Description of a Migration to the Messenger
Migration to the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is a knowledge that has been mostly lost from amongst the people. Although the name continues to exist, the practice had largely been abandoned.
Thus the person who takes this road is a stranger among the people, unique in their surroundings, distant from others despite his physical closeness, lonely despite numerous neighbours. He is unhappy with what pleases the common people, and often satisfied with what depresses them. He resides when others travel, and travels when they reside. He is alone in the Way that he chooses for seeking his gaol, feeling no satisfaction until he achieves it. He is with the people in body, but away from them in the virtue of his gaol. The eyes of others sleep indifferently, neglecting to seek the Guidance; but he spends his nights awake. Others are too lazy for migration to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, while he is totally engrossed in the pursuit. They scorn his indifference to their ideas; and they blame him for criticising their ignorance and inconsistencies. They cast their doubts on him, and they keep close watch over him. They wait hopefully for death to rid them of him. He responds to them with what Allah says:
“Say [Muhammad]: “Do you await for us anything except one of the two best things (martyrdom or victory), while we await for you that Allah will afflict you with a punishment from Himself or at our hands. So wait, we too are waiting with you.” (Surah at-Tawbah 9:52)
“He [Muhammad] said: “My Lord! Judge You in truth! Our Lord is ar-Rahman [the Most Merciful], whose help is to be sought against that which you attribute unto Him [of falsehoods].” (Surah Al-Anbiyah 21:112)
Definition of Migration to the Messenger
Migration to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is a most important matter. It is a long and difficult way for those who are not prepared for it. As a poet once said: ‘It is far for him who is lazy and tires easily, but as for the one who has the longing, it is smooth and easy for him’. Know, that the migration is a shining light to illuminate you in the darkness. It is a full moon lighting the earth from east to west and capable of lighting your gloom. It is a clear sweet stream of water capable of washing away the stains on your heart. It is the beginning of a great bounty of which you could be unaware.
Listen now to the importance of this migration and the evidence pointing to it. Be a judge of yourself before Allah: are you among those who run towards it or run away from it? The definition of this migration is: the soul’s journey, in all matters of belief, in all desires of the heart, and in all legislative matters, to the origin of Guidance and the source of Light. This Guidance and Light came from the mouth of the truthful and the trustworthy, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah says:
“Your companion (Muhammad) is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only Revelation with which he is inspired.”(Surah An-Najm 53:2-4)
A matter is acceptable only if the light of His Messenger shone over it; otherwise, it deserves to be thrown into the seas of darkness. A witness is acceptable only if he is recommended by this praised one, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; otherwise you can consider him amongst the doubtful and accused.
How then could a man enslaved by his base instincts and worldly habits undertake this migration? A man who does not want to part with the place he was born and raised? A man who says: ‘We only follow our fathers’ ways, hold onto their traditions, and trace their footsteps.’ How could he undertake it when his ancestors were incapable of doing so, and yet he relies totally on them to determine his way for success and salvation, claiming that their opinions should be better and sounder than his? If you investigate the reason for saying this you find it a combination of laziness and indifference.
The Obligation of Migrating to the Messenger
The migration to the Messenger, peace be upon him, is required of every Muslim. It follows directly from the second part of the Shahadah:
“Muhammad is the Allah’s Messenger.”
just as the first type of migration, to Allah, follows from the first part of the Shahadah:
“There is no true god except Allah.”
Every human being will be asked about those two manners of migration, both in the barzakh (the period between death and the Resurrection) and on the Day of Resurrection.
A Great Oath
All praises be to Allah who said:
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no imaan until they set you [Muhammad] judge in any disputes that arise among them, and then find in their souls no resistance against your decisions but accept them with the fullest submission.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:65)
Here, Allah the Exalted makes the greatest oath – by His own Self, Glory be to Him, that the imaan is not confirmed for a person, and they are not one of its people, until they accept the Messenger, peace be upon him, as the judge in all matters of dispute and in all aspects of the religion. Using the term ‘any disputes’ in this ayah negates the presence of imaan unless the Messenger is made the judge in all disputes. In addition, Allah requires that we have satisfaction of the heart with the Messengers judgement. Taking the judgement with dissatisfaction, or following it in spite of oneself is contrary to the meaning of imaan. So the Messenger’s judgement should be accepted with satisfaction and pleasure in the heart.
Once a person knows this, they should always examine themselves and look into their heart, to see whether they have true submission. We should do this whenever a judgement comes to us from the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, especially when it conflicts with our own desires or differs from the way of our ancestors. Allah tells us:
“Nay, man will be evidence against himself, even though he were to put up excuses.” (Surah Al-Qiyamah 75:14-15)
Loving the Messenger and Submitting to Him
This submission is not that of a defeated fighter who is forced to surrender to the enemy. Rather it is the submission of an obedient subordinate to his mater who is dearer to him than any other creature, who realises that only through submission will he achieve happiness.
It is the submission of the one realises that compared to his own self, this master has more concern and compassion for him, and is a better counsellor who is more knowledgeable about what benefits him, and is therefore capable of saving him. When a person realises these meanings with respect to Messenger, peace be upon him, he will surely submit himself to the Messenger, and surrender his desires in obedience to him. Then he will be able to comprehend what it means to attain happiness through submission and obedience.
This matter is not easy to express in words. One needs to open one’s heart to allow the matter to sink in deeply, it cannot be attained by mere wishes or claims. There is a difference between knowing the meaning of love and being in love.
The Prophet’s Claim on the Believers
All praises be to Allah who tells us:
“The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers that [they have on] their own selves.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:6)
This claim on the believers involves the following two important matters:
1. Dearer Than One’s Self
The Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, should be more beloved than one’s own self. This is so because the Prophet’s claim on the believer is based on love; and a person usually usually loves themselves more than others; yet the Messenger should have more claim on them, and be dearer to them than themselves. A person who fulfils this quality acquires the quality of imaan.
2. The Ruler Over One’s Self
A person should not have an independent rule over themselves; this authority is the right of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. His rule is superior to a master’s rule over his slave, or a father’s over his son. Thus a person has no right over himself except in accordance with what the Messenger disposes.
Deviation from that True Love
How then could such a closeness to the Messenger, peace be upon him, ever be attained by one who isolates the Messenger’s message from the position of authority, who is more satisfied and pleased with someone else’s judgement, and who claims that the Messenger’s message does not offer full certainty?
There is no way to establish closeness to the Messenger except by isolating oneself from all but him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, following him in anything and everything, and checking what someone else says against that with which he came, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The one who follows this method will have their journey of hijrah straightforward and their knowledge and deeds will be upright.
May Allah enable us to achieve this lofty migration. Ameen.