Maal Hijrah 1428

Tomorrow or rather this evening will be the beginning of the New Islamic Year, the Hijra of 1428. This evening, the celebration will be held at the Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah where the doa for the end of the year and the beginning of the new year will be read. I think there is also a presentation that will be done - the Hijra awards to the Tokoh Ugama - those who have contributed the most to the development of Islam in Brunei.

When is the year Hijrah Year 1? The beginning of the new Hijra year took place in the year when Prophet Mohammad SAW migrated to Medina. It was the year of 622. It was in the month of September and the hijrah most likely took place around 9th September 622 when Prophet Muhammad left Mecca and reached Yathrib around the 20th. The first year of Hijrah was not formally declared the first year of Hijra until the year 637, 16 years after it took place. This is when Saidina Umar formalised the Prophet's custom of dating events from the Hijrah, the moment of the establishment of the first Islamic State. Though the Arabic calendar was still used and technically the first day of Muharram of Year 1 Hijrah which occurs around 16th July 622 was not the actual day of the hijrah.

Hijrah literally 'the migration' is the emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to Yathrib (later called Medinat an-Nabi, the City of the Prophet or Medina). Prophet Muhammad SAW who had been preaching Islam in Mecca for the last 12 years had been facing greater persecutions from the people in Mecca especially with the death of his protector uncle, Abu Talib, to the point that his life was in danger, had no choice but to leave Mecca. He was offered sanctuary by the people of Medina, who had pledged loyalty to him called the pledge of Aqabah.

Prophet Muhammad SAW left Mecca with Saidina Abu Bakar on a camel with a flock of sheep driven behind them to cover their tracks. They hid in a cave in Mount Thawr and were never found by their searchers as an acacia blocked the entrance, a spider web which was spun over the opening of the cave and a dove's nest with an egg in front of the cave with an egg in front of the cave, seemingly indicating that no one had entered the cave. The Prophet reached Medina after several days joined by some seventy other 'muhajiruns' (emigrants). By the ninth year of Hijrah, delegates would have come from all over Arabia to accept Islam from the Prophet.

The context of Hijrah means migration from one place to a better place but also migration from one state of mind to a better state or from one character to a better character. It means movement to any improvement. Generally Hijrah is divided into three (a) Al-Hijrah al-Ammah (b) Al-Hijrah al-Daimah and (c) Hijrah al-Qulub Wa al-Dhamair. The first is the hijrah of the Prophet. The second is the Hijrah of migrating from any country which threatened a Muslim to another country. The third is the emigration of the heart, the belief and the mind so as to better those. To continuously cleanse one's heart to be cleaner, purer and to understand deeper about the religion. This is the hijrah that Muslims look for.


Anonymous said…
Assalamualaikum...Salam Alhijrah 1428, just want to share about the misuse of the words mecca and medina. Since it is a holy place for us Moslem, preferrably it should be referred as Makkah and Madinah. Jazakallahu khayran.

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