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Khutba  #5

For the Cause of Allah, Immigration versus Jihad


I advise all of us, including myself, to practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness), and revere Allah and obey His divine commands.  Let us be heedful of our choices in this life and the likely consequences of such choices in the hereafter.  Let us be aware of our final destination, our eventuality and departure into the everlasting life.  May Allah provide us all with the spirit of righteousness by way of His divine obedience as the means to our salvation.


Allah (swt) says in Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), Ayah 218:


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ وَجَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ

أُوْلَـئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“Surely the ones who believe and the ones who emigrate and strive hard in the way of Allah, they hope for Allah’s mercy.  Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful”.

Allah, glory be to Him, also says in Surah 4 (al-Nisaa), Ayah 100:


وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ يَجِدْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيراً

 “And the ones who emigrate for the cause of Allah, will find shelter and provision aplenty, and abundant resource…”

Allah also says in Surah 16 (al-Nah’l), Ayah 41:


وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِي اللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُواْ

لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَلأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ

“As for those who emigrate for the cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, We will enhance them with a goodly residence in this world, but the reward for the Hereafter is higher, if they but know”


Islam gives weight to two bases as the mainstays:

  1. Immigration: meaning to leave one’s home to another destination in the interest of religion and faith.  And

  2. Jihad: meaning the spiritual struggle and effort in the way of God.

The Holy Quran sanctifies both parameters.  It strongly praises the ones who immigrate especially for the sake of Allah, promoting the good and struggling against evilness and corruption, for in so doing they perform their Jihad duty.


Muslims during the times of Muhammad (pbuh) consisted of two groups:

  1. The Muhajiroon, i.e. emigrants from Mecca, and

  2. The Ansaar, supporters and allies from Medina.

To explain further, Muhajiroon were the emigrant Muslims from Mecca who left their homes, businesses, friends, acquaintances, and business clients to go to Medina to be with Prophet (pbuh).  They numbered about 400-450 Muslims; all were full of faith, resolve, dedication, and determination.


On the other hand, the Ansaar were the local citizens of Medina who deeply believed in Islam and wholeheartedly supported the Prophet (pbuh) in the struggle for Islam.


Together, both Migration and Jihad are intertwined, they cannot be abrogated, and they are permanent fixture in Islam.  To remove misunderstanding, let us explain other interpretations of both migration and Jihad.  It has been said too that an emigrant is one who abandons sins.  If this meaning is proper, then all people in the world who avoid sin can be regarded as emigrants, since this signifies that the person has migrated from a sinful level to a higher level, that of purity.


To illustrate, two examples may be given, the example of Fudheil bin Iyadh and Bashir.   Fudheil used to be a burglar and a highway robber at first, but a change of heart overtook him, making him repent sincerely.  In the process, Fudheil’s Islamic character changed so drastically that people began to refer to him as champion and victor.  He became a guide in Islamic teaching and a teacher of others.  The change of mind came about when Fudheil climbed a wall at night to rob a house, but in the process and as it happened he heard a devout man inside, reading the Quran loudly.  Having heard the Quran read in astonishingly sweet melody, with a stirring voice, Fudheil was astounded, for the meaning was so deeply stirring.  He heard a verse of the Quran so fit for the occasion; it was Surah 57 (al-Hadeed), Ayah 16:


أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ

“Isn’t about time for the believers’ hearts to be humble in the remembrance of Allah, and what has come down of the truth?”

While still sitting on the wall, Fudheil’s heart pounded hard, he was awakened to a sudden call from within.  A thought flashed in his mind, “What I hear is addressed to me too, this applies to me; yes Oh God, it is true, how true this verse is, and it is for me”.   With that Fudheil sensed a refreshing change of heart, so he climbed down, stirring within, and he decided then and there to abandon not only burglary, but also drinking, and gambling along other vices.  He also restored to the owners as much of the stolen property as possible.  He decided to dedicate his life to God.[1]  Fudheil can be regarded as a good example of an emigrant from sin to righteousness.


As to the example of Bashir, it was at the time of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.).[2]   Bashir was an aristocrat, a pleasure-seeking lord who indulged in the pleasures of the flesh.  One day Imam al-Kadhim was passing by when Bashir’s maid came out to dispose a pail of garbage.  Having opened the door, loud music and lewd songs were heard, as if some kind of wild party was taking place.  Tauntingly Imam al-Kadhim asked about the owner, and whether the owner was a slave or a poor man.  Very taken, the maid answered al-Kadhim in surprise, “Don’t you know?  This is the house of Bashir Hafi [the well-known man],  how could he be a slave?”  Imam al-Kadhim replied, commenting, “With this behavior he must be in shackles, and not as a free man, for to be engaged in this manner of life is fit for a lowly man, a man of poor conduct who is the slave of his own self.”  Having said that, the Imam went on his way.


The maid returned home shaking, and seeing her expression, Bashir asked her why she was gone for so long.  She told him about the extraordinary conversation with a man who, according to her, looked very pious and seemed full of wisdom.  Her description made Bashir realize that it could not have been anyone but Imam al-Kadhim.  Bashir’s heart quickened, he felt nervous and agitated, and tinged with guilt he felt a sudden awakening within, and a jarring but remarkable change took place in his heart.  Eagerly by now, he asked the maid the direction this man had taken.  Bashir ran out, breathless, bare-footed, and nervously.  He managed to catch up with Imam al-Kadhim.


Bashir fell at the Imam’s feet, sobbing and crying, confessing his indulgence in the forbidden.  He felt the quickening in his heart, shaking him so, and he promised to be a servant of God from that moment onward.  Bashir  was serious, for he repented with sincerity, feeling sorry for all his bad conduct of the past, and on returning home, he threw away the implements of revelry to begin a life of virtue and devotion:  Bashir can therefore be considered to have emigrated from sin to righteousness, just like Fudheil.


There is a similar interpretation about Jihad, it is said that a Mujahid is a person engaged in spiritual struggle in the way of Allah.  In other words, it is the person who wrestles within himself and struggles against his or her own lustful desires.


One day the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was passing through a street in Medina.  He saw a number of young men engaged in a contest of lifting heavy weights.  The Prophet (pbuh) asked if they would like him to act as the judge.  They eagerly agreed, then the Prophet commented:

“The strongest is not the one who can lift the weight the most,

but I can say the strongest is the one

 who can control his lustful [carnal] desires the most

Such a person is truly brave or even the champion.”


For the end of the 1st part of the Khutba, read Surah Al-Asr, take a short intermission, then start the 2nd part of the Khutba with a short Du’aa.


In discussing Jihad we have to keep in mind that Islam, as an inclusive and systematic religion, carries on an interrelated set of ideals and relations.  These ideals and relations cover the entire human thinking, actions, beliefs, practices, thoughts, words and deeds.  Such principles and concepts cannot be fully and properly realized unless they are realized within the framework of Islam as whole.  Actually, one of the interpretations of Jihad in Islam is to combat one’s own self for the sake of refining it.  The Prophet (pbuh) called this the Major Jihad, yet some people were diverted by this interpretation, supposing Jihad to be only against the self.  Thus they forget that emigration (which also means abandoning an undesirable place) is a form of Jihad.  But Jihad, called the Lesser Jihad, also includes fighting foreign enemies in religious defense.


All this leads us to conclude that Islam believes in two kinds of emigration and two kinds of Jihad.  If we negate one type under the pretense of the other, we are diverted from the teachings of Islam.


The greatest personalities of our religion, including the Holy Prophet, Imam Ali and other Imams have all strived for Islam and migrated for its sake.  From a spiritual point of view, there are stages in faith, which cannot be passed except through these actions.  A man who has never entered the field of Jihad cannot be called a Mujahid and one who has not migrated may not win the entitlement of an emigrant.


To consider one of the aspects in Islam, we should discuss marriage.  From the view of Islam, marriage is sacred in several practical ways. Unlike Christianity, in which celibacy is considered sacred, Islam has a different approach.  Why and what are the reasons for that?  Islam regards marriage as an educator of man’s spirit, in other words it’s a kind of maturity and perfection of the individual.  Such maturity and perfection are not obtainable except through marriage.  If a man or a woman remains single to the end of his or her life, even if that life is spent in asceticism, devotion, prayer, and in combat with vices, there is still a kind of inadequacy noticeable in each of them.  That is why marriage is recommended as a necessary tradition.  This is one aspect in man’s education, an efficacious aspect, an aspect that is not interchangeable; it is to put man in his proper sphere.  Similarly, the practice of Migration and Jihad, are regarded as two aspects that cannot be replaced by other kind of aspects or to take the place of the other kind.

Allah said: Surah 4 (al-Nisaa), Ayah 95:


لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ

فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً

وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

 “Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and struggle with their wealth and their lives [for the sake of Allah] above those who stay at home …”


When Imam Ali returned from the battle of Siffin someone came to him and said, “I wish my brother was with you in the battle”.  Ali asked: “What was his intention?  Did he or did he not have an excuse?”  Then Ali continued explaining, “If he had no excuse for not joining us, then all the better that he did not come. But if his heart was with us, and even though he couldn’t join us, he may be considered to have been with us”.  The man answered, “He certainly did intend to join you.”   The Imam then explained,  “Not only was your brother with us but even those who are still in the womb of their mothers or in the lions of their fathers may be considered as to have joined us.”


Muslims and non-Muslims alike have misunderstood the concept of Jihad.  Most non-Muslim scholars, for instance, intentionally or unintentionally have defined Jihad as only the holy war and nothing else.  In fact, Jihad is the Struggle for Allah’s Cause, and there is no Jihad without struggle in the cause of God and for the cause of God.  In this process the key word is truth plus its declaration for the struggle and fight for it.  Thus Jihad is the means for establishing the truth.


Islam invites Muslims to be responsible about the rights of Muslims and others.  Islam is against cruelty, oppression, and corruption.  In this matter there is no difference between Arab and non-Arab, east and west, black and white.  In Islam at any time and any place struggle and Jihad are against all forms of oppression, cruelties, and corruption.  Allah says in the Quran Surah 4 (al-Nisaa), Ayah 75:


وَمَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاء وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا

وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا

 “And why don't you fight in the cause of Allah, and for the weak and ill-treated among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us [from You] a guardian to protect us, and one who will help.”

There is no doubt that defamation of Islam is committed by the enemies of Islam and will not continue so.  The history of the Prophets and the Imams has proved this reality.  Allah says in the Quran Surah 17 (al-Israa), Ayah 81:

وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

“Declare that the Truth has come and the Falsehood has vanished.  Surely Falsehood is bound to vanish”

We pray to Allah to illuminate our hearts with the light of faith and make us true followers of the religion of Islam and give us victory over its detractors, and enable us to win Allah’s satisfaction.  Also we pray Allah to help all oppressed people in the world especially in the Islamic world.


Finally, let us read Surah Al-Nasr with a short Du’aa to close the Khutba.

[1] Safinat al Bihaar, Vol. 2, Page 369.

[2] Al-Kina and al-Alqaab, Vol. 2, Page 153.

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