Migration to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.): “Migration of the Body and Soul
The main axes of the subject:
1- A great Prophetic migration for change
2- Persistent Migration
3- Two kinds of migration
4- Beware of the counter migration
We will learn about the greatness of the prophetic migration with the meaning of resettlement as well as encourage spiritualistic migration through repentance and the will for change.
Exporting the subject:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “The one of you in this world staying in his place in order to speak the truth, deter the false and help righteousness is better than migrating with me.”1
Two people will not argue about the linguistic meaning of the word migration. This is because it means deserting one thing to move to another, or something in this context.
The word has become after Islam most commonly used in order to refer to the event of the journey of the prophet (s.a.a.w.) and Muslims from Mecca to Medina, the city that shined on his arrival. The Prophet (a.s.) migrated with the Muslims after suffering a great deal of oppression and injustice.
– A great prophetic migration for change:
The prophetic migration was a movement of bodies (physical shift) from one place to another. However, it was also a shift for time in history, the past of which was never going to be like the present and future.
In fact, it was a movement to desert the confusing conditions of time and place to a point that will open hope for a change in the circumstances. It was a journey that was going to spark the possibility for changing for the best.
Therefore, migration took place in order to fold away a stage of depression, punishment, denial and conspiracy during which the religion and its embracers suffered all kinds of oppression, pursuit, torture and punishment. This conclusion happened in order to create a prelude for another stage, which was designed to be a foundational stage to take the Muslims and Islam away from siege and blockade into freedom and liberation. It took place to tear down the wall of ignorance and pre-Islamic paganism as well as to break the shackles of humiliation to move into pride and change from bedouinism into civilization.
Migration was a step forward for this small group. Besides, it was going to be pioneering for mankind in its entirety, shifting towards new ages of light away from the ages of darkness. In this context, it was a divine plan to produce the new man.
In order to find a safe haven for the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) as well as religion and religious individuals, where they can practice the rituals of their religion and circulate it as a kind of dogma, Sharia, concepts and values, this is why Medina was a new base and a springboard for movement and launch. It was no longer an invitation that was choked by the blockade of the Meccians in order to become the core of the religious society that could practice its life in light of its religion without any boundaries. That city, Medina, was going to become the city of a light that illuminates with new morals across the horizon of the desert.
This group, which experienced depression and restriction, had a duty to widen its horizons and ambitions, consequently its dreams. Therefore, migration took place in order to widen the horizons of the very first company of believers. The migration placed that company of believers in a position that was going to give birth to the new man. From the womb of those circumstances, new creative energies exploded through the pains of struggle (jihad) and confrontation. Hence, new glowing stars rose from the environment of the new fights, mirroring ethical perfections, individually and communally.
In other short words, the experience of the prophetic migration was similar to the ark of Noah (a.s.) who overflowed instead of water with light that shined over the worlds and times. Migration charged the will of the believers rendering them feel stronger and urging them to widen the circle of their interests and the horizons of their visions, which transcended the coexisting distress, moment and place.
Allah (The Exalted) said: “And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him – his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.”2 The verse urges the Muslims at the time of the Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) to migrate to the same place where the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went, even if that movement was going to cost them their lives on the way to their aim. Allah (The Exalted) had promised a great reward to whoever migrates to Allah and the Prophet (s.a.a.w.), a reward that venerated the prophet, whether the migratory reached or did not reach to his destiny.
Migration, as the author of book Sahib al-Mizan said, according to Allah and his messenger means travelling to the land if Islam.
However, he adds saying: “… The verses flow with their meanings to overwhelm the Muslims in all times and stages, although the reason for their revelation took place in the Arabs island during the time of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) between his migration to Medina and the Opening of Mecca.”3 Therefore, any Muslim, who migrates in order to run away with his religion from places where he suffers lack of freedom to places where he can find freedom in order to perform his rituals, is included within that verse.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Migration was founded on its first level. Allah had no need in the secrets and publicities of the nation on earth. In fact, migration deserves its meaning only by knowing the authority on earth. Therefore, he, who knows him and pledge allegiance to him, is a migrant …”4
Two kinds of migration:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “There are two migrations: one when you migrate away from your wrongdoings and the other when you migrate to Allah (The Exalted) and his messenger. The migration does not stop once the repentance is accepted.”5 Based on this story, there are two kinds of migration.
One is physical, where the bodies depart from the countries of atheism where there is no space for the freedom of religion, practice the ways of the prophet, and publicize the invitation, to the countries where there is freedom to practice the rituals and perform the ways of the prophet as well as practice duties, learning and education.
The other is spiritual, which was expressed by the story as leaving the wrongdoings. In other words, man must leave his habitual practices of ugly deeds, bad habits, and ungrateful ethics to a point of performing good deeds, good habits and grateful ethics. This kind of migration is persistent.
As long as the door to penitence is open therefore repentance means: migrating to Allah, which also means mimicking the divine paradigm of man, which is the Messenger (s.a.a.w.).
There are other stories which tell us that some people can be physically migrants, while in reality they are not true migrants and vice versa. For example, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A man may say he migrated yet still he did not migrate. In fact, the migrants are those who abandon the sins before perpetrating them.”6 Here are some stories that relate to this issue:
– Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “The best migration is that you abandon that which Allah hates.”7
– He was also quoted as saying: “Perform the prayers, give alms, abandon wrongdoing, and wherever you live on earth you are a migrant.”8
– He was also quoted as saying: “The migrant is he who abandons wrongdoing and sins.”9
– He was also quoted as saying: “There are two migrations, domestic and foreign. The migration of a foreigner is that he must answer when called and obey when instructed. The migration of the domestic is one with greater test and better reward.”10
Beware of the counter migration:
Attention must be brought to an issue that is taking place in our present time of which Islam has warned us. It named it: Arabisation after migration. This issue points to the person who migrates in our present time from his homeland where there is religion, religiousness, and religious education to a country where there is a risk of losing his religion to become atheist, where there is no education or religion. Some people in our present time might use the financial restraint as a pretext for his departure, seeking livelihood, although this issue within itself is permissible. This issue can even become a necessity. However, one must keep vigilant and beware of being dissociated from the environments of religion, religiousness and religious education. Such dissociation can render man a prey for confusion and lusts.
Imam al Rida (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Allah forbade Arabisation after migration which causes reversion from religion and abandoning support of the prophets and the authorities coupled with the associating corruption and the revocation of the rights of the rightful. Therefore, had man completely understood religion, he never would have had the permission to live with ignorant people. This is because he will be at risk of abandoning education while mixing with people of extreme ignorance.”11
1- Mizan al Hikmah, b al-Raishahri, Vol. 4, migration part
2- Surat An-Nisa’ (The Women)
3- Al Mizan, Vol. 5, P. 53.
4- Mizan al Hikmah, b al-Raishahri, Vol. 4, migration part
5- Same previous source
6- Tafsir al-Amthal, by Ash-Shirazi, Vol. 3, P. 417
7- Mizan al Hikmah, b al-Raishahri, Vol. 4, migration part
8- Same previous source
9- Same previous source
10- Same previous source
11- Mizan al Hikmah, b al-Raishahri, Vol. 4, migration part