The presence of the women in emigration
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Historical experience reveals that in any given period of time a group of people merely because of living in an infidel society where the evildoers are dominant and the believers and the righteous are suppressed, ultimately ‘do as the Romans do’ and are gradually impressed by the spirit dominating the society despite the tendency of their divine nature towards the right way and righteousness.

        In such a situation, God orders them to emigrate. Some verses such as in the chapters of the Holy Quran, called ”The women", ”The spider", and ”Alzomar", refer to this action and state that their excuse is not accepted. In a corrupt community one must either rise up or change the society like Moses (P), did or as Ibrahim (P) leave the followers of Nemrud in their own land and emigrate to another place.

        In the Holy Qur’an, verses 97 and 98 of the chapter ”The women”, clearly state that women are charged like men to emigrate from the lands of the unbelievers to those ruled by Muslims and only the excuses of those women are accepted who do have not the means or cannot find any way to take action.

        It is obvious that emigration involves toleration of difficulties, pain, and suffering. This is due to the fact that it means leaving a land you have been accustomed to, and it is bidding farewell to those with whom you have been living for many years. It means parting from the old interests and going to strange land whose people you do not know. Due to all these pains and troubles, the emigrant is bestowed with the mercy of the All Merciful according to traditions.

        According to Imam Reza (P) ” مَن فَرَّ...” escapes from one land to another for the sake of his/her religion, that person deserves admission to paradise and is the companion of Ibrahim (P) and Muhammad (P) even if the distance of this emigration equals only a single span. In the era of the holy Prophet of Islam (P) too, the necessity to leave the pagan land was felt, consequently two historical emigrations, one to Ethiopia and the other to Medina, took place gracefully and with many troubles and dangers. Considerable accounts of these emigrations have been told and heard, nevertheless this was one instance which included the participation of women with men in this enlightened and difficult task in the beginning of Islam. In other words, this action is laying a cornerstone in the architecture of the Islamic government. In fact what is significant is not the mere physical presence and companionship of the women with men in these migrations, but it reveals the fact that the new religion (Islam) had become so deeply rooted in the veins of their existence that they renounced all their material concerns and interests in order to establish an Islamic government. We can find with a more critical examination that due to their fair sex and sensitivity women have suffered much more than men during these migrations.

        The Muslim women's emigration is indeed a political action which has various aspects; on one hand, it means rejecting the system governing the community, and on the other hand, it is conveying the message of the new religion to the favorable centers in the world. In addition, emigration is the most fundamental action taken towards establishing the Islamic government and in strengthening this newly established government.

        The political action of these women must necessarily have been sincere and not mixed with individual and personal interests, otherwise they might have emigrated due to their love of tourism or even to see new lands or to rid themselves of family conflicts.

        In the Holy Quran, God says in verse number ten of chapter ”Mukmtohenah" “Examine the faithful emigrant women and if their truthfulness in migration is proved do not return them to the land of the pagans". The names of the following women has been recorded in history as those who were examined; Damimah Bent Bushr, Sabia'ah Bent Harith, Burugh Bent Aghebah, and Abdah Bent Abdul Aziz.

        Regarding the cause of sending down the above- mentioned verse it is said that in the year 7 A.H. after the peace of Hodaibiah, a girl named Kulthum immigrated on foot to Medina. Despite the infidelity of all her family members this brave girl had succeeded in reaching the presence of the holy Prophet (P), took an oath of allegiance to him and had performed prayer towards both Kiblahs (Mecca and Ghuds Jerusalem) and did so only then as she was not able to escape from the government of the pagans until seven years after Hijrat. When she left Mecca for Medina her brothers became aware of this and pursued her. They met her midway but could not persuade her to return to Mecca despite all their efforts. Later, they went to the Prophet (P) requesting her return to the family, but she said to the Prophet of God (P),”O messenger of God, I am unable to resist my family and fear that if I return to them, they might have an influence on me and weaken my belief. It was at this time when the said verse was sent down.

        It is worth to be pointed out that, the issue of Muslim women's emigration is so significant that the permission to marry the Prophet is conditioned on emigration to the lands under Islamic government".

        "O the prophet, truly we made legal only those of your wives to you who emigrate with you". Furthermore it is quoted in a tradition from the Innocent Imams (P), ”A Bedouin must not marry an emigrant woman and take her away from her place of migration to lead a nomadic life, unless he moves his dwelling to the place of the woman's migration. In this case the man will raise spiritually and will be considered an emigrant". This tradition contains a few subtle points. The Innocent Imam (P) says, ”A man who has not accepted the rules of the Islamic government is not the match and counterpart for a woman who believes in the rules of this government. Therefore these two people cannot lead a common liFe. In the Islamic concept the pre requisite for faith is active social partnership and this religion does not accept the political isolation of Muslims whether man or woman. Therefore, it is not proper for a Muslim woman to live privately and be unconcerned of the religious government. The result of such will be an unhappy marriage producing isolation and spiritual and human deterioration. Any marriage will be deemed auspicious only when a woman causes the spiritual promotion of a man and increases the number and facilities of the Islamic government.


Women Emigrants to Ethiopia

        In emigration to Ethiopia, which took place, quite secretly there were about eighty three men and eighteen women who moved at times collectively and occasionally individually towards Ethiopia. Of course, this group later immigrated to Medina and won the rewards of two Hijrats. Among these women we can name Asma Bent Amis, who professed her faith to the Prophet (P) during the early days of his Prophet-hood even before he went to Da'r Ul Argham (the secret place to invite people to Islam.) Later she emigrated together with her husband due to the severe persecution of the atheists. It is said that her three children, Muhammad, Abdullah, and Awn were born in a strange land, which was Ethiopia. After the emigration of the Prophet (P) and his friends to Medina, she went to Medina together with other emigrants in order to serve Islam in the company of the Prophet (P). In Medina, however, some of the emigrants who after acquiring relative welfare were thinking of obtaining a position in the newly established Islamic government of Islam, said boastfully to Asma, ”we did you in emigration". She answered without any pride or egotism, ”yes you were with the Prophet (P, he fed the hungry and taught knowledge to the ignorant, while we lived in a strange land far from the dear presence of his highness, now I will present this case to the holy Prophet (P) and inquire his opinion". When the Prophet (P) heard this he said to her, “the other people undertook one migration but you made two migrations?” This honorable woman later became both the spouse and the mother of martyrs, and made the account of her activities more brilliant.

        Another female emigrant to Ethiopia was Umme Salmah. She along with her husband Abusalmah were among the first families who professed their faith to the holy Prophet (P) and immigrated to Ethiopia when their, persecution by the disbelievers was aggravated. When they heard rumor that the atheists had stopped persecution of Muslims this young couple returned to Mecca suffering the separation of their leader. After arriving Mecca they found out that it was only a rumor and afterwards were more severely tormented by the enemy until Abutalib placed them under protection and prevented their persecution and torture.         

        After the emigration of the Muslims to Medina, this young couple too, decided to leave the land of pagans for the second time together with their little child. The atheists made an attack upon them, captured her and prevented her from leaving. This faithful wife lived for one year far away from her husband and child and finally, joined them in Medina. This courageous couple participated in all the ups and downs of the Islamic nation and ultimately Umme Salmah won the honour of being the wife of a martyr.

        It is reported that one day Umma Salmah asked the holy Prophet (P),”Why is nothing mentioned in the Holy Quran about the women's Hijrat while they participated in the emigrations just like men? ”Immediately this verse was sent down (the House of Emran, 195.)

        In response God accepted their prayer by saying, “truly I will never obliterate the deeds of anybody, man or woman, some of them belong to some others, so does who emigrated and were exiled from their lands and were the object of persecution and torment in my ways, and participated in the holy war and were slain, we will acquit them of their sins and admit them into gardens where the streams are running under their trees. This is a reward by God, and the best reward is with God."

        Besides Umme Salmah, Umme Khthum and Sahlah the daughters of Sohail Ebne Amrou, Roghiyah the Prophet's daughter, Laily Bente Abu Hathmah, Sudah Bente Zama'ah, were also among the emigrants to Ethiopia who returned to Mecca when they heard that persecution in Mecca had ceased and they were severely tormented and persecuted there.

        Umme Khalid is another woman who took the troubles of two migrations. She says, ”when we arrived Medina, I was among the emigrants who had returned from Ethiopia to convey the greetings of Najashi to the entity of the holy Prophet (P)".

        Besides the above- mentioned women the names of the following women have been mentioned in historical books as emigrants to Ethiopia: ”Fatemah Bente Safvan Ben Umayyah, Aminah Bente Khalaf Ben Asa'ad, Umme Habibah Bente Abu Sufyan, Barekah Bente Yassir, Hassanah the wife of Sufyan Ben Moammar, Ramlah Bente Abu Auf Sahmi, Fatemah, Bente Harith Ben Khalid, Fatemah Bente Mujallal, Fakhiyah Bente Yassar, Hasah Bent Umar, Laily Bente Abu Hathmah Ben Ghanem, Amrah Bente Saa'di Ben Vaghdan. Among these emigrants, Fatemah Harith Ben Habilah, and her three children Mussa, Ayeshah and Zainab died in the foreign land.

        The Women Immigrants to Medina

     With the increasing of pressures and torments by the peasants the holy Prophet (P) ordered the Muslims to immigrate to Medina. This journey involved many dangers but despite persecution and threatens by atheists, Muslims moved towards Medina in very small groups or at times alone in order to establish the new religious government under the leadership of the holy Prophet (P). Emigration to was so significant that God says in the Holy Quran in this respect.

        “Those who believe but did not immigrate are not your friends until they immigrate” in this emigration too, we see the widespread participation of the women, who left all their property in Mecca without knowing whether or not they would return and set out on their 470 kilometer journey in the hot and dry desert. Some examples of women's emigration follow: One of the most suffering experiences of these emigrations is that of Fatemah Bente Assad. It is quoted from Imam Sadegh (P) that she was the first among many women who emigrated from Mecca to Medina to go thrgh hardship in order to join the holy Prophet (P).

    Zainab the daughter of the holy Prophet (P) was another emigrant. Her husband Abi Ala'as was a pagan and prohibited her from immigrating to the Islamic land until he was captured in the Battle Badr. The Prophet (P) freed him and promised to send his wife to Medina when he reached Mecca. When he arrived at his home he informed his pregnant wife of his promise. Zainab set out for Medina and the holy Prophet (P) sent Zaid Ben Harithah and one of Ansar’s (the helper) to meet her midway and bring her to Medina. Before they could find her two pagans; named Habbar Ben Asvad and Nafe' Ben Abdul Ghais found her, and fbecause of the attacking by Habbar she was injured. She later died in Medina because of the injury received during the said attack.

    The name of Umme Ruma'n is also mentioned in the history as follows,”when the holy Prophet (P) emigrated to Medina, he sent Zaid Ben Harithah and Abu Rafe' to Mecca to transfer Umme Ruman and some of his own daughters to Medina.

    Another emigrant was Fatemah (P) who accompanied by several other women immigrated to Medina under the protection of ImamAli (P). Though they observed the necessary measures during this dangerous journey, moved at nights and rested in hidden places during the days, they were the objects of the pagans' attacks.

    Umme Hessa'm Ansa'riah too, is another emigrant who suffered considerably during her emigration, she said later, ”once during my emigration I was so weak by thirst that I was about to die but by God's favor I found some water and drank; thereafter, I never felt thirsty even if I fasted during the long and hot days.

    Sabia'h is another woman emigrant whose husband was an atheist and she emigrated by herself from the land of pagans towards her Master and joined other Muslims in Hudaibiah.

    Umme Kulthum Bent Aghebah is another emigrant about whose emigration the verse has been sent down. The names of many other woman emigrants are mentioned in the history.

    The Women's Emigration after the Prophet (P)

    After the holy Prophet (P) passed away, history still has witnessed the emigration of many righteous men and women who left home and friends to gather around the bright candle of their Imam's presence who have permanently recorded their names in history as woman companions and traditions, etc. The first and most important of all is Zainab (P) who emigrated with the caravan of martyrdom in the company of her brother Imam Hussain (P).

    Another example is the emigration of Fatemah, Maa'sumah (P) who started her long journey from Medina to Marv (Khurassan) to attend the presence of her brother Imam Reza (P) but due to illness and great suffering of the journey she died in Qum and lost the opportunity to meet Imam. Her shrine in Qum, sinceforth, has become a source of the blessings of God over many centuries. Imam Reza (P) urged his companions to go on a pilgrimage to her shrine and emphasized that this pilgrimage should be accompanied by knowledge of the great position and dignity of this faithful lady. He said, who ever goes on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Fatema Maa'asumah while recognizing her dignity deserves admission to paradise. ”Imam Sadegh (P) too, said many years before she was born, there will be a shrine of ours in Qum, where one of my children, named Fatemah Maasumah will be buried, and paradise will become obligatory for anyone who goes on pilgrimage to her shrine".

    Here we continue the description of emigration and woman emigrants with a tradition from Imam Al- Bagher (P) that relates how women like men emigrate to the presence of Imam Mahdi (P) to help him when he begins his uprising. "By God the three hundred and a few persons among whom, there are fifty women also present in Mecca somewhere other than the place of promise will gather one after another to help Imam Mahdi (P) just like the Autumm clouds. These will be the true example of the verse, ”God will take you there, wherever you are, and Allah is the All- Mighty".

Authors: Zahra Ayatollahi
Content Type: Article
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