ISLAM NEWSROOM SPECIAL FEATURE - ABOUT HAJJ & UMMRAH: Hard or Easy?
Is it a long, hard, difficult and costly trip?
Or is it a...
Beautiful, once in-a-lifetime journey of faith to come closer to Almighty God Allah?
of us determines our own path, our own way and our own destination in
this life by our intentions, actions and feelings all along the way.
What About Hajj (pilgrimage)? Is it any different from any other journey?
If fact, scholars tell us Hajj is a concentrated version of our entire life: A JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME
of how you view it, the success (or failure) of Hajj depends heavily
on how we act and react to our circumstances and surroundings all along
5th pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in Arabia is an
obligation on every believer - once in their lifetime, when Allah opens
the way. All Muslims must make this journey, if possible - as soon as
is a physical, mental and spiritual journey all at the same time. The
Muslim dons his physical garb (ihram) at the same time he makes his
mental intention and spiritual commitment to his Creator, Allah.
A map to Arabia is accompanied by a diagram for the rituals (from theProphet of Islam, peace be upon him) and an outline for our attitude and intentions(supplied inAllahs Quran).
Allah tells us about Hajj in basic terms inQuran:
"Hajj is in well-known months, so whoever has made hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is to be for him no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during hajj.
whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but
indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And revere Me, O you of
[Surah Baqarah 2:197]
Focus on the words: "no disobedience" and "no disputing" in Hajj.
immediately let's us know for sure, there will be opportunities for us
to disobey and dispute (may Allah keep us away from all disobedience
and disputing, ameen).
If there is one single word in English that sums up what Hajj is all about - it is "sacrifice".
about the sacrifice of Ibrahim (Abraham), peace be upon him and his
famil, the tests of sacrifice of Ismail, his son and how Allah blessed
them -- [click here fortafsir-a deep explanation]
learn in Quran of the sacrifices made by Ibrahim, his wife and his son
Ismael. We are reminded from the sunnah of our beloved prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, about his and his companions suffering and
sacrifices for years to bring the message of worship for One God to
the people - and their own pilgrimages to the House of Allah.
home, family, job and security for the over crowded unknown in a
distant land, far away from anything we know in today's world, almost
like a journey into former times. Giving up the luxury of comfortable
furniture, usual food & drink, personal privacy, even ordinary
clothing, even waiting in long lines for the toilet - are all a part of
the physical sacrifices.
sacrifices can be even more severe, in dealing with other people from
other lands, other traditions and other customs. Patience is an
important part of the Muslim everyday life - but how much more when
patience is tried to the limits? Waiting in lines for visas, customs,
busses, rooms, tents, food and sometimes after long waits - not getting
what is hoped for.
of our hearts and minds - something seldom considered on a regular
basis, suddenly becomes a part of every movement, every thought and
Some could ask us,"Why?"
Why do this to yourself? Why put up with all the difficulties, the challenges, the hardships and sacrifices? And the money!!
What is the reason? Where is the benefit?
Our reason -IS THE BENEFIT.
the personal sacrifice of giving up things of this life in order to
please our Lord, by following His Commandments, we seek the ultimate
benefit of nothing less than - PARADISE itself.
in this life? Obviously, we are working and sacrificing for something
that benefits our mental, emotional and personal beings - brotherhood.
The unity of coming together for the sake of our mutual love and
affection for our Lord, His prophet, peace be upon him, and for each
Allah says (the meaning) in the Holy Quran -
proclaim to all humans the hajj. They will come toward you on foot and
on every thin camel, they will come from every deep and wide mountain
highway (for pilgrimage)
[Surah Hajj 22:27]
is one of the featured keys of the Hajj. All Muslims, regardless of
nationality, race, lineage or school of thought - all coming together
for the once in a lifetime journey - for Allah.
as the body is tasked and put through movements it may never
experience again, so is the mind and the spirit challenged in the Hajj.
Care of those around you becomes habit forming and you know there are those about you who do care for you as well.
obligation to cleanse our souls, minds and bodies from impurities
extends to removing the hatred, dislike and arrogance we might
ordinarily feel toward strangers or people of distant lands.
SALAM(peace) is another important part ofHajj.
Not just "Salam alaykum" (peace be upon you) as a greeting. But a feeling you exhibit and you see from others. More than just returning a smile or a nod.
The feeling inside, deep down in the heart - knowing these are your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins.
You feel the true brotherhood for mankind coming from our father, Adam, peace be upon him.
Allah reminds us in chapter 3 of the Quran:
you who believe, revere your Lord as it is His Right to be revered and
don't die except in a state of surrender, submission, obedience,
sincerity and peace with him (Muslim). And hold firmly, all of you, to
the rope of Allah (Islam) and do not be divided. Remember the favor of
Allah for you - when once you were enemies and He joined your hearts
together and became, by His favor - brothers. And you were on the edge
of a firey pit, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear for you
Hisayat(proofs, verses) that you be guided"
[Surah Al-Imran 3:102-103]
The importance of "Doing It Together - ALL TOGETHER" - That is a real sacrifice in Hajj--and in everyday life!
the same time, it is the blessing of Hajj, knowing there are so many
who share your beliefs, your feelings, your inner desires and your hopes
and fears - most of all, your hunger for Jennah and to be with our
prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Nu'man bin Bashir (may Allah have mercy on him) says, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:
"The believers in their mutual kindness, mercy and sympathy(for each other)are just like one body. Whenever one of the limbs suffers, the whole of the body responds to it with wakefulness and fever"
[Recorded by Bukhari & Muslim and also in Riyadh Us Salaheen]
some pilgrims may be more wrapped up in desire to finish all the
rituals and complete their hajj as quick as possible, most others share
concerns over the collective achievement for a successful hajj, even
when it means individual sacrifices.
These are the ones who have understood, appreicated and achieved the real benefits of hajj.
is no room in acceptable Hajj for hatred, fighting, bloodshed and
killing, just as there is no room for this in Islam, especially amongst
Christians, mega media of the west are not really responsible for the
fires of war and widely spread devastation throughout our Muslim lands
today . . .
Allah tells us who the real enemy is - And what his plan is, as well:
you who believe, enter into Islam perfectly (and completely) and do
not follow the footsteps of shayton (devil). Certainly, he is your
enemy most clear."
[Surah Baqarah 2:208]
is at the top level of spiritual sacrifice, keeping steadfast,
persevering to achieve all the rituals while at the same time doing so
in peace and being serene within oneself and with others.
And all the while, reaching deeper into the heart to be able to reach higher in our connection with ourCreator and Sustainer - The Merciful, The Especially Merciful - Allah.
Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
‘Umrah is expiation of sins committed (from one to the next). And reward of Hajj Mabrur (accepted by Allah) is nothing less than Paradise”
May Allah bring us together in Hajj for His sake, and into Paradise to live therein Forever, ameen.
Hajj Mabrur yaa hujjaj!(Allah accept from all you pilgrims, ameen)
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