Muslim New Year: Happy New Year 1445 H!

Muslim New Year: Happy New Year 1445 H!

On the occasion of the new Hijri year 1445/H which will begin on Wednesday July 19, Oumma wishes you the most dear wishes for peace, happiness, health and prosperity.

The hijrah (hijra)

In this article, we will relate the conditions under which the Prophet left Mecca and emigrated to Medina, a prelude to the triumph of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

The Muslims were persecuted by the pagan Quraishites who attacked more particularly the humble people, those who were not covered by any protection of a clan. Life became harder and harder for all the believers who, on the order of the Prophet, emigrated to Medina, called at that time: Yathrib.

The Muslims left Mecca clandestinely and in small groups to pass unnoticed and escape the surveillance of the pagans who did not hesitate to resort to ignominious methods to discourage the partisans of the exodus; this was the case, among others, of a certain Hashim-ibn-As: “Learning that he is a Muslim and that he wants to go into exile, the Quraishites arrest him”, says Virgil Georghiu.

In Mecca, there is no prison. The first Arab prison will be built in Kofah, many years after the death of Mohammad, by his son-in-law ‘Ali. At that time, those who were arrested were – like the black Bilal – put in irons and left naked on the sand, or else crucified on a camel and tied to a caravan, or else thrown into the bottom of a well. »

“Hashim is stripped of his clothes, loaded with chains, and locked up in a house without a roof, so that the sword of the sun will burn him and cut him through the flesh to the bone. »

The idea germinated in the minds of the Quraishites that the only way to annihilate Islam was to organize the assassination of the Prophet. To this end, the heads of the ten main families that comprised Mecca met to draw up a plan.

Three solutions were considered: arrest, expulsion from the city and murder.

“When the unbelievers use schemes against you, to seize you, to kill you or to expel you, if they use schemes, God also uses schemes and it is God who is the strongest in schemes (S. VIII, 30).

The first two solutions were rejected. In the first case, the Prophet’s supporters would be able to use force to free him. The second case presented a serious danger to the safety of the pagans because, far from Mecca, the Prophet could raise an army and attack them. It was thus that the project of assassination was retained.

“For Quraysh society, assassination in itself is in no way a serious act, from a moral, religious or human point of view. A man’s life is exclusively a material good. If the man is suppressed, he can be replaced by another, or by camels, by sheep, by money. The sin of homicide is not yet known. In this respect, the plan to assassinate Mohammed presents no disadvantage. His life belongs to the Abd-al-Muttalib clan.

The chief of this clan is Abu-Lahab. He expelled Mohammed from the clan for serious misconduct towards the ancestors. Therefore, Abu-Lahab will not seek restitution from the murderers for Muhammad’s life. On the contrary, he will take part in the assassination of his nephew. The problem thus posed, the death of Muhammad will not entail any inconvenience. As long as the family does not ask for any damages in case of murder, then Mohammed’s life has no value. It costs nothing.

The Quraysh are wise people. Abu-Lahab, not being eternal, another chief of the clan could later decide to avenge the affront suffered. “To protect ourselves from any future dispute, continues Virgil Georghiu, dispute which may arise in ten, in a hundred years, and which would be a source of trouble for the descendants of the assassins, we decide that the team of murderers will be made up of representatives of all the Quraysh families, as well as of the associated tribes and of all categories of clients and allies.

In this way, the number of assassins, who would eventually have to be brought to account, would be high enough to discourage any claims. Mohammed’s murder needs to be somehow anonymous. This assassination must be accomplished like a lynching. »

Tabari provides us with a fairly detailed report of the meeting of the council which decided on the physical elimination of the Prophet: “Walîd, son of Moghaïra; Sofyan, son of Omayya, Abu-Jahl, son of Hisham, and Abu-Sofyan, son of ‘Harb, met in secret to deliberate how they should destroy Muhammad, who they said insults us and our guests, and who wants us prevent worshiping idols.

Walid, son of Moghaira, said: Let us lock him up in a house and let him die of hunger and thirst. Abou-Djahl said: This is not good advice; for Muhammad has relatives in Mecca, who will look for him and who, if they find him, will suspect us; then there will be blood shed between us and the Benî-Hâschim. Abu-Sofyan, son of ‘Harb, said: You must place him on a she-camel, tie her hands and feet tightly, and let this she-camel run in the desert, she will carry him to a foreign tribe, where he will hold on to the people. his speeches, and these will kill him.

Walid, son of Moghaira, spoke and said: This advice is not good; for Muhammad is a man whose speech is insinuating, sweet and pleasant; if he falls into Arab tribes, he will seduce people, who will concert and come to attack us. That wouldn’t be prudent. Next, Abou-Djahl’s opinion was asked. He said: I think that we must choose forty men, taken from all the tribes, vigorous men, from thirty to forty years old, whom we will send to stand at the door of Muhammad.

They will watch for him as he passes; when he goes out in the evening to say his prayers and to make the rounds around the temple, they will swoop down on him with their swords and kill him. When the Beni-Hâschim learn of his death, we will say that, as he was killed by forty men and that one cannot kill forty people for the retaliation of one, we agree to pay the price of blood, such as that they will fix it. Then we will divide this sum between us, which we will pay. In this way we will be rid of all difficulty in his regard. »

The Prophet was informed of the plot by one of his aunts. He immediately went to Abu-Bakr and informed him that a group of killers were preparing to attempt his life at daybreak. The dynamic Abu-Bakr wasted no time. He quickly organized the departure to Medina, helped by a slave and a guide. For this purpose, he bought two camels which he hid outside the city, ready to rush into the desert at the desired time. He then led the Prophet to a cave in Mount Thaur, located approximately an hour’s walk from Mecca.

Meanwhile, ‘Ali was asked to settle in the house of the Prophet, put on his cloak and stand with his back against the window to make the enemy believe that the Messenger of God was still there. ‘Ali was also instructed to sleep in the Prophet’s bed after dark. “When the night was a little advanced,” says Tabari, “the forty men came and took up a position near the Prophet’s house, each in a corner, with the intention of killing Muhammad when he went out in the morning for prayer.

But, towards midnight, they said to one another: come, let us enter his house to kill him; for it could be that the Beni-Hâschim would be warned one day, and that, on seeing us, they would recognize that we want to kill Mohammed. So they rushed, all together, to the house of the Prophet. Having found only ‘Ali, who was lying, they were disappointed. »

At dawn, when the Quraysh understood that they had been tricked, they set off in pursuit of the Prophet and Abu-Bakr in the hope of capturing them. Throughout the search, which lasted three consecutive days, the two fugitives remained hidden in their refuge. “In truth, the Quraishites, says Virgil Georghiu, have no chance of discovering the Prophet.

They have mobilized hundreds of men and hundreds of swift camels to explore the desert roads, caves and defiles, relying solely on their numbers, their strength and their skill. They ignore that they also have to fight against God. They don’t believe in God. But God – once again – saved the Prophet.

When the first team of pursuers arrived in front of the cave, the Lord sent some spiders which hastily weaved a web in front of the entrance. Seeing the spider’s web intact, the men looking for the Prophet went on their way, convinced that for a long time no one had entered the cave.

“The second team that arrives wants to enter the cave, but the Lord sends a bird, which makes its nest and lays its eggs on the very threshold. And again, the pursuers continue on their way. The third time, stones roll down and block the entrance.

When he wakes up, Abu Bakr is depressed. Fatigue, flight, snakebite, hunger, everything weighs. Mohammed encourages his companion. He tells her not to give up. They are not two, they are three, since God is with them. The Qur’an says: “If you do not help the Prophet, God has already helped him, when the disbelievers expelled him, the second of the two (Abu Bakr), the day when both were in the cave and that he said to his companion: Do not grieve; God is with us ! (S. IX, 40).

Assured that the surveillance of the pagans had relaxed, the Prophet and Abu-Bakr left the cave and headed for Medina, not without having gone through multiple difficulties and escaping a few pursuers enticed by the high reward of the capture promised by the Quraishites. .

The arrival in Medina, after about ten days of painful walking in torrid heat, took place on September 24, 622. It was from this date that the Muslim calendar begins. “One might be surprised at such a choice, at first sight; and yet no other event in the life of the Prophet had a more decisive influence on the worldwide success of his work.

If he had remained in Mekka, even admitting his definitive triumph, Islam had remained there with him. The Arabs of all Arabia, fearing the power that Islam would have brought to the Quraish alone, would have united to prevent him from leaving the Sacred City. Whereas, having at first, despite all grudges, firmly implanted the roots of his religion in his native town, it became easy for the Prophet to enter there after winning the other Arabs to his cause,” writes Étienne Dinet .

Medina was the starting point of a new era for Islam. “A new era had indeed dawned,” says Emile Dermenghen. A new theocratic community, outside the traditional tribal organizations of Arabia, had just been born. Hostilities were virtually open with Mecca and the “holy war” – a dangerous alliance of words – was about to prevail”.

The Hegira is understood by many Westerners as a flight. This is not the case. Rather, it is a “voluntary exile”. If God had willed, He would have ordered the Prophet and his companions to remain in Mecca and would have strengthened them to overcome the hostility, violence and outrages of the enemy and to make Islam triumph in other conditions.

God has decided otherwise and the Hegira takes on a completely different meaning. “However, the Koran is clear, says Roger Arnaldez: the hegira is an act of Islam, that is to say of abandonment to God, of trust in Him”. Thus the order to expatriate had come from God, as this account of Aïsha, wife of the Prophet, clearly shows: “The Prophet arrived at our house at a late hour. Abu Bakr understood that this visit was for a serious matter. The Prophet, having sat down, then said: God authorizes me to leave Mecca and to emigrate in my turn. »

Tahar Gaid