“From” and “To”
The heart’s hijrah requires migrating “from” one state “to” another. A person migrates with his heart:
from loving other than Allāh to loving Him;
from offering servitude to other than Allāh to offering it to Him;
from fearing other than Allāh to fearing Him;
from having hope in other than Allāh to having hope in Him;
from relying on other than Allāh to relying on Him;
from asking and deploring other than Allāh to asking and deploring Him;
from surrendering and submitting to other than Allāh to surrendering and submitting to Him.
This is precisely the meaning of “fleeing unto Allāh”, as Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ
…Flee then unto Allāh…
And indeed, the tawheed required from a person is to flee from Allāh unto Him!
Under this heading of “from” and “to” falls a great reality of tawheed.
Fleeing unto Allāh
Fleeing unto Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) includes turning to Him alone for appeal, worship, and all that proceeds from it, such as love, fear, surrender, and reliance. Thus, it includes the tawheed of Ilāhiyyah, which is the common subject among the messengers’ messages – may Allāh bestow His praise and peace upon them all.
Fleeing from Allāh
On the other hand, fleeing from Allāh (unto Him) includes the tawheed of Ruboobiyyah and affirmation of Qadar. It professes that whatever one hates or fears or evades in the creation only takes place by Allāh’s will.
Indeed, whatever Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wills surely happens, and its existence becomes mandatory by virtue of Allāh’s will. And whatever Allāh does not will never happens and is impossible to exist.
Thus when one flees unto Allāh, one would actually be fleeing (unto Him) from a thing that occurred by His will and decree. In other words, one would be fleeing from Allāh unto Him!
One who properly understands this would then understand the meaning of the Prophet’s (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) words:
“I seek refuge from You in You” 1
One would then also understand the Prophet’s (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying:
“…There is no shelter or escape from You except to You…” 2
There is nothing in the creation from which one would flee or seek protection but is created and originated by Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) . Therefore, one would flee from what is mandated by Allāh’s decree, will, and creation; and one would flee to what is mandated by Allāh’s mercy, goodness, kindness, and bounty. Hence, one flees from Allāh unto Him, and seeks refuge in Him from Him!
1. This is part of a hadeeth recorded by Muslim from ‘Aa’ishah (radiAllāhu ‘anha) who said that one night she missed Allāh’s Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). After some search, she found him in the Masjid (which was adjacent to her apartment). In the darkness, her hand hit the soles of his feet that were erected (in sujood). He was saying:
“O Allāh! I seek protection from Your wrath in Your acceptance, and from Your punishment in Your pardon, and from You in You! I cannot offer You the praise that you deserve, so I only praise You as You praise Yourself.”
2. This is a part of a hadeeth recorded by al-Bukhāri and Muslim from al-Barā’ Bin ‘Aazib (radiAllāhu ‘anhu) that the Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) instructed a man to say when going to bed:
“O Allāh! I submit myself to You, turn my face unto You, support my back unto You, and rely in my affairs on You, hoping in You and fearing You; there is no shelter or escape from You except to You! I believe in the Book that You have revealed and in the Messenger You have sent.”
He (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) added: “If one dies (after saying this), he dies upon the fitrah (pure nature).”
- Transcribed from: Ar-Risalat ut-Tabukiyyah | The Message from Tabuk | Ibn ul-Qayyim