that went completely against the laws of their tribal society: killing their own. As Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed:
وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ
"And when those who disbelieved devised plans against you that they might confine you or slay you or drive you away." [Al-Anfaal, 8:30]
It is critical for us, the Muslims, to realize that this event not only marks the beginning of our calendar, but more importantly it commemorates the establishment of the nucleus of the first Islamic State. For hundreds of years to come this nucleus would spread Islam to the neighboring lands, liberating one oppressed people after another and bringing them the Justice of the Islamic system.
Madinah: First Place in Islam ruled by Allah's سبحانه وتعالى Law
Prior to the establishment of the first Islamic State, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahabah (ra) formed a political party that advocated change from a society that ruled by other than what Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed to a society that only ruled by what Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed. After the Hijrah, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was the one who implemented this divine law. By attaining this leadership, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم established a societal structure where all matters would be referred back to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. No longer would humanity be held to the despotic rule of men. Rather, they would now enjoy the tranquility that can only be achieved from submitting the government and the courts to the Wahy (revelation) from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. In other words, Madinah was the first patch on earth to experience the Justice of Islam. It was here that the solutions by Allah سبحانه وتعالى to humanity's problems were first implemented, including those that relate to governing structures, social arrangements, and economic transactions.
Al-Ansar: Those Who gave Nusrah to RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم
When recalling this journey of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم, it is also important to remember the Ansar (ra). It was these Sahabah (ra) who saw the immense opportunity to support the Deen of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. In the Glorious Quran, Allah سبحانه وتعالى has described the Ansar with qualities that every true believer aspires to attain. Allah سبحانه وتعالى was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed:
وَالسَّابِقُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
"And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the people of Madinah who gave Nusrah to Islam) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success." [At-Tawba, 9:100]
In the saheeh hadith, it is narrated that we are obligated to love the Ansar:
"Love for the Ansar is a sign of faith and hatred for the Ansar is a sign of hypocrisy." [Bukhari & Muslim]
"None but the believer loves them, none but the hypocrite hates them. He who loved them loved Allah and he who hated them hated Allah." [Tirmidhi]
Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم loved the Ansar:
"The Prophet saw the women and children (of the Ansar) coming forward. (The sub-narrator said, "I think that Anas said, 'They were returning from a wedding party.'") The Prophet stood up and said three times, "By Allah! You are from the most beloved people to me." [Bukhari]
Where are the Ansar of Today?
A year ago, we watched the streets of Gaza flowing with the blood of this noble Ummah. Today, the oppression still continues even though the cameras have been turned off. We are once again in need of leadership of the likes of the Ansar who were willing to follow the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم even if he led them into the ocean. The condition of the Muslims today is similar to the condition of the Muslims prior to the Hijrah - the Muslims have no security and the enemies of Islam have the upper hand. Just as Sumayiah (ra) and other Muslims were brutally killed in Makkah, we are slaughtered in Gaza, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnya, and many other places. However, once RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم got the Nusrah from the Ansar, he was able to provide sanctuary for the believers. Similarly, once the Ansar (i.e. the people of power and influence) of today rise up and see Islam as more important than their wealth, family, and lives - they, by the Will of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, will provide protection to the Muslims from the war machines of the colonial powers.
The Muslims must work to convince these influential people to give Nusrah to Islam. We must convince the people of power and influence that attaining Jannah is more important than their military ranks and medals. We must make them aware that such things have no weight on the Day of Judgment - unless they were used for Allah's سبحانه وتعالى cause.
May Allah سبحانه وتعالى help us to work as the Sahabah (ra) did and invite the people of power and influence to Islam. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى guide the influential people amongst the Muslims. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى change our state of fear to one of security.
وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ النَّاسُ فَآوَاكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
"Call to mind how He gave you shelter when you were a few in number and were oppressed in the land, ever fearing lest the enemy would kidnap you. He made you strong with His help and provided you a safe asylum and gave you pure things for sustenance so that you may give thanks". [Al-Anfaal, 8:26]
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