Among the numerous blessings of the Holy Prophet’s Hijrat, one of the most important and unique blessings was that of Mawakhat, the creation of brotherhood between Muhajirin the emigrants, and Ansar the helpers. The Holy Prophet PBUH assembled them at the house of Anas and told them that the Muhajirin had left all their belongings in Makkah and were now penniless and shelterless. He, therefore, wanted to create the relationship of brotherhood between the Muhajirin and the Ansar. The Ansar willingly agreed to this, whereupon, the Holy Prophet PBUH joined the hand of one Muhajir with that of an Ansar and declared the two to have become brothers. In this way, bonds of brotherhood were established between the Muhajirin and the Ansar. Each Ansar took his Muhajir brother to his house and gave one-half of his entire property to him. About this the Quran says: “Those who believed and adopted exile, and fought for the faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid, these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. (8:72)
This was a unique device that proved to be beneficial for the small number of Muhajirin in Madinah. They were provided with economic aid and consoled and comforted upon their arrival in Madinah. They began to feel at home and a strong bond was forged between them and their brothers in Madinah that welded them into a united community.
Under the guidance of the Holy Prophet PBUH, these two groups became like blood brothers, and they were so treated in matters of inheritance, during the period when they were cut off from their relatives in Makkah. While the Ansar considered it a privilege and honour to assist their Muhajir brothers, the latter did not wish to be a burden on them for long. Very soon, the Muhajirin through trade, industry and hardwork, were able to stand on their own feet.
The Muslims of Madinah, who received and helped the Prophet PBUH after his migration from Makkah, were called Ansar or the Helpers. They were also called ‘Ansar-un-Nabi’ or “Helpers of the Prophet’. They were given this title to distinguish them from the Muhajirin, who were mainly dependent upon their help and support after migration to Madinah.
The Holy Prophet PBUH, from the very beginning, tried to knit together the emigrants and the natives of Madinah by establishing a bond of brotherhood between them. They Were mainly members of the Madinite tribe of Khazraj, who had invited the Holy Prophet PBUH to their city, and gave the Muslims all kinds of help and assistance.
They were good natured, soft spoken and pious people who were devoted to the Holy Prophet PBUH and were well versed in the science of traditions. Their distinction was that they had shown love, generosity and goodwill to the persecuted believers from Makkah. This is confirmed by the Holy Quran in the following words:
“But those who before them had homes (in Madinah) and had adopted the faith, show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot)” (59:9)
After the death of the Holy Prophet PBUH, they wanted a person from amongst themselves to be the Khalifa, but later they gave up their demand and agreed to elect Hazrat Abu Bakr as Khalifa.
Muhajirin or the emigrants is the name often applied in the Quran to those followers of Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH who had migrated from Makkah to Madinah with him. They were tortured and persecuted by the unbelievers but they remained steadfast. They sacrificed their lives as well as their wealth for the sake of Islam. Some of them even left their families behind when they migrated to Madinah. They did not even claim their belongings after the conquest of Makkah, in accordance with the orders of the Holy Prophet PBUH.
The term Muhajir is not applied to the Prophet PBUH himself, but only to those who migrated with, before or after him and later made up a large portion of the population of Madinah: The Prophet PBUH describes them as favourites of Allah who will receive a splendid reward as the Quran says:
“Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought in the path of.
Allah, they have the hope of the mercy of Allah”(2:218)
It further says:
“those who have left their homes, and were driven out therefrom, and Suffered harm in My cause, and fought, and were slain verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities,”(3:195)
The high esteem in which the emigrants were held finds expression in Surah Tawbah also where it is said:
“Those who believe and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the Sight of Allah.” (9:20)
The number of the Muhajirin gradually grew with the increasing influence of the Holy Prophet PBUH, From time to time the people of Makkah left their heathen city and went to Madinah. It is to them that Surah Anfal refers, where those who adopted Islam later than the first emigrants, who migrated and afterwards fought alongside with the Muhajirs, are acknowledged as belonging to the community:
“They are of you.” (8:75)