والله انك لخير أرض الله واحب أرض الي ولولا ان اهلك اخرجوني منك ما خرجت
By Allah, Without a doubt you are the best of Allah's lands and the most beloved land to me. If it were not that your people had forced me ,I would not have left you.
The Holy Prophet ,صلى الله عليه وسلم addresses His beloved Makkah as He leaves. The words ring with the deep love and closeness that living and growing up by the house of Allah brings. Fifty three years of life in the Haram of Allah and now to leave it for the sake of Allah. Everytime I arrive in Makkah I feel as if I have come home and everytime I leave it I feel lost and without a home. This is how I feel without being born there, without growing up there, without living there for most of my life. I wonder at the level of sacrifice asked of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم and His willingness to give up that closeness to the house of Allah , only to fulfill the command of Allah. In those moments ,His natural love for His birthplace took second place to His desire for the Deen of Allah to be established.
The thirteen years prior to this moment of emigration was a preperation for that level of sacrifice for the sake of Allah. The willingness to give up your belongings, your home, your business, your family and friends. Everything you know and loved became secondary to your love of Allah and His Deen.
Knowing how much I loved my country South Africa, and my constant stories of my beloved country and all the comforts of home , I wonder at a sacrifice of the best place on this earth.The sacrifice of leaving the sanctity of the house of Allah ,for Him.
The Islamic Calendar begins at the hijrah. It did not begin at the inception of Islam which was thirteen years prior to this moment. Yet the unique sacrifice that the Sahaba undertook in those moments- choosing Deen to overtake all their desires,to overshadow their lives and decisions. This was the whole focus of those early days when they echoed the statements of Iman. Our faith is always focused on the movement of the words from our lips to the heart and then to our limbs in total submission.
The Month of Muharram highlights the totality of Iman that caused the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and His noble companions to place the Deen of Allah ahead of their own desires,their own happiness and above all their own understanding.
The hijrah changed the course of the history of Islam and set an example to each one of us in that sacrifice for the Deen of Allah should be the desire that fuels our every moment. This does not have to be sacrifice in Grand gestures ,but it is the daily decisions to sacrifice rest time for Allah . To sacrifice family time for prayer. To sacrifice sleep and comfort in the cold for Allah. It is making the decision daily that the Deen of Allah will be bigger than my own desires . Greater than my own rest.
In the world , a new year serves to bring with it a time to celebrate. Yet as Muslims our calendar ends with the sacrifices of Zul Hijja and the difficulty of Hajj and begins with the sacrifices of Emigration for Allah. The month of Muharram brings with it the responsibility of renewing our desire to live a life of meaning , to live a life that brings the Deen of Allah to the centre of everything.