The Day of Sacrifice

Bismillah.

Part six of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

 

One of the glorious days of Allah is Yawm An-Nahr (The Day of Sacrifice), the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah, and the blessed day of ‘Eid Al-Adha. It is called the Day of Sacrifice because during it the Muslims seek nearness towards Allah by sacrificing designated animals. On this day, those performing Hajj sacrifice their Hady, and the Muslims in all other parts of the world sacrifice their Udhiyah-all seeking nearness to Allah by their deed. More specifically, the objective is not the mere act of sacrifice. Rather, He has prescribed for you to sacrifice these animals in order that you mention His name at the time of sacrifice, because He is truly the Creator and Provider. It is not done so that any part of the meat or blood reaches Him, since He is in no need of anything. “But it is Taqwa from  you that reaches Him,” and this refers to having a sincere intention behind the act and hoping for reward from Allah.

فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

“So  pray  to  your  Lord  and  sacrifice  [to  Him  alone].” (Kawthar:2)

Make your prayer and sacrifice sincerely for Him. The Mushrikun used to worship idols and sacrifice to them, so Allah commanded the Prophet to oppose them, disavow their practices, and, instead turn to Allah with a sincere, pure intention and resolve. Sacrifice is among the venerated acts of worship by which the Muslims seek nearness to their Lord. It can take the form of Hady, Udhiyah, Aqeedah, Nathr, and others as well. It is impermissible to devote this worship to other than Allah, as is the case with any other act of worship. Every act of sacrifice to other than Allah is Shirk, even if the offering is as worthless as a fly or something of that nature. We ask Allah, the Most Noble, to protect us all from committing Shirk in any form, and to make our deeds sincerely done seeking His Noble Face, and conforming to the Sunnah of His Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu alaihi wassallam. (End of Excerpt) 

 

On a personal note, I feel that Yawm An-Nahr is a day full of lessons for us. It recalls the mountainous sacrifice done centuries ago by our father Ibrahim alaihi salaam- a sacrifice that reduces all others to dust. A lesson of complete obedience shines when Ibrahim alaihi salaam readily responded to a command he saw in his dream – to sacrifice his only son, his most prized possession in this world. It was enough of a test to leave his son in the barren land of Makkah at infancy, knowing that he would be deprived of the love and care of a father due to the far distances between them. Once agian, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala tested both father and son and they instantly proved their strong Iman and sincere love for Allah without any hesitation. Further contemplation on their sacrifice leaves us in extreme awe and shame. We are commanded to do much easier tasks that would never amount to the sacrifice of a son, yet we search frantically for excuses and short-cuts. I ask Allah to make of those who love for HIS sake and hate for HIS sake, and give for HIS sake and withhold for HIS sake.

As a reward for his complete submission, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala made Prophet Ibrahim’s action a compulsory ritual of Hajj that would be emulated until the end of time by millions of Muslims from all corners of the globe.

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

Allah chose Adam, Nuh (Noah), the family of Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of ‘Imran above the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of their times). (Aal-Imran 3:33)

اللهم صلي وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى ال إبراهيم إنك حميد مجيد

-The Sahara Bloggers (Niqabinja)

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The Day of ‘Arafah

Bismillah.

Part five of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

 

The day of ‘Arafah is certainly a tremendous day; a blessed day chosen by Allah, an immense gathering of goodness, eman, taqwa, and a grand occasion of worship and obedience to Allah. A day when many tears are shed and prayers pour forth in succession, one after the next; an abundance of mercy descends, and mistakes and errors are pardoned. It is a day of hope, devotion and humility. 

It is the day on which Allah perfected the religion for this Ummah and completed His favor upon them, as it was on this day that Allah revealed, 

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Surah Al Maidah)

Nothing about the permissible or prohibited was revealed after it. 

Tariq ibn Shihab stated, 

جاء رجل من اليهود إلى عمر، فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين! آية فى كتابكم تقرءونها لو علينا نزلت معشر اليهود لاتخذنا ذلك اليوم عيدا!
قال: وأي آية؟! قال: اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الإسلام دينا.
فقال عمر: إني لأعلم اليوم الذي نزلت فيه، والمكان الذي نزلت فيه، نزلت على رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- بعرفات في يوم جمعة.

A Jew said to ‘Umar: You recite a verse which, if it had been revealed in relation to us, we would have taken that day as the day of rejoicing. Thereupon ‘Umar said: I know where it was revealed and on the day when it was revealed and where Allah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had been at that time when it was revealed. It was revealed on the day of ‘Arafah (ninth of Dhu’l Hijjah) and Allah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had been staying in ‘Arafat. (Bukhari and Muslim)

‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

ما من يوم أكثر من أن يعتق الله فيه عبدا من النار من يوم عرفة، وإنه ليدنو ثم يباهى بهم الملائكة فيقول: ما أراد هؤلاء؟

There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafah. And on that day Allah draws near to the earth and by way of exhibiting His Pride remarks to the angels, ‘What is the desire of these (servants of mine)?” (Saheeh Muslim)

‘Abdul Barr said, “This shows that they have been forgiven, since He does not speak proudly about sinful people except after they repent and are forgiven.”

Fasting on this day has enormous benefits. It was reported from Abu Qatadah that a man said:

 سئل رسول الله-صلى الله عليه وسلم- عن صوم يوم عرفة فقال: يكفر السنة الماضية والباقية

“O Messenger of Allah, what do you think of fasting on the day of Arafat?” 

He said: “It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.”

 

The fasting is Mustahabb (desirable, recommended) for those who are not on Hajj, but it is not a Sunnah for those who are because the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not fast while he was at ‘Arafah.

Al Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad stood at ‘Arafah and saw the people sobbing and weeping during the afternoon and he remarked, “Do you think if all of these people went to a man and asked him for a Daaniq (a small coin), he would refuse them?” Those around him replied, “No.” He continued, “I swear by Allah! Forgiveness is even easier for  Allah than a man giving them a Daaniq.”

‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak said, “I went to Sufyan al Thawree on the afternoon of the day of ‘Arafah and found him on his two knees with his eyes shedding tears and I began to cry. He turned to me and asked, “What is the matter?” I said, “Who is the worst in this gathering?” He said, “Someone who thinks that Allah will not forgive them.”

Thus it is imperative for the Muslim  desirous of profiting on this blessed day to be humble, submissive, and remorseful before his Lord, hoping for His mercy and forgiveness, fearing His wrath and punishment, repentant to Him from all sins which his hands earned him or his feet may have led him to, not wasting his time on this auspicious occasion by wandering here and there or talking about random things. Instead, he should devote himself to his Lord and Guardian, remembering and mentioning him, earnestly and humbly entreating Him and seeking His forgiveness. 

 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

 

The Black Stone and the Yemeni Corner

Bismillah.

Part four of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

 

 

The preceding post dealt with the virtue of Tawaaf around the sanctified House of Allah, and we emphasized that it is prescribed only at that specific location. Thus, it is impermissible to do so around domes, graves, tombs or anything else due to such acts contradicting the very foundations of the Sharee’ah and being at odds with the essence of Tawheed.

During Tawaaf, it is prescribed for the Muslim to kiss the Black Stone and to touch the Yemeni corner, all with the intention of obedience to Allah and emulating the practice of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. 

There are many texts in the Sunnah that prove that it is prescribed:

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab stated,

رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حين يقدم مكة إذا استلم الركن الأسود أول ما يطوف يخب ثلالثة أطواف من السبع

“I saw that when the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would arrive at Makkah, once he touched the corner with the Black Stone, he would begin Tawaaf by walking briskly for the first three out of seven rounds.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hence, Muslims kiss the Stone in emulation of his practice, following his guidance and adhering to his Sunnah. This is not done out of belief that the Black Stone can bring about any type of benefit, cause any type of harm, grant something, or withhold anything. This is why ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab radhiallahu ‘anh said when he kissed the Black Stone,

إني أعلم أنك حجر لا تضر و لا تنفع و لولا أني رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يقبلك ما قبلتك

Indeed, I know that you are merely a stone that can bring no benefit or cause any harm. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kiss you, I would not have kissed you.

Ibn Jareer commented, “Umar only made that remark because the people around him had just recently stopped worshipping idols. Thus, he feared that the ignorant among them might presume that touching the Stone was done out of venerating certain stones, similar to the practice of the pagan Arabs during Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic period). ‘Umar wished to edify the people that his touching it was done emulating the practice of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and not because the Stone inherently causes any benefit or harm as they used to believe about the idols.”

It is also prescribed to touch the Yemeni corner. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab said, 

لم أر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يستلم من البيت إلا الركنيين اليمانيين

“I did not see the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam touch any part of the House other than the two Yemeni corners.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hence it is understood that touching any part of the House except for the two Yemeni corners- the Black Stone and the Yemeni corner- is not prescibed.

There is no text to indicate the permissibility of doing so anywhere other than these two specific spots. Therefore, it is not prescribed to wipe or kiss the Maqaam of Ibrahim either. Some ignorant people throng to tombs, domes and other similar places, kissing and wiping against them, seeking blessing from them, seeking assistance, while this is not part of Islam in any way. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “As for wiping against a grave, kissing it or pressing one’s cheek against it, all of that is prohibited by scholarly consensus, even if it was the grave of a Prophet. Such deeds are in fact considered Shirk.”

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

 

Lessons in ‘Aqeedah Learned From Tawaaf

Bismillah.

Part three of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

 

Performing Tawaaf

A significant lesson is learned while performing Tawaaf; which is an act of walking around the Ka’bah seven times in devotion and out of obedience to Allah. The extent to which an individual perfects this act of worship corresponds to how closely he follows the example of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

There are many texts in the Quran and Sunnah that establish the validity of Tawaaf:

ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ

Then let them complete the prescribed duties (Manasik of Hajj) for them, and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (the Ka’bah at Makkah). (Surah Al Hajj: 29)

Furthermore, Allah took a covenant from His Prophets, Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam and Isma’il ‘alayhissalam that they purify the House, establish its foundations and prepare it for those performing Tawaaf, standing, bowing or prostrating themselves in prayer.

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka’bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak’at after the Tawaf of the Ka’bah at Makkah), and We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma’il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer). (Surah Al Baqarah: 125)

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim (Abraham) the site of the (Sacred) House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me, [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Islamic Monotheism], and sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow (submit themselves with humility and obedience to Allah), and make prostration (in prayer, etc.). (Surah Al Hajj: 26)

Tawaaf is the first action done by a Muslim upon arriving in Makkah, in emulation of the Messenger of Allah sallalallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha said,

إن أول شيء بدأ به حين قدم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه توضأ ثم طاف

“The very first thing which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began with upon arrival in Makkah was to make Wudhu and perform Tawaaf.” (Saheeh Bukhari and Muslim)

Muslim also reported in his Saheeh the hadith of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah which is the most comprehensive description of the Hajj of the Messenger of Allah, a portion of it said,

حتى إذاأتينا البيت معه استلم الركن فرمل ثلاثًا و مشى أربعًا

When we had reached the Ka’bah with him, he touched the corner, and walked briskly for three rounds and walked normally for the next four.

Ibn ‘Umar stated,

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان إذا طاف في الحج أو العمرة أول ما يقدم سعى ثلاثًة أطواف و مشى أربعة, ثم سجد سجدتين ثم يطوف بين الصفا و المروة

“When the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would perform Tawaaf during Hajj, the first thing he would do was to walk briskly for three rounds and walk normally for four. Next, he would perform two units of prayer and proceed between Al Safa and Al Marwah.”

There are many, many more narrations that indicate the validity of Tawaaf, and therefore it is an act which brings one closer to Allah. He prescribed it for His servants, commanded and encouraged them to perform it and designated it as one of the rites of Hajj.

The greatest lesson we learn from this is that this lofty act of worship can only be done at this specific location: the House of Allah in Makkah. As a result, a Muslim must realize that Tawaaf at any other location in the world is not valid and there is nothing to substantiate its permissibility. There is a consensus among the scholars over the falsity of Tawaaf in any other spot other than the Ka’bah, and there is a wide array of statements that reject it:

Imam Al Nawawi wrote in his book: “Tawaaf around the grave of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is impermissible. One must not be misled by the incorrect actions of the general populace when they do that. Following practices and doing deeds are to be based on the Hadiths as well as statements of the scholars, and no attention is to be given to baseless or ignorant practices of others.”

‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد

Whoever introduces something into this religion of ours which does not belong to it, it shall be rejected. (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Taymiyyah stated: “The Muslim scholars unanimously agree that Tawaaf is not prescribed except around the Ka’bah. Thus, Tawaaf around the rock in Bayt Al Maqdis, the dwelling of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the dome at mount ‘Arafat or anywhere else is impermissible.”

These explanations prove the invalidity of Tawaaf anywhere other than the Ka’bah and the dangers inherent in doing so. However, as it relates to the actions of the ill-formed, ignorant people who make Tawaaf around graves, domes, shrines and so on, then none of that comes from the religion of Allah.

 

 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

 

The ‘Aqeedah underlying the declaration of Tawheed: the Talbiyah

Bismillah.

Part two of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

 

The ‘Aqeedah underlying the declaration of Tawheed: the Talbiyah

One of the greatest lessons which a Muslim learns during his Hajj is the obligation of performing all acts for the sake of Allah, alone. When he begins reciting the Talbiyah, he is actually proclaiming Tawheed and renouncing Shirk:

لبيك اللهم لبيك لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك

 إن الحمد و النعمة لك و الملك لا شريك لك

“I obediently answer your call, O Allah, I obediently answer. I obediently answer your call, testifying that you have no partner, I obediently answer. To you belongs all praise, favor and dominion, You have no partner.”

Islam brought this magnificent testimony of Tawheed, renouncing all types of Shirk in the midst of people who used to worship idols and statues. They would begin their Hajj proclaiming a testimony which was infused with Shirk, they would say,

لبيك لا شريك لك إلا شريكًا هو لك

تملكه و ما ملك

“I obediently answer Your call, You have no partner except the partner You have, although You own him and all that he has.”

Thus they included their false gods in their Talbiyah while acknowledging that Allah owned everything! This is exactly what Allah described in the Quran:

وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (Yusuf:106)

In other words, they believe that Allah is the Creator, Sustainer, Controller and Provider, but they still worship those idols besides Him! Powerless statues and idols that do not own a single thing; they cannot bring benefit or cause any harm, and they cannot give nor can they withhold. They have no power to do any of these things for themselves, let alone for others.

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated, “Part of their belief was that if they were asked, “Who created the heavens, earth and mountains?”, they would reply, “Allah”, yet they still associated partners with Him.”

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

If you were to ask them: “Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon?” They will surely reply: “Allah.” How then are they deviating (as polytheists and disbelievers)? (Ankabut: 61)

Ibn Kathir says in the commentary of this verse,

“Allah states that there is no God but He. The idolators who worshipped others besides Him recognized that He was the sole creator of the heavens and earth, the sun and the moon, alternating the night and day. They acknowledged that He was the Creator Who provided for His servants and decreed how long they should live. He made them and their provision different, so that some were rich and some were poor, and He knew best what was suitable for each of them, who deserved to be rich and who deserved to be poor. So, Allah stated that He has alone created everything, and that He alone is controlling them — if this is how it is, then why worship anyone else? Why put one’s trust in anyone else? Since dominion is His Alone, then let worship be for Him Alone. Allah often establishes His divinity by referring to their acknowledgement of His Unique Lordship, because the idolators used to acknowledge His Lordship, as they said in their Talbiyah during Hajj and `Umrah: “At Your service, You have no partner, except the partner that You have, and You possess him and whatever he has.”

Ibn Al Qayyim gave this topic a very extensive treatment in his book. He also listed twenty magnificent lessons learnt from it; here is a summarized selection of what he mentioned:

1-    A response. You say “labbayk” to someone who has called and invited you. It in incorrect, linguistically and rationally to respond to to someone who does not speak or call the one who answered him. This affirms the attribute of speech for Allah.

2-    Love. “Labbayk” is only said to someone you love and revere. For this reason, its meaning has been explained as “I come to you with what you love.”

3-    A firm, continuous observance of worshipping Allah. It is to say, “I am firmly established upon Your obedience.”

4-    Constant humility and submission.

5-    Sincerity, the word “al-lubb” is an untarnished, pure essence of something.

6-    Affirmation that Allah hears. It is impossible for someone to say “labbayk” to one who cannot hear his response.

7-    Drawing near to Allah.

8-    It has been designated, while in Ihram, to signify a transfer from one state to another. Similar to Takbeer in Salah which is an indication of changing positions, the Talbiyah indicates switching from one rite to another. For example, the Sunnah is to recite the Talbiyah until beginning Tawaaf and then to stop doing so until he is standing at ‘Arafah and so on. Hence, the Talbiyah is a distinguishing mark of Hajj which is said between moving rites. Once he concludes the rites of Hajj he discontinues the repetition just like the Takbeer is discontinued after he concludes the prayer.

9-     A sign of Tawheed, the deen of Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam, which is the essence and the aim of Hajj.

10-    It is the key to Jannah, and the gate through which one enters Islam- the declaration of sincerity and testifying that Allah has no partner in worship.

11-    Praise for Allah- this is one of the greatest things that brings one closer to Him.

12-    Recognition that all blessings and favor is from Allah.

13-    Affirming that all dominion belongs to Allah; each and every single thing in this universe is in His control, and that is a consoling belief.

14-    Simultaneously affirming dominion, bounty and praise for Allah. This is another way of exalting Him and it differs from mentioning these lofty descriptions individually. It combines all of these:

  • Al Hamd- praise is for the one who is complete in His magnificence and generosity

  • Al Ni’mah- bounty which is given by the one who is complete in His goodness, kindness and mercy

  • Al Mulk- the dominion which is attributed to the one who is complete in His power

15-    There is a rebuttal in the Talbiyah for anyone who denies the attributes of Allah and His Tawheed.

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

 

Virtues of Hajj and It’s Benefits

Bismillah.

Part one of lessons in ‘Aqeedah 

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

 

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin

Hajj is a magnificent institution of education for the soul where Muslims receive tremendous lessons and beneficial admonitions in many realms. It is similar to an educational seminar after which Muslims from all over the world return to their homelands having rectified many incorrect understandings they may have previously held.

1- Virtues of Hajj

It wipes away what was before it.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Amr ibn Al ‘Aas when he accepted Islam,

أما علمت أن الإسلام يهدم ما كان قبله و أن الهجرة تهدم ما كان قبلها و أن الحج يهدم ما كان قبله؟

Don’t you know that Islam wipes away what was before it; and that Hijrah wipes away what was before it; and that Hajj wipes away what was before it? (Sahih Muslim)

 

It is a means of attaining Jannah.

Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu ‘anh narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

العمرة إلى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما و الحج المبرور ليس له جزاء إلا الجنة

The performance of ‘Umrah is an expiation for what occurred between it and the previous ‘Umrah, and there is no reward for the accepted Hajj other than Jannah.

 

Once a Muslim is granted the ability to carry out this act of obedience and he reaches the destination to fulfill this act; he is granted the honor of seeing the Ka’bah, the ancient House of Allah and the Qiblah for the Muslims from all over the world; he must learn how to be grateful for this tremendous blessing. He should ardently strive to perfect the rites of Hajj without negligence, remain on the moderate path of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and seek to please Allah; intending thereby nothing but His forgiveness and reward.

This will allow him to return to his homeland with his sins forgiven, his effort rewarded, his deeds righteous and accepted; while he may continue to live a life filled with Iman and Taqwa; profuse with diligent striving in obedience to Allah. These opportunities begin with the initial rite of Hajj at the Meeqat and finish with the final rite of Tawaaf.

 

Allah says,

وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ

 “And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). 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)” (Hajj:27)

It is therefore important to shed light upon these benefits and explain them to the people in order for them to make the most of their Hajj.

2- Benefits of Hajj

Scholars of Tafsir have agreed that the meaning of this verse is that it is not sinful or objectionable for someone performing Hajj to seek profit from trade during the days of Hajj, provided that doing so does not interfere with him fulfilling any of the rites.

However, the religious benefits acquired from Hajj are incomparable to these worldly gains. What good could be better and what profit greater than a person performing Hajj and coming away from it sinless just as the day his mother bore him?

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

من حج هذا البيت و لم يرفث و لم يفسق خرج من ذنوبه كيوم ولدته أمه

Whoever performs Hajj at this House, desisting from speaking indecently, refraining from marital relations, and not acting wrongly, shall return absolved from his sins just as the day his mother gave birth to him.

 

Obviously this forgiveness is for the one who fulfills the commands of Allah and avoids His prohibitions.

 

Allah boasts to the angels about His servants who have come to perform Hajj on the day of Arafah,

انظروا إلى عبادي أتوني شعثًا غبرًا ضاحين من كل فج عميق

أشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم

Look at my servants! They have come to Me- unkempt, dusty and exposed to the heat of the sun- from every deep valley and distant mountain pass. Bear witness that I have forgiven them.

This is the greatest gain and profit possible!

اللهم بلغنا حج بيتك الحرام

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

The Rites of Hajj-Part Two

 Bismillah. 

This is the second part of three in which we will briefly discuss the basic Fiqh of Hajj according to the majority opinion of Sunni scholars. This part comprises of the next 5 subtitles (summarized and translated from the book Al Mulakhas Al Fiqhi by Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan): 

 

  7- Virtues of Hajj and preparing for it 

فضل الحج و الاستعداد له

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ : ” يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، نَرَى الْجِهَادَ أَفْضَلَ الْعَمَلِ ، أَفَلَا نُجَاهِدُ ؟ ، قَالَ : لَا ، لَكِنَّ أَفْضَلَ الْجِهَادِ حَجٌّ مَبْرُورٌ

 On the authority of ‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha that she asked the Messenger of Allah, “O Messenger of Allah, we consider Jihad to be the best of deeds, should we not take part in it?” He said, “The best of Jihad is an accepted Hajj.”

 

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:  العمرة إلى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما، والحج المبرور ليس له جزاء إلا الجنة

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “From one ‘Umrah to the next is expiation for everything in between them and there is no reward for an accepted hajj other than Jannah.”

How should a person prepare for Hajj?

Once a person has intended Hajj, he should repent from all his sins, the big and the small, and he should return the peoples’ property back to them. He should appoint someone to take care of his work that he leaves behind and guarantee that his children and family have what they need from his property. He should take with him from his wealth enough to take care of his needs while he is journeying so that he does not have to depend on others. Most importantly, he has to be careful that this wealth has been attained through halal means. He should also try his best to find the company of a righteous friend who will help him in his Hajj; guiding him if he gets lost and reminding him if he forgets. Finally, he should renew his intention and seek the pleasure of Allah in all his deeds; and try his best to beautify his character and manners with the people so as not to fall into dangerous deeds such as backbiting and anger that destroy good deeds. 

8- Times and places in which Hajj is legislated (Meeqat)

مواقيت الحج

Times:

1- Shawwal

2- Dhul Qa’da

3- The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah

Places:

ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال وقت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأهل المدينة ذا الحليفة ولأهل الشام الجحفة ولأهل نجد قرن المنازل ولأهلاليمن يلملم قال فهن لهن ولمن أتى عليهن من غير أهلهن ممن أراد الحج والعمرة فمن كان دونهن فمن أهله وكذا فكذلك حتى أهل مكة يهلون

منها

Ibn ‘Abbas radhiallahu ‘anhuma narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed Dhul Hulayfah as the Miqat for the people of Madinah; Al Juhfah for the people of Shaam; Qarn Al Manazil for the people of Najd; and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen; and these Mawaqit are for the people at those very places, and besides them for those who come thorough those places with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah; and whoever is living within these boundaries can assume lhram from the place he starts, and the people of Makkah can assume Ihram from Makkah. (Saheeh Muslim)

1- Dhul Hulayfah for the people of Madinah

2- Al Juhfah for the people of Shaam

3- Qarn Al Manazil for the people of Najd

4- Yalamlam for the people of Yemen

5- Dhat ‘Irq for the people of ‘Iraq

9- The nullifiers of Hajj

محظورات الإحرام

1- Cutting the hair (it does not harm his Ihram if his hair falls naturally)

2- Shortening the nails (it does not harm his Ihram if the nail gets chipped and he pulls it off)

3- Covering the head with any sort of headdress (for men)

4- Wearing stitched clothes that cover a specific part of the body (for men) such as pants, shirts, socks. As for women, they may wear whatever they wish as long as it covers their whole body, and the next post will explain the manner in which she must cover her face insha Allah

 5- Perfuming the body or clothes

6- Hunting game 

7- Nikaah contracts and marriage proposals (not allowed for him whether he is the Wali or the Wakeel)

8- Intercourse 

If a person falls into one of these actions, there are specific deeds such as Fidyah that he must offer as compensation.

10- The Ihram

كيفية الإحرام

The Ihram is the first rite of Hajj; it is an intention that the Muslim makes before performing the Hajj. The wisdom behind the word “Ihram” is because after this intention, the halal actions which the Muslim enjoyed become haram for him (such as perfuming, wearing different types of clothing).

The Ihram also comprises of physical preparation and this is a brief summary of what is to be done:

1- Ghusl (a full bath) because the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did this and it is the best way to ensure complete cleanliness

2- He may perfume himself because the Messenger of Allah sallalllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did so (narrated in Bukhari)

3- He should avoid wearing that which covers a specific part of the body such as pants of a shirt and instead wear the “Ihram” as we call it nowadays, which is a two piece wrap around that covers the top half and lower half of the body 

It is important to mention that avoiding stitched clothing before the intention of Ihram is SUNNAH, while it is WAJIB (obligatory) to avoid it after the intention. Also, the Ihram is not just physical preparation as mentioned earlier, therefore, his Ihram is not complete by just avoiding stitched clothing and taking a bath, rather, it is by intending the rites of Hajj and avoiding sins that his Ihram is complete.

4- There is no specific prayer for the Ihram but a person may pray the obligatory prayer and then prepare for Ihram, or pray a voluntary prayer in the times that it is Sunnah to pray such as the forenoon prayer (Salat Al Duha)

11- Types of Hajj

 الأنساك الثلاثة

A Muslim may choose to perform his Hajj in any of the following ways:

1- Hajj Tamatu’ (التمتع) : in which he performs an ‘Umrah in any of the months of Hajj (Shawal to Dhul Hijjah) and removes his Ihram, then he may put on his Ihram again to perform the actual rites of Hajj 

2- Hajj Ifraad (الإفراد): in which he puts on his Ihram at the Meeqat and performs only the rites of Hajj (without ‘Umrah)

3- Hajj Qiraan (القران): in which he puts on his Ihram for Hajj and and ‘Umrah (he intends to do both) 

After a person intends one of these three, he may begin reciting the Talbiyah (look out for a detailed explanation of the Talbiyah in our upcoming posts):

لبيك اللهم لبيك لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك إن الحمد و النعمة لك و الملك لا شريك لك

The next and final post in the “Rites of Hajj” will be an explanation of the three types of Hajj in a more detailed way, plus a short summary of common mistakes people make in their Hajj that may affect the perfection of the worship and a woman’s attire during Hajj.

And Allah knows best.

الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. ولله الحمد 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

The Rites of Hajj-Part One

 Bismillah. 

This is the first part of three in which we will briefly discuss the basic Fiqh of Hajj according to the majority opinion of Sunni scholars. This part comprises of 6 subtitles (summarized and translated from the book Al Mulakhas Al Fiqhi by Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan): 

 

  1- Hajj: A pillar of Islam 

بيان أن الحج من أحد أركان الإسلام

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

“And Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [denies Hajj, then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of mankind and jinns.” (Surah Al’Imran: 97)

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

بني الإسلام على خمس شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله وإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة وحج البيت وصوم رمضان

Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salaah (prayer), paying the Zakah (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadan. (Bukhari and Muslim)

2- The wisdom behind legislating Hajj

الحكمة في مشروعية الحج

Allah says in the Quran,

لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ 

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days (i.e. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah)..” (Surah Al Hajj: 28)

Therefore, the benefit is for the slave and not for the Lord of the slave; He has no need to be praised by His creation. Plus this verse will be explained in the upcoming posts insha Allah.

3- When was it legislated?

 مشروعية الحج

It was legislated in the ninth year of Hijrah and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed Hajj only once in his lifetime, which is called the Farewell Pilgrimage. He did not perform Umrah except four times in his life.

4-The objective in performing Hajj

المقصود من الحج

The objective in performing Hajj and Umrah is to worship Allah in the places that He has legislated for worship.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

 إنما جعل رمي الجمار و السعي بين الصفا و المروة لإقامة ذكر الله

“Indeed, the stoning of the Jamaraat and Sa’ee between Safa and Marwa were legislated for the remembrance of Allah.” Tirmidhi (Hasan Saheeh)

5-The Ruling on Hajj 

الحكم الشرعي في الحج

Hajj is obligatory on an able person once in his lifetime by the consensus of the Muslims.

Umrah is obligatory according to the majority opinion.

سئل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم: هل على النساء من جهاد؟ قال: نعم عليهن جهاد لا قتال فيه: الحج و العمرة

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked, “Is Jihad sanctioned for women?” He said, “Yes, it is upon them to perform Jihad in which there is no killing: Hajj and ‘Umrah.” He indicated the difficulty that comes with Hajj and ‘Umrah by using the word “Jihad.”

It is obligatory on a Muslim to be quick in performing the Hajj, and he is sinful if he delays without reason. 

قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم تعجلوا إلى الحج فإن أحدكم لا يدري ما يعرض له

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Be hasty in performing the Hajj, because one of you does not know what may happen to him.” In other words, he may lose his wealth or some other sort of problem may arise which blocks him from accessing the means to perform Hajj.

6- The five pre-conditions that make it obligatory

 الشروط

  • Muslim– therefore, Hajj is not accepted from a Kafir. It is obligatory on a Kafir first and foremost to become Muslim, after which all of the acts of worship will become obligatory on him

  • Sane- therefore, it is not accepted from an insane person until he regains his sanity

  • Adult-it is accepted from a young child who has not reached the age of puberty but it will be counted as a voluntary Hajj and he must perform another one once he grows up. A child who is below the age of discernment gets rewarded for the Hajj and so does his guardian; and his guardian may perform the rites on his behalf; such as the intention, and keeping him away from nullifiers of the Ihram, Tawaf, Sa’ee, Mina, ‘Arafah, Muzdalifah, and throwing the stones at the Jamaraat. As for the child who is above the age of discernment (5 years and above), then he may make the intention himself and perform as much as he is able to from the rites of Hajj, and anything that he is unable to do such as throwing the stones at Jamaraat can be done by his guardian. In principle, these actions can only be done on behalf of the guardian if the child is truly unable; otherwise it is better for the child to do them himself.

  • Able– the Muslim must have the physical and financial ability to perform Hajj; he must have the financial means for his transportation and travel expenses as well as sufficient wealth that he leaves behind for his family and those who are under his care. He must also clear out the rights of others on him such as debts. As for the person who is unable to perform Hajj due to an illness that he will never recover from, then he is obliged to send someone on his behalf.

  • For women: She must have a Mahram accompanying her. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

لا تسافر المرأة إلا مع محرم 

“A woman should not travel except in the company of a Mahram.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

و قال رجل للنبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إني أريد أن أخرج في جيش كذا, و امرأتي تريد الحج؟ فقال: اخرج معها

A man said to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I want to take part in this army, and my wife wants to perform Hajj.” He sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Go with her.” (Bukhari)

The next part will explain the Sunnah method of preparing for Hajj, the times and places in which Hajj is legislated, the nullifiers of Hajj, and a summary of the types of Hajj, insha Allah. 

الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. ولله الحمد 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

Introduction: Hajj Series 2013

Bismillah.


The ten blessed days of Hajj are coming upon us fast! The Muslim world is brimming with excitement as eager Hujaaj (pilgrims) prepare for the most significant journey of their lives. Makkah never sleeps! Residents mentally prepare themselves for another month of hustle bustle; it is THE city of lights. Hajj is the largest yearly gathering of people in the world. Checkpoints intimidate some while others gratefully receive pass cards to enter the city. Volunteers are recruited to guide and translate while the prestige of local and international scholars has been enhanced as people turn to them for directions and help. The whole world is coming to Makkah. It’s no small feat to prepare for the guests of Allah… 

This series will be a comprehensive, albeit long, explanation of the importance of this yearly event and the implications of making this journey. Hopefully those who are coming for Hajj will benefit as well as those who aren’t.
Since neither of us will be going this year, the series will be devoid of any personal reflections about Hajj… just a long expression of longing and wishful enthusiasm!

The series will be posted in the following order:

  • Rites of Hajj

  • Lessons in ‘Aqeeda (creed and beliefs)

  • Lessons in Sulook (character, personal conduct and purification of the soul)

  • Admonitions from the Farewell Pilgrimage 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)