Encouragement to Hajj

"This day have I perfected your religion for you; completed my favour upon you; and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (Surah Al Maa-idah)

One of the great virtues of haj is that this verse announcing the completion of the Deen was revealed at the time of Haj. Imam Ghazaali (RA) writes in his 'Ihyaa': haj is one of the fundamental principles of Islam.  Upon it the foundation of Islam became completed and upon it the Deen was completed. It was at the time of haj that this aayah was revealed.

Once a learned person from among the Jews said to Umar (RA): "In the Quran you people read a certain verse. If that had been revealed to us, we would have celebrated that day annually." Umar (RA) inquired: "Which verse is that?" He replied: "Al Yowma Akmaltu Lakum Deenakum." (The verse under discussion.) Umar (RA) said: "Verily I remember the day and the place where this verse was revealed (and apart from the revelation of this verse, which was on a Friday), it was already a double celebration for us. Firstly it was Friday - a day of celebration for all Muslims, and secondly, it was the day of Arafat - a day of celebration for the pilgrims. Umar (RA) further stated that this verse was revealed on a Friday after As'r on the day of Arafaat while Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) was seated on his she camel.  It is further stated in the hadeeth that no further verses were revealed after this one with regard to halaal and haraam.

The camel was forced to sit down because of the great weight descending upon it on account of the revelation.  This is what normally happened. Aisha (RA) states that, when Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) was seated on a camel, the camel used to lower its neck being unable to lift it or move a step until revelation had ended.  Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) relates from Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) that when revelation descended upon him he feared that he would lose his life. (Durre Manthoor) Zaid ibn Thabit (RA) states that when the verse 95 -in Surah 4 was being revealed I was sitting next to Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam)Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) then became like one in a state of semi-consciousness, and he put his thigh upon mine, the weight of which was so great that I felt that my leg would break. (Durre Manthoor) This was due to the greatness of Allah's words, which we nowadays read very casually and superficially as though it were ordinary speech.

"Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) said: "Whoever performs haj for the sake of pleasing Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it as free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him."

When a child is ushered into this world, it enters this life without any blemish and is free from any form of sin. Now, when the haj has been performed with utmost sincerity for Allah's sake, the pilgrim returns to that sinless state.

It will be remembered from our booklet Virtues of Salaat alan Nabi that when we speak of forgiveness of sins as in the hadeeth mentioned above, we actually refer to minor sins.  However the contents of this hadith have been noted in such numerous ahaadith that some learned ulama are of the opinion that minor as well as major sins are included in this pardon from Allah.

In this hadeeth under discussion, three things are mentioned.  In the first place we read that haj should be for Allah's sake, and that there should be no worldly object and no ulterior motive prompting this holy deed, neither should it be for the show of things, nor for personal fame.  Many people proceed to Makkah for the sake of personal honour and show.  Such people have indeed wasted whatever they have spent by way of wealth, health and energy.  For them there shall be no reward.  We admit that when a person has performed his haj even for the sake of showing others, his obligation has been carried out.  But how foolish is it indeed that a person should deny himself such great virtue and reward (in the form of Allah's great pardon) merely because of his desire to be noted among some people.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) once said: "Near the time of Qiyaamah the rich ones from amongst my Ummah will perform haj for the sake of travel and holiday; (like having a holiday in Hijaz instead of one in London or Paris).  The middle class will perform haj for commercial purposes, thereby transporting goods from here to there while bringing commercial goods from there to here.  The ulama will perform haj for the sake of show and fame; (to outdo and surpass Maulana so and so, or any rival Shaikh who had performed haj a certain number of times).  The poor will perform haj for the purpose of begging." (Kanzul Ummaal)

The ulama have stated that should a person perform a "Hajje Badal" on behalf of someone else for a specific price, so that he derives worldly benefit from such a haj, he too is included among those who perform haj for commercial purposes.

In another hadeeth we read "that the Kings and Rulers will perform haj for the sake of having pleasurable holidays; the wealthy ones for the sake of business; the poor ones for the sake of begging; while the learned ones will come for haj for the sake of show." (It-haaf)

In the first of these two traditions we read that the wealthy ones will perform haj for the sake of having a tour and a holiday.  In the second hadeeth we read again that they will do so for the sake of business.  In actual fact there is no contradiction here even though it apparently seems so.  In the former case, those mentioned as wealthy ones are actually those very rich ones who in the second hadeeth are called Sultaans or Rulers.  In actual fact they are slightly lower than the rulers.  For this reason they are also called the middle class.

Once Umar (RA) was standing between Mount Safa and Marwa.  A group of people came along, alighted from their camels and proceeded to perform tawaaf around the Ka'bah.  They then came for the Saee between Safa and Marwa.  Umar (RA) inquired from them as to who they were.  They replied that they were from Iraq.   When Umar (RA) inquired as to whether they perhaps had any other intention, e.g. to claim an inheritance, to reclaim a debt due to them, or for any other business purpose.   They replied "No".  Then Umar (RA) said: "In that case restart your deeds" (like people who have done no evil deeds).

What Umar (RA) implied was that having come to the Holy House solely for Allah's sake, their previous evil deeds were forgiven.  They can now start anew.  The second point that becomes clear from the hadeeth under discussion is that no evil word shall be spoken.  Previously we also quoted the Quraanic verse in which Muslims are exhorted to refrain from evil words.  The ulama have explained that the word "Rafath" (evil speech) includes every single form of word which are unseemly, nonsensical and unnecessary to such an extent that even the mention of sexual relations with one's wife is also included.  To indicate or insinuate such actions with hand signs or the eyes, should be refrained from.  All such actions and others, which stir passions and lust, are condemned.

The third point towards which attention is drawn is "Fusooq", which, here signifies every single form of disobedience to Allah's will as noted previously in the above verse of the Quraan.   One should especially avoid any form of argument and dispute.  In one hadeeth our Rasulullah (sallallahu alai wasallam) has said: "The beauty of haj is attained by speaking amicably with others and to feed them."  To argue with fellow haajis and to fight with them is the opposite of amicable speech. Hence it is the duty of a haaji not to criticise his fellow haajis, to meet everyone with love, humility and humbleness, and to deal with them in a most friendly manner.   Some ulama have explained that to meet others in a friendly manner does not only mean that one should not hurt or trouble ones fellow men.  It means that one should (without retaliation) bear and pardon the hurt that comes from their side to you.

The word "Safar" (a journey) means in actual fact "to expose", "to make clear".  The ulama inform us that a journey is called safar in Arabic because on a journey one's character is exposed and becomes clear.

Once Umar (RA) asked a man whether he knew a certain person to which the man said that he knew him.  Then Umar (RA) inquired, whether the man had been on a journey with that person, to which the man said that he had not.  Then Umar (RA) said: "You do not know him."  In one hadeeth it is stated that a person praised another in the presence of Umar (RA).   Umar (RA) asked: "Did you travel with him?" He replied: "I did not travel with him."  Umar (RA) asked: "Did you have any dealings with him?" He answered: "No I had no dealings with him." Umar (RA) then said: "You do not know that person." (It-haaf).

There can be no doubt about it that only after having been with a person in similar cases can one truly know a person's character and his reactions to situations. On a journey there is always a certain amount of inconvenience which inevitably leads to arguments and it is for this reason that the Quraan especially mentions: "and let there be no arguments in haj."

Taken from Virtues of Haj

By: Shaikhul Hadeeth Maulana Mohammad Zakariyyah (R.A)

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