Hijra, Brotherhood and Nobility

Jum'ah khutba - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 23rd November 2012 - 15 mins 37secs

They prefer others to themselves, though theirs be the greater need. And whoever is protected from the avariciousness of his own self; it is they who are successful. 
- Surah Al Hashr verse 9

The Islamic hijri calendar starts with the event that it takes its name from. The Sheikh touches upon some of the reasons why the Hijra, or emigration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina during the time of the Prophet, may Allah's peaces and blessings be upon him, has left such an indelible mark upon the collective Muslim consciousness. 

Hijra is to do with human bonding, the ability of ideas, faith and love to ascend about tribal loyalties. The movement of the Muhajirun, Emigrants to Medina was the beginning of the one of the most remarkable social experiments in history. The Ansar, literally 'Helpers', who had only years before been embroiled in bitter internecine conflicts welcomed these strangers with love, generosity and nobility, giving them half of their houses, lands, fields and possessions. As the Sheikh mentioned this was only possible by the New Moon of Muhammad and the message that he brought. 

Imam al-Qushayri says of the verse above that the believers preferred others as they were detached from material things of this world. Their hostility had been replaced by a powerful belief through the process of tajrid, the stripping away of avarice leaving one free from ones self. True nobility is being free not to do just as we would please but rather being able to control one's lower impulses. This is why the Ansar were truly noble and free, for real nobility is more likely to come from giving than taking, from sacrifice; not from welcoming the sacrifices of others. 

Photo of Sultanahmet Mosque, Istanbul taken on Laylat-ul-Isra' wa Mi'raj by the CKETC team

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