Our departure for Madinah had been scheduled at around midday but it got delayed hour after hour and so by the time we got into the bus, the day had gone and the city of Makkah bade farewell to us in the glow of twilight.
As I sat in the bus and looked around, I had a strong realization of leaving a place where my heart had found its real contact with Allah… but had I made Allah happy? Had I been truly humble and grateful for Allah’s blessings? Will I come again? Will I see it again? And finally the same question with which all my thoughts began and ended: “Is Allah pleased with me… will He forgive my sins?”
If I hadn’t been so excited and thrilled to be going to Madinah, I would have cried my heart out… but Allah is so great that just on the verge of so much sadness, He had given me something so delightful to look forward to… My heart was trembling with joy… Oh Allah! Was it a dream or really true that soon I will be in the lovely Masjid of my Prophet (s.a.w)?
After what seemed like ages, the bus finally started moving in the heavy traffic. The first amazing thing which caught my eye was a sign board “Umar bin Al-Khattab Road” and I felt like all the difference of centuries was melting away and that my time and Umar (r.a)’s time had joined together on that specific point… how brave he must have been to openly embark on his Hijrah to Madinah… and no one had the guts to stop him! I smiled to remember all those things I have read about him… all those things which make him so beloved and honoured to all the Muslims.
Was it a coincidence that I was making this journey at night… the same time when our Prophet (s.a.w) had travelled towards Madinah along with His most loyal and steadfast companion, Abu Bakr (r.a)? Or was it a special gift from Allah so that I could truly visualize that night 1432 years ago… when the Prophet of Allah left for Madinah. How hard it must have been for him to leave his most beloved place, his birth place, his home, his memories of a lifetime and step forward into a dangerous future…
There was no way I could compare my journey with theirs but still I made those comparisons to analyse my faith and reliance on Allah… I was sitting in a fairly comfortable bus, had arrangements of food and water… there were no people running after me for my life!
So was I being grateful? Had I ever acknowledged or appreciated the fact that it was due to the sacrifices of my Prophet (s.a.w) and his companions that the message of Allah has reached us? It was their firm faith and endurance against all odds that today we can feel so secure on the same road on which he was being threatened at every step… And so with a new awareness and feeling my heart whispered the dua: May Allah shower His peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
I also understood the most important lesson of my life, that if I wanted to follow the footsteps of my Prophet (s.a.w) then I will have to give up my petty dependence on worldly comforts and pleasures. Because there can be no achievements without “Hijrah“… which means to migrate from one place to another for the sake of Allah and His religion. Hijrah also means to migrate from one lifestyle to another… from one way of thinking to another. Basically it means to “sacrifice”… to leave behind whatever you have to leave, in order to serve Allah… make Allah the most beloved… the most important….