Hijrah vs Modern Emigration

Hijrah vs Modern Emigration

In the run up to GE14, some of my friends did talk about leaving Malaysia for good if things don’t change. Things did change but the same people still talks about emigrating.

On the other hand, another friend reaffirms his commitment to be here for good despite lucrative career path overseas.

That got me thinking, as a Muslim what justifies someone to leave. This is not a fatwa of sorts but trying to see Rasulullah’s Hijrah in our modern context.

The first fact that strikes me is that Rasulullah didn’t move ‘out of country’. Granted there wasn’t a modern nation state as it is now. But the fact remains that Medina is still an Arab city populated with Arab tribe speaking Arabic.

The Masjidi al-Haram (Kaaba) complex in Mecca is always busy with pilgrims during the hajj season. Keeping things tidy and organised thus becomes a challenge. Thankfully the  staff are working round the clock! The are also efficient and have a unique way of doing things to ensure that the facility is comfortable for all. For this photo, I tried to capture the  team work and the fast motion of running & mopping.
Photo by Adli Wahid / Unsplash

On the other hand emigration as we usually discuss is moving to a first-world, white-majority, English speaking country. So there’s a stark contrast there.

Once in Medina, life is not exactly walk in the park either for Rasulullah. He challenged and changed the status quo. Brought justice to the oppressed and united warring factions. Not to mention fighting skirmishes and battles.

Comparatively, Medina was perhaps less oppressive as compared to Mecca back then. There are groups that’s more open to his ideals and there’s no death threats hanging over his head.

The fact remains that he changed Medina and later reformed Mecca as well. He didn’t stop and just enjoyed himself after receiving material support from the people of Medina.

Putting the fact into perspective I think the bar is rather high for one to leave your people for good. Unless one can bring significant benefit to society at large (or one’s life is in danger), then don’t bother.  Each of us owed a lot to the village that has raised us and it’s up to us to raise a better next generation.

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