Saturday, February 21, 2004


Migration of the Heart

The caravan departs, and the traveller enters into a foreign land. He becomes separated from the habits and customs associated with his homeland. This allows him to ponder carefully over his situation. He seeks the most important thing that helps in his journey to God, and that deserves his life's pursuance.

The One in whose Hand is the guidance guides him to this most important thing that he seeks: " Migration to God and His Messenger". This migration is a duty on everyone at all times - it is the thing that God requires from His servant.

Migration is of two types:

1. The first is the migration of the body from one land to another. The legislation regarding this type is well known, and it is not our intention to discuss them here.

2. The second type is the migration of the heart to God and His Messenger. This is the only true migration (hijrah); it must precede the bodily hijrah, which is its natural outcome.

Fleeing unto God

This hijrah requires an origin and a goal. A person migrates with his heart:

from loving other than God to loving Him;
from fearing and hoping and relying on other than Him to fearing and hoping and relying on Him;
from calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before other than Him to calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before Him.

This is precisely the meaning of "fleeing unto God". Fleeing unto God includes turning to Him only for asking or worship or anything which
proceeds from that. Thus, it includes the oneness of sovereignity which was the common point in the messages of all the messengers, may God bestow His praise and peace upon all of them.

The Importance of Migrating to God

The Hijrah to God includes abandoning what He hates and doing what He loves and accepts. The hijrah originates from feelings of love and hatred. The migrator from one place to another must have more love for the place to which he migrated than that from which he migrated, and these feelings are what led him to prefer one of two places.

One's evil soul, his whims, and his devil keep calling him to that which is against what he loves and is satisfied with. One continues to be tested by these three things, calling him to avenues that displease His Lord.

At the same time, the call of faith will continue to drect him to what pleases his Lord. Thus one should keep migrating to God at all times, and should not abandon this hijrah until death.

This hijrah becomes strong or weak (in the heart) depending on the state of faith. The stronger and more complete the faith is, the more perfect the hijrah. And if the faith weakens, the hijrah weakens too, until one becomes unable to detect its presence or have readiness to be moved by it.

What is surprising is that you might find a man talking at great length and going into very fine details regarding the (physical) hijrah from land to land, and he may never have to do a thing with it in whole life.

But as for the hijrah of the heart, which continues to be required from him as long as he breathes, you find that he does not seek any knowledge regarding it, nor does he develop any intention to undertake it! Thus he turns away from that which he has been created, and which - alone - can save him, and involves himself in that which, of itself, cannot save him. This is the situation of those whose vision has been blinded, and whose knowledge is weak regarding the priorities of knowledge and action.

Indeed, God is the One from Whom we seek help, and He alone does facilitate our matters. There is no god except Him and no Lord other than Him.

Adapted and simplified from Ibnu Qayyim's Message from Tabuk.

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