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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.
Shaikh al-Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) said in Thalāthatul-Usūl wa Adillatuhā, “Migration (Al-Hijrah) is to move from the land of polytheism to the land of Islām. Migration from the land of polytheism to the land of Islām is an obligation upon this Ummah, and it remains as such until the Hour is established. The proof for this is in the saying of Allāh, the Most High:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا إِلَّا الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا
«Verily! As for those whom the angels take in death while they are wronging themselves, the Angels say to them: “In what condition were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on Earth.” The Angels say: “Was not the Earth of Allāh spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such will find their abode in Hell, and what an evil destination! Except for the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their own way. For these, there is hope that Allāh will forgive them, and Allāh is ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.» [Sūrah An-Nisā’: 97-99]
Also the saying of the Most High:
يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ أَرْضِي وَاسِعَةٌ فَإِيَّايَ فَاعْبُدُونِ
«O My servants who believe! Certainly, spacious is My earth, so worship Me.» [Sūrah Al-‘Ankabūt: 56]
Al-Baghawī (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said: “The reason behind the revelation of this verse was because of the Muslims who were in Makkah and yet they did not migrate. Allāh addressed them with the title of Imān.”
The proof for migrating (Al-Hijrah) from the Sunnah is in the saying of the Messenger of Allāh (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam):
لاَ تَنْقَطِعُ الْهِجْرَةُ حَتَّى تَنْقَطِعَ التَّوْبَةُ، وَلا تَنْقَطِعُ التَّوْبَةُ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا
“Hijrah will not end until repentance comes to an end, and repentance will not end until the Sun rises from the West.” (Reported by Ahmad in Al-Musnad no. 16906, Abu Dāwūd no. 2479 from Mu‘āwiyah (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā). Authenticated by Al-Albānī in Al-Irwā no. 1208) ― End of the speech of Shaikhul-Islam.
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) cited from Al-Baghawī (rahimahullāh) in meaning. Al-Baghawī stated, regarding the reasons for the revelation of this verse in Ma’ālim At-Tanzīl (6/251) that Maqātil and Al-Kalbī said: “It was revealed concerning the weak Muslims of Makkah.” He also said (6/252) that it was revealed concerning those who held back from migrating and remained in Makkah: “They said: ‘If we migrate, we are afraid that we’ll go hungry and lead a constrained life.’ So Allāh revealed this verse and did not give them an excuse not to leave.”
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