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Exile and Banishment

Exile and banishment was - and still is - one of the means by which the tyrants confront the Prophets, Messengers and the bearers of the Message to isolate them from the society and raise a barrier between the divine call and the souls listening to it. Indeed, the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.), and the believers, had taken recourse to migration, leave behind their kinsmen, their wealth and houses, to save their religion, continue along their course and spread the principles of truth and goodness in other lands. They migrated from their birth places because the chances for answering their call had been blocked and their movements curtailed.

Prophets Abraham, Lot, Moses, Muhammad (s.a.w.) and other prophets had taken recourse to migration. Abraham (a.s.) fled from the terror and arrogance of Ninrod, Moses from that of Pharoah and Muhammad (s.a.w.) from Quraish's terrorism and arrogance. Those migrations brought about great ideological changes in human history, established great landmarks on man's road to civilization and ushered in a mighty victory for the principles of guidance and faith, contrary to the plans of the tyrants and what they hoped to achieve by exiling these men of religion.

The Qur'an has narrated about the exiling and banishing of the Prophets from their homes by the arrogant powers; it has also enjoined to undertake migration and the search for a new land and a new society ready to accept the divine thought and act its principles, where the way is open for the Muslims to proclaim their faith and practice their religion.

Let us ponder on some Qur'anic verses that discuss this phenomenon which is very important in the course of the divine call, so as to gain more understanding of the acts of migrations and banishment during the various stages of conflict. Allah, the Most High says: "…Certainly we will turn you out O Shu`aib, and those who believe with you, from our town…" Holy Qur'an (A`raf 8: 88)

"And said those who disbelieved unto their apostles: `Certainly will we drive you out of our land…" Holy Qur'an (Ibrahim 14: 13)

"And how many a twon which was mighter in power than you town which has driven you out; We destroyed them, and no helper was there for them." Holy Qur'an Muhammad ( 47: 13)

"Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly save that they say: `Our Lord is Allah.'" Holy Qur'an (Hajj 22:40)

In these verses, the Qur'an presents the acts of hostile banishment meted out to the Prophets (s.a.w.) and their followers. In other places, the Qur'an commands the believers to migrate and look for new lands and societies to continue their work of propagating Islam and establishing the society of Monotheism. Allah, the Most High says:

"…They, therefore, who did migrate and were turned out of their homes and suffered in My way and who fought and were slain, I will morst certainly blot out their sins from them,…" Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 195)

"Verily those whom the angels taake away (at death) while they are unjust to their (own) selves (in sin), They (the angels) shall ask (the sinner souls) `In what state were you?' They shall reply `Weakened (and oppresed) were we in the land,;' They (angles) will say `Was not the land of Allah vast (enough) for you to migrate therein?' So these (are those) whose refuge shall be Hell; and what a bad resort it is." Holy Qur'an (Nisa' 4: 97)

"…therefore, take not friends from among them until they migrate in Allah's way…" Holy Qur'ann (Nisa' 4: 89)

"And (as for) the foremost, the first of the (Meccan) immigrannts and the (Madinites) supporters and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well-pleased with them…" Holy Qur'an (Tawba 9: 100)

Adapted from: "The Methods Of Propagation and Missionary Work" by: "Sayyid Bahashti"

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