Islamic Months · Muharram

Productivity Lessons from the Hijrah

By Abu Productive


So, the question is why? Why did the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam migrate? The standard answer is that the migration occurred to escape persecution from Makkah and save the Prophet’s life from an evil assassination plot. But I believe there’s another reason, one that derives an important lesson about the Hijrah: staying in Makkah with the persecution from the Makkan people was unproductive for the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because the environment was not conducive for the message which he carried, Islam. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had to find a way out, he had to find a venue for his message to flourish.

In essence, the migration was not about saving his life, but it was about saving the message and fulfilling his mission!

The evidence of this is that immediately after reaching Madinah, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam didn’t relax but immediately went through an all-embracing process to establish a faithful and strong society by building a mosque, establishing a market, managing the politics of the new town, and so on.

So there’s a deep lesson here about the Hijrah that is subtle but important – it is that:

The Hijrah is a process of transfer to a better situation to enable you to be productive and active vicegerent on Earth.

It is not meant to be a means to find a comfortable place where one would relax and stop being productive. Rather, it is a search for an environment more favorable to continuous and constructive productivity for Allah’s sake.

Think how you can apply the above to your life? What do you need to ‘migrate’ from in order to live a productive lifestyle in conformity with your purpose of worshipping Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?

It doesn’t have to be migration from place to place, but it could be migration from a non-halal job to a halal one, or migration from sins to repentance, or from evil deeds to good deeds.


The Prophet and his companion prepared and took all the means to teach us the lesson that even being the best of mankind, even if you worship Allah, you need to use the means Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has provided to achieve your goals in life.

This indicates the need for action to fully trusting in Allah’s decree, in fact it’s part and parcel of believing in Allah’s decree.

The above point is highlighted further in those precious moments where Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq radhiAllahu anhu spent with the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in that cave between Makkah and Medina. They were hiding there, but the Makkans were able to trace their tracks. When the Makkans approached the cave, Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq started panicking saying: “O Prophet, if they look to their feet they’ll see us!”

But the Prophet’s confident response was: “Don’t be afraid, Allah is with us.”

These powerful words should be on the tongue of every Muslim in any situation of difficulty he faces after having exhausted all possible means.

How can we apply this concept of balancing between taking the means and trusting in Allah in our lives?

This requires a special mindset that comes with training and constantly self-evaluating your actions.

When you have goals, you need to force yourself to prepare the utmost whilst at the same time praying and pleading to Allah
as if you’ve no means at all.


One final beautiful lesson from the Hijrah is the instruction that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave to his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib radhiAllahu ‘anhu asking him to return the Trusts that were with the Prophet to the rightful people in Makkah.

Stop and imagine.

Imagine you’re in a town where most people don’t like you, they make lies about you and they want to kill you. But they also trust you with all their precious goods. On the night you are about to leave, you could potentially take ‘revenge’ for all the pain and suffering they caused you, instead you actually return these goods to them. What does that teach us? What does that tell us about our attitude to the non-Muslims even when they harm us?

It teaches us that our measuring stick in Islam is justice, not our whims and desires or revenge or hatred.

We do justice even to our worst enemies and this is how we become servants of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala instead of servants of our desires. We become truly the Best of All Nations when we apply such principles in our lives.

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