Hijrah (emigration) to Allah the Almighty is a lofty notion of faith and one of the greatest sacrifices one can ever offer in order to gain divine satisfaction.
Hence, God promised to reward plentifully and raise high the degrees of those who migrated:
"Those who emigrated in the Cause of Allah and after that were killed or died, surely, Allah will provide a good provision for them. And verily, it is Allah Who indeed is the Best of those who make provision." (Al-Hajj 22; 58)
God also said: "And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, We will certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew!" (An-Nahl 16; 41)
"… so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed (in My Cause), verily, I will remit from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards."(Al 'Imran 3; 195)
Actually, the great reward is deserved for the great sacrifice offered by one, who, in favor of divine satisfaction, supporting his religion and raising high the flag of Islam, left their country, home and property.
|One great example is Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, who emigrated with the Prophet, peace be upon him, sacrificing his money|
The Companions, may God be pleased with them all, set for us the greatest examples in this respect. Leaving behind stories of the highest level of sacrifice, they left Makkah and fleeing with their religion to Madinah.
One great example is Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, who emigrated with the Prophet, peace be upon him, sacrificing his money which he spent in Allah's cause.
In this regard, Ibn Is-haq reports Asma bint Abu Bakr to have said:
"Embarking on the Hijrah with the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr took away with him all his property, amounting to five or six thousand Dirhams. My grandfather, Abu Quhafah, who was blind came to us and said, “I think Abu Bakr has deprived you of his property as well as his person”, but I replied, “By no means, grandfather. He left us a great deal.” Then I took some stones and placed them in a hole where my father used to keep his valuables, and covered the hole with a cloth; and I took hold of my grandfather’s hand, saying “Lay your hand upon this, grandfather.” When he had done so, he said, “There is no harm; if he has left you this, he has acted well; it will suffice you.” But in truth, he had left us nothing, and I dissimulated to ease the old man’s mind.’"
Another brilliant example is that of Suhaib Ar-Rumi, who, giving us a narrative of his emigrantion, said:
"The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I saw in a dream that I was migrating from Makkah to a land in which there are date-palms, and I thought that it was Al-Yamaamah or Hajar, but it turned out to be Al-Madinah, Yathrib…”"
Suhaib Added: "When the Prophet gave permission for his followers to migrate to Madinah, I resolved to go in the company of the Prophet and Abu Bakr. The Quraysh however found out about my intentions and foiled my plans. One cold night, I pretended I had some stomach problems and went out repeatedly as if responding to calls of nature. My captors then said one to another, 'Don't worry. Allah is keeping him busy with his stomach.' They became relaxed and sleep got the better of them. I quietly slipped out as if I was going to the toilet. I armed himself, got ready a mount and headed in the direction of Madinah. When my captors awoke, they realized with a start that I was gone. They got horses ready and set out in hot pursuit and eventually caught up with me.
I then asked them, 'Would you be interested in some gold in return of my journey out?' When they said yes, I told them to dig under the door-threshold; they would find gold there. (Having given away that) I left the town and joined up with the Prophet, peace be upon him, who had not yet moved from Quba'.
On seeing me, he said, "Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya. Your transaction has been fruitful." He repeated this three times. I then said: "By God, no one has come before me to you, Messenger of God, and only Jibreel (Gabriel) could have told you about this."
Accordingly, Hijrah constituted a great step in the long way of struggle to spread Islam. The term "Hijrah" is therefore very dear to, and is highly estimated by, all Muslims.
In fact, a revival of the term "Hijrah" has currently taken place in the Muslim world during the few last years. However, waves of Muslim emigration nowadays do not particularly reflect an attempt to raise high the religion.
Rather, a Muslim might leave his country for another in search for means of sustenance, an emigration whose destination might be Madinah itself as was in the earlier Hijrah. Nevertheless, today's emigration is not as sincere as the earlier one; an emigrant aims, in the first place, at searching for money, which is not unlawful, in fact, in case it is lawfully gotten.
However, such an emigrant should not deceive himself claiming that he emigrates in the cause of Allah. The fact that such a person is willing to leave Madinah for another city in case a better job is offered is a support of my suggestion. Therefore, Qur'anic verses and Hadith highlighting the excellence of Hijrah may not be applied to such cases unless one leaves his country mainly fleeing with his religion even if the salary is less and circumstances are harder.
More sorrowful is the wave of Muslim emigration to Western countries in search for better financial circumstances, higher standard of living, knowledge, personal freedom or marriage.
|emigration motivated by worldly reasons may not take place through encroaching upon relevant laws in targeted countries|
In fact, all the above mentioned reasons for emigration are unobjectionably permissible to be sought after. What I mean is that they are not included under the Hijrah as defined by Shari'ah (Islamic Law).
This can find support in the Hadith that reads:
"(The rewards of) deeds depend upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he (or she) has intended. So, whoever emigrated for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, then his (or her) emigration was for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for the sake of worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, then his emigration was for what he emigrated for." (Abu Dawud)
The phrase "then his emigration was for what he emigrated for" indicates that emigration for a worldly reason such as marriage is not unlawful. "The context gives a negative notion of one who emigrates solely for a woman to marry. As for one who emigrates both for the sake of Allah and to marry, he will receive a reward less than that received by sincere emigrants. The same applies to one who seeks to marry, which is absolutely permissible, he will be deserving of reward in case a valid intention such as seeking chastity is prompted."
Nevertheless, emigration motivated by worldly reasons may not take place through encroaching upon relevant laws in targeted countries. Actually, some youths, obliged under harsh local living circumstances and having no respectable job while officials are heedless of their sufferance, try to sneak into other countries without having relevant authorization. In fact, breaking the laws of such countries is unlawful according to the Shari'ah, which respects regulations laid down by whatever state so long as they do not run counter to the Shari'ah rulings. Thus, those youths have to search for a legal way to leave.
Actually, I am fully aware of the harsh living circumstance people suffer. No doubt, responsible for this situation are those in authority who do not fulfill their duties toward their peoples and even contributed to their sufferings in service of their own personal interests. Definitely, they will be held accountable before Allah for such a crime. Anyway, those who might run the risk of imprisonment, displacement in best cases if they could arrive and death sinking into the sea trying to break the laws of other countries, " should seek another means for making a living and never despair, for, verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong."
We pray Allah to make better Muslims affairs in this world and admit them to Paradise in the Hereafter.