The months of Hajj are well known ... So fear Me-SWT , O people of understanding!'
The Rules For Hajj
Whereas there is no fixed date or month for ‘Umrah which may be performed throughout the year, it is not so for Hajj. For Hajj, the month, the dates, and the places and within those dates and particular places the actions and rites are well defined. The months of Shawwal, Ziq’ad and ten days of Zilhajj, fixed for pilgrimage in the pagan days, were upheld by Islam. So before Shawwal it is not lawful to wear the Ihram for Hajj. An intending pilgrim must understand this at the very outset that there is no place for any lewdness, wickedness or any sort of disputing during Hajj. No form of intimacy with women, even in language, much less in practice, is permissible once the Ihram is put on. A serious effort must be made to avoid all those actions, which are forbidden while in Ihram, as this great blessing is rare in a lifetime, and even trifling errors mar its excellence and beauty. And certain acts of disobedience invalidate the Hajj altogether, such as copulating with wife in Ihram before the stay in ‘Arafat. Besides the penalty of sacrificing an animal, Hajj will have to be repeated in the following year. This is why lewdness has been mentioned independently, the other forbidden actions are to hunt land animals or to guide any hunter, to cut hair or clip nails, to use a perfume, and for men to wear stitched clothes and to cover the face or head while in Ihram. The covering of face is not allowed even to women.
All the forbidden acts must be thoroughly avoided. Similarly in such a massive gathering of people it is natural that minor disputes may arise, sometime amongst fellow pilgrims, on administrative arrangements such as cooking food etc. or while bargaining in trade, or while going the rounds of K’abah or running between the hillocks. Being constantly on the move, making temporary stopovers, eating irregularly and fatigue adds to the volatility of temperaments and cause slackness in worship. All these factors contribute to the possibility of disputes, which must be avoided by deliberate effort. The only way of achieving this is that not only the Shrine be in sight but also the hearts must be filled with the Magnificence of its Master. And while the tongue utters ‘Labbaik Labbaik’ (I am here, I am here) the heart is also engaged in doing Tawaf of the K’abah. All efforts to abstain from any wrongdoing should be motivated only by a desire to seek Allah-SWT’s Pleasure and a firm belief that He-SWT is a Witness to everything.
Provisions For Hajj
On journey for the Hajj, 11 provisions must be fully taken care of, lest you become burden on others or resort to begging. The purpose of the journey is to seek Allah-SWT’s Pleasure and not to plead for provisions on others doors. This is why Hajj is obligatory only for those who can afford it. It is an observation in daily life that a person who cannot work to earn his own livelihood cannot be expected to perform acts of charity.
There are people who spend their lives giving sermons from the pulpit but they fail to speak out the truth because it is their source of earning a livelihood. If only they opt for some other means of livelihood and then preached, no power on earth could have deterred them from speaking the truth. Therefore, at least for a worship as sublime as Hajj, one must not have an eye on the pockets of other people.
History bears witness to the fact that right from the Companions-RAU to the present age, whoever brought about revolutionary changes earned his livelihood through well-known means, and never made his religious service as a means of subsistence. They may be the eminent jurists of the four Schools of Thought or other leaders of Fiqh, Hadith, Tafsir or Tasawwuf; from Shaikh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani-RUA down to Shaikh Ahmad Sirhandi-RUA, all earned their livelihood through well-known means. The fear of Allah-SWT is the apex of greatness, and a fear of annoying Him-SWT and a link with Him is the fruit of all worships and struggles. This fear is lost if hopes are pinned on human beings. It is no wisdom to please the created at the cost of annoying the Creator!
It is no sin for you to seek the Grace of your Rabb-SWT …..you were of those astray.
Before the advent of Islam, Hajj had been reduced to mere rituals and was primarily undertaken for mundane gains and pomp and show. Worship was just a facade; large marks were set up and fairs organized. This is being corrected here that while trading during the months of Hajj to benefit from Allah-SWT’s Grace is permitted, to make Hajj as a business trip and a source of earning is outrightly wrong. Although trading is allowed yet it better be avoided as it is not the real aim. However, intention is the deciding factor.
On return from ‘Arafat remember Allah-SWT by the Sacred Monument in Muzdalifah as directed. ‘Arafat is a plain about 12 miles outside Makkah. It is here that the essential ceremony of the Hajj called Wuquf (standing) has to be performed on the 9th of Zilhajj anytime from midday till evening. Immediately on return from ‘Arafat in theevening of 9th Zilhajj, Maghrib and ‘Isha Salat are combined and the night is spent in Muzdalifah in the open.
The Sacred Monument is a hill located in Muzdalifah and the pilgrims after spending the night there return to Mina early in the morning. So the trading is permissible but the real objective is Allah-SWT’s cognition, and the only way of attaining it is through Allah-SWT’s Zikr as directed, because no worship or method of worship is acceptable to Him-SWT unless backed by Sunnah.
Although people are, to a certain extent, cautious about the obligatory aspects of Shari’ah, they often invent their own methods in voluntary acts of charity and Zikr. For example, distributing money or sweets on a particular day in memory of some departed saint to convey its reward to him, or the present day innovation of reciting salutation to the Holy Prophet-SW before the Azan on the loud speaker and many other rituals of the sort. These practices neither existed during the time of the Holy Prophet-SW nor are endorsed by the Sunnah, The irony is that the one, who does not seem too enthusiastic about them, is not even considered a good Muslim. All such innovations are being negated here. No one is free to do in worship as he pleases. All forms of worship must draw their authenticity from the Shari'ah. In the days of the Ignorance, the Quraish had established a custom to maintain their superiority by virtue of their being the caretaker of the Sacred Precincts. They would not go beyond Muzdalifah, which is within it, while others proceeded to ‘Arafat located outside it. This was corrected and every pilgrim was directed to return from the prescribed place, begging Allah-SWT’s Forgiveness all the time.
Then return from the place whence.....Indeed Allah-SWT is Forgiving, Merciful.
With this correction of a practice of the era of Ignorance, a golden rule is laid down for the entire human society, which it badly needed. Basically all human beings are equal and the economic or social superiority of one does not make him superior to the other. So always carry yourself as a human being in all walks of life whether social or religious. No one should adopt an attitude of superiority as it creates hatred and rivalry, whereas living together as equals develops mutual love and brotherhood. The Holy Prophet-SW declared in his-SW farewell Hajj Address that “no Arab holds any superiority over a non-Arab nor a white over a black, in any way”. If this social system is adopted by nations, it would certainly eradicate the age-old tug of war between haves and have-nots, which indeed is the root of all problems.
The pilgrims must worship Allah-SWT together without any distinction and must beg His-SWT Forgiveness for all sins including the shortcomings during the Hajj, as He-SWT is extremely Relenting.
And when you have completed ... and they have no share in the Akhirah.
Zikr: The Seed And The Fruit Of Worship
When all the rites of Hajj are over, the pilgrims must remember Allah-SWT much more intensely than they used to remember their forefathers in the days of Ignorance. In those days the real motive behind Hajj was acquisition of wealth or self-aggrandizement. On return to Mina, they would set up large markets for trading and gather to boast on the achievements of their forefathers. Both were rectified, (i) the trade is neither the basic objective of Hajj, nor is it forbidden to the extent that one cannot even fulfil his needs. Hence there is no room for trade exhibitions and (ii) Hajj is a solemn worship entailing many hardships like separating from the kindred, arrangement of finances, sparing so much time, stresses and strains of journey and health. Therefore, the One-SWT Who has enabled you to undertake the pilgrimage, must be remembered much and with intensity. But if a pilgrim indulges in self-projection or praise even after returning from ‘Arafat, he certainly stands deprived of His-SWT cognition.
Allah-SWT ’s Zikr and cognition are complementary to one another. If Zikr is the source of attaining cognition, the end result of cognition is also Zikr. Even an iota of cognition unfolds the Divine Magnificence enabling one to witness his helplessness and dependence vis-a-vis the Divine Generosity. He regards his existence, his qualities, his honour and his status, as Allah-SWT’s Favours, which drive him to do Zikr profoundly. Just as the seed is the source of a tree and also the end product obtained from its fruit, Allah-SWT’s Zikr is the beginning as well as the end, the seed as well as the yield.
Keeping Allah-SWT’s favours in sight, the Muslims are asked to remember Him-SWT much. Although the pre-Islamic customs do not exist there today, yet unfortunately the victims of so called modernization still indulge in entertainment parties and recreations wasting precious moments, which must be avoided. Every moment should be spent in Allah-SWT’s Zikr, which is the real motive of Hajj. Some people only pray for worldly gains, whereas the real life is that of the Akhirah, which they do not even mention. In fact all the ungodly religions have attracted people by promising them worldly gains, and have associated some benefit with every worship. The pleasure of every deity is promised to lead to some worldly success. But Islam has given every individual the Divine cognisance and consciousness of eternal life. Therefore, to pray only for mundane gains tantamounts to depriving oneself in the Akhirah.
Today people are advised to recite certain incantations for gaining worldly benefits. They visit holy places laden with hope that their worldly desires will be fulfilled. Many even offer voluntary prayers for attaining some material gain. Similarly people associate themselves with the Aulia, dead or alive, seeking temporal advantages only and believe that their prayers and penitence will solve many problems, in trade and in legal battles etc.
If thus materialism is removed from the scene, there will hardly be anyone visiting the Aulia merely for Allah-SWT . So all those who visit the Aulia or offer voluntary prayers or undertake long journeys to visit holy shrines merely for material gains are eternal losers. They have no share in the eternal bliss.
And There Are Some Who Pray, “O Our Rabb-SWT !....Allah-SWT Is Swift At Reckoning
The worldly benefits must of course, be sought from Allah-SWT , but in a different style: ‘O Allah-SWT ! Grant me what is good in this world and not that which will estrange me, or which You-SWT do not like; it should be a source of Your-SWT remembrance and nearness. Grant me power and capability to act according to the Sunnah, and to earn and eat what is permissible and pure.” In other words, neither seeking nor forsaking the world should be the objective as this very world is Din too. Man is dependent on its resources for his survival and for the fulfilment of his obligations towards Allah-SWT and mankind. He must, therefore, seek this world but only to the extent that it is a source of eternal bliss. This also rectifies the wrong concept held by people that renouncing the world is the key to Allah-SWT’s Pleasure and Nearness and that praying for the mundane gains is against their self-respect. This indeed is ignorance.
The rule as practiced by the Prophets-AS of Allah-SWT is that the worldly phase must not be the aim of life, but only apreparation and springboard for the Akhirah. This kind of life, together with His-SWT Protection from Hell, should be requested. A life against Shari’ah is in fact the fire of Hell, while every lawful worldly activity becomes an act of worship. This is the beauty of this world and herein lies the emancipation in the Akhirah. Take note that Allah-SWT is very Swift in Reckoning, as He-SWT is Aware of everything whether hidden or manifest.
And remember Allah-SWT ……. and know that you shall surely be gathered unto Him-SWT .
And remember Allah-SWT in the appointed days. These are the days of stay at Mina after returning from Muzdalifah, i.e. 10th, 11th and 12th Zilhajj. These are the days of ‘Eid ul Adhha and mark the end of Hajj. The pebbles are cast on Jamrat (Satanic posts) during these days and the pilgrims engage themselves in Allah-SWT’s Zikr. Whether the moments of relaxation or of activity; while on the move or standing, during Hajj or Eid, no moment or slate should be void or Zikr.
Now if someone stays in Mina from 10th to 12th Zilhajj or till 13th, both options are open and correct. According to the jurists, if one witnesses the sunset of 12th in Mina, he must wait till the 13th of Zilhajj and return after supplicating on the 13th. However, if he leaves Mina on the 12th after supplicating before sunset, the supplication on the 13th is no longer incumbent, which again is permitted before noon on the 13th.
All these precepts relate to the feelings deep down in the heart and are for those who fear Allah-SWT , whose heart yearn for Him-SWT and who cannot afford to annoy Him-SWT , as against those who are void of such feelings and who perform Hajj for self-aggrandizement. For them it is the same, whether they observe these rules or ignore them. O People! Do fear Allah-SWT , as you all will one day stand before Him-SWT . According to Hadith, the performance of Hajj renders the pilgrim as free of sins as a new-born baby. So when a person who was disobedient in the first place also performs his Hajj carelessly and disobediently and remains the same on return from Hajj, is as if he never performed it. Had he been cleansed of his sins, his heart would have become repulsive to evil and his limbs would have restrained from Allah-SWT’s disobedience because during the Hajj, at every Sacred Monument, he had sought Allah-SWT’s Forgiveness and promised to be careful in the future.
The sign of acceptance of Hajj is that the heart becomes weary of worldly love, and is inclined towards the Akhirah. May Allah-SWT bless the entire Muslim nation with this positive change!
And among people...Hell is enough for him and an ill resort indeed!
End Results Depend On States Of Heart
Some people may speak in the most fascinating manner, full of good advice. They swear by Allah-SWT that their words match their intentions though all this is tall talk. In their practical lives they do nothing good, and are always among the mischief mongers. Their efforts aim at the destruction of life and resources. One aspect of this mischief is the apparent unrest and turmoil. And the other is that every sin adds to the intensity of the darkness and curse, which in one way or the other affects the entire world. Therefore, a sinner is not only disobedient but also guilty of bringing calamities to the world. It is extremely unfortunate to make verbal claims without any feelings in the heart.
Akhnas bin Shariq was a person who would speak nice words in the audience of the Holy Prophet-SW and would pledge sincerity, but would practically disobey him-SW and create mischief. Allah-SWT quoted this attitude as a proof of his hypocrisy, adding that He-SWT does not like mischief.
Hajj and its rites are performed to change one's practical life. If this is not achieved, it is a futile effort. If a person is warned against wickedness and told to fear Allah-SWT ; and he instead of taking the advice, considers it as a challenge to his ego and prestige, and persists on his mischief, he certainly deserves Hell, which is indeed an awful place.
And there is a type of person ... and Allah-SWT is Most Kind to His-SWT servants.
Contrary to the non-believers and hypocrites there are people who even sell themselves to please Allah-SWT . Praise be to Him-SWT , the sincerity of the Companions-RAU is unmatched. Hadhrat Suhaib-RAU was surrounded by the non-believers on the eve of his migration to Madinah. He-RAU addressed them; “You very well know that my quiver is full of arrows and I am an expert archer. I will fight you with my spear and sword and as long as I live you cannot get to me. Is it not reasonable that you let me proceed and take over all that I leave behind in Makkah?” They agreed and took all the information on his-RAU assets, and allowed him to go. Hadhrat Suhaib-RAU reached Madinah and informed the Holy Prophet-SW, who said twice: “O Abu Yahya-RAU! Your transaction has indeed been profitable”. According to Tafsir-e-Mazhari there are many such incidents be hind the revelation of this particular Ayah.
The aim of this discussion is that a person must sacrifice everything, whether it is the worldly benefits, or matters of ego and prestige, for the sake of Allah-SWT’s Pleasure. Hajj is a training programme for this. Away from home, family, business, the comforts of life and personal pomp and show, clad in two un-sewn white sheets, bare footed and crying out ‘Labbaik’, ‘Labbaik’, (I am here, I am here) means that these things can only be enjoyed with Allah-SWT’s Pleasure and can be abandoned for His-SWT sake. Allah-SWT is very Compassionate to wards His-SWT servants and is Forgiving at all times.
O you who believe! .......the footsteps of Satan, for he is your open enemy.
The believers must submit to the will and purpose of Allah-SWT in all aspects of life; whether it is earning livelihood or an act of worship. Anything outside the confines of Islam tantamounts to following Satan and must be avoided as he is a blatant enemy of the believers. Some people mistook Islam as confined only to Salat and Fasting and considered themselves free in all other matters. Oth
ers took to the masaajid and did not contribute anything to the society. A third group considers even Salat and Fasting to be a waste of time. All this is chaos and confusion. Believers must subjugate their entire lives, from beliefs and ideas to all actions, to Islam and must endeavour for achieving this obedience outwardly as well as inwardly. At the time of Salat they must be seen in the masaajid, during business hours in the markets, and at the time of Jihad in the battlefields. The teachings of Islam must be the guiding force in all circum
And if you waiver ......and to Allah-SWT are all matters brought back.
It must be carefully noted that if after receiving clear signs (in the person of the Holy Prophet-SW, the Divine Scripture and the ordinances of Islam) people go astray; Allah-SWT is Powerful enough to punish the wrongdoers. But He-SWT may give respite, as He-SWT is Wise. This respite may not appear to be a punishment in this world, but in reality it is, as failure to repent is a prelude to eternal doom. Will these people, who remain non-believers despite the clear signs, accept faith on that day, when everything will be unfolded before them? But that would be too late. Remember that all matters would turn to Him-SWT and He-SWT Alone will pass the verdict.