As the Islamic world, we observed the 1434th anniversary of our Beloved Prophet’s (pbuh) migration from Mecca to
Medina on Thursday November 15, 2012 and the first day of the month of Muharram.
Hijra which is a turning point for Muslims opened a new page in history. The day hijra took place during the caliphate of Omar (RA), it was accepted as the beginning of the hegira calendar with Ali’s (RA) suggestion. Since that day, the first day of Muharram has been accepted as the beginning of the hegira calendar by the Islamic world.
As is known, when Islam began to spread during the Meccan period, the first Muslims were continuously subjected to pressure and torture. They were subjected to social, economic and cultural embargo. The first Muslims migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), and then to Medina. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions were forced to leave the towns of Mecca and Kaaba where they were born and grew up.
Hijra which is a turning point for Muslims, is an expression of heartfelt devotion to Allah, his blessed messenger Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and
a journey to truth, science, wisdom and civilization. Hijra is an exemplary story of giving up one’s father, mother, child, beloved, homeland, property and even one’s life for Allah’s sake and the name of a holy journey to take messages full of grace and mercy of our noble religion to all mankind.
Hijra is an expression of helping each other, solidarity, sharing, friendship and brotherhood. It is receiving your brother with open arms and sharing your home, workplace, food, possessions and protecting and embracing him.
Hijra is not an escape in the face of financial difficulties and pressure; on the contrary, it is a quest for new possibilities and grounds for learning, teaching and living Islam and keeping it alive.
In fact hijra is migration to civilization. Because Prophet Muhammad‘s (pbuh) migration turned Yathrib to Medina. It built civilization in Medina. The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (pbuh) created a society of love and mercy from one of hatred and revenge. He created from cold-hearted people a society that showed mercy to all living beings and even property. He purified them materially and morally. He taught altruism and brotherhood to a selfish, marauding and opportunist society. He showed that one could not eat his full while ignoring the plight of a hungry neighbor. He taught honesty, trustworthiness, faithfulness, earning an honest living, fairness, rights, equality and justice. He showed them kindness, goodness, benefaction, moral values, sincerity, maturity and Taqwa (forbearance, fear and abstinence). He raised the consciousness of entrustment, responsibility and merit. He built a virtuous and ethical society. He raised an exemplary generation devoted to science, wisdom, reason, truth, knowledge and learning. The poor and weak learned from his practices that they are not alone. In short, he showed them how a decent society can be built, human dignity, humane living, Islam and civilization. Today hijra is in question for us too. However this hijra is not migration or looking for a homeland; it is going after what is beneficent and trying to live Islam sincerely. Hijra is the name of this journey. As Prophet Abraham (as) has said, all of us migrate to the Almighty. We migrate from this world, which is a temporary place, to an eternal and real world. This hijra is to leave what has been forbidden by Allah as our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) has said in one of his hadiths.
How happy are those who migrate! How happy are those who have the spirit of hijra is their hearts!
I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my most cordial felicitations on the occasion of the new year of the hegira of the Islamic world and pray to the Almighty that the year 1434 of Hegira brings well-being and prosperity to our country, those living in our geography of the heart, the Islamic world and all humanity.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez
President of Religious Affairs