Reverence shown to the species of the universe
As Almighty Allah has taken man away from his family, children and property he is attached to and the luxury and the lifestyle he is used to, and as He detached him from special clothes, He obliged him to honor all the species of the universe. With inanimate beings, he is to kiss Al-Hajarul-Aswad [‘The Black Stone’ is a stone from Paradise. It was set into one corner of the Ka‘bah in Mecca by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Black Stone was personally installed in the wall of the Ka`bah by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself during its reconstruction following its destruction by a flash flood. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also kissed it during his Farewell Hajj. Thus, touching and kissing Al-Hajarul-Aswad during `Umrah and Hajj is considered Sunnah and an act of obedience. Muslims do not worship the Black Stone. The only reason to kiss the Black Stone is that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) kissed it] or point towards it; with plants, not to cut a tree; with animals, not to hunt any; and with humans, he neither quarrels nor disputes. Thus Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, teaches man to treat with deference all the species of the universe.
During this blessed journey, man learns how to waive his pride and mastery in this universe before its humblest species – inanimate beings – and kisses it or jostles against the others to kiss it. None is great by selfhood but true greatness is achieved when making your free will harmonious, concordant and agreeing with the Will of Allah and His Set Law.
Through this ultimate Pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam Allah tells His servant to respect all the species of the universe, for mastery is not self-given to man but attained by virtue of the preference Allah gave him above others species.
You must carefully consider what this ritual demands from you and to deeply muse upon it in order to know what Allah wants you to do. To grasp that the purport lies in Command, belief and submission, for Allah is the One Who commanded us to kiss that stone and to stone another! Neither in kissing or stoning is a preference for this or that stone, but it is an obedience shown to the Command of Allah. Therefore, it does not submit to the philosophies of the mind but rather to the obedience of Faith.
As aforesaid, the Hajj journey starts with Talbiyah, which is a response to the call of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) when he proclaimed the Hajj to mankind. After it you must divest yourself of pride. To take off your rich clothes and forsake the home specially prepared to give you comfort. Children, friends, relatives, power and property, you leave all behind and go to the Sacred House of Allah, practicing self-denial and assuming Ihram. Leaving the world behind you, just with a seamless piece of cloth on your body like the shroud you shall come out of this world wrapped in.
Tears shed at the Sacred House
When you enter the Sacred House of Allah and you circumambulate it tears fill your eyes, why?
Many people do not know the reason, but crying before such a scene is an expression of waiving the pride that accompanied you for long. The more tears you shed, the more pride you rid yourself of. If crying is a sign of weakness and grief, in the Hajj it is not so. It is a sense of submission and servility, a sense that you gave up all and realized your true humble rank. You come to this sacred place hoping to express your regret for your misdeeds and supplicate Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, that He may forgive your past and future sins.
Being so close to The Almighty and experiencing a sense of His Presence every second is what imparts to the shed tears a spirituality that surpasses joy. The joy of being purged from sins; the joy of winning the Good Pleasure of Allah deeply felt and realized; the joy of confessing sins, which means having the strength of will never to relapse again by holding fast to repentance.
It is the power of faith that prompts man to abandon all wrongdoing and perversity that may taint his creed and behavior. Renouncing pride is a show of strength, and begging for mercy and forgiveness is also a show of strength.
Everyone who experienced such overwhelming feelings knows well that his soul is relieved after crying. As though the tears that flowed from his eyes cleansed his heart. Everyone cries as bitterly as he transgressed against himself (by committing evil deeds and sins) and as bitterly as he disobeyed.
What arouses wonder is that after your soul obtained relief you yearn again to return to what draws your tears. You come back to the Hajj for a second and a third time, but never would you cry as you did the first time. In the first time, you shed bitter violent tears, but less in the second, and lesser in the third, why?
Because in every time you grow more serene and more upright in the adopted course of your life; the moment you enter the Sacred Masjid and see the Ka‘bah you become preoccupied with yourself alone, forgetting about anything else. Preoccupied with how you will offer Prayers, perform Tawaf and Sa‘y [The devotional act of walking seven times between the knolls of As-Safa and Al-Marwah which are located some distance from the Ka‘bah inside Al-Masjidul- Haram; starting at As-Safa and ending at Al-Marwa]. What will you beg for and what invocations will you utter. You are totally taken by Allah from whatever surrounds you and as long as you are preoccupied with The Creator, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, there will be no room in your heart for anything else besides Him. Even your children will not cross your mind except at the end of the rituals, which arouses people’s wonder, though there is nothing to wonder about.
Glorification of the Ka‘bah
Some people say that Islam has forbidden intermingling between men and women, so why is not it forbidden in Tawaf? We see men and women performing Tawaf where hardly anyone passes without exerting a tremendous effort, due to the overcrowding. To those people we say that every circumambulator (performer of Tawaf) is preoccupied with what he/she is deeply in.
There, desires retreat and evil insinuations (whispered by the devil) vanish; each is no longer aware of those around him, each is preoccupied with Allah, preoccupied with worshipping Him, preoccupied with himself.
When offering prayers in the Sacred House of Allah, you find that all the directions faced in Salah have mixed, how? When offering Prayers in the Masjids located in our countries some of us may turn eastward, others westward, northward or southward governed by our position from the Ka‘bah. But on arriving at the Sacred House of Allah we no longer abide by these directions.
Is it permissible for me, inside a Masjid in Egypt, to offer Prayers while facing the Yamani Corner [The southern corner of the Ka‘bah]? Do I observe that when I go to the Ka‘bah, to look for the Yamani Corner and offer prayers facing it? No, I can offer Prayers while facing any of the corners of the Ka‘bah and bear in my mind the Qur’anic verse saying (what means):
“And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn yourselves or your faces there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne).” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 115)
That is the magnificence of worship.
While in the Sacred House of Allah, you have the entire Ka‘bah before you, and you must glorify every place in it and every part of it, which will not be done except by circumambulating it.
An opinion says that it is enough to perform Tawaf once to fulfill that purpose, but the Ka‘bah is parable to Al-Baitul-Ma‘mur (The Oft-frequented House) [The house in the seventh firmament directly above the Ka‘bah at Mecca; everyday it is visited by seventy thousands angels, who never revisit it until the Day of Judgment]. If you keep ascending the sky of the Ka‘bah you will end at Al-Baitul-Ma‘mur.
Those offering prayers at the third floor in the Meccan Sanctuary are higher than the altitude of the Ka‘bah itself but they face its atmosphere. The air expanse above the Ka‘bah represents the Ka‘bah up to Al-Baitul-Ma‘mur in the seventh heaven.
If you are boarding a plane heading for the Ka‘bah you will offer Prayer in it while having your face turned to the sky of the Ka‘bah. The heavens are seven, and to those who believe that by circumambulating the Ka‘bah once you glorify all its parts we say: Follow the example of Al-Mi‘raj (Ascension) [The miraculous ascension of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, from Jerusalem up to the Heavens to meet his Lord]. If you complete seven ashwaat [One complete circuit around the Ka‘bah constitutes a shawt (pl. ashwaat), and seven ashwaat complete one Tawaf] around the Ka‘bah, as though you have ascended the seven heavens provided that serenity and light fill your heart.
That is the Grace of Allah, He bestows on whom He wills. Indeed, endless is the Grace of Allah, The Bestower, Whose Blessings cover all creatures.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human