By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Indian Islamic cleric denies the significance of Hijrat (migration) in the
early period of Islamic history. But to some clerics, Hijrat is mandatory (Wajib)
even today for the Muslims living in the democratic countries. For liberal
democracy is akin to Kufr in their view. Such toxic notions of the Hijrat
are actually political tools which the extremist outfits use to further their
political ends. Highlighting the Muslim marginalisation in countries like
India, the extremist Islamist preachers indoctrinate the gullible Muslim youth
mostly belonging to poor Muslim families who can be unconsciously trained to
serve their political agendas.
I came across a written Friday sermon (Khutba-e-Juma')
issued by the All India Imams Council on the occasion of the ongoing Islamic
month of Muharram. This Islamic sermon seems to have been circulated to all
mosques which come under this council across the country. Entitled as "Muharram
and Hijrat", the Friday sermon begins with this verse from the Qura'n:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah
is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the
heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion,
so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers
collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is
with the righteous [who fear Him]”. (9:36)
the sermon details the rewards for migration (Hijrat) for a just Islamic cause
but at the same time, it has subtly tried to link the migration and martyrdom
in the path of Allah. Thus, the sermon shows how some clerics convince the
gullible Muslim youth that martyrdom in the path of Allah is same as migration
or Hijrat in Islam and so the rewards that are promised for martyrs are also
promised for them. But in reality, they are violating the essential
message of the Quran that clearly says:
“And do not confound the truth with
vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly.” (Al Baqarah: 42)
fact, the main point of Hijrat in Islam in the early Prophetic era was the fact
that Muslims were not allowed to profess and practice their Religion in Makkah.
But the Constitution of India guarantees the enjoyment of full freedom to
profess and practice any religion and propagate it. Freedom of religion in
India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of
the conquest of Makkah, in the 8th year after the Hijrah, most people in the
Arabian Peninsula embraced Islam. It was around this time that Prophet (pbuh)
said: “There is no more Hijrat
(migration) after the conquest [of Makkah]”. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 2912). Today,
this Hadith should be viewed as one of the Islamic exhortations of why Muslims
in the democratic countries like India do not need Hijrat at all.
Prophetic saying encouraged most Muslims, since then on, to stay where they
were and worship the Almighty. Freedom to worship the Almighty and practice Islam
was the main reason of Hijrat in the
early period of Islam and when the necessity was met, migration was prohibited.
It is for this reason that migration [Hijrat]
from India to elsewhere is not legally binding for anyone, as India
constitutionally ensures freedom to worship and practice Islam. The similar
point can also be deduced in the explanation of the following verse of the
“And to Allah belongs the East and the
West. So wherever you [might] turn, there is Allah’s Entity. Indeed, Allah is
All-Encompassing and the All-Knowing.” (2:115)
In fact, the extremist theological
justification for Hijrat emanates from the view that the non-Muslim majority
countries like India are ‘Darul Kufr’
(land of disbelief), which is completely erroneous and untenable. Twisting the
early Islamic terminologies which the medieval Ulema coined in the backdrop of
political situations, the present-day extremists misperceive them and consider
every country where the Islamic Shariah is not enforced as Darul Kufr or Darul Harb (land of war). Nearly all
Islamist extremists believe that the people of these countries may be fought by
an Islamic expedition (Ghazwa) in order to conquer their territories.
But this jihadist argument is rebutted
by the theological classification of territories made by early Islamic jurists
which was not intended to justify Hijrat against the non-Muslim lands. Rather,
it served as a legal basis upon which certain jurisprudential (fiqhi) rulings
were implemented on Muslims.
The 6th century renowned Hanafi Islamic
jurist Imam al-Kasani (r.a)—who authored one of the most authentic
reference works on the Hanafi law “al-Bada’e al-Sana’e”—writes in this book
which is taught as text book in most Indian Madrasas: “What is meant by
designating the word “dar” (abode) with Islam and Kufr (disbelief) is
not Islam and disbelief per se, but the state of security or
insecurity. Moreover, the relative juristic rulings are not based on Islam
itself or Kufr (in this case), but on the security or insecurity.”
This position is further reinforced by
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah revered as an important Imam in the Sunni Islamic
tradition. He clearly endorsed the above traditional Islamic position in this
statement: “This is the opinion held by the majority of scholars [Ulema]. It is
crystal clear that Muslims jurists made their opinions according to Fiqh
al-Ma’alat (the Islamic law which takes into consideration the outcomes of
actions).” [Ibn Qayyem Al-Jawziyyah, Ahkam Ahl Al-Dhimmah 2/873].
Thus, the medieval Islamic terms--Dar
ul-Islam, Dar ul-Kufr and Dar ul-Harb--are null and void today. They are
abrogated by the new world order, constitution, international covenants, peace
treaties and international relations. They might have been relevant during the
third and fourth Islamic centuries, but not in the 21st century.
The origin of the term ‘Dar-ul-Harb’ is
related to the situation when non-Muslim states on the border of
Muslim-majority states interfered with the religious freedom of the Muslims,
which gave them an excuse for migration (Hijrat) or intervention by the
neighboring Muslim states to defend their rights or to support migration or
rebellion by the Muslims. It was on these grounds that Maulana Abul Kalam
Azad and other Indian Ulema had declared the British India Dar ul Harab, arguing that the British rulers interfered with the
religious freedom and security. Therefore, they had also provided justification
But the post-independence India
is neither Darul Kufr nor ‘Dar-ul-Harb’ as it provides a strong
Constitution and by and large a peaceful environment for all its citizens to
exercise their religious rights freely.
Since the security and peace treaty are
fully guaranteed in the Constitution of India, the rulings of Darul Islam or
Darul Kufr are no longer of any theological application here.
The authentic Islamic jurisprudential position is that if Muslims
peacefully coexist with other people enjoying safety of life and security of
the religious freedom anywhere in the world, any such territory cannot be
termed as Darul Harb. Therefore, the independent India is declared as Darul Mua’ahda (abode of peace
treaty) or Darul Sulah (abode of
reconciliation) in the Islamic jurisprudential (Fiqhi) terms.
Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani, an
established Islamic cleric who popularized the concept of Darul Mua’ahda for
India, motivated Muslims towards the territorial nationalism rather than
creating a nation based on religious considerations. In 1937, Maulana addressed
a political meeting in Delhi and made this clear statement: “Today a
nation is made on the basis of the country. If there are different religions in
the country, the nation does not become different”.
Similarly, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, an
erstwhile Indian Islamic scholar, premised that nations across the world
including Arabs and Turks were struggling against the colonialism and thus he
called for the Hindu-Muslim unity for an integrated and independent India. He
collaborated with his contemporaries among the Hindu Bengali freedom fighters
in upholding this nationalistic cause.
Maulana Azad referred to this
non-violent cooperation against the British in conjunction with the Hindu
co-nationalists as Jihad (struggle) in his Islamic epistemology, as Ayesha
Jalal, an acclaimed Islamic historian, has candidly explained this in her paper
titled, “Striking A Just Balance: Maulana Azad As A Theorist Of Trans-National
Jihad”. Jalal traced the link between anti-colonial nationalist thought and a
theory of jihad in early twentieth-century India. “It was in the context of the
aggressive expansion of European power and the ensuing erosion of Muslim
sovereignty that the classical doctrine of jihad was refashioned to legitimize
modern anti-colonial struggles”, she writes. Focused on the thought and
politics of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, as a major theoretician of Islamic law and
ethics, this essay recalls him as a “secular nationalist” while at the same
time as the most celebrated theorist of a “trans-national jihad”.
It was around this time that some Indian
Islamic clerics issued a fatwa declaring the British India as Dar-ul-Harb (land
of war) and thus calling Muslims for Hijrat to a country which could be seen as
Dar-ul-Salam (land of peace). The call for Hijrat was also given by the Ali
Brothers who initiated the Khialfat Conference on December 1919. This call was
supported by several Muslim clerics. But the main idea was to get Afghan help
to fight off the British in India. Consequently in August 1920, thousands of
Muslim families migrated to Afghanistan.
Reportedly, the Afghan king had asked Indians (both Hindus and Muslim)
to migrate to Afghanistan to free India from the colonial clutches of the
But even then, the well-established
Indian Ulema did not declare Hijrat mandatory (Farz) or obligatory (Wajib).
Neither the Ulema of Deoband nor the Barelwis categorically issued any fatwa
for Hijrat. Nationalist Muslim leaders like Maulana Azad were more focused on
heralding the Non-cooperation movement rather than the Hijrat calls. Here
again, the idea was that there was no option left for Indian Muslims except to
engage in an anti-British Jihad (struggle for freedom) or migrate to a safer
After 71 years of the independence, the doctrine
of Hijrat is discussed among the many old graves which are being dug up
now. One of the considered questions that the extremist elements often raise to
draw out the Indian Muslim community is whether it is obligatory for Muslims to
migrate from India, as it does not remain Darul
Amn (land of peace) or Darul Mua’ahda
and turns into Darul Harb again.
Basically, their argument is that no longer does India guarantee religious
freedom and security. What happens when most Muslims start feeling insecure on
grounds of religion?, they ask.
the radical narrative of Hijrat is largely based on promoting the victimhood
mentality. An aggressive social media campaign is underfoot to promote a
mindset of victimhood among Muslim youths. This sometimes influences the
gullible and immature minds of even the educated youth with little religious
social media campaigns not only show the current regime of India as ‘unjust’
and ‘tyrant’ but also term it as system of manifest error (Fisq o Fujur),
prevailing oppression (Zulm) and dominating disbelief (Kufr al-Ashad)—prerequisites
for the legitimacy of the Hijrat in Islam. But an antidote to this victimhood
narrative is completely missing from our discourses today. However, the
theological consensus (Ijma’a) of the Indian Ulema is that Hijrat is not
binding for Indian Muslims even if the situation is believed to be so. Their premise is that Hijrat is now abrogated in the Independent India
by International Law and Constitution supported by the consensus of the
majority of authoritative Islamic scholars.
Several years ago, a noted Muslim politician
and thinker in India, Syed Shahabuddin had articulated it in his article for Mainstream
Weekly. I reproduce some excerpts:
"The Indian state is governed by a
Constitution which grants religious freedom not only to profess a religion but
also practice and propagate it. There may be local or occasional interference
here and there but the state is fully committed to religious freedom in every
sense of the term. Such a state simply cannot be ‘Dar-ul-Harb’."
"Moreover, today international
relationships are bound by international law. All states are bound by the UN
Charter. Differences among states have to be resolved through prescribed
procedure and not by force. Neither can any state act
unilaterally. Therefore, no foreign state, which claims to be Muslim
or defender of Islam, can intervene in the internal affairs of another state on
the plea that religious freedom of Muslims is being curbed. You've the
option to raise the matter within UN."
Indians enjoy equal political and legal rights. They have the freedom to place
their grievances before the legislature and the executive or take recourse to
the judiciary. So far from being ‘Dar-ul-Harb’, India is a ‘Dar-ul-Aman’
(land of peace) and a ‘Dar-ul-Muwahida’ (land of compact)."
Regular Columnist with
Newageislam.com, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a classical Islamic scholar and
English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has graduated from a leading Islamic seminary of
India, acquired Diploma in Qur'anic sciences and Certificate in Uloom ul Hadith
from Al-Azhar Institute of Islamic Studies. Presently, he is pursuing his PhD
in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
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Indian Muslims do not need to follow Extremists’ Call for Hijrat
Misconstrued Concept of Hijrat and the Position of Indian Ulema
articles in NAI referred above primarily focus on India and its post
independence Constitution in the light of theological arguments for
and against migration – hijrat.
But in the
context of today's exodus from mainly majority Muslim poor countries
to the 'other' majority countries of the wealthy West, a sinister
strategy is adopted by the Extremist and Jihadi elements, of
deliberately creating in the Muslim countries Dar-ul-harb and thus
creating a push-factor to herd Muslims to the West, and when there to
demand the so called Sharia Law; this is a political strategy backed
up by theological flavour of Hirat and Tableegh of their form of
Islam, and under compulsion.
The West in
being wealthy, enlightened and secular, additionally is equally to be
the extremist cause by creating unjust war zones for their own
corrupt leaders and dictators in Muslim countries and encouraging
them to deposit their looted wealth in the West and never returning
it even after the leaders are “gone”.
unstable and inapt political regimes to further their own regional
entangled in the moral, ethical and HR dilemma of 'asylum seekers'.
pull-factor in many Western countries of the Welfare system applied
'softly'- and more.
The West has the
means therefore to grind the stumps out of the evil roots at the
ground level if it ever does wish to bring 'world peace'.
article. The best way to counter such nonsense is to quote the universal rule
for all times about migration contained in the verses 4:97 to 100 from which migration
is mandated only when you are prevented from practicing Islam and when you are
capable of migrating. We also learn from other verses, that the minimum practice to be considered a Muslim is to establish regular congregational prayer and spending in charity.
also clear from the verses, is that belief alone is not enough since we may
continue to hold on to our beliefs even when prevented from practicing Islam.
What clearly matters more is practice and those who do not practice Islam,
(4:97) When angels take in death those who die wronging themselves (not
practicing Islam), they say: "In what (plight) Were ye?" They reply:
"Weak and oppressed Were we in the earth." They say: "Was not
the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (From
evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell,- What an evil refuge! -
(98) Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed - men, women, and
children - who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to their way.
(99) For these, there is hope that Allah will forgive: For Allah doth
blot out (sins) and forgive again and again.
(100) He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth
Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for
Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah
is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.