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Contemplations about Hajj and the spiritual compass

May 26, 2022

1 – Prior to Hajj and/or ‘Umrah the Muslim should:
a) Purify his creed (‘Aqeedah) from any aspects of Shirk, greater or lesser, as Shirk destroys one’s deeds.
b) Devote his Hajj purely and sincerely for Allah.
c) Sincerely repent for all of his sins.
d) Acquire knowledge about Hajj and its rites.
e) Use Halal (lawful) means to support this great journey, taking what he will require (i.e. not begging while on Hajj to meet his needs).
f) Record all of his debts and include them in his Islamic Will.
g) Relieve himself from any kind of injustice which he may have inflicted upon others.
h) Secure the needs of his family members whom he leaves home.
i) Accompany the knowledgeable and righteous Muslims and stay away from the innovators.
j) Perform the Prayer on time and as prescribed during the journey and in the Hajj period.
k) Safeguard his tongue from backbiting, arguing, complaining, etc.
l) Keep his beard and not shave it for Hajj or for any other reason, as this is prohibited.
m) Remember that it is unlawful for men to wear gold (rings included).

2 – Hajj is a journey that was taken by Prophets and Messengers before you.

Those who take the path of the Prophets glorify the Tawheed (monotheism) of Allah and glorify His House. However, there are those who come to perform Hajj and their hearts are attached to other than Allah. They invoke the dead and the righteous, whether present or absent. This is the opposite of Tawheed because it is setting up rivals with Allah. So, free your intention from any kind of devotion to other than Allah The Almighty. Repent and come to perform Hajj with a sincere heart, submitting to Allah and remembering what Ibraaheem and his son Ismaa’eel, may Allah exalt their mention, said when they were raising the foundations of Allah’s House – the Ka’bah: {Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manaasik (all the ceremonies of Hajj and ‘Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.} [Quran 2:128]

3 – You are embarking on an expedition to Allah’s House and you may or may not return to your home. So, make this journey as Allah wants it. Think of the next journey that is sure to come, the one that leads to the meeting with Allah the Most High.

Indeed, this raises questions like: What did I prepare for that Day? Am I following Allah’s Commands? Do I practice the Sunnah of Muhammad ? Do I really know Allah? {And invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. Everything will perish save His Face, His is the decision, and to Him (all) shall be returned.} [Quran 28:88]

4 – When you start saying the Talbiyah, remember the Command of Allah to Prophet Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention: {And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).} [Quran 22:27] The Talbiyah you make is in response to Prophet Ibraaheem’s proclamation to visit Allah’s House of worship.

5 – Upon entering Makkah remember that you are in the Secure Sanctuary: {….Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary (Makkah), to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.} [Quran 28:57] Let one commit himself to repentance, having a good opinion of Allah, hoping that Allah will grant him security from His Punishment.

6 – You will enter one of the gates of al-Masjid al-Haram. Then there you are before the magnificent House of Allah the Most High – the Ka’bah. Now you see what you hoped to see for a long time. Thank Allah for making this possible and hope that He will grant you the greatest reward of seeing His Majestic Face on the Day of Resurrection. This thankfulness is not just in saying “Al-Hamdu-lillah,” but also by obeying Allah while on Hajj and for the rest of your life.

7 – You start your Tawaaf knowing that it is a great time to glorify Allah the Exalted. Remember Him by His Names, Attributes and Actions. Also while in this state (Tawaaf), try to reflect upon the time when the Prophet Muhammad  was prevented from doing the very thing you are doing at that time. Ponder over what he  did when clearing out the site of idols signifying worship to other than Allah. All idols were demolished. Therefore, busy yourself with supplications. Ask Allah, the Most Great, to cause you to adhere to the correct belief, stick to the Path of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and make you die in that state. Ask Allah to safeguard you from all forms of Shirk (polytheism) and Bid’ah (innovation).

8 – While in Sa’y, contemplate on Hajar, the mother of Ismaa’eel, when she asked her husband Ibraaheem: “Did Allah order you to do this (leaving her and her baby Ismaa’eel in Makkah)? He said: “Yes.” Her great response was: “Then He (Allah) will not neglect us!” Think about this great dependence upon Allah when you are in the Sa’y, walking the same path that Hajar took in search of water and sustenance around the mounts of Safa and Marwah. Think about her endurance, perseverance and true belief in Allah. The Sa’y exemplifies the strong belief that we must have in the One Who Sustains and Provides – Allah the Exalted.

9 – The standing on ‘Arafat is the Hajj. The crowds should remind you of the Day of Resurrection. Humble yourself to Allah, manifest your ‘Ubudiyyah (worship) to Him Alone through supplications, sincere intention and strong determination to free yourself from the sins of the past and to build up a commitment to rush toward doing what is good. Think of becoming a better person when you return. Rid yourself of false pride and showing off because it may ruin what you may gain on this day.

10 – You gathered the pebbles and you are about to embark on stoning the Jamarat. This is an act of obedience and remembrance of Allah, Most Magnificent. The Prophet  said: “When you cast the small pebbles (i.e. at the Jamarat), it will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection.”

11 – When performing the sacrifice remember the saying of Allah, the Most High: {It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your devotion that reaches him….} [Quran 22:37]

12 – When you have completed your Hajj, do not think that the remembrance of Allah has ended. Listen to what Allah Says (what means): {So when you have accomplished your Manasik (i.e. the rites of Hajj) remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a far more remembrance….} [Quran 2:200]

Special Note: If you go to Madinah then the objective of your visit should be according to the Sunnah and not Bid’ah (innovation). Your intention should be to visit the Prophet’s mosque and not his grave. When you reach the mosque and you pray upon entering, then you may go to the grave and say, “As-Salaamu ‘alayka ayyuhan-nabiyy.”

The same Salaam is also mentioned when you pass by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, without innovations like:

a) Visiting the grave of the Prophet  before praying in the mosque.
b) Making supplication facing the grave.
c) Seeking nearness to Allah by means of the Prophet. This is a prohibited form of Tawassul.
d) Seeking intercession from the Prophet.
e) Placing the hands upon the grills around the room containing the Prophet’s grave to seek blessings, etc. Remember the Prophet’s sayings: “Do not make my grave an ‘Eed (place of celebration)…” “May Allah’s Curse be on the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”

13 – Many scholars state that women visiting the Prophet’s Mosque may pronounce their Salaam upon the Prophet  away from the gravesite since it is confirmed by many Ahadeeth that the Salaam is related to the Prophet wherever the person may be. However, the position of the scholars regarding visiting the gravesites by women can be summarized as follows:

a) Allowable, if done infrequently. If a woman is known as being unable to behave herself within the limits of Sharee’ah at a gravesite, then she should be prevented from visiting the graves.
b) Disliked but not unlawful.
c) Forbidden.

14 – The Hajj journey is not meant to gain any material reward. It is a selfless sacrifice solely for Allah, Most Majestic. It demands true love and fear of Him. It should be performed with full consciousness of one’s heart, with full humility and submission to Allah. It should not be thought of as a tourist-type excursion or be performed as mere physical rites. It develops sincerity, piety, humility, self-control, sacrifice, and true knowledge of the meaning of submission and obedience to Allah, Most High. It helps the pilgrim to be a better person who is devoted to Allah in every aspect of life.

-ISLAMWEB

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