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The meaning of Hijra

By No Comments4 min read

Monday 01 January 2024

by Ali

The Radiance of Pure Intention

According to ‘Omar Ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enlightened our hearts by saying:

“Actions derive their true value from the intentions that drive them, and each person reaps the fruits of their intentions. He who embarks on the hijra (*) towards Allah and His Prophet invests his effort to draw his heart closer to divine satisfaction. His hijra is thus dedicated to Allah and His Prophet. On the other hand, one who undertakes hijra in pursuit of the fleeting pleasures of this life or solely for the purpose of entering into marriage directs his hijra towards the chosen end he has deliberately set.”

(Reported by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih No. 6689 and Imam Muslim in his Sahih No. 1907)

(*) Hijra is an act that involves leaving a place to reside in a land of Islam. Its true significance is found in the sincere alignment of intention with the quest for divine satisfaction.

Let’s explore the meaning of this inspiring hadith together.


Indeed, this profound hadith from ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) opens the doors to deep reflection on the nature of actions and intentions.


Primacy of Intentions: The hadith emphasizes that the intention behind our actions is fundamental. External actions derive their true value based on the intentions that drive them. It reminds believers of the importance of purifying their motivations, as it is the intention that distinguishes an ordinary action from a virtuous one.


Link between Action and Intention: The hadith establishes an intrinsic link between action and intention. It indicates that the outcome of an action directly stems from the underlying intention. Thus, believers are encouraged to be aware of their motivations and ensure that their actions are guided by noble intentions.


Hijra as an Example: By taking the example of hijra, the hadith illustrates the diversity of intentions that can underlie a seemingly similar action. Hijra, generally understood as emigration toward Allah and His Prophet, becomes meaningful only if the intention is pure and directed towards seeking divine satisfaction.


Determining the Spiritual Destination: The hadith distinguishes between hijra oriented toward Allah and His Prophet, representing a spiritual quest, and that motivated by worldly desires such as wealth or marriage. This highlights the importance of determining the spiritual destination of our actions and striving to align them with noble and ethical objectives.


Teaching on Sincerity: The hadith reinforces the concept of ikhlas (sincerity) in worshiping Allah. It encourages believers to practice their acts of worship with total sincerity, free from any desire for human recognition or material gains.


In conclusion, this hadith urges believers to engage in deep introspection, constantly evaluating their intentions behind each action. It serves as a valuable guide for those aspiring to cultivate an authentic relationship with Allah and tread the path of piety and virtue.

Why does the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) insist on the importance of intentions?

The Prophet emphasises that actions derive their intrinsic value from the intentions behind them. A sincere intention devoted to Allah lends a spiritual dimension to our actions, elevating them beyond mere material deeds.

What is the distinction between hijra to Allah and hijra for worldly purposes?

The hadith explains that hijra to Allah aims to get closer to divine satisfaction, whereas hijra for worldly gain or marriage is directed towards the ephemeral goals of the present life. It emphasises the importance of directing our efforts towards lasting spiritual aspirations.

How does this hadith offer an enlightening perspective on understanding the hijra?

This hadith sheds light on the hijra by placing it in the context of a sincere intention. It teaches that the true hijra goes beyond a simple geographical change; it lies in an inner change, oriented towards the search for divine satisfaction, thus bringing a profound spiritual dimension to this migration.