Hijrah: Linguistic and Islāmic Definitions


As for its linguistic meaning, it is written in ‘Lisān al‐‘Arab,’ of Ibn Mandhūr, as well as ‘Tāj al‐‘Arūs,’ of az‐Zubaydī, that the root word ‘hajara’ is the opposite of ‘connection,’ and it means to severe ties with something, and the word ‘hijrah’ is in the hadīth:

Abandonment (hijrah) of someone beyond three days is not allowed.”

[Ahmad (8960) and Muslim (2562)]


As for it’s meaning in the Sharī’ah, then, in short: it is to leave Dār al‐Harb for Dār al‐Islām, as Ibn al‐‘Arabī (may Allāh have Mercy upon him) said in ‘Ahkām al‐ Qur’ān.’

In ‘al‐Mughnī,’ Ibn Qudāmah al‐Maqdisī said:

“It is to leave Dār al‐Kufr for Dār al‐ Islām.”

Sa’d bin ‘Atīq (may Allāh have Mercy upon him) said, in ‘ad‐Durar as‐Saniyyah’:

“It is to relocate oneself from the places of polytheism and disobedience to the places of Islām and obedience.”



Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 12/50

Hijrah (migration) for the sake of Allaah means moving from the land of shirk to the land of Islam, as the Muslims moved from Makkah – before its people became Muslim – to Madeenah, because it had become the city of Islam after its people had pledged their allegiance (bay’ah) to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and asked him to make hijrah to them.


So Hijrah means migrating to join other Muslims. Hijrah may also take the form of moving from one land of shirk to another land of shirk where evil is less prevalent and there is less danger to the Muslims, as when some of the Muslims migrated from Makkah, at the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), to Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

And Allaah is the Source of Strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

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