The migration of the Prophet and his companions on Sept 20, 622 AD, offers many lessons wherein the little group strengthened their faith, practised self-restraint and surrendered their problems to Allah during the journey, which finally led to the creation of a world-renowned civilisation.
The terms migration and transformation are actually based on the same spirit, concept or aim, which is to lead society to a better life.
Therefore, it is important for all of humanity, in particular the Muslims in Malaysia, to choose this historic moment, which was the starting point of the Islamic calendar, to study, expand and inculcate the hijrah concept in their daily life.
Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) director-general Datuk Nik Mustapha Nik Hassan said the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina was a strategic long-term plan which sparked off a major transformation through the formation of the Medina Charter.
The charter catapulted the previously backward community into a progressive and proactive society with mutual respect for one another.
He said the government’s intention to make Malaysia a high-income nation via the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme was based on the same hijrah spirit and should be supported.
Nik Mustapha feels that the government’s effort in improving the quality of life for its people which is contained in the transformation plans, is completely in line with the meaning, spirit and aim of the migration.
He said Vision 2020 introduced by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1992 also encapsulated the same spirit, the only difference in what the government was implementing now being contained in a single word — transformation.
Academician Dr Amini Amir Abdullah of Universiti Putra Malaysia is of the opinion that people should not be confused and view the hijrah solely as migration, but to consider it as Allah’s commandment in His plan to transform society.
Amini, from the university’s Human Ecology Faculty, Nationality and Civilisation Studies Department, said the development efforts being undertaken by the government was a form of transformation which had been propagated by the Prophet, with its meaning just expanded in keeping with the present scenario.
He feels that what the government is doing at the moment is a paradigm shift in the context of economy and life, a branching out of the original meaning of the hijrah undertaken by the Prophet and his companions.
“It’s only that a new life should be breathed into the meaning of hijrah through overall transformation, including physical development in the country.
“Before, we only saw the hijrah as a migration from Mecca to Medina, but its wider meaning can be termed as ‘transformation’, the aim of which is the same, that is to improve the quality of life,”