Alhamdulillah, this week we are commencing our weekly column, Friday Reflections, which has been under suspension since the beginning of this year, as a result of health challenges I experienced for most part of the year. When I started the column in April last year as a humble effort to create a platform to share my personal reflections on Islam every Friday, little did I know that it will enjoy such a wide global readership. In fact, I have received hundreds of personal emails of encouragement and enquiries about the silence from readers. To these emails I was only able to respond to a very few with explanations. To those I could not respond I will like to use this medium to offer my sincere apologies. My profound gratitude, however, goes to all the readers of this column, who in one or the other expressed concern and offered their du’a (prayers) for my recovery. Jazakumullahu kulla Khair. As mortals we are vulnerable to vicissitudes of life and to ensure the continuity of the column, in sha Allah, we are going to invite more contributors to the platform as well as to create a Facebook page to diversify discussions on the varied reflections the platform would offer. In consideration of the importance of the month of Hajj, we reflect on the message of Hajj. Baba Yunus Muhammad.
THE MESSAGE OF HAJJ
“Hence (O, Muhammad,) proclaim those unto all people the (duty of) pilgrimage: they will come unto thee on foot and on every (kind) of fast mount, coming from every far-away point (on earth), so that they experience much that shall be of benefit to them, and that they, might extol the name of God on the days appointed… Holy Qur’an, 22: 27-28.
Pilgrimage to the House is a duty imposed on mankind by Allah for anyone who can afford a way to do so. Holy Qur’an, 3:97.
Pilgrimage falls during specific months. Anyone who undertakes the pilgrimage during them should not indulge in any sexual act, nor any immorality or wrangling during the pilgrimage. Allah knows about any good you do. Make provision; yet the best provision is heedfulness. Heed Me, those who are prudent. Holy Qur’an, 2; 197.
Thus, we settled Abraham at the site of the House, (saying): “Do not associate anything with Me; “and purify My House for those who walk around it, and those who stand there (praying), and those who bow and kneel down with their foreheads on the ground (in worship).
“Proclaim the Pilgrimage among mankind: they will come to you on foot and on every lean beast (of burden); let them come from every deep gully, to bear witness to the advantages they have, and to mention Allah’s name of appointed days over such heads of livestock and He has provided them with.
“Then eat some of it and feed the needy pauper.
“Then let them attend to the grooming, fulfill their vows, and let them circle round the Ancient House”. Holy Qur’an, 22:26-29.
THE HAJJ IN THE PROPHET’S SAYINGS
Sayidina Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, appointed me, so I superintended the sacrifice of camels; and he ordered me so I distributed their flesh; then he ordered me and I distributed their coverings and their skins.”
Sayidina Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) addressed us and said: ‘O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you; so perform Hajj.’” Thereupon a person said: ‘Messenger of Allah, (is it to be performed) every year?’ He (the Holy Prophet) kept quiet, and he repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) said” “If I were to say ‘Yes,’ it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it.”
Then he said: “Leave me with what I have left to you, for those who were before you were destroyed because of excessive questioning, and their opposition to their apostles. So when I command you to do anything, do it as much as it lies in your power, and when I forbid you to do anything, then abandon it.”
Sayidina Al-ala bin al-Hadrami (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying: “The Muhajir should stay at Makkah after performing the rituals (of Hajj), but for three (days) only.”
Sayidina Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “He who came to this House (Kaaba) (with the intention of performing pilgrimage), and neither spoke indecently nor did he act wickedly, would return (free from sin) as on the (very first day) his mother bore him.”
Sayidina Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported it directly from Allah’s Apostle (May peace be upon him) that he said: “Do not undertake journey but to three mosques: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram, and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis in Jerusalem).”
THE PROPHET’S PILGRIMAGE
In the eighth year of Hijra, Allah declared Hajj as one of five fundamentals of Islam. The following year, the Prophet, upon whom be peace, sent Abu Bakr as the leader of the Hajj delegation. The following year the Prophet announced his intention to lead the pilgrimage. News was sent across Arabia inviting people to join him. This was an opportunity for people to learn the rites and rituals of the pilgrimage from the Prophet. It was estimated that more than 130,000 of the faithful accompanied him.
The Prophet addressed the people on 24 Dhul – Qa’dah and gave the necessary instructions relating to the Hajj. Next day he set out after Zuhr prayer on the Hajj. The Asr prayer was offered at Dhul Hulaifa and the night was spent there. After the Zuhr prayer, the Prophet and his companions put on their Ihrams and the journey to Makkah began, to the sounds of the Talbiya: “Thou hast no partner, praise and grace is Thine and the sovereignty too, Thou hast no partner.”
When they reached their destination, the Prophet entered the House, touched the pillar (Hajr Aswad), and made seven circuits of the monument, running three and walking four. Then he went to the station of Ibrahim and prayed two rak’ah. He returned to the pillar and kissed it.
He then went towards Al-Safa and recited: “Al Safa and Al Marwah are among the signs appointed by Allah”. (Holy Quran, 2:185), and also said: “I have begun what Allah has commanded me to begin.” He then mounted Al-Safa until he saw the House and, facing the Qibla, he declared the oneness of Allah and glorified Him and said three times: There is no God but Allah, one, there is no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty, to Him praise is due and He is powerful over everything. There is no God but Allah alone, who fulfilled His Promise, helped His servant and routed the confederates Alone.”
The Prophet then descended and ran and walked to Al-Marwa, where he repeated what he had said in Al-Safa. When the running between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa was done, all the people except the Prophet and those who had with them sacrificial animals took off their Ihrams and had their hair clipped.
On the day of Tarwiya (8 Dhu al-Hijjah) they went to Mina and put on their Ihrams for Hajj and the Prophet led the noon, afternoon, sunset, Isha and dawn prayers. He then walked a little until the sun rose and commanded that a tent of hair should be pitched at Namira (the place where the boundaries of Haram end, and those of Arafat begin). Afterwards, he set out for Arafat (situated six miles from Mina and nine miles from Makkah). There he stayed until the sun had passed the meridian.
He then came to the bottom of the valley and addressed the people. At the end of the address he raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people said twice: “O Allah be witness. O Allah be witness.” The Prophet then led the noon prayer and afternoon prayer.
The Messenger of Allah then mounted his camel and journeyed to the place of staying. He faced the Qibla and remained standing there until the sun had set. Then he set out for Al-Muzdalifa and there he led the evening and Isha prayers with one Adhan and two Iqama. He remained there until dawn and offered the dawn prayers.
He then mounted his she-camel and when he came to Al-Mash’ar al-Haram he faced towards the Qibla, supplicated Allah, glorified Him and pronounced His Uniqueness and Oneness and stood there until the daylight was very bright. He then quietly went before the sun rose and urged his she-camel a little when he came to the bottom of Muhassir.
From there he came to the greatest Jamara and threw seven small pebbles, while saying: “Allahu Akbar.” He went to the place of sacrifice and sacrificed 63 camels with his own hand.
After drinking the soup and taking some meat he rode on and came to the House and offered the Zuhr prayer. Afterwards he drank Zamzam water.
Excerpts from Al-Jami-Us-Sahih by Imam Muslim. This account of the Prophet’s pilgrimage is based on the reports of Jafar bin Muhammad and Jabir bin Abdullah.
THE SEVENTH DAY
The event when the Prophet and his followers smashed the idols after conquering the Makkans and when Muslims purified the House by washing it from the water of well of Zamzam, is commemorated on the seventh day of Dhu al-Hijja every year. The ceremony of the washing of the Kaaba begins when the King of Saudi Arabia enters the mosque, performs the Tawaf, and kisses the Black Stone and offers prayers at the station of Ibrahim.
Then he enters the Kaaba and with Muslim leaders from all over the world, he washes and sweeps the inside of the building with a palm-leaf broom. The water of Zamzam is used for the washing. The ceremony is watched by thousands of pilgrims and attended by heads of Islamic Missions.
THE ADDRESS OF THE PROPHET
‘Verily your blood, your property, are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Day of Ignorance is under my feet completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of the Days of Ignorance.
“The first claim of ours on blood revenge which I abolish is that of the Son of Rabia bin al-Harith (cousin of the Prophet) who was nursed among the tribe of Sa’d and killed by Hudhail. And the usury of the pre-Islamic period is abolished and the first of our usury I abolished is that of Abbas bin Abd-al-Muttalib, for it is all abolished.
“Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have rights over them; they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them, but not severely.
Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.
“I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection). (Now tell me) what would you say?”
Then the people said: “We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophet hood) and given wise (sincere) counsel.”
(From Sahih Muslim)