Congrats! Congratulations for being alive to read this, to witness this. It is a sobering fact that all those who are born of the womb are fated to end up in the tomb. I say congratulations to you and me for witnessing the passage of time into time, the passage of life into life. Suddenly it has been a thousand, four hundred and forty years (1440) since Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) migrated from Makkah to Madinah. It has been a thousand, four hundred and forty years since history was made, rather since he and his companions made history. After all, history is not about passive observation of events; it is all about active involvement in life and living. A couple of days ago, the Muslim world marked a thousand, four hundred and forty years since Prophet Muhammad and those men and women of history wrote the history of the world.
But before that migration from Makkah to Madinah, another migration had actually taken place. I am referring to the other Hijrah in which Makkah played the role of the ‘receiver’, not the ‘giver’. In other words, long before history was made by Prophet Muhammad through his migration away from Makkah to Madinah, long before Makkah and Madinah entered into history through their initial hatred and love for Islam respectfully, Makkah had played hosts to three other ‘migrants’- the migrants of faith. Makkah was chosen as the destination for Prophet Ibrahim, Hajar and Ismail (a.s). Their ‘migration’ to Makkah occupied another important chapter in Islamic weltanschauung. Prophet Ibrahim, the friend of the Almighty, followed the divine ministration and injunction and brought his wife and son to the then uncultivated and barren landscape known as Bakkah. He never knew that they all had an appointment with history. He did not know that by coming to Bakkah, he was actually writing the history of humankind. He could not have known what the plans of the Almighty were. He could not have known that his son had been destined to be his fellow traveler in faith.
Thus the migrants arrived Makkah which was then hungry for light, for food and for water. Like the hijrah of Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century from Makkah to Madinah, Prophet Ibrahim arrived Makkah without any provisions. The only provision he had with him was faith in the Omnipresent who possessed and possesses knowledge of the hidden and the manifest. The same way Prophet Muhammad was destined to turn the history of Yathrib around by his arrival the arrival of Prophet Ibrahim to the barren landscape of Makkah became the much-needed spark of light, of illumination and of prosperity that Bakkah had long awaited. Suddenly there was water; Zam zam water- water that gushed out from the heel of the infant Ismail (a.s); water that has not ceased flowing with barakah and in barakah, since eons and ages only the Almighty could date.
Suddenly there was food. Wherever water was found, that means other provisions would follow particularly in the desert. Bakkah eventually became a land full of comfort. But all of that was for a purpose. This is because all migrations are fated to the end that gave them inspiration. Prophet Ibrahim was asked to come to Bakkah not because of bread and butter. He was commissioned into Prophethood, like all others before and after him so that the name of the Almighty could be celebrated. He never knew that the main reason he was asked to migrate with Hajar and Ismail was that the Almighty wanted him to build the pillars of the House, the Kaaba. No child comesto the world without a mandate; it is, and it should be for higher purposes. Marriages are not solemnized simply to pander to humans appetitive desires- they should be for the service of the Almighty. All migrations are not ends in themselves; they are means towards greater ends.
Soon the mission was fulfilled. Prophet Ibrahim called on his son and informed him they had to build the Kaaba at the centre of the world. They set out to build the first house for humanity at a time when there was no stone-dust, at a time when there was no cement, and at a time when there was probably no iron rod. There in Madinah, the construction of the Prophet’s mosque had also started. Building that mosque equally became the first task for the migrants. There were no contractors. There was no money to be appropriated. There were no big men and small men after migration. In Madinah of the Prophet, donors of thousands of dinars, the Ansar, were equally the sand diggers, the mud-molders. They toiled night and day to build the mosque. In their multitude; hundreds of men; of women. Unlike the situation eons ago when Prophet Muhammad set out to accomplish the task. It was he and his son who labored to build the Kaaba. Yes. Migrants of yesterday. Those who labored and suffered so that you could have a Makkah to go. They laid the foundation of that mosque in Madinah and prayed under the scorching sun not under an air-conditioned umbrella that you have there today.
Thus as we mark this year’s anniversary of the Hijrah ask yourself exactly what have been your contribution to Islam? What sacrifices do you make either to project the image of the religion or to defend it from attacks from those who are its sworn enemies. Remember the hijrah did not mark the arrival of Islam to its final destination; no matter the situation you are today, keep in mind this is only a station on the way to your destination.
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