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The Socio-economic Aspects of hijra

Approaches to Migration in the Islamic Tradition

In: Sociology of Islam
Author:
Latife Reda Lebanese American University, Beirut; PhD, University of London; School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), latife.reda@gmail.com

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The paper highlights the socio-economic aspects of the concept of hijra or migration in the Islamic tradition. The paper argues that the conception of migration in the Islamic tradition has been shaped by not only religious and ethical values, but also social and economic motivations and consequences ever since the first migrations to Abyssinia and Medina. The paper addresses the notion and practice of hijra in Islamic history by highlighting its ethical and religious value as well as its nature and evolution into a socio-economic activity motivated by different forms of oppression, including social and political oppression as well as economic deprivation. The study draws on the history of Islam and the Islamic society, the sources of Islamic law and doctrines, and the thought of scholars in relation to the changes in approaches to migration, and the conceptualization of hijra as an activity motivated by oppression and economic hardship.

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