The New Islamic Year 1441 Hijra

The beginning of September will coincide with the Muslims celebrating the beginning of the New Islamic Year, also known as Hijra. Hijra in Arabic means migration, and it marks the migration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from his hometown, Mecca, to another city, Medina, while fleeing the extreme persecution imposed on him and his companions by the pagans of Mecca. Muslims later chose that day to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar because of the significance and value of that event. The prophet's migration was a turning point for Islam and Muslims and a gateway for the freedom of practice and the establishment of the first Muslim community.

Muslims believe that the Bible prophesied the Hijra incident in Habakkuk 3:3 — "God (His Guidance) came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise." According to J. Hasting's "Dictionary of the Bible," Teman is an Oasis just north of Medina, and Muhammad did indeed come from Paran about A.D. 622. It is the prophecy in the Bible that had the reference to the three distinctive children of Abraham — Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (pbut), in that order — and mentioned the return of Muhammad to Mecca with 10,000 saints: "And this (is) the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand (went) a fiery law for them." (Deuteronomy 33:1)

Hijra ignited the spark that started the advancements and discoveries in all fields of knowledge and peaked while leading the world in Spain (Andalusia). It brought the true concept of citizenship, represented by the "Constitution of Medina," which recognized all citizens of Medina sharing the same rights and responsibilities regardless of their religion, ethnicity, language, etc.

All the blessings to the Muslims in their new Hijra year 1441 and to the world as well.

In the fourth chapter of Mark, we get to read about an amazing story of when Jesus was in a boat with His disciples and a big storm comes up. The disciples are all worried they might drown, but Jesus is just taking a nice nap while this is going on.

In their fright, the disciples wake Jesus, but all Jesus does is put up His hands, say, "Be still," and then admonish the disciples for their lack of faith. I take away two important things from this story. Number one, it is God and only God that can control the weather. People cannot stop storms or change the climate without the hand of God being in control. The people who tell us that human activities are warming or cooling the Earth show the same lack of faith that the disciples did in the story.

Secondly, I love how the Son of God admonishes the storm telling it to BE STILL! How those words can also be given to us in the storm of our life. In the 46th Psalm, God says, "Be still, and know that I am God."

That message of stillness is designed to bring us comfort when we are being tossed around by life. As humans, our intent is to face the storms head on and make sure we are in control, but many times that leads to us sinking in our boat. Jesus wants to take control of the storms in your life. Just take a moment to "be still" and let God take control.

Don't listen to the world thinking that humans have it all figured out. Listen to the one who created the world and wants nothing more than a relationship with you.

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