Fleeing unto Allah
This hijrah requires an origin and a goal. A person migrates with his heart:
· From loving other than Allah > loving Him;
· From fearing and hoping and relying on other than Him > fearing and hoping and relying on Him;
· From calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before other than Him > calling upon, asking, surrendering to, and humbling oneself before Him.
This is precisely the meaning of “fleeing unto Allah”, as He ta’ala says:
“…Flee unto Allah…” [Surah Ath-Thaariyaat 51:50]
And indeed, the tawhid required from a person is to flee from Allah unto Him! Under this heading of “from” and “to” falls a great reality of tawhid.
Fleeing unto Allah ta’ala includes turning to Him only for asking or worship or anything which proceeds from that. Thus, it includes the tawhid of Ilahiyyah which was the common point in the messages of all the messengers, may Allah bestows His praise and peace upon all of them.
On the other hand, fleeing from Allah (unto Him) includes the tawh id of Rububiyyah and the belief in the Qadar (Allah’s Divine Measure & Decree). It is the belief that whatever one hates or fears or flees from in the universe takes place by the Will of Allah alone. What He ta’ala wills will surely happen, and what He does not will never be and is impossible to happen.
Thus when a person flees unto Allah, he would be fleeing unto him from a thing that occurred by His Will. In other words, he would be fleeing from Him unto Him!
One who understands this well can then understand the meaning of the Messenger’s sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam words:
“…I seek refuge from You in You…”
“…There is no shelter or escape from You except in You…”
There is nothing in the universe that one would flee or seek protection from but is created and originated by Allah ta’ala. Hence, one would flee from that which emanates from Allah’s decree, will, and creation, to that which emanates from His mercy, goodness, kindness, and bounty. One is, therefore, fleeing from Allah unto Him, and seeking refuge in Him from Him!
Understanding these two matters causes one’s heart to stop being attached to other than Allah in fear, hope or love. He would then know that all that he flees from exists by the Allah’s will, power and creation. This would not leave in his heart any fear of other than his Creator and Maker. This in turn causes him to turn to Allah alone in fear, love and hope.
Had it been that what one flees from were not under Allah’s Will and Power, one would then be excused to fear that thing instead of Allah. This would be like running away from a creature to a more powerful one, without being totally confident that the second creature is powerful enough to protect him from the first one.
This is quite different from the case of a person who knows that the One to whom he is running is the same as the One who decreed, willed, and created that from which he is fleeing. In the latter case, no interest in seeking other protectors should remain in the heart.
So, understand well this important meaning in the Prophet’s sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam words above. People have explained them in many different ways, yet very few have realized this meaning which is their core and moral. This facilitation [in understanding] is indeed from Allah.
Thus the whole matter resolves to fleeing from Allah unto Him. This is the meaning of the hijrah to Allah ta’ala. This further explains why the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“A true migrator is one who abandons what Allah has prohibited.”
This is also why Allah ta’ala mentions Imaan and hijrah together in several places [eg. al-Anfal 8:72,74,75 & at-Tauba 9:20] – the two being closely linked, and each of them requiring the other.