2014.09.08 | 13 Dhul Qa'ada 1435 AH
With just a few days away from the second most anticipated month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah, Fatima Moola of Timeless Teenz reminds us what to look forward to.
It’s taken years of savings and duas, and finally a Labaik is accepted - Allah has invited a Haji to His sacred house.
Among the three most virtuous acts ever is an accepted Haj. Such a Haj, where we don't fall into sin and our Imaan must be such that we have Ihsaan and worship Allah as though we can see Him. To go for jihad and fight in the thick of the battle is arduous for women and the aged, therefore Haj is a substitute for women and the aged, wherein lies great reward. Hujaaj are said to be the guests of Allah. Allah will answer the Hujaaj, just as a host goes out of their way to honour their guests, just as it is their right to be looked after.
And remember the time when we showed Ibrahim (as) the site of the sacred house, saying: "Associate not anything in worship with Me, La ilaha ill-Allah-none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and sanctify My House for those who circle it, and those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow with humility and obedience to Allah, and make prostration in prayer, etc." (Surah Haj, Ayah 26)
Hajj is a fundamental pillar of Islam, whose roots stem from the time of our father Ibrahim (as). He built the ka'bah along with his son Ismaeel (as) under the command of Allah. Till today, over 4000 years later, it is used as a qiblah while performing salah five times a day. The ka’bah stands out as a living symbol of Allah's Oneness. It is a wonderful sight indeed to see a large crowd gathered for salaah in the haram that is led by renowned Imams who melodiously recite the word of Allah.
" 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 mountain highway ,to perform Hajj." (Surah Haj)
Every year hundreds of thousands come from far and wide - some sail the deep blue sea, while most take to the air. All for just one purpose - to fulfill the obligation to their Lord! Come what may, they come on foot, covering paths that are pitted and curvy. No matter how exhausting the journey may be, they will make a point to complete the Haj. They leave behind their children, wealth and all that they love, whilst donning the ihram and taking nothing with them, all the while and submitting to Allah. Just as they would the day they leave this world and sojourn to the Hereafter.
Many great rewards and benefits are earned both in this world and the hereafter from Haj:
On the subject of religious virtues we find that a haaji returns sinless like the day on which he was born. Who doesn't want to be free from sin? For hajj there is no worthy reward except Jannah, that's our final abode Inshallah. The recompense for performing salah in Masjid al Haram is equal to a hundred thousand prayers. Being in such a righteous environment, automatically we will be spiritually uplifted because of an increase in taqwa.
With regards to the worldly benefits we meet many people of different backgrounds and social standards who will teach us to be grateful for what we have through their actions alone. It also comprises of trade, wherein we bargain with shopkeepers who sell clothing, dates etc.
The day of Arafat is the most important day, where we are made to stand while reciting talbiyyah,"Labaik allahhuma labaik" and declare our submission to Allah. Ibadat and sincere dua from the depths of the heart is made, where we plead and beg from Allah, while tears stream down our cheeks. All of this has to be done before sunset. Does it not prepare us for the Day of Reckoning where we will stand on that very same plain to face our Lord?
One highlight of the journey is the night spent at Muzdalifa, with the star studded sky as a roof and the soft Arabian sand as a bed. What a calm and peaceful atmosphere! The Haajis will be engrossed in thikr, nafl salah and talbiyah, then pick up pebbles for Mina. The day of Eid ul Adha at the end of the pilgrimage, we commemorate and celebrate Ibrahim (as) who never questioned Allah when commanded through a dream to slaughter his son, Ismaeel (as). Proof of his true love for our Creator.
Upon arrival in Mina, stoning of the Jamarah first takes place and then recital of talbiya terminates. The Qurbani that is carried out is known as 'Dam e Shukr' as a thanksgiving. The animal will be slaughtered with the name of Allah, and as mentioned in the Quran, the meat will be distributed to the needy. After coming out of the state of ihraam one must perform Tawaf e Ziyarat. Then, the next two days are spent pelting the jamarat, and the five days of haj are complete. A haaji is said to have anxiety as to whether or not their haj is accepted or not, and must make intentions to change their lives forever.
May Allah call us to His home one day and show us that which our hearts desire to see, and grant us the opportunity of meeting Him with a smiling face on the Last Day.
Aameen ya Rabbal aalamin.
Disclaimer: While Radio Islam retains the right to edit and modify guest contributions, Radio Islam makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information included in guest contributions, or those found by following links within the text. Radio Islam will not be liable for any errors or omissions in information relayed in guest contributions. The views and opinions expressed by guest writers or in the comments section do not necessarily state or reflect those of the editors.