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Friday, 19 July 2019 21:43

Eidul adha: The hijrah of Siti Sarah

Assalamu alaikum,


Eidul adha is just under a month away. Most likely we will know someone who is going to perform his or her hajj this year. It is a journey to perform one of our obligations if we can afford it. The technological advances in transportation nowadays enables one to reach Makkah in a matter of hours. Our grandparents who relied on sea travel took weeks to get there. How long do we think Prophet Ibrahim a.s. took to get there from Sham and back? He made a few journeys, first to send his wife Siti Hajar and son Ismail a.s., another when Ismail was married to his first wife and another when Ismail a.s. was married to his second wife after divorcing his ungrateful first wife.


The journey of Siti Hajar has some similarity with some of us. She went there with a “one-way ticket”, knowing that she went to Makkah to live there indefinitely. There are obviously many differences to the journey that some of us made. She had to live in a barren dessert, a very harsh environment with no support from any other human. Her asset was just the well of zamzam, a gift from Allah with unlimited supply of water. We in the UK are lucky with the availability of the benefit system to support us in time of financial hardship. She was totally cut-off from Sham where she used to live. We have the choice to follow or get obsessed with social or political developments in Malaysia. Her hijrah was an absolute hijrah with her body and soul focussed on the new homeland. Those of us who made the hijrah from Malaysia to the UK can choose to have our body in the UK but our souls and thoughts attached to Malaysia. There is nothing wrong with this but we need to realise that our younger members who are born and bred in the UK do not share this sort of mind-body split. If we focus too much or get obsessed with political developments in Malaysia, we will lose focus on developing our community in the UK. We chose to become irrelevant to our younger generation.


Hijrah requires a change in our mindset and acknowledge that there is a change of priority. When our Prophet s.a.w. migrated from Makkah to Madinah, he started building the necessary social and political infrastructure by strengthening the fabric of society. The muhajirin who came from Makkah worked together in harmony with the ansars from Madinah. The concept of creating ghettos for the muhajirin to live in Madinah was never in anybody’s mind. Migrants and hosts did their best to find similarities and became partners in nation building. This contributed to the success of the cosmopolitan city of Madinah. We need to frequently assess ourselves. If we are the muhajirin from the Malay world, how much have we contributed to our new homeland?