The Islamic New Year 1444 After Hijra (AH) will commence with 1 Muharram, corresponding to 30-31 July 2022, the first month in the Islamic calendar that marked the migration of Prophet Mohammad (s) and his companions from Makkah to Madinah.
Madinah, then known as Yathrib was still a town with non-Muslims in the majority. The total number of Muslims in Madinah 1438 years ago was not more than 75, yet, at the command of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (s) and his companion Abdu Bakr (r) travelled to this city to implement divine guidance for a better society.
Why did Allah choose Madinah to be the city to establish a society based on divine ideals?
Why was this not done in Makkah, where the patriarch of monotheism Ibrahim (s) built the first house dedicated to one God?
People often argue that the Prophet was under persecution in Makkah, and the political climate was not ripe to practice Islam. Hence, the Prophet moved to a more open city to his ideals.
The messengers and prophets never turn their back upon the people they are sent to and run away from persecution. On the contrary, they endure and stay their ground.
So it was not the persecution that led the Prophet to Medina. It was primarily to prove that divine guidance is not limited to a particular place or town. It can be lived anywhere in the world regardless of the number of people who adhere to the message.
The migration demolished several practices and myths the world had entertained for ages.
It destroyed the false division between the house of peace (Dar-ul-Amn) and the house of war (Dar-ul-Harb). It demolished the division between the land of Islam and the land of Kufr.
Furthermore, it proved the idea that God created everything that exists, and He is in control of everything. Therefore, he is the owner of everything that is out there in our universe.
It also proved that divine guidance is for all, regardless of the number.
Madinah promoted the idea of a plural society concerning all.
What happened in Madinah after the arrival of the Prophet was something unique and unheard of in society.
The Prophet invited the powerful tribes to come together and sign a covenant to ensure the interests of all. The covenant, also known as the constitution of Madinah, promoted the idea of common citizenship for the people living in Madinah, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
As a result, all were one Ummah or nation.
The Prophet made the security of the people of Madinah a top priority, and the signatories participated in the defense of the city as one people.
Moreover, they had the assurance that while defending the city, if anyone lost their lives, the entire population would take care of the family of the fallen slider.
It is what one calls insurance in modern terminology.
The covenant also ensured that each religious community had autonomy in dealing with its affairs according to its religious ideals and traditions. Furthermore, each was guaranteed its religious family and personal law, provided it did not infringe upon the rights of others.
The Prophet also secured women’s rights and rights of weaker sections of the society. Additionally, he accepted the right to dissent with the covenant when four tribes of Awas refused to sign the treaty.
The process of formulating the covenant was lengthy, The tribes would discuss it among themselves, and then all tribes would have a discourse on its salient feature. It was democracy in action at the grassroots level.
So what are the lessons from Hijra?
1. The distinction between Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Kufr is false. Every land belongs to the Creator.
2. The divine guidance is for everywhere.
3, Muslims must not isolate themselves from the society they live in.
4, Muslims should get involved in the communities they live in.
5. Muslims must ensure the safety and security of all citizens and should join the system to protect all.
7. Muslims should respect the personal and family laws of others.
8. Muslims must follow a system that secures the participation of each member of the society in the decision-making process.
9. Muslims must not be entrapped by the false divisions people create based on ethnicity and religion.
10. Monotheism means the unity of humankind.
This society the Prophet created and left his birthplace for was the centre of monotheism.