An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

The Definition of Hijrah (Migration)

In ayat 97 – 100, the merits, blessings and injunctions of hijrah have been described. Lexically, hijrah means ‘being displeased with something and leaving it’. In common parlance, the leaving of one’s home country is known  as hijrah. In the terminology of the Shariah, leaving dar-ul-Kufr and going to dar-ul-Islam is called hijrah [Ruh al-Ma’ani]

In Sharh al-Mishkah, Mulla Ali al-Qari has said, “Leaving a home country for religious reasons is also included under hijrah.” [Mirqat, p. 39, v.1]

From ayah 59:8, we learn if disbelievers of a country forcibly expel Muslims because they are Muslims, this too will be included under hijrah.

From this definition, we learn that Muslims migrating from India to Pakistan who came here out of disgust for dar-ul-Kufr at their own choice or were driven away by non-Muslims simply because they were Muslims, are all muhajirs in the Islamic legal sense. But, those who have moved to benefit from business or employment opportunities are not entitled to be called muhajir in that Islamic legal sense.

Then, there is the hadeeth from al-Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has been reported to have said,

“Muhajir is one who leaves everything Allah and His Messenger have prohibited.”

The full sense of the saying becomes clear from the first sentence of this very hadeeth which is as follows:

A Muslim is the one from whom all Muslims remain safe – from his tongue and from his hands. [Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Emaan]

As obvious, it means that a true and staunch Muslim has to be the one who hurts none. Similarly, a true and successful emigrant is the one who does not consider migration from his country as the ultimate obligation. He should rather leave everything else the Shariah has declared to be unlawful or impermissible. Said poetically, it would be saying something like, ‘when you change into the ihram garment, better change your heart too’.

[SOURCE: Maaruf-ul-Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani]

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