Hijrah: Cutting Off Family Ties? by Nadiya Johnson

‘Our only mistake was coming to this stupid country!’ She sounded like Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid.

One day it came out, just like that, raw and unfiltered, my daughter’s pain of being somewhere she does not want to be. For almost 2 years she wore a heavy sweater that I hated. I kept telling her , ‘its too hot for that take it off.’ It was much later she told me ‘Grandma gave it to me. I wear it because it reminds me of her.’  My bonus daughter gives more subtle hints like, ‘I sure miss Granny’s salmon cakes! I sure miss Granny’s corn bread!’ 

The reality is that in order to have what we consider a ‘successful hijrah’ we may inadvertently cut our children off from their lineage.

Listen here

I found this hadith just recently:

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عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا ، قَالَتْ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ .الرَّحِمُ مُعَلَّقَةٌ بِالْعَرْشِ ، تَقُولُ : مَنْ وَصَلَنِي وَصَلَهُ اللَّهُ ، وَمَنْ قَطَعَنِي قَطَعَهُ اللَّهُ ” . أَخْرَجَاهُ

Related on Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said.

The Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace be upon him) said: The womb is connected to/suspended from the Throne of Allah and she says, ‘ Whoever connects to me, connects to Allah and whoever cuts me off then Allah cuts him off.’ 

There are families that leave the West permanently and never return

Some families are able to travel back every year to visit. Some families have the position that this is wrong, why would you travel back every year to Dar ul Kufr after moving to the Muslim lands. And from my observation; those families that are really serious about hijrah do not travel for years at a time There are families that leave the West permanently and never return. They raise a whole new generation of grandchildren in the new land and their family back home is basically a memory. These are the ones we consider the Hijrah Success Stories. At one time I thought I wanted that but I don’t think I counted the costs.

I am the oldest on both sides of my family;

I am the oldest grandchild, the oldest of all my cousins and the only Muslim in my family. Do I not have a responsibility?  As my grandmother ages I feel the guilt of not being around to help care for her as my mother would have done if she were alive.   I have been watching my nieces and nephews grow up on Facebook; the baseball games the basketball games, the graduations. There are many precious moments that I missed.   And one day I felt it. I had a nap on the sofa and I woke up in pain. It was this intense feeling of emptiness that I had never felt before; the pain of not seeing my father for 2 years.  Some hijrah families have been blessed that their parents came to visit them in Egypt or the UAE. My father never came and it disappointed me but the truth is: He is the parent I am the child, it is not his duty to come to me.

 

It is not my intention to turn anyone away from hijrah my intention is to present the ‘ouch!’ points that most of us don’t want to discuss.  This is from 15 years of my personal experiences and observations living in 3 Islamic countries.

 

Author: Us-tatha Nadiya Johnson

I help put Arabic language on the tongues of Muslim families in the West. I provide learning materials, curriculum and consulting for Homeschoolers, Islamic schools and Weekend Learning Programs.

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