ItsConcept and Reality
Prof. AbdulFattah Abdul Ghany al-Awary
Dean of Facultyof Ausul ad-Deen
Calls appear in social media, suchas (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail) inviting young people to emigrate from theirsocieties and homelands, arguing that the Islamic societies now are ignorant,infidel, and perverted societies to the extent that Muslim fears for hisreligion and his morals.
In this corrupted sense, themisguided believes that emigration from the Islamic societies is an obligationas was the case of emigration from Mecca before the conquest. However, you mayknow that this concept is wrong and contradicts the moderation of Islam, theease of its legislation, the accuracy of its rulings, its safety from inertia,being flexible, and the familiarity between minor and major issues, so that theminor issues are understood within the framework of major issues, not away ofthem.
It is extraordinary that they citedthe verses that were revealed in emigration in the age of the Prophet (PBUH),at the beginning of Islam, when the believers were few, and the infidels weremany. The minority of believers were supposed then to emigrate from thecountries of infidels due to their abuse, starvation, and intimidation to safecountries that protected them and respected their religion and its rituals.
Today, those who violate the Islamiclaw try to apply the verses that were revealed in the emigration of the firstMuslims who lived in the infidel societies that despised and humiliated them, tothe citizens who live in Muslim societies that respected them, respected Islam,its rituals, and rulings as well. It is sufficient that the constitution ofMuslim societies today provides that Islam is the religion of the country andIslamic law is the source of legislation for its rulings and legislation thatregulate the affairs of life.
We will demonstrate in this paperthe reality of emigration and its concept.
Evidence of Dissenters
Despite all these differencesbetween the conditions of emigration of first Muslims and the stability ofsocieties and missing these conditions now, however, those misguided people citethe verses that called for emigration and use it as evidence for theircorrupted call for the emigration of Muslims from their countries. Such versesthey cite mistakenly are:
Allah said: “And those who believe, but have notemigrated -- you have no duty of friendship towards them till they emigrate.”[Q. 8:72]
Allah said: “And those who havebelieved afterwards and emigrated, and struggled with you -- they belong toyou;” [Q. 8:75]
Allah said: “And those the angelstake, while still they are wronging themselves -- the angels will say, ’In whatcircumstances were you?’ They will say, ’We were abased in the earth.’ Theangels will say, ’But was not God’s earth wide, so that you might haveemigrated in it?’ Such men, their refuge shall be Gehenna -- an evilhomecoming! --” [Q. 4:97]
Before we respond to theirmisunderstanding of this verse, we should explain first the meaning ofemigration and its true significance that shows the tolerance of Islam and themoderation of its teachings.
Meaning of emigration in the Quran:
Muhajarah:It meansleaving homeland with the intention of settling in another land, i.e. toabandon his family, because they were not keen to keep him staying there. Andthis applied to those who emigrated to Abyssinia or those who emigrated toMedina.
Thus, the emigrants emigrated,because their people pushed them and forced them to leave their homeland, asmentioned in Al Imran: “And those who emigrated, and were expelled from theirhabitations” [Q. 3:195] The Muslims emigrated the first emigration to Abyssiniabecause of the mistreatment of the polytheists they encountered, then theProphet (PBUH) emigrated to Medina, and all Muslims joined him because of theharm they suffered by the polytheists, and there is no evidence that thepolytheists expelled Muslims.
Another evidence of forcing Muslimsto emigrate is the saying of Waraqa Ibn Nawfal: I wish I were young and couldlive up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostleasked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa replied, anyone who came with somethingsimilar to what you have brought was treated with hostility."
At-Tiby said in his interpretationof a verse of “An-Nisaa”: “But was not God’s earth wide, so that you might haveemigrated in it?” [Q. 4:97] You were able to migrate from Mecca to somecountries in which you were prevented to show your religion as Muslims did whenthey migrated to Abyssinia. This is evidence that man should migrate if hecould not practice the rituals of his religion or worship Allah.
Responding to evidence of dissenters
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi interpretedthis verse as follows:
And whoever emigrates for the sakeof Allah to another country finds good and grace in this country, then hispeople will be ashamed of their mistreatment with him, because his conditionsimproved in the country of destination.
This means that the people hate emigrationfrom homeland for fear of hardship and adversity while traveling. However,Allah gives them valuable graces in their emigration, what becomes a reason fortheir well-being.
Thus, Allah said: “Whoso emigratesin the way of God will find in the earth many refuges and plenty.” [Q. 4:100]
As for the second impediment toemigrate is that the person said: If I went out of my country to seek this purpose,then perhaps I reached it, and perhaps I did not reach it, so it is better notto waste the present luxury because of asking for something that I may reachand may not reach.
Thus, Allah said: “Whoso goes forthfrom his house an emigrant to God and His Messenger, and then death overtakeshim, his wage shall have fallen on God.” [Q. 4:100]
TheMeaning is apparent. Who intends to obey Allah, and then he cannot do thisobedience, Allah gives him full reward as narrated by the Prophet (PBUH).
Shaykh Taher bin Ashour (RA) mentioned that scholarsagreed that verses of emigration (hijrah) became no longer applicableafter Fath Makkah, since hijrah was a must in order to part Mushriks,enemies of Islam and to be able to worship Allah freely. This is demonstratedwith the Prophetic Hadith "There is no emigration after the conquest (ofMakkah) but only Jihad [(striving and fighting in the cause of Allah) willcontinue] and good intention" Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said after"O Allah! Complete the emigration of my companions and do not turn themrenegades"
However, judging according to this verse "But was not Allah's earth spacious that you might have emigratedtherein?" [Q. 4: 97] allows Mujtahids to look thoroughly at cases of hijrah.These six cases are:
The first case: When a believer lives in a country wherehis faith is subjected to ftnah and he might be compelled to become a kafirwhen emigration is possible. In this case hijrah is a must.
The second case: When a believer lives in a non-Muslimcountry and his faith is not subjected to fitnah, but he might be killedor taken as a captive and it is not safe for himself or his money. In thiscase, he is subjected to danger which is haram and thus he shouldemigrate.
The third case: When a believer lives in a country of anon-Muslim majority population where his faith, worship and money are notendangered. However, he is being ruled, judged and treated in accordance withnon-Muslim rules and regulations in various aspects of life. In this case, itis hateful and disapproved to remain in this country.
The fourth case: When non-Muslims take over a Muslimcountry and have power over it. However, Muslims' faith, worship and money arenot subjected to fitnah and they are ruled in accordance with Islamic Shariah.In this case, hijrah is optional.
The fifth case: When non-Muslims have power and authorityover some Muslim countries. However, these countries are still ruled by Muslimrulers who apply Islamic shariah and observe Muslims' worship rightsunder the supervision of non-Muslims. This is known as protectorate, occupationor mandate. In this case, there is no doubt that hijrah is not a must.
The sixth case: When a believer lives in a country wereindecencies and novelties prevail and many things take place in contradictionwith Islam; good and bad deed are mixed up. However, Muslims are not compelledto do them. They might or might not be able to change them with words. In suchcase, Malik ibn Anas narrated that Muslim must emigrate although this happenedin Kairouan but none of its scholars called for hijrah. It is also worthmentioning that this happened during the Fatimid Caliphate and none of itsscholars emigrated.
From the above clarification that included verses andhadiths related to the true meaning of the concept of hijrah, it isclear that extremist groups misunderstood these texts since they apply only onhijrah from Makkah to Medinah. This is demonstrated by ProphetMuhammad (PBUH) saying "There is no emigration after the conquest (ofMakkah) but only Jihad [(striving and fighting in the cause of Allah) willcontinue] and good intention" This Prophetic hadith shows that itnot permissible for Muslims to emigrate out of fear for their religion after FathMakkah as it became dar salam. In addition, Aisha (peace be upon her)said "Today there is no (Hijrah) emigration. A believer used to run awaywith his religion to Allah and His Apostle lest he should be put to trialbecause of his religion. Today Allah has made Islam triumphant, and today abeliever can worship his Lord wherever he likes. But the deeds that are stillrewardable (in place of emigration) are Jihad and good intentions."
Indeed, after theconquest of Mecca, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: "There is noemigration anymore, but only Jihad (in the Cause of Allah) and a good intention".In another narration, that Hadith included "There is no emigration afterthe conquest of Mecca". As a matter of fact, the shafi'is andother scholars stated that: emigration from the abode of war to the abode ofIslam shall remain till Doomsday. Indeed, they interpreted the abovementionedHadith in two ways:
First interpretation: there shall be noemigration after the conquest of Mecca, since the city had become, already, anabode of Islam (Dar al-Islam); thus, it is unimaginable that someone mayabandon from it.
Second interpretation:which is more authentic, states that the required virtuous emigration and itsapparent privileges had come to an end after the conquest of Mecca; hence, anygood that could be an outcome from emigration shall be achieved from striving(practicing Jihad in the cause of Allah) and enjoying good intentions as urgedin the Prophetic Hadith. Thus, those with good intentions shall be rewardedwith the same rewards of emigration.
As a matter of fact,the reality of Muslims all over the world, at present, matches with what isincluded in the abovementioned Hadith; and so, where shall it be then thatMuslim town or region that prevents Muslims from practicing their faith, ortortures them, or forces them to convert from Islam into another faith, so thatwe shall ask those Muslims to emigrate to another land, otherwise, they shallbe deemed as disbelievers?
How come those pervertsclaim that all Quranic verses, tackling emigration, call for abandoning anddiscarding the Muslim societies!
Hence, it is apparentto us that those perverts are prejudiced in accusing a certain society withdisbelief; indeed, declaring a society as an abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) oran abode of disbelief (Dar Kufr) depends on how far people are secured. If aMuslim lives in a faithless country, or a country that believes in anotherfaith rather than Islam, and practices the Islamic rituals peacefully andfreely, then, he/she are living in an abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam), and theyshall not be obliged to emigrate and desert it.
In point of fact, allMuslims were obliged to emigrate from Mecca before conquering it, since theysuffered from sedition (Fitnah) and lack of security to practice their faithexplicitly. Thus, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) ordered them to emigrate toAbyssinia, although its people were not Muslim at that time, yet, they wereChristians, as well as their king; however, Muslims found security there topractice their faith freely.
There is no doubt thatthose perverts are mistaken in accusing society with disbelief (Kufr); how comea country where prayers are called to every Adhan and Islamic rituals arepracticed in peace and tranquility, shall be described as an abode of disbelief(Dar Kufr), that Muslims are obliged to desert?
Does anyone of theseperverts have been forced to change his/her faith? Does anyone have beenprohibited from carrying out their prayers, fasting, Hajj or practicing his/herlegitimate rights to earn their livings, to study or to take over?
How shall a society be regardedas anti-Islamic while it acknowledges Islam as its official religion?Recognizing Islam equals testifying the Shahada: "There is no deity but Allahand that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah". After such officialacknowledgement, verbally and in writing, how come a society declared asdisbeliever (Kafir)?
As a matter of fact,the Quranic verses tackling emigration (Hijra) were exclusively concerned withemigration from Mecca to Medina, where Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Muslimbelievers resided in. The emigrants (Muhajirun) participated with the Prophetand other Muslims in their Jihad and strive, to achieve the welfare of allMuslims and dispose of the disbelievers' sedition (Fitnah) to abandon Islam.Hence, emigration (Hijra) at that time was an obligation, and when the conquestof Mecca took place in the year 8 H., the city had become an abode of Islam(Dar al-Islam); thus, the obligation of emigration (Hijra) had been disclaimed,as mentioned in the Prophetic Hadith: " There is no emigration afterthe conquest of Mecca, but only Jihad (in the Cause of Allah) and a goodintention. If you are called to arms then go forth".
TheOrdinances of Emigration (Hijra)
Emigration from theabode of disbelief (Dar al-Kufr) to the abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) isremaining till Doomsday; yet, is it obligatory or desirable?
In fact, scholarsstated that if a Muslim feels endangered and unable to practice his/her faith,hence, he/she is obliged to emigrate; however, if he/she is safe and secured,in such case, emigration shall not be an obligation, yet, a Prophetic Sunnah. Otherscholars mentioned that if a Muslim's residence in the abode of disbelief (Daral-Kufr) shall benefit other Muslims in the abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) oreven the Muslims in the abode of disbelief (Dar al-Kufr) by educating them,serving their interests or even serving Islam itself by disseminating itsprinciples and teachings and refuting the misconceptions and accusationsagainst it, then, living in such society is better than deserting it. Yet,living in such society requires a Muslim with strong faith, personality, will,power and influence in order to accomplish his/her mission. Indeed, Muslimspreachers and traders during the early Islamic ages had had a significantimpact in spreading Islam in the lands of disbelief (Kufr).
In the same context, ifreprehensible evil acts are spreading in a society where a Muslim is living in,and he/she feels endangered, and cannot abolish such evil, then, he/she isobliged to emigrate. However, if that Muslim enjoys a strong faith and ethicsand can fight such evils, then he/she may stay, and more than that, his/herstay might be an obligation if there is no one else capable of fighting backevils except him/her, as said by al-Mawardi. Hence, we should consider theProphetic Hadith tackling the time where temptations and seditions (Fitnah) mayincrease, urging to avoid them and to be satisfied with shepherding in thedesert, so that a Muslim feels safe to practice his/her faith. Allah Almightysays: "It has been revealed to you in the Book that: ‘When you hearAllah's signs being disbelieved in and mocked, do not sit with them until theyengage in some other talk, for otherwise you would surely be like them’. Allahwill gather the hypocrites and disbelievers, all together, into Hell"[Q: 4:140]
As such, those pervertscalling for emigration (Hijra), where shall they go? All countries at present are having similar rulingsystems, no country is better than another, besides, the behaviors and themorals of people all over the world are very close and similar. Indeed, a Manmay expect that other countries rather than his/hers are the best, yet, he/shegets shocked after emigration and discovering that no society is 100% virtuous.If those perverts shall emigrate to the deserts, then, who shall reform andamend the corrupted society they left behind?
In addition to that,there is no need to abandon the established Muslim societies in order to buildnew ones, since these societies are neither abodes of disbelief (Dar Kufr), aspreviously explained, nor corrupted communities to the extent a Muslim feelsendangered to live in; however, those who, falsely, feel endangered are thosewith weak faith and personality.
Hence, if Muslimsocieties have their cons and negatives, will abandoning them permissible?
The answer is: any societyhas its flaws and impieties; the utopian society is the society of ProphetMohammad (PBUH) and his companions; however, individual errors took place. Andyet, the Prophet (PBUH) never called to abandon the community due to theoccurrence of human errors; however, he called upon sinners to repent andendeared it to them, as mentioned in the Prophetic Hadith: " By the One in Whose Hand my soulis, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people whowould commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgivethem".
Hence, the conclusionshall be: abandoning the society due to the increase of atrocious acts isimpermissible; it is rather an involvement in corrupting it. Indeed, everymember in that society is religiously obliged to reform it as much as he/shecan. Prophet Mohammad said in such vein: "The likeness of the man whoobserves the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgressesthem is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some ofthem are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who arein its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upperdeck, and say to them: 'If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shallnot harm you.' If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carryout their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead(with their plan), all of them will remain safe".