Emigration to Islam: Sacrifice and patience

|     Dr Muhammad Hadi bin Muhammad Melayong     |

INDEED man cannot escape from the process of emigration (Hijrah) especially with regards to improving the standard of living from the imperfect to the perfect, or the bad to the better. Allah the Almighty will always help His servants who intend to change their lives for the better.

Therefore, if we really want to improve, then we will try to change. Generally speaking, from a historical perspective, the glory of Islamic civilisation which spread widely to the rest of the world today is the sacrifice and patience of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who had fought in upholding Islam for the sake of his followers.

We recall the historical events of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah more than 1,400 years ago, which teaches and guides us on the process of emigration in the era of globalisation. This is the first moment that ultimately strengthens the lives of Muslims whether individually or in society, by understanding the history of the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We can take this as a lesson in understanding the values of sacrifice and patience, especially when tackling obstacles and challenges in facing difficulties. Victory, glory and happiness will be gained not only in this life, but also in the hereafter.

Thus the concept of emigration can be viewed from various angles as an attempt to change one’s fate, attitude or situation for the better. An emigration that is accompanied by effort, patience and devotion to Allah the Almighty, will surely be rewarded with success. By referring to the celebration of Hijrah at the beginning of the year of the Islamic calendar, it points to a new start that is accompanied by new determination and effort such as wanting to work more diligently and earnestly to improve the quality of life. As Muslims we take priority in celebrating the coming new year of Islamic calendar (Hijrah) with a new resolution, rather than the new year of the Gregorian calendar (Masihi).

From the historical prospective of our state independence, we have also migrated from a country under British rule to an independent and sovereign nation to create a better life known as a state of Baldatun Tayyibatun Wa Rabbun Ghafur. It is also a struggle in the process of emancipation for the good of seeking the perfection of community and national life by adhering to the philosophy of the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) state.

Muhammad Ariffin bin Muhammad Hanif with his relatives who also embraced Islam
Muhammad Ariffin’s daughters, Laila Maria and Flora Maria, during the conversion ceremony
Muhammad Ariffin in a group photo with his extended family after the conversion ceremony

Therefore, we believe that our lives require emigration because at some point, we may or may not want every human being to move to a new world. When we get a call from Allah the Almighty to return to Him, then be prepared for this moment we will feel each and every one of us being His servant. So, in preparation to answer our call to Allah the Almighty, he/she shall increase in doing good deeds and shall avoid all that has been prohibited in doing as a Muslim, as stated by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

When emigrating to a better life, what awaits us are benefits that will help our lives become better. The concept of emigration should educate our souls to be the best Muslim individual. The requirement of our emigration must be because of Allah the Almighty, striving and trusting in Allah the Almighty as well. Doing something because of Allah the Almighty has its reward, as that is the promise of Allah the Almighty as He says in Surah Al-Nahl, Verses 41-42, “And those who have fled because of Allah after they have been persecuted (oppressed by the enemies of Islam), we will place them in this world in their best and most rewarding place, (their good deeds) will be greater in the hereafter, if they know. (They are) those who are patient (bear with transgression) and surrender to their Lord.”

This is the earlier history of emigration that Muslims went through for reference and guidance. Allah the Almighty promised to the Messenger of Allah the Almighty and his followers who suffered through the oppression of the Quraysh of Makkah while defending the teaching of Islam. Emigrating to Madinah was the best move to start something better than ever. However in the context of our day-to-day life, the emigration is not just physical (moving from one place to another), but also a change of attitude, heart, tongue, mental, spiritual and thinking in a more positive direction.

Believers who succeed in emigrating to a better life are not just from a material point of view, such as living a simple life, or from being difficult. On the contrary, emigration must take place physically, spiritually and mentally. When a servant succeeded in making a difference in life and increased his fear of Allah the Almighty, he saw that a process of change had taken place to achieve the perfection of life and the happiness of the hereafter.

Life that is based on Sunnah and Syariah will complement the understanding of the true value of migration according to the teachings of Islam. In the end, we will make believers who fear and Jihad in the way of Allah the Almighty. Alhamdulillah, we are grateful to Allah the Almighty, for His grace and gift, Brunei Darussalam is still continuing a process of migration in strengthening our faith to Allah the Almighty, for example through the process of Islamisation by abandoning the old religion especially among the people and the people of this country to the new religion of Islam. It is very easy to become a Muslim by reciting the Syahadah (declaration of faith) Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah. (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah the Almighty.)

Say, Wa ash-hadu ana Muhammad ar-Rasulallah. (And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.) This declaration of faith is a struggle among the new brethren who choose Islam as their new home. It is a journey with many obstacles and obstacles to the perfection of worldly life and the afterlife.

October 26, 2018 is an important point in the life of a Dusun family who migrated to Islam at their own will. The family was Ariffin bin Nyambong and his wife Sayang binti Melayong and their children. Ariffin bin Nyambong chose his Muslim name Muhammad Ariffin bin Muhammad Hanif while his wife chose her Muslimah name Arisha Maria binti Muhammad Melayong. Their children chose the Muslim names of Muhammad Ariff Daniel bin Muhammad Ariffin, Laila Maria binti Muhammad Ariffin and Flora Maria binti Muhammad Ariffin.

This emigration was a guidance or instruction given by Allah the Almighty to His chosen servant. As a token of thanks to Allah the Almighty, a Kesyukuran ceremony was held to celebrate the new Muslim converts to receive the blessing and mercy of Allah the Almighty. It has also opened a new chapter in this family’s life leading to success and glory.

In addition, we also pray to Allah the Almighty to hope that this kind of migration will be followed by family members and other relatives who have not received guidance from Allah the Almighty. It is the duty of all Muslims to co-lead and assist our new brothers of Islam in this country in furthering their knowledge, faith and devotion to Allah the Almighty.

It should also be noted that migration in Islam does not mean that the family ties between Muslim and non-Muslim family members are broken. Islam is a religion that encourages the generosity and peace of family and community life with a spirit of mutual respect and understanding and cooperation with one another regardless of religion, culture and descent. Therefore, there is a need for unity and harmony in family life, the community in general and the nation as a whole in strengthening the ummah in achieving the goal of Baldatun Tayyibatun Wa Rabbun Ghafur, a good nation graced by Allah the Almighty.