Friday, April 14, 2006


In the midst of the Chinese new year, I suddenly came to realize that not only the Chinese are celebrating their new year; but the Muslims too. The Ma’al Hijrah which falls on the 31st January this year signifies a start to a brand new year according to the Islamic calendar and also the moment where the Islamic civilization is reckoned 1427 years ago.
But what are the lessons that we can draw from the history of Ma’al Hijrah?

At the moment where Prophet Muhammad PBUH started to preach Islam to Mecca, the opposition rise against the teachings of Muhammad PBUH which attacks their way of life and culture which are inhumane and barbaric. After diplomatic ways to hinder the teachings of Muhammad Pbuh fails, methods of violence and isolation set in. Sanctions and embargoes were placed onto all Muslim’s trade. No employer is allowed to employ Muslims. Muslims were persecuted and was forbidden to flee from Mecca. No one is allowed to marry Muslims. As a result of this Muslims were left starving and unemployed.

Lessons Learnt
Allah SWT gave the permission to the Muslims to flee from Mecca. In the fleeing process, the Muslims silently escape from the town of Mecca at night except for Muhammad pbuh and Abu Bakar Ra. An example of a good leader can be seen very well here. Muhammad pbuh as a leader did not escape first. Instead, he ensures that all Muslims are out of Mecca before he escapes, even though he is very well aware that his life is in danger of being murdered by the leaders of Mecca that are against him. Isn’t that what a good leader is about? One who takes care of the welfare of the people under him/her? One that puts the people he/she leads before him/her? One who sacrifice for the well being of the people he/she leads? Great ranks comes with great responsibility.

At the point of leaving Mecca, Prophet Muhammad pbuh was filled with sorrow. He wouldn’t want to leave Mecca if he wasn’t being persecuted and isolated by his people. He was very sad at the fact that he had to leave his birthplace. All for the welfare and the safety of his people. We could see the sacrifices that he made are all to safeguard the interests of his people.

During his journey towards Yathrib(modern day Madinah), he was chased after by the people of Mecca who is offered ten camels if they found Muhammad pbuh. He hid in cave hira. That is a moment of trepidation for Abu Bakar RA. However Prophet Muhammad pbuh tells him to be calm and not feel afraid, be strong and have faith in God and he will protect you from harm. It’s indeed true. By God’s will, a spider cast a web at the entrance of the cave and birds laid their eggs. When the enemy reached the cave, they search no further as they find it absurd for Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakar RA to enter the cave without unraveling the spider’s web and breaking the pigeon’s eggs. A lesson that we can draw here is that we should always have faith in God and always stay calm in the face of adversities. The saying 'panic makes the mind go asunder' is true after all.

Prophet Muhammad took two years to plan the escapade. Consequently, it works. The Muslims reached Madinah safely. Here we could see the importance of meticulous planning before execution of any ideas. As clichéd as it sounds, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Therefore, every event in history serves a purpose. It sure contains a lesson or two that can help us to become a better individual or society. All we need is a moment for self reflection.

May blessings abound from Allah SWT this New Year Insyaallah.

Respect till infinity


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