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02-10-2010, 09:36 PM #1
Introduction: The Hajj (Arabic: حج) is a pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah). It is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. It is the fifth pillar of Islam, an obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. It is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj is eleven days earlier from year to year. In 2007, the Hajj was from December 17 to December 21; in 2008 from the first week of December. The Hajj is associated with the life of Muhammad, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back to the time of Ibrahim and Isma'il, prominent figures in both Islam and in Judaism. Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals. As part of the Hajj, each person walks counter-clockwise seven times about the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer (qibla); runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah; drinks from the Zamzam Well; goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil; and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform an animal sacrifice, and celebrate the four day global festival of Eid al-Adha.
As of 2006, an estimated three million pilgrims participated in this annual pilgrimage. Crowd-control techniques have become critical, and because of the large numbers of people, many of the rituals have become more stylized. It is not necessary to kiss the Black Stone, but merely to point at it on each circuit around the Kaaba. Throwing pebbles was done at large pillars, which for safety reasons were in 2004 changed to long walls with catch basins below to catch the stones. The slaughter of an animal can be done either personally, or by appointing someone else to do it, and so forth. But even with the crowd control techniques, there are still many incidents during the Hajj, as pilgrims are trampled in a crush, or ramps collapse under the weight of the many visitors, causing hundreds of deaths. 
Pilgrims can also go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or Umrah. However, even if they perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetimes.
Incidents during the Hajj
Main article: Incidents during the Hajj
There have been many incidents during the Hajj that have led to the loss of many hundreds of lives. The worst of these incidents have usually occurred during the Stoning of the Devil ritual. During the 2006 Hajj on January 12, 362 pilgrims died. Tramplings have also occurred when pilgrims try to run between the two hills known as Al-Safa and Al-Marwa. In 2006 there were some 600 casualties among pilgrims performing the Hajj.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Preparations
Pilgrims generally travel to Hajj in groups, as an expression of unity. Some airlines have special packages for Muslims going to Mecca. Ships also take pilgrims to Mecca so they can perform Hajj.
During the Hajj, male pilgrims are required to dress only in a garment consisting of two sheets of white unhemmed cloth, with the top draped over the torso and the bottom secured by a white sash; plus a pair of sandals. Women are simply required to maintain their hijab - normal modest dress, which does not cover the hands or face.
The Ihram clothing is intended to show the equality of all pilgrims in the eyes of Allah: there is no difference between a prince and a pauper when everyone is dressed the same. The Ihram also symbolizes purity and absolution of sins. A place designated for changing into Ihram is called a miqat.
While the pilgrim is wearing the Ihram, they cannot shave, clip their nails, or use deodorant or perfume. They may not swear or quarrel, kill any living thing or engage in any sexual activity.
The route the pilgrims take during the Hajj
Upon arrival in Mecca the pilgrim, now known as a Hajji, performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the lives of Ibrahim (Abraham) and his wife Hajar (Hagar). The acts also symbolize solidarity of Muslims worldwide.
The greater Hajj (al-hajj al-akbar) begins on the eighth day of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah. If they are not already wearing it upon their arrival, pilgrims put on ihram clothing and then leave Mecca for the nearby town of Mina where they spend the rest of the day. The Saudi government has put up thousands of large white tents at Mina to provide accommodations for all the pilgrims.
Direction of the Tawaf around the KaabaMain article: Umrah
On the first day of the Hajj, the 8th day of the 12th month, Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims perform their first Tawaf, which involves all of the pilgrims entering The Sacred Mosque (Masjid Al Haram) and walking seven times counter-clockwise around the Kaaba, kissing the Black Stone (Hajr Al Aswad) on each circuit. If kissing of the stone is not possible due to the crowds, they may simply align themselves with the stone and point to it. Each complete circuit constitutes a "Shout" with 7 circuits constituting a complete tawaf. The place where pilgrims walk is known as "Mutaaf". Only the first three Shouts are compulsory, but invariably almost all perform it seven times.
Eating is not allowed and the tawaf is normally performed all at once, the only exception being the drinking of water. Men are encouraged to perform the first three circuits at a hurried pace, followed by four times, more closely, at a leisurely pace.
After the completion of Tawaf, all the pilgrims have to offer two Rakaat prayers at the Place of Abraham (Muqaam E Ibrahim), a site near the Kaaba. However, again due to large crowds during the days of Hajj, they may instead pray anywhere in the mosque.
Although the circuits around the Kaaba are traditionally done on the groundlevel, Tawaf is now also performed on the first floor and roof of the mosque.
After Tawaf on the same day, the pilgrims perform sa`i, running or walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. This is a re-enactment of the frantic search for water for her son Ismael by Abraham's wife Hagar, before the Zamzam Well was revealed to her by an angel, who hit the ground with his heel (or his wing), upon which the water of the Zamzam started coming up from under his feet. The circuit used to be in the open air, but is now entirely enclosed by the Masjid al-Haram mosque, and can be accessed via air-conditioned tunnels. Pilgrims are advised to walk the circuit, though two green pillars mark a short section of the path where they are allowed to run, along with an 'express lane' for the disabled. The safety procedures are in place because previous incidents in this ritual have resulted in stampedes which caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
As part of this ritual the pilgrims drink water from the Zamzam Well, which is made available in coolers throughout the Mosque. The pilgrims then return to their tents.
Direction of the Tawaf around the Kaaba
Pilgrims on Plains of Arafat on the day of HajjThe next morning, on the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims leave Mina for Mount Arafat where they stand in contemplative vigil, near a hill from which Muhammad gave his last sermon. This is considered the highlight of the Hajj. Pilgrims must spend the afternoon within a defined area on the plain of Arafat until after sunset. No specific rituals or prayers are required during the stay at Arafat, although many pilgrims spend time praying, and thinking about the course of their lives. If a pilgrim does not spend the afternoon on Arafat then their pilgrimage is considered invalid.
At Mina the pilgrims perform Ramy al-Jamarat, throwing stones to signify their defiance of the Devil. This symbolizes the trials experienced by Abraham while he decided whether to sacrifice his son as demanded by God. The Devil challenged him three times, and three times Abraham refused. Each pillar marks the location of one of these refusals. On the first occasion when Ramy al-Jamarat is performed, pilgrims will stone the largest pillar know as Jamrat'al'Aqabah. On the second occasion, all other three pillars will be stoned.  The stoning consists of throwing seven pebbles. Because of the crowds, in 2004 the pillars were replaced by long walls. Pilgrims climb ramps to the multi-levelled Jamarat Bridge, from which they can throw their stones at the one jamarat.
After the Stoning of the Devil an animal is sacrificed. This symbolizes God having mercy on Abraham and replacing his son with a ram, which Abraham then sacrificed.
Traditionally the pilgrims slaughtered the animal themselves, or oversaw the slaughtering. Today many pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Mecca before the greater Hajj begins which allows an animal to be slaughtered in their name on the 10th, without the pilgrim being physically present. Centralized butcher houses will sacrifice a single sheep for each pilgrim, or a cow can represent the sacrifice of seven people. The meat is then packaged and given to charity and shipped to poor people around the world. At the same time as the sacrifices occur at Mecca, Muslims worldwide perform similar sacrifices, in a four-day global festival called Eid ul-Adha. Many Muslims say that this is the highlight of the pilgrimage.
Pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba during the HajjOn this or the following day the pilgrims re-visit the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca for a tawaf called the Tawaf az-Ziyarah or Tawaf al-Ifadah which symbolises being in a hurry to respond to God and show love for Him, an obligatory part of the Hajj. The night of the 10th is spent back at Mina.
On the afternoon of the 11th and again the following day the pilgrims must again throw seven pebbles at each of the three jamarat in Mina.
Pilgrims must leave Mina for Mecca before sunset on the 12th. If they are unable to leave Mina before sunset, they must perform the stoning ritual again on the 13th before returning to Mecca.
Finally, before leaving Mecca, pilgrims perform a farewell tawaf called the Tawaf al-Wada.
Journey to Medina
Though it is not required as part of the Hajj, many pilgrims also travel to the city of Medina and the Mosque of the Prophet, which contains Muhammad's grave.
Social effect of Hajj
A 2008 study on the longer-term effect of participating in the Islamic pilgrimage found that Muslims communities become more open after the Hajj experience.
Entitled ‘Estimating the Impact of the Haj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering’, the Harvard University Kennedy School of government study found that the Hajj experience promotes peaceful coexistence, equality, and harmony. Specifically, the report states that the Hajj "increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects and leads to more favorable attitudes toward women, including greater acceptance of female education and employment" and that "Hajjis (those who have performed the Hajj) show increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions."
Haj literally means ‘to set out for a place’. Islamically, however, it refers to the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Makkah with the intention of performing certain religious rites in accordance with the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
Haj and its rites were first ordained by Allah in the time of the Prophet lbraaheem [Abraham] (‘alaihi-s-salaam) and he was the one who was entrusted by Allah to build the Ka’aba – the House of Allah – along with his son Ismaa’eel [Ishmael] at Makkah. Allah described the Ka’aba and its building as follows:
“And remember when We showed Ibraaheem the site of the [Sacred] House [saying]: Associate not anything [in worship with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it [i.e. perform tawaaf] and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration [in prayer, etc.].” (Surah al-Haj 22:26)
After building the Ka’aba, Ibraaheem (AS) would come to Makkah to perform Haj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son. However, gradually with the passage of time, both the form and the goal of the Haj rites were changed. As idolatry spread throughout Arabia, the Ka’aba lost its purity and idols were placed inside it. Its walls became covered with poems and paintings, including one of Jesus and his mother Maryam and eventually over 360 idols came to be placed around the Ka’aba.
During the Haj period itself, the atmosphere around the sacred precincts of the Ka’aba was like a circus. Men and women would go round the Ka’aba naked, arguing that they should present themselves before Allah in the same condition they were born. Their prayer became devoid of all sincere remembrance of Allah and was instead reduced to a series of hand clapping, whistling and the blowing of horns. Even the talbeeyah  was distorted by them with the following additions: ‘No one is Your partner except one who is permitted by you. You are his Master and the Master of what he possesses’.
Sacrifices were also made in the name of God. However, the blood of the sacrificed animals was poured onto the walls of the Ka’aba and the flesh was hung from pillars around the Ka’aba, in the belief that Allah demanded the flesh and blood of these animals.
Singing, drinking, adultery and other acts of immorality were rife amongst the pilgrims and the poetry competitions, which were held, were a major part of the whole Haj event. In these competitions, poets would praise the bravery and splendour of their own tribesmen and tell exaggerated tales of the cowardice and miserliness of other tribes. Competitions in generosity were also staged where the chief of each tribe would set up huge cauldrons and feed the pilgrims, only so that they could become well-known for their extreme generosity.
Thus the people had totally abandoned the teachings of their forefather and leader Ibraaheem (AS). The House that he had made pure for the worship of Allah alone, had been totally desecrated by the pagans and the rites which he had established were completely distorted by them. This sad state of affairs continued for nearly two and a half thousand years. But then after this long period, the time came for the supplication of Ibraaheem to be answered:
“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them your aayaat (verses) and instruct them in the book and the Wisdom and sanctify them. Verily you are the ‘Azeezul-Hakeem [the All-Mighty, the All-Wise].” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:129)
Sure enough, a man names of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was born in the very city that Ibraaheem (AS) had made this supplication centuries earlier. For twenty-three years, the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) spread the message of Tawheed [true monotheism] – the same message that Ibraaheem and alI the other Prophets came with – and established the law of Allah upon the land. He expended every effort into making the word of Allah supreme and his victory over falsehood culminated in the smashing of the idols inside the Ka’aba which once again became the universal centre for the worshippers of the one True God.
Not only did the Prophet rid the Ka’aba of all its impurities, but he also reinstated all the rites of Haj which were established by Allah’s Permission, in the time of Ibraaheem (AS). Specific injunctions in the Qur’an were revealed in order to eliminate all the false rites which had become rampant in the pre-Islamic period. All indecent and shameful acts were strictly banned in Allah’s statement:
“There is to be no lewdness nor wrangles during Haj.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:197)
Competitions among poets in the exaltations of their forefathers and their tribesmen’s’ achievements were all stopped. Instead, Allah told them:
“And when you have completed your rites [of Haj] then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers; nay with a more vigorous remembrance.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:200)
Competitions in generosity were also prohibited. Of course, the feeding of the poor pilgrims was still encouraged as this was done in the time of Ibraaheem (AS) but Allah commanded that the slaughtering of the animals which was done for this purpose should be done seeking the pleasure of Allah rather than fame and the praise of the people. He said:
“So mention the name of Allah over these animals when they are drawn up in lines. Then, when they are drawn on their sides [after the slaughter], eat thereof and feed the beggar who does not ask, and the beggar who asks.” (Surah al-Haj 22:36)
As for the deplorable practice of spattering blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of the Ka’aba and hanging their flesh on altars, then Allah clearly informed them that:
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is Taqwaa (piety) from you that reaches Him.” (Surah al-Haj 22:37)
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) also put a stop to the practice of circling the Ka’aba in a state of nudity and the argument that the pagans put forward to justify this ritual was sharply rebutted in Allah’s question:
“Say: Who has forbidden the adornment [i.e. clothes] given by Allah which He has produced for His Slaves?” (Surah al-A’raaf 7:32)
Another custom which was prohibited through the Qur’an was that of setting off for Haj without taking any provisions for the journey. In the pre-Islamic period, some people who claimed to be mutawakkiloon (those having complete trust in Allah) would travel to perform Haj begging food the whole journey. They considered this form of behaviour a sign of piety and an indication of how much faith they had in Allah. However Allah told mankind that to have sufficient provisions for the journey was one of the preconditions for making Haj. He said:
“And take a provision [with you] for the journey, but the best provision is at-Taqwaa (piety).” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:197)
In this way, all the pre-Islamic practices, which were based in ignorance, were abolished and Haj was once more made a model of piety, fear of Allah, purity, simplicity and austerity. Now, when the pilgrims reached the Ka’aba, they no longer found the carnivals and the frolic and frivolity that had once occupied the minds of the pilgrims there before. Now, there was the remembrance of Allah at every step and every action and every sacrifice was devoted to Him alone. It was this kind of Haj that was worthy of the reward of paradise, as the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“The reward for an accepted Haj is nothing less than paradise.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]
May Allah grant us all the ability to visit His House and perform the Haj in the manner of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Footnote[/COLOR]
1 Labbaik Allaahumma labbaik... (Here I am present, O’ Allah, I am present...) This is the chant which the pilgrims say when they are going around the Ka’aba.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Haj: Obligation and conditions[/COLOR]
Praise be to Allah, Who enjoined Haj to the Sacred House on His servants and gave good reward on that. Whoever performs Haj to the House and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins while performing Haj, he will come out as sinless as a newly born child. An accepted Haj will be rewarded with nothing but Paradise.
I testify that there is none worthy to be worshipped but Allah, with Whom there is no associate, the Lord of Glory and Splendor. I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Messenger, the best of those who performed prayer, gave Zakaah, made Haj and observed fasting. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them on proper way until the Resurrection Day!
O people! Fear Allah and fulfil the obligation of Haj, which Allah enjoined on you, as much as you can. Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Aal-’Imraan: 97)
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam is to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish prayer, give Zakaah, observe fasting in Ramadan and make Haj to the House if you can afford it.”
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that Islam is founded on these five pillars, and that if any of these five is lacking Islam will be imperfect. ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I was about to send envoys to the towns to check on all those who have the means to make Haj but do not perform it, in order to demand them to pay Jizyah; they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims.”
The obligation of Haj is confirmed by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, as well as the consensus agreement of the Muslim scholars. Whoever denies the obligation of Haj will be regarded an infidel, and whoever abandons it because of his indifference to it, though he admits its obligation, he is on the verge of disbelief.
After mentioning the obligation of Haj, Allah says which translates as: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Aal-’Imraan: 97).
How can a Muslim feel assured when he abandons Haj while he is able to afford for it both financially and physically, though he is well aware that Haj is an obligation and one of the pillars of Islam? How can a Muslim withhold money from spending it in Haj, though he spends much of it in worldly pleasures?
How can a Muslim save himself the fatigue of Haj, while he exerts himself in the worldly endeavours? How can he slacken to perform Haj, while it is enjoined to be performed once during one’s lifetime? How can he procrastinate in performing Haj, while he does not know if his life will extend a day longer or not?
So, fear Allah, servants of Allah, and fulfil the obligation of Haj enjoined on you by Allah, with sincere devotion to Him, complying with His commandments and stimulated by the desire to obey Him, if you are truly believers.
Allah the Almighty said what means: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path” (Al-Ahzab: 36).
If a believer performs Haj for once after he attains puberty, it will be sufficient for him and will fulfil this essential cornerstone of Islam. He will not be demanded to perform either Haj or ‘Umrah after that, unless he vows to make either of them, in which case he will be obliged to fulfil his vow. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Let whoever vows to obey Allah fulfil his vow.”
O Muslims! It is an indication of Allah’s Mercy and Wisdom that he specified certain limits for His obligations, in order to well define responsibilities. Allah made such obligations most fit the doer, the place and the time in which such obligations should be fulfilled. Like all other obligations, Haj has certain limits and conditions that should first be fulfilled in order to demand a Muslim to perform Haj. Among the conditions of the obligation of Haj is to attain puberty.
Anyone who has not attained puberty will not be required to make Haj, even if he is financially able to do so. However, his or her Haj will be valid and he will get reward on it. On attaining puberty he will be required to make the obligatory Haj, since the Haj he made before attaining puberty does not absolve him from the obligatory Haj. Thus, if one accompanies his young children in Haj, both he and his children will get reward for Haj, and if he does not accompany them, neither he nor his children will incur sin.
One of the conditions of the obligation of Haj is the ability, both financially and physically. Allah the Almighty said what means: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who are capable and can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures” (Aal-’Imraan: 97).
Thus, if this condition is lacking, Haj becomes not obligatory. Financial ability is realised when someone owns enough money to undertake the journey of Haj after fulfilling his needs and the needs of his dependents including outlay, clothing and hire for his accommodation for one year, and after repaying the debts he owes to others, whose time of repayment is due.
If someone owns money, but needs it to fulfil any of the abovementioned obligations, he will not be obliged to make Haj. The same applies in the case of the one who is in debt, until he repays it. The term ‘debt’ includes all credits owed by a person, including *****, purchase prices, hires, etc.
Thus, one who owes, even one riyal, to another is considered a debtor and will not be obliged to make Haj unless he repays the debt he owes. Islam attaches so much importance to fulfilling debts that a martyr’s sins will be expiated except for the debts he owed. According to Islam, the soul of the deceased is suspended until his debt is repaid on his behalf.
The Haj obligation does not fall on a man whose deferred debt is guaranteed by a pledge equal to its value, rather the debtor will be requested to perform Haj if he has the means to do so. However, if the deferred debt is not guaranteed with a pledge that equals its value, the debtor will not be requested to perform Haj, unless he absolves himself from this debt.
Physical capability denotes that one has the ability to reach the Sacred House in Makkah on his own without difficulty. If he cannot do that, or can do it but with extreme difficulty, such as the case of the sick person, he may wait until his condition improves, if the improvement is possible. If he waits but dies before making Haj, Haj is to be made on his behalf, with the expenses taken from his legacy.
If his conditions are not likely to improve, such as the case of senility or chronic incurable diseases, he should authorise another person to make Haj on his behalf, either from his relatives or others. If he dies before assigning a person to make Haj on his behalf, any person may make Haj for him, with the expenses covered from the former’s legacy.
If a woman finds no Mahram (husband or male relative whom she cannot marry) to accompany her on the journey, she will not be obliged to perform Haj. In this case she will be regarded as those who do not have the ability to perform Haj, since she is legally banned from travel on a journey without a Mahram.
Ibn ‘Abbas said: I heard the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Mahram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case forever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.).” Then a man got up and said, “O Allah Messenger of Allah! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwah and my wife is proceeding for Haj.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Go, and perform the Haj with your wife.”
In this Hadith, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered the man to accompany his wife in the journey of Haj, without asking him whether she was young or that she would join a group of women in the journey. This formulates a proof that a woman is prohibited to travel without a Mahram on any occasion or by any means of transports, i.e. planes, cars, etc. A Mahram should be a mature male, as an immature person cannot serve the purpose of this condition, which is to preserve woman’s honour and chastity.
O Muslims, let those who fulfil the conditions of Haj perform it without delay before he is overtaken by death and then regret when it will be too late for regret.
Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped.”And follow the Best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you – of a sudden while ye perceive not! – “Lest the soul should (then) say: `Ah! Woe is me! In that I neglected (my Duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!’ “Or (lest) it should say: ‘If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!’ “Or (lest) it should say when it (actually) sees the Penalty: ‘If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!’” (Az-Zumar: 54-58)
Whoever performs Haj, abiding by the legal rules, with sincere devotion to Allah and with adherence to the conduct of the Messenger of Allah, his Haj will be perfect, no matter whether that Aqiqah was slaughtered by his parents on the seventh day of his birth or not.
May Allah guide you and I to establish His ordinances and to abide by their limits, out of His Bounty and Generosity, for He is Most Bounteous and Most Generous.
I ask Allah’s Forgiveness for you and for me, for all Muslims from all sins. So, seek His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Who enjoined devotional practices in order to purify the souls and perfect faith, dividing them to that which is purely physical and that which is purely financial and other kinds of devotion, which combine the two types. I testify that there is no deity but Allah, with Whom there is no associate, the King, the Judge.
I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Messenger, who was sent to all humankind and Jinn. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them in the proper way until the Resurrection Day!
O people! Fear Allah, the Almighty and know that Haj is one of the best kinds of worship and the greatest in reward. It was related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Haj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise. Whoever performs Haj to this House (Ka’aba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Haj), he will come out as sinless as a newly born child. (Just delivered by his mother).”
Haj is a physical devotion that a servant is requested to fulfil in person, though a small part of it pertains to money, such as the offering of a sacrifice. However, the Prophet’s Sunnah clarified that proxy is permissible in Haj, in case one is unable to perform it on his own due to legal excuses.
It was relayed in Sahih Al-Bukhari on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that: A woman said: “Messenger of Allah, my father is very old. There is an old obligation of Haj upon him from Allah, but he is not capable of sitting on the back of the camel.” Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Perform Haj on his behalf.” This happened in the Farewell Pilgrimage.
Another woman came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and said, “My mother had vowed to perform Haj but she died before performing it. May I perform Haj on my mother’s behalf?” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Perform Haj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay Allah’s debt as He has more right to be paid.”
If a person has the ability to perform Haj in person, he is not permitted to authorise another person to make Haj on his behalf. Many people loosely resort to Haj by proxy in the case of supererogatory Haj, even if they are capable to perform it in person, thus depriving themselves from the reward attained from the fatigue of worship and all that it contains of remembrance, supplication, submissiveness to Allah, redoubling of reward, useful meetings, etc. In one of the two narrations reported from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, he forbade proxy in supererogatory Haj for those who are capable to perform it in person.
Thus, a Muslim should not be careless concerning the matter of Haj; he should perform supererogatory Haj in person if he wishes, or provide pilgrims with money in order to share with them the reward of Haj.
O people! Haj is a kind of worship done by the servant as a means to please Allah and to attain reward in the Hereafter. A servant’s attention should not be completely diverted to attaining worldly gains through Haj. Unfortunately, many people who perform Haj on behalf of others do this solely for the sake of money, which is prohibited, since worldly considerations should not spoil worship.
Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “Those who desire the life of the Present and its glitter, to them We shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein, without diminution. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect are the deeds that they do!” (Hud: 15-16).
He also says which translates as: “So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers, yea, with far more heart and soul. There are men who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!” But they will have no portion in the Hereafter.” (Al-Baqarah: 200).
Allah will not accept a worship done not for His sake. The Messenger of Allah prevented seeking worldly gains in the places of worship when he said: “If you see a man indulges in a transaction in the mosque, say to him, ‘may Allah not render your trade profitable.’”
If this strict attitude is taken against those who utilise places of worship for worldly gains, what about those who turn the worship itself into a means of attaining worldly gains? We find those requested to make Haj on behalf of others bargain and ask for more money, which turn worship into a craft or profession. For this reason the Hanbali jurists maintained that it is invalid to hire a man to perform Haj on behalf of another.
Ibn Taimiyah declared that whoever makes Haj only to attain hire will have no reward in the Hereafter. However, if proxy is made for a religious purpose, such as benefiting others with the reward of Haj or aiming to increase acts of obedience through supplication and remembrance of Allah during the rituals of Haj, Haj by proxy will be valid in this case.
Those who charge for proxy in Haj should devote their intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, aiming to exercise worships related to Allah’s House, remembering Him and supplicating Him, in addition to the fulfilment of the needs of their fellow Muslims who authorised them to make Haj on their behalf. They should not pour all their attention on gaining worldly benefits, for if this becomes their sole interest, they will not be permitted to charge for proxy in Haj.
If one entertains a sound intention for proxy in Haj, all the money he gets from the authorising person will be his, unless the latter demand refunding remaining amounts after covering the costs of Haj. The deputy person should intend to perform Haj and ‘Umrah on behalf of the authorising person, unless the former stipulates to perform ‘Umrah for his benefit.
A person deputised to make Haj on behalf of another person cannot deputise a third party, unless after obtaining the consent of the person who commissioned him to make Haj on his behalf. All the reward of acts related to rituals of Haj goes to the authorising person, but the redoubling of reward through offering supererogatory prayers and Tawaf, as well as extra types of worship that exceeds the rituals goes to the authorised person.
The representative in Haj should exert the best of his efforts to accomplish the verbal and practical acts related to the rituals, since this is a kind of trust that he should fulfil duly. When pronouncing Talbiah, he should say: ‘labbaika ‘an fulan’ (O Allah I respond to Your Call on behalf of so and so.) If he forgets his name, he may intend it with his heart, saying: ‘labbaika ‘Amman anabani fi hadhihil-’Umrah, or fi hathal-Haj’ (I respond to Your Call on behalf of one who authorised me to make this ‘Umrah or this Haj.)
O servants of Allah! Fear Allah and do not pay much attention to the worldly gains, and do not turn worship into a means of attaining material gains! May Allah guide you and I to be sincere in our intentions and to perfect our deeds! May Allah guide you and I to the straightforward path, for He is Most Bounteous, Most Generous. Praise be to Allah the Lord of all worlds. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions!
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Fataawa on Haj innovations [/COLOR]
Regarding supplicating for parents in the salaah and passing the reward of reading the Qur’an or doing the tawaaf for them
Question: They say that supplicating for the parents in the obligatory prayers is not permissible and nor is passing over to them the reward for completing the Qur’an or the tawaaf.
Response: There is no harm in supplicating in the prayer either for oneself or for one’s parents (or other than them), rather this is legislated. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“The closest a servant is to his Lord is when he is in sujood, so increase in making the supplication (in it)” – narrated by Muslim.
And he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“As for the rukoo’, then magnify the Lord (in it), and as for the sujood then strive in making the supplication (in it), for it is worthy of being responded to” – also narrated by Muslim.
And in the two Saheehs (of Imaam al-Bukhari and Imaam Muslim), on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood (radhiallaahu ‘anhu), that when the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) taught him the tashahhud, he said:
“...then choose a supplication which pleases you and supplicate (with it)”.
And in another narration:
“...then choose from that which you desire.”
What is implied here is before the tasleem, so if he supplicates in the sujood or at the end of the prayer, for himself, his parents or the Muslims, there is no harm (in this) for what is mentioned of the generalness of these ahadith and other than them. As for passing the reward for reciting (the Qur’an) or making tawaaf for one’s parents or other than them from the Muslims, then this is an issue where there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars. That which is better, is to leave this since no evidence exists for its permissibility. Acts of worship are permanently stipulated, so nothing is to be practised unless legislated by the Shari’ah, for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Anyone who introduces something into this matter of ours (i.e. Islam), that which is not from it, will have it rejected” – this (narration) is agreed upon (by both Imaam al-Bukhari and Imaam Muslim).
And in another narration:
“Anyone who does an act which is not in agreement with us, then he will have it rejected” – narrated by Muslim.
And Allah is the Expounder of Success.
Regarding entering al-Masjid al-Haraam through a particular door, and the supplication upon seeing the Ka’aba
Question: What are the mistakes some pilgrims commit when entering al-Masjid al-Haraam?
Response: From amongst the mistakes that some pilgrims fall into when entering al-Masjid al-Haraam are:
First: That some people think it is imperative, for making Haj or ‘Umrah, to enter through a particular door of al-Masjid al-Haraam. So, for example, some people see that it is necessary for one making ‘Umrah to enter via the door which is called the ‘Umrah Door (Baab al-’Umrah) or that this is something that must be done and that it is legislated. Others see that it is imperative to enter via the Door of Peace (Baab as-Salaam) and that entering through any other door is a sin or disliked – and there is no evidence for this. So, it is upon the one making Haj or ‘Umrah to enter via any door they wish, and when doing so, extending the right foot first (upon entry) and saying that which is mentioned for entering all masjids. So, he sends his salutations upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and says:
“O Allah! Forgive me my sins and open Your Doors of Mercy to me”.
Secondly: Some people innovate certain supplications when entering the al-Masjid al-Haraam and upon seeing the House (Ka’aba). They innovate supplications which have not been mentioned by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and they supplicate to Allah with them. This is an innovation. So the act of worship, for the Sake of Allah, by speech, action or belief which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or his companions were not upon, is an innovation and an evil, that which the Messenger of Allah has warned against.
Regarding kissing the Yemeni corner
Question: Is it permissible to kiss the Yemeni corner (of the Ka’aba)?
Response: Kissing the Yemeni corner (ar-Rukn al-Yamaanee) is not confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Any act of worship which is not confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is an innovation and not something which draws one near to Allah. So based upon this, it is not legislated for a person to kiss the Yemeni corner since this is not confirmed upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Rather, it has been mentioned in a weak hadith that can not be used as proof.
Regarding making the talbiyyah as a group in chorus
Question: What is the ruling regarding making the talbiyyah as a group in chorus?
Response: Some of the pilgrims make the talbiyyah as a group in chorus, so one of them is either at the front, middle or behind and makes the talbiyyah whilst all of them follow him in chorus. This has not been mentioned on the authority of (any of) the companions. Rather, Anas Ibn Maalik (radhiallaahu ‘anhu) said:
“We were with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) (on the Hajj al-Wadaa’ (farewell pilgrimage” and from amongst us were those who recited “Allahu Akbar” and those who recited “Laa ilaaha ill-Allah” and those who reicted the talbiyyah”.
This is (what has been) legislated for the Muslims, whereby each one then makes talbiyyah on his own without joining together with others.
Regarding one making the talbiyyah and the rest follow him in chorus
Question: What is the ruling regarding the pilgrims making Khulafaa. as a group (in chorus), whereby one of them makes the talbiyyah and the rest follow him?
Response: This is not permissible for the non-existence of any evidence from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and nor from any of the Rightly Guided Khulafaa. (Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan and ‘Ali (radhiallaahu ‘anhum). Rather, it is an innovation.
And with Allah lies all success and may Allah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.
Regarding the mistakes which occur during the tawaaf
Question: There are some mistakes which occur whilst making tawaaf, what are those mistakes?
Response: Many pilgrims adhere to specific supplications whilst making tawaaf. There are groups from amongst them that take (their supplications) from one designated to read and then they all repeat this as a group in chorus. This is a mistake from two points:
First: This is adhering to a supplication which is not mentioned to be adhered to in the this place (tawaaf) because no specific supplication has been mentioned on the authority of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) whilst making tawaaf;
Secondly: The group supplication in chorus is an innovation, which also interferes with the (concentration of) other pilgrims making tawaaf. That which is legislated is for everyone to supplicate on their own without raising the voices.
Regarding making a long supplication behind the maqaam Ibraaheem
Question: What is the ruling regarding making a long supplication behind the maqaam Ibraaheem?
Response: From the innovations that some people do when they stand behind the maqaam Ibraaheem is that they make a long supplication which they call “du’aa. al-maqaam”. There is no basis for this from the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). This is an innovation that is prohibited. Along with this being an innovation, every innovation is (a door to) misguidance, whereby some people hold (small) books which contain this supplication and they begin supplicating in a loud voice and those behind them respond by saying “Aameen”. This is an innovation, and with this there is interference upon worshippers (in prayer) around the maqaam Ibraaheem. From that which has preceded, interference of worshippers (in prayer) is prohibited.
Regarding visiting the “Seven Masaajid” and other places in Madinah
Question: What is the ruling regarding visiting the “Seven Masaajid” or Masjid al-Ghamaamah or some of the other places that some of the pilgrims visit?
Response: We (previously) mentioned that only the following five places should be visited:
1) The Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) Masjid;
2) His grave and the graves of his two companions (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radhi-allaahu ‘anhumaa), and the three graves are all in one place;
3) al-Baqee (graveyard) wherein is the grave of ‘Uthmaan Ibn Affaan (radhiallaahu ‘anhu);
4) The martyrs of (the battle of) Uhud, and amongst them the grave of Hamzah Ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib (radhiallaahu ‘anhu);
5) Masjid Qubaa.
Any place other than these should not be visited. That which you mention of the “Seven Masaajid” or other than these (which you did not mention), then visiting all of these has no basis. Visiting them with the intention as a form of worshipping Allah the Almighty is an innovation. This is because (visiting) these have not been mentioned on the authority of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and it is not permissible for anyone to establish a time, place or action if done intending to draw nearness to Allah (as a form of worship), except with evidences from the Shari’ah.
The ruling regarding making tawaaf around the Prophet’s chamber
Question: What is the ruling regarding making tawaaf around the Prophet’s chamber?
Response: Some vistors to the al-Masjid an-Nabawee make tawaaf around the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and touch the caging of the chamber and its walls and, quite possibly, they kiss it with their lips and place their cheeks upon it. All of this is a detestable innovation! Certainly, making tawaaf around other than the Ka’aba is impermissible; also, touching, kissing and placing the cheeks has been legislated for a specific place on the Ka’aba (between al-Hajar al-Aswad and the door of the Ka’aba).
So, worshipping Allah in this way, on the walls of the chamber, does not increase a person in anything except distancing himself from Allah.
The ruling regarding touching the mihraab and the minbar of the Prophet’s masjid
Question: What is the ruling regarding touching the mihraab and the minbar of the al-Masjid an-Nabawee?
Response: Some of the vistors touch the mihraab and the minbar and the walls of the al-Masjid an-Nabawee and all of this is an innovation.
The ruling regarding washing the stones for stoning (the Jamaraat)
Question: What is the ruling regarding washing the stones for stoning (the Jamaraat)?
Response: They should not be washed. Rather, if a person washes them with the intention of worshipping Allah (by this action), then this is an innovation because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not do this.
The ruling regarding two or more khutbahs in ‘Arafah
Question: We have noticed some pilgrims are unable to pray in Masjid Namirah (on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of ‘Arafah). They pray where they are, so one of them stands and delivers a khutbah and then leads the prayer, just like in a masjid. So, is it permissible to have two (or more) khutbahs in ‘Arafah?
Response: There is only one khutbah on the Day of ‘Arafah, which is given by the Imaam of the Muslims or his deputy, in one place and that is Masjid Namirah. It is not legislated for all pilgrims, rather the remainder of the pilgrims who are unable to attend the khutbah should combine and shorten the Zhuhr and ‘Asr salaahs at the time of Zhuhr (and not delay it until ‘Asr), without a khutbah. That, which these people do, as the questioner mentions, is considered an innovation and it is not permissible. Instead, it is obligatory to leave this and prevent this from being done and also attempt to listen to the khutbah via the speakers (placed outside the masjid for those unable to enter the masjid).
Regarding the behaviour of some pilgrims having returned to their homes after the Haj
Question: Some of the pilgrims, when they return from the Holy Land to their countries, they remain in their houses for a week without going out, not even for any necessities nor (going out to the masjid) to pray, and the people engage them in supplicating for them. So is this from the Sunnah?
Response: This is not from the Sunnah, instead it is an innovation and anyone who believes this to be a Sunnah is mistaken. As for them remaining in their homes without attending the congregational prayers in the masjid, then this is not permissible, except for an Islaamically acceptable reason. For that which has been mentioned, then this is not (an) acceptable (reason), they are therefore sinning for not attending these prayers.
And with Allah lies all success and may Allah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.
Innovations pertaining to visiting the grave of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Question:[/COLOR] Are there any innovations which some people fall into (when) at the grave of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)?
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Response: [/COLOR]From the innovations that take place at the grave of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is much frequentation. For example, whenever he enters the masjid, he goes and says ‘salaam’ to him and sits near the grave. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Do not take my grave as a place of (much) frequentation”, [Musnad Ahmad, Musannaf ‘Abdur-Razzaaq].
Rather, it is recommneded for one who arrives from a journey to visit it. Also, from the innovations that occur at the Messenger’s grave or other than that is the assumption that the supplication there is accepted. On the contrary, it is legislated to send saluations upon him (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and if he wants to supplicate then it is (to be) done in any part of the masjid and if it is done after the prayer then that is best. From that which is done and disliked at the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is raising the voice and requesting from him (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that one’s needs be satisfied. This is a major shirk, and that which is obligatory is to be cautious of it.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]A duty mankind owes to Allah [/COLOR]
ALL praise and thanks is due to Allah the Sustainer and Provider of all the worlds and may his salaat and salaam be upon the noblest of prophets and messengers, our prophet, Muhammad and upon all of his family and followers. To proceed:
Praise and thank Allah the Majestic, my dear brother or sister in Islam, for having extended your life to see the successive days and months, for before you now is the occasion of the Haj (Pilgrimage). So many pilgrims have already begun filling the sky with talbiyyah (declaration of answering the call to Haj) and takbeer (declaring Allah’s greatness). They come from the corners of the earth, both east and west, some having saved every penny they could for years struggling to save enough to fulfil this awesome obligation.
You, my dear brother or sister, who have all the means and opportunity, why are you delaying and what are you waiting for?! Have you not read or heard the words of Allah the Most High:
And Haj to the House (Al-Ka’aba) is a duty mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses and whoever disbelieves, then Allah is not in need of any of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn, and all that exists). [Ale-Imraan 97]
Also His statement: And perform properly the Haj and the ‘Umrah for Allah. [Al-Baqarah 196] And finally: And proclaim to mankind the Haj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come form every deep and distant mountain highway. [Al-Haj 27].
Dear Muslims, Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Islam is founded upon five pillars: The declaration that there is no true deity worthy of worship besides Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the performance of prayer (salaah), giving zakaat (due alms), fasting in the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage (Haj) to the inviolable House of Allah for whoever has the means. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Is a duty for every Muslim who is able to hurry to the fulfil the Haj before falling into sin. The Messenger of Allah stated: Hasten to the Haj because none of you knows what will happen to him. [Ahmed].
It is narrated from Abdur-Rahman Ibn Saabit: Whoever dies without having performed the Haj and there was no debilitating illness as an obstacle nor unjust ruler or some overwhelming necessity preventing him, would die in the state of either a Jew or a Christian. [This statement is considered a da’eef (weak) hadith but it is supported by a similar statement by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab and therefore known to have a sound origin according to Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani in Talkhees Al-Kabeer]
It is narrated by Sa’eed ibn Mansour that Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (radiallahu ‘anhu) said: I have considered sending a man to the various cities to see whoever has the means but has not made the Haj to then impose the jizyah (a tax imposed upon non-Muslim subjects in an Islamic state). They are not Muslims. They are not Muslims.
It is therefore a duty for you my brother or sister Muslim to fulfil this great obligation when it is easy at this time for you to do so, and all praise is due to Allah. Don’t let the Shaitaan cause you to sit and be overtaken by procrastination and be distracted by some desire. Ask yourself...How long will you delay it? Till next year? Who knows what condition you will be in next year? Think of the generations and how they used to trek to the Haj for months to reach the Ancient House!
The benefits of Haj are tremendous and its reward is glorious. It combines both physical and material forms of worship. The former due to the undergoing any hardship, exertion, fatigue, strain, harsh conditions and travel. The latter is due to the expenditure the pilgrim makes for and during the Haj.
The Messenger Of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: From Umrah to Umrah is an expiation for what occurs between the two (i.e. sins), and there is no reward for the accepted Haj other than Al-Jannah. Also he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stated: Whoever makes Haj and neither quarrels or commits indecency will return home like the day his mother gave birth to him. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) strongly urged increasing one’s obedience and adherence between the Haj and the ‘Umrah for he said: Make the Haj and the Umrah follow each other closely, for they remove poverty and sins as a blacksmith’s bellows remove impurities from iron, gold and silver; and Haj which is accepted gets no less a reward than Paradise. [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2524 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud ; Umar ibn al-Khattaab. Tirmidhi and Nasa’i transmitted it, and Ahmad and Ibn Maajah transmitted it from Umar up to “from iron.”]
He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) also said in a hadith that enlivens the feelings and hurries you on: From ‘Umrah to ‘Umrah is expiation for all that occurs between them (of sins) and the accepted Haj has no reward other than Al-Jannah. [Muslim]
Along with this great reward is the fact that the days of Haj are few. So don’t hesitate and undervalue this chance while the means to travel are much easier compared to past days and you live a life of relative plenty. Favors call for gratitude and life is for the purpose of worshipping Allah. Don’t delay further or procrastinate and receive the good tidings as one of the delegations of Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful), Allah, who has called them and they have answered Him and He has given to them.
Receive the glad tidings of a great day in which there will be many false steps and slips of the tongue forgiven for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: There is not a day when more slaves are freed from the Hellfire than on the day of Arafah. [Muslim]
Be happy and find comfort and prepare for the meeting with Allah the Glorified and Majestic, and benefit from your time by doing that which will benefit you in the next life and it will then be cause for joy at the time when no amount of wealth nor progeny will avail you. The Day when the records will be made to fly and hearts will be trembling and transformed and you will see people as though they are drunken however they will not be ... rather it will be the intense punishment from Allah.
Dear brothers and sisters, work for this world to the extent needed to live in it, but work also for the Hereafter in order to live in it. Don’t put things off when death is indeed before you and sickness stops you or you become engulfed in work. Instead, escape from all that and seek Allah’s aid and depend upon Him and be among those who are answering the call to Haj and remembering Allah’s greatness this year.
My brother or sister Muslim: If Allah has already opened your breast and you have decided to perform the Haj for His sake and the reward of the Hereafter, I remind you of the following matters:
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]1. Ask Allah For Guidance And Advice (Al-Istikhaarah and Al-Istishaara) : [/COLOR]The one who seeks guidance will not fail, nor will the one who seeks advice regret it. Seek the guidance of Allah regarding the appropriate time, transportation and companions for your journey. The Istikhaarah prayer is to perform two units (rak’atain) of prayer and afterwards supplicate to Allah saying the supplication of Al-Istikhaarah which is as follows: O Allah, I consult You as You are All-Knowing and I appeal to You to give me power as You are Omnipotent, I ask You for Your great favour, for You have power and I do not, and You know all of the hidden matters . O Allah ! If you know that this matter (then he should mention it) is good for me in my religion, my livelihood, and for my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: ‘for my present and future life,’) then make it (easy) for me. And if you know that this matter is not good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: ‘for my present and future life,’) then keep it away from me and take me away from it and choose what is good for me wherever it is and please me with it.” [Al-Bukhari]
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]2. Purify Your Intention To Perform The Haj For Allah Alone:[/COLOR] It is incumbent upon the person undertaking the Haj to intend their Haj and ‘Umrah for the sake of pleasing Allah alone and attaining the reward of the Hereafter. This, so that all one’s actions and speech and expenditure is a means to get closer to Allah. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: Verily deeds are judged and motivated by intention and verily every person shall get what they intended. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]3. Learn The Rites of Haj And ‘Umrah And Related Issues: [/COLOR]Learn the conditions of Haj and its obligations, its pillars and sunnah or supererogatory aspects to the point that you can worship Allah with insight clarity and knowledge and you will also avoid errors which may spoil your Haj. Books on Haj are plentiful and easy to obtain. Your local mosque may have preparatory classes as well.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]4. Leave Plenty Of Provisions For Your Family And Advise Them To Have Fear Of Allah (Taqwaa):[/COLOR] It is obligatory for whoever intends to make Haj that they leave adequate provisions for those whose maintenance they are responsible for of money, food, and drink. One should be confident that their family is safe and sound and not left in a situation of trial or danger. It is highly recommended (and many scholars say obligatory) to have one’s will prepared before travelling.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]5. Sincere Repentance To Allah For All Sins And Disobedience: [/COLOR]Allah, Who is free of all imperfections, states: And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. [An-Noor 31] True repentance (At-Taubah) is when one renounces all his or her sins and disobedience to Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and discontinues doing them and feel truly remorseful for those past ill deeds and is determined not to return to them. If someone else’s rights have been violated they must be given back their rightful possessions or made amends with no matter what the violation may have been.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]6. Use Only Lawful (halaal) Funds[/COLOR]: Funds that were lawfully earned so that nothing sinful may touch your Haj. It may be that you Haj is accepted but tainted with some sin from some other way. It is stated in a hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) where he said: As soon as a pilgrim sets out for Haj with a provision which is lawful, and puts his foot in the stirrup (rides his mount) and calls out: ‘O, Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,’ an announcer answers him from the heavens above, saying: ‘Your call has been heard; you are a happy one; your provisions are lawful, your mount is lawful and your pilgrimage is free of sin and acceptable.’
But, if his provisions are unlawfully gained, and he puts his foot in the stirrup and calls out: ‘O Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,’ an announcer from the heavens above answers him back, saying: ‘Your call is not accepted; nor are you welcome; your food is unlawful; your provisions are unlawful; and your pilgrimage is not free of sin and is unacceptable.”’ Al-Mundhri says: “This is reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, and also by Al-Asbahani in a mursal hadith from Aslam, the freed slave of ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab.”
It is said in a poem:
When you make Haj with wealth whose origin is unlawful
You have not made a Haj but a Haj of no consequence
Allah accepts not except all that is virtuous. Not all who make the Haj to the House of Allah are successful
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]7. Choose Righteous Companions: [/COLOR]They will be good for you during travel for they will remind you of what you may have forgotten and inform you of what you may not know and look out for you and show you brotherly love. They will consider all of that as an act of worship gaining them nearness to Allah the Mighty and Majestic.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]8. Adhere To The Etiquette Of Travel:[/COLOR] Make those supplications that are well known, such as the supplication of travel and the takbeer when ascending to a high point and the tasbeeh (Subhaanallah – glorification of Allah as free of all perfection) when descending in a valley, along with supplications when stopping at places along the road etc.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]9. Mentally Prepare For The Haj:[/COLOR] Just as important as preparing physically you should prepare to make psychological adjustments to deal with the hardships, toils and inconvenience of traveling and Haj and consider all of it as good to be added to your scale of deeds. There are those who just complain and mumble about the heat, the food, the long trip... Haj is not a vacation or recreational activity! Know that the highest type of patience, and the type that is most greatly rewarded, is patience in the obedience of Allah. Even with all the transportation and road facilities, some hardship and toil will remain. Don’t nullify your deeds dear pilgrim by mentioning all you have done or irritations and petty annoyances and driving away other Muslims by your hand or your tongue. You must apply kindness and compassion.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]10. Lower The Gaze From What Allah Has Made Haraam To Look At:[/COLOR] Be conscious and fear Allah regarding those things which are unlawful. You will be in holy places of tremendous religious significance, so hold your tongue and control your limbs so that your Haj is not a sinful or false one that will be a burden upon your back on the Day of Resurrection.
May Allah accept our obedience and adherence and excuse us of our shortcomings and make for us and our Muslim parents those through whom forgiveness is granted from among the pilgrims answering the call this year and in the years to come.[/COLOR]D-pain "D" Gangsta!!
02-10-2010, 09:40 PM #2
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