Sunday, August 7, 2011

1st Muslimah to Make Hijrah





Can you name the first woman to make hijrah for Islam?

I'll give you a clue...

it wasn't to Medina. 

It was actually to Abyssinia.  What is now Ethiopia became a kind of safe haven for those early Muslims getting persecuted by the Meccans.  The Christian king was open to the Muslims settling there and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave his blessing to their trip.

For the Prophet (peace be upon him), this was a very personal decision as well.  For one of the people making the journey would be his daughter Ruqayya.  She had gotten remarried to a man who could support her financially, as he was very well off.  He had been married but his wives left him once he entered Islam.  His family (especially his powerful uncle) began persecuting him.  So, even though he could provide for his new wife, he couldn't really protect her.  I am talking about Uthman, the eventual Third Caliph.  When Uthman went to his father-in-law, The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave his blessing and off they went.

It was a journey on land and then by sea.  They sailed to Abyssinia and tried to make a new home.  I find it interesting that they listened to a rumor in which the Meccans were said to have embraced Islam.  They hadn't, of course, but the hopes for Uthman and Ruqayya were that they could return---so they did! 

Imagine how much the hijrah must have been hurting them to leave and come back.  They had all the hopes of picking up the pieces and carrying on again with how life had once been.  I can really feel the pain they must have felt when they arrived to discover that the Meccans still distained the Muslims.  What a let down!

And I think of Ruqayyah who had to once again say goodbye to her father and to leave him in that place.  I'm so sure that she had to calm her heart and steady her mind as she turned around to go back to a home which didn't really feel like home.  She was a wandering soul.  It took some serious courage to be Ruqayyah.

My righteous anger flares up as I read biographies of Uthman.  Can you believe that a whole article on him could leave out the name of Ruqayyah?  It's like writing a story about the first to climb Mount Everest and forget Tenzing Norgay.  Really?  Uthman was the first to make hijrah?  No.  Uthman AND Ruqayya were the first to make hijrah.

Allah made life easier for them by having the city of Medina become the resettlement for Muslims.  To come together once again with family and friends must have felt so wonderful for them both.  Yet, we need the time away to understand how much our loved ones mean to us.  Alhumdulillah for both times.

May Allah be pleased with Ruqayya.

1 comment:

MarieHarmony said...

Great to read this story Yosra. love your last sentence, yes we need the time away to understand many things.
Hope all is going well for you. Read you soon. Take care.