The Meaning and Ruling of Hijrah : Shaikh Ahmad bin Yahyaa An-Najmee
His explanation of Thalathat-ul-Usool
In his explanation of “The Three Fundamental Principles” of Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee said:
The definition of Hijrah is: To abandon the Land of Shirk, i.e. to leave it, and to come to a Land of Islaam. This is since the word Hijrah is derived from the root hajr which means to abandon or leave off. The Muslims were commanded to abandon the Land of Shirk and go to the Land of Islaam. The ruling on Hijrah is that it is obligatory for the one who is able to do it. This is why Allaah informs us that there will be a group of people whom the angels will take in death while they are wronging themselves due to their lack of migrating and their preferring the Land of Shirk.
Allaah says: “Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (by not performing Hijrah), they (angels) will say (to them): ‘In what (condition) were you?’ They will reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed in the earth.’ They (angels) will say: ‘Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to migrate therein?’ Such men will find their abode in Hell – what an evil destination! Except the weak ones among men, women and children – who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way. These are the ones whom Allaah is (most) likely to forgive, and Allaah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Most Forgiving.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 97-99]
And He says: “O My servants who believe (in Me)! Verily, My earth is spacious so to Me alone, perform your worship.” [Surah Al-‘Ankaboot: 56]
Al-Baghawee, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “The reason for the revelation of this ayah was due to some Muslims who had resided in Makkah and did not migrate (to Madeenah). Allaah called out to them using the title of Eemaan (for them).”
We derive from these verses that Hijrah is obligatory on the one who is able to do it, which requires him to move from a Land of Disbelief to a Land of Islaam. This is since in a Land of Disbelief, the believer is exposed to harm and the government will be against him as opposed to in his favor. Even though he may be safe from harm, he will still not be safe from having to seek judgement in laws that are not from Allaah’s Legislation, such as man-made laws, which they use to govern the people.
However, Hijrah in our present time must only be done with the permission from the country that one is migrating to. So if the country refuses to accept this emigrant, then he has no ability or power in the matter except by Allaah’s leave.
Things used to be easy (in the old days). But as for today, there is difficulty in Hijrah either from the side of the country that one is migrating from or from the side of the country that one is migrating to. So whoever is able to make Hijrah, with ease and no difficulty, to a Land of Islaam, then such a person is obligated to do that. Furthermore, some of the Muslim countries today apply strict measures against those who adhere to the Religion of Allaah in everything that he brings and leaves behind.
In summary, any Muslim that lives in a country, which the disbelievers rule based on man-made laws, must migrate from it if he is easily able to do it. And if it is not easy for him, then according to what is apparent (from the texts), he is excused due to Allaah’s saying: “Allaah does not burden a soul with more than it can handle.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 286]. And with Allaah lies the success.