The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not only abolish all the acts and deeds relevant to polytheism and customs, but he also abolished racism and boasting over one another because all people are equal slaves before Allah. This great meaning was expressed by the best and noblest human when he said, “I am among you the one who worships Allah the most and the most fearing of Him among you.” The great honor of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lies in his servitude to Allah. By servitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reached the most sublime and highest rank in the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi‘raaj (The Prophet’s night journey to Al-Aqsa mosque and ascent to the upper heavens). This rank was not reached by any other sent prophet or close angel.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means):
“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam [in Makkah] to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” [Al-Isra 17:1]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala referred to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this ayah as His servant and not His prophet or His Messenger because the greatest honor of the Prophet is that he was the most worshiping servant of Allah.
We can see him in the hadeeth of Jabir radhiAllahu ‘anhu while he was beseeching and supplicating to Allah, humbly prostrating to Him, casting the pebbles while declaring the glorification of Allah, making Tawaaf around the Ka‘bah, glorifying Allah and walking fast between Mounts As-Safa and Al-Marwah. He is the slave and Messenger of Allah who represented the ultimate Tawheed that annuls anything else.
When he was asked about the supplication of Day of ‘Arafah, he answered: “The best words that I and the prophets before me said are:
Such Tawheed that abolishes every aspect of jahiliyyah is a great matter and the main goal of Hajj. It is the foremost and greatest goal of the Islamic Shari’ah that is manifested in this ritual. It should be noted that this is a radical comprehensive change, not a superficial partial one. It starts with the first throb of the heart towards the intention of performing Hajj.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means):
“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way.” [Aal Imran 3:97]
In this ayah the dedication of this worship solely to Allah is clear by starting the sentence with “And [due] to Allah.” Hence, the intention must be for Allah alone from the first move or thought about performing Hajj. Hearts full of longing for Allah, worshiping Him alone and devotion to Him; tongues repeat Talbiyah and Takbeer and feet walk in the places where Allah commands His slaves to go.
Therefore, this is a real alteration in formatting and molding the human in every aspect relevant to thought, mind, heart, soul, words, and deeds. Then, this change will be reflected upon the entire Ummah, as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says about us and as the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us that we are the Ummah of Tawheed whose hearts are attached only to Allah, who spend their wealth only in the cause of Allah, who earn their money through lawful means and who lead their lives and have customs in conformity with the religion of Allah. Are we like this?
We are in dire need nowadays to think deeply about the answer to this question. Yes, we do not worship idols as we have been spared that form of polytheism. However, we need to think about other forms that may occupy our hearts and minds and compete with such absolute sincerity and devotion to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and disassociation from whatever contradicts the religion of Allah.
Without a doubt, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us in many situations that an act of jahiliyyah is whatever contradicts the creed, worship, laws, customs and social etiquettes of Islam. When Abu Tharr radhiAllahu ‘anhu said to someone – and it was narrated in a collection of hadeeth other than Al-Bukhari that this person was Bilal radhiAllahu ‘anhu – “O son of a black woman”; the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Abu Tharr, “You are a person who (still) has a bad trait of jahiliyyah.” In his commentary on this hadeeth, Ibn Hajar said, “It indicates that sins pertain to jahiliyyah.”
We notice this, when the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned us against a mistake that we have already made. He said, “Do not return disbelievers (in actions) after my death by killing each other.” He also warned us during the incident when the Jews and other enemies of Islam stirred up the grudges and hatred among the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj who were tribes that had fought one another before they embraced Islam. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam vehemently stated, “Quit it (that call)! It is a detestable thing. Quit it! It is a detestable thing! Do not return disbelievers (in actions) after me by killing each other.” Such bigotry and conflict have emerged and are still fueled either by our enemies, or we may fuel it ourselves unconsciously resulting in disagreement and disunity among us.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned us against disagreement and disunity even in understanding the Qur’an. The Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Recite the Quran as long as your hearts agree about its interpretation, but if you have any difference of opinion (as regards to its interpretation and meaning) then get up! [Stop reciting it (for the time being.)]” So, how about in other affairs of life? When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard disagreement and dispute among his companions, he angrily went out to them and his face turned so red that it was as if pomegranate seeds had burst on his face, and he then said to them the aforementioned hadeeth.
Establishing Tawheed attaches the hearts to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Such an establishment is represented in following and adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Tawheed is a nullification of any form of polytheism and an acknowledgment that all people should partake in the worship of Allah. It also indicates that there is no difference or discrimination among people. At the mosques, the houses of Allah, all differences, and privileges are eradicated where all people modestly worship Allah. On the Day of ‘Arafah, you can see the ruler and the ruled, the rich and the poor, and the strong and the weak discard their usual clothes, leave the worldly life behind their backs, their eyes tearful and their hearts humble, raising their hands supplicating to Allah. All of them there are servants who seek the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. Tawheed is the greatest declaration of equality and the strongest pickaxe to demolish all types of racism, prejudices and disputes that cut off ties, disperse the rows and divide the Ummah into disagreeing parties.
Tawheed is the greatest declaration of equality and the strongest pickaxe to demolish all types of racism, prejudices, and disputes that cut off ties, disperse the rows and divide the Ummah into disagreeing parties.
When we have the chance to perform these acts of worship and rituals, they reform us and take us back to the fundamentals of the true and pure Islam which are embedded in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam confirmed this by pronouncing the slogan of Tawheed in every scene. He greatly emphasized this when he said that these rituals are meant for remembering Allah. He stated this meaning in every place. He proclaimed that all practices of jahiliyyah were under his feet; meaning, abolished. He never said that in any previous situation. He declared this in the Farewell Hajj after he purified hearts from jahiliyyah and washed off their foul customs. This was so deeply- rooted to the extent that it was the Abyssinian Bilal radhiAllahu ‘anhu who ascended the Ka‘abah on the day of the conquest of Makkah to raise the Adhaan [call to prayer]. This situation stunned the masters of Quraysh as they could not imagine how a lowly Abyssinian slave could ascend the roof of the Ka‘bah simply because he was a Muslim following the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
In this way, Islam abolished the pre-Islamic foul practices by the clear signs during the season of Hajj that preceded the Farewell Hajj when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed (what means):
“O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach Al-Masjid Al-Haraam after this, their [final] year.” [At-Tawbah 9:28]
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam decided to form the Ummah in a way making it connected to Allah and following its Messenger and not attached to anything that would contradict this in terms of economics, politics, and society. It accepts and follows the Qur’an, the authentic Sunnah and the great mental treasures of our scholars who exerted their utmost in extracting rules from the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is a radical comprehensive formation for the Ummah on the individual as well as the group level. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means): “Indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.” [Quran 21:92] This is a vital arrangement and molding.
Nowadays, we must scrutinize our customs and traditions, and the means that we have invented to discriminate between people and races. We have forgotten that the Abyssinian Bilal, the Roman Suhayb, the Persian Salman, the ‘Adawian ‘Umar and the Taymian Abu Bakr radhiAllahu ‘anhum all gathered under the flag of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the Farewell Hajj. They put on their Ihraam, repeated the Talbiyah, and declared the testimony of faith and the glorification of Allah together. They sent a message to humanity that the religion of Allah and the greatness of Islam and the bond of Tawheed are the best means to remove differences and reconcile disagreements.
We should rejoice due to this favor. We should do our best to achieve it in our hearts, words, and deeds whether during Hajj or during any other times and in all our behaviors and all the traditions of our societies.
Slightly modified. Originally published at islamweb.net