Dhul Hijjah · Hajj · Islamic Months

The Greatest Objective of Hajj [Part 1]

old Kabah

Jabir radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that, “When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assumed Ihraam [ritual consecration for Hajj], he pronounced the Talbiyyah that confirms the Oneness of Allah (saying): ‘Labbayka Allahumma labbayk; labbayk la shareeka laka labbayk; inna al-Hamda wa-n-i‘mata laka wal-mulk; la shareeka lak (Here I am at Your service, O Allah! You have no partner. Here I am at Your service, O Allah. Indeed, all the praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.)’” By doing so, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam abolished what the polytheists would do during the days of jahiliyyah. They would associate a partner with Allah saying, “You have no partners except a partner whom You own and whatever he owns.” Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means):

“And most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with Him.” [Yusuf 12:106]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nullified this foul practice of jahiliyyah and said upon intending Hajj: “O Allah, I intend to perform Hajj free from ostentation and seeking fame.” [Ibn Majah] He intended to make Hajj free from ostentation and free from seeking fame or privileges as the people of Quraysh in the pre-Islamic era would have distinct privileges over all other Arabs therein.

According to the Hadeeth of Jabir radhiAllahu ‘anhu when the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wanted to make Tawaaf, “He first mounted (Mount) As-Safa until he saw the House, and facing the Qiblah (prayer direction), he declared the Oneness of Allah and glorified Him, and said:

‘Laa ilaha illa Allahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu, wa huwa ‘alaa qulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaha illa Allaahu wahdahu, anjaza wa‘dahu, wa nasara ‘abdahu, wa hazamal ahzaaba wahdahu

(None is truly worthy of worship but Allah alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise, and He has power over everything. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His servant, and defeated the confederates Alone.)’” [Al-Bukhari]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared and confirmed Tawheed because there were symbols of polytheism in these places. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed (what means):

“Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them.” [Al-Baqarah 2:158]

[Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah Ayah 158]

‘Urwah   asked his maternal aunt ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha  “There is no blame on a person for not walking between them (as if he understood from this ayah that there is no blame if one does not perform Tawaaf between Safa and Marwah).” ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha said, “O my nephew, it is not that! The Ansaar [Madinan helpers] would intend Tawaaf for an idol called Manaat which they used to glorify (before they embraced Islam), so when they were about to perform Tawaaf with the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam they were embarrassed lest they would be glorifying what they used to glorify before Islam. Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala lifted the blame and the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam  declared that their Tawaaf and Saa‘i were for the sake of Allah alone and a nullification of all aspects of polytheism and attachment to other than Allah. Hence, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Indeed, Tawaaf around the House and (Saa‘i) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah and casting the pebbles were all established for the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.’

These are apparent matters that are done jointly by the heart, tongue and acts of all other bodily organs. Takbeer (saying, ‘Allahu akbar’) is evident in Hajj because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said so and did so often. Upon casting the pebbles, he would say: “Bismillaah wa Allahu akbar (In the Name of Allah, and Allah is the Greatest).” He would pronounce Takbeer upon slaughtering the sacrificial animal saying: “Bismillaah wa Allahu Akbar. Allahumma hatha minka wa ilayak (In the Name of Allah, and Allah is the Greatest. O Allah, this is from You (Your bounty) and for Your sake.)” Also, it is a well-known Sunnah to declare Takbeer during ‘Eid and the Days of Tashreeq [the three days that follow ‘Eid].

[Etiquette and Sunnahs of Eid]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not follow the way of the polytheists. His actions were a proclamation that establishing Tawheed is the sought way of life, the essence of Islam and the salvation of Muslims in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wanted to implant and establish this principle. At that time the polytheists and those new to Islam were keen to closely watch and follow the acts of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When the Prophet proceeded to Mount ‘Arafah, they wanted him to stay where the tribe of Quraysh would do as he descended from the noblest family of the Quraysh. However, he moved on and stayed in another place where a tent was pitched for him at Namirah.

People of Quraysh used to proceed from ‘Arafah before sunset; but the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refused to proceed until the sun had set. The Prophet would state and stipulate his own guidance and Sunnah in every ritual of Hajj. He said, “Learn your Hajj rituals from me.” His guidance clearly opposed the way of jahiliyyah [ignorance]. For example, he sped up his pace at Waadi Muhassir and ordered others to do so as well because it was a place where disobedience to Allah was once committed and where collective punishment struck the disobeyers. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasized this in many places and situations, and even when he offered two Rak‘ahs [units of prayer] at Al-Maqaam [the Station of Ibraheem], he recited Surah Al-Kaafiroon and Surah Al-Ikhlas in the first and the second Rak‘ah after Surah Al-Fatihah. He chose those two Surahs in particular because the first affirms disassociation from the disbelievers and the second affirms Tawheed.

Hence, our faith and Tawheed must be purely for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in compliance with the guidance and Sunnah of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We must not accept or approve of anything that contradicts this. A violation of Tawheed is not necessarily committed by worshiping entities, but rather, by any inclination of the heart to other than Allah. Tawheed is not necessarily achieved by prostrating and submitting, but, rather, with every action that we perform to draw closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Many are the attachments of the heart and the perceptions of the mind that are not based on Tawheed and not connected with the remembrance of Allah.

The remembrance of Allah is the motto of Hajj in every motion and every rite, not only for the individual but for all those large crowds; not spoken in secret, but rather in an explicit declaration. It is a motto that links the Ummah of Islam to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Thus, it fears none but Allah, hopes in none but Allah, relies on none but Allah, returns to none but Allah and seeks none but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It worships Him alone, following the steps of the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[The Importance of Following the Sunnah]

In this light, we recognize the significance of the command to mention Allah’s Name in Hajj. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means):

“That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the Name of Allah on known days.” [Al-Hajj 22:28]

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala orders us to mention His name on known days. Indeed, the purpose of all the rituals and rites of Hajj is to mention the name of Allah and glorify Him.

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam evidently stressed this great meaning in the Khutbah [sermon] of the Farewell Hajj as well as all his other Khutbahs. He said:

“Everything pertaining to jahiliyyah is under my feet, abolished. Abolished also are the blood-revenges of jahiliyyah. The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabee‘ah Ibn Al-Haarith. The Riba [usury/interest] of jahiliyyah is (also) abolished, and the first of our Riba I abolish is that of Al-‘Abbas Ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, for it is all abolished. Fear Allah concerning women! Indeed, you have taken them under Allaah’s trust, and intercourse with them has been made lawful to you by the words of Allah.” 

He ascertained in public before an audience made up of his great companions and all the pilgrims who came to perform Hajj with them from every distance that every act of jahiliyyah that contradicts Islamic teachings was under his feet.

He settled this rule starting with his own family to confirm that faith does not recognize courtesies, and to emphasize that the way of Islam is clear and opposite to the deviant practices of jahiliyyah. Islam does not adopt rulings from here or there, and when it approves the guidance of Ibraheem ‘alayhi salaam it is simply because Ibraheem is the father of Muslims and the leader of the upright religion. This is confirmed in the words of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Allah has removed from you haughtiness and boasting (over one another) because of ancestry that prevailed during the pre-Islamic days: (the people are divided into) pious believers and wretched disbelievers. All people belong to Adam ‘alayhi salaam and Adam was created from dust.” [Abu Dawood & At-Tirmidhi: Hasan (Sound)]

Slightly modified. Originally published at islamweb.net .

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