The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that the Hijrat (migration) to Madinah or any other place, after the conquest of Makkah, was no longer binding. This Hadith should be regarded as one of the Islamic exhortations of why Muslims living in the democratic countries like India do not need Hijrat at all.
The main point of Hijrat in Islam in the early Prophetic era was the fact that Muslims were not allowed to profess and practice their Religion in Makkah, nor do they had any constitutionally-approved right to claim their freedom of practicing their Religion. But the scenario is different today. For example, India constitutionally guarantees full freedom to profess and practice any religion and propagate it. Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.
After the conquest of Makkah, in the 8th year after the Hijrah, most of the Arabian Peninsula communities willingly embraced Islam. It was around this time that Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “?? ???? ??? ?????” ?
which means “there is no [more] Hijrah (migration) after the conquest [of Makkah]”. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 2912). In ‘Fathul Bari’, the commentary on Bukhari, it is recorded that leaving one’s hometown for the purpose of migration is no longer compulsory. Muslim exegetes use this hadith as an argument to support the view that Muslims cannot leave the country which bestow upon them religious freedom and security.
This Prophetic saying encouraged Muslims since then on to stay where they were and to worship God Almighty elsewhere. Freedom to worship God Almighty and practice Islam was the main reason of Hijrat in the early period of Islam and when the necessity was met, migration was prohibited. It is for this reason migration [Hijrat] from India to elsewhere is not allowed for anyone, as India constitutionally ensures freedom to worship and practice Islam.
This view that Indian Muslims do not need Hijrat gained massive support from Sunni-Sufi Muslims of India known as Barelvis and they were the first ones who refuted baseless arguments of the Deobandi clerics who had encouraged Hijrat from India to another country. This refutation later made all Muslims feel that India constitutionally guarantees religious freedom and security and thereby they no longer carried out the theory of inspiring Indian Muslims for Hijrat. Now some clerics are reported to have repeated the same ideology of encouraging Hijrat from India on the points that Muslims and their religious freedom are no longer safe in India. One must know that as long as the Indian Constitution does ensure fundamental right of religious freedom and security, one should not view any of the incidents like lynching, killing, riot or any illegal happening as an argument to claim justification for Hijrat. There are indeed happenings of such heart-wrenching incidents on a regular basis but the Indian Constitution has nothing to do with provocation of such incidents. Those responsible for such incidents must be brought to court of justice, regardless of religion, caste and color. Such happenings should be viewed as just vs. unjust, good vs. bad, and not as Hindus vs. Muslims.
One must also know that in some cases it is Muslims who kill Muslims; it is Muslims who illegally occupy the land of other Muslims. One Muslim brother illegally occupies the land of his own brother and for that matter he even plans to kill him. Should we then blame Islam or Musalmaniyat for such crimes? No, we should not.
Surely It is greed, lust and Shaitaniyat which is alone responsible for such crimes and thus if Muslims commit such crimes they should be seen as criminals, and not as Muslims. Similarly in cases when some Hindus kill Muslims in lynching or elsewhere, these Hindus should be seen only as criminals and not as Hindus. Though only in few cases, there are of course the cases in which Hindus are reported to have been killed by Muslims, but this too should not be seen as Hindus vs. Muslims but as just vs. unjust. To resolve such problems, one must not forget that, we have Indian Constitution and Court of Justice; which is supported by all Indians including Muslims, Hindus and other non-Muslims.
The extremist people who want to throw Muslims out of India and those extremist who want to encourage Hijrat from India should know that togetherness at least to the extent of peace and coexistence is essential to ensure progress of India.
The implication of the above discussion is that Hijrat cannot be justified on the basis of some unjust cases which are not supported by the Indian Constitution.
The Indian Constitution in its various articles directly or indirectly ensures religious freedom and security for every citizen. It is the main reason that one should not call for Hijrat.
Concerning this verse in today’s context some questions arise. Are today’s Muslims whom they are calling to migrate identical to the early Emigrants? Is it allowed for them to migrate from India which grants security and religious freedom to them?
Associating the condition of today’s Muslims to that of the early Emigrants mentioned in 8:72 is extremely injustice and violation of the Quran. It is extremely essential for today’s followers of Islam to understand the background of the early Emigrants.
Who were these Emigrants mentioned in the verse 8:72? They were those Muslims who had no religious freedom in Makkah. In other words, Makka did not have any constitution granting freedom to practice religion and ensuring security. The early Muslims repeatedly suffered heartless oppression, torture, and abuse for thirteen years. They were those Muslims who were not allowed to fight even in defence in Makkah but were commanded therein to persevere patiently. Every day these early Muslims would come in the presence of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a state where either someone’s head was broken, or hand was badly damaged. They were those Muslims whose co-religionists had been brutally killed in Makkah.
Similarly, Hazrat Abu Bakr was once subjected to such a cruel and painful torture that he lay unconscious for a long time. For as long as 14 or 15 years, these Muslims suffered religious persecutions, insults, outrages and injuries at the hands of their persecutors. They bore all these indignities with the utmost humility and patience. When the aggression and ruthlessness of the pagan Arabs grew more hotly than ever, Allah commanded these Muslims to migrate. These Muslims carried out Allah’s command worshipfully and migrated to Madina –nearly 300 miles away from Makkah. Still the animosity of the inveterate enemies of Islam had not subsided. They inflicted fresh injuries on the Muslims; robbed them of the peace of mind and heart. A band of pagan Arabs would raid the pastures of the Muslims and take away their cattle. If they encounter a lonely Muslim, they would not hesitate in killing him mercilessly. It was then these Muslims were allowed to fight back in defence and ensure peace and religious freedom.