Allah has chosen certain days over others, and on top of these days are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)
What is specific about such days, and how should we make use of them?
In the this video Sheikh Yasir Qadhi talks about the status and merits of such blessed ten days, how to seize the chance of them, and the advantages of extra effort in worshiping during them.
By Editorial Staff
The problem of the general majority of non-Muslims with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is briefed in the following story whose hero is a non-Muslim who became one of the greatest companions. He is Tufayl ibn `Amr Ad-Dawsi, the chief of the Daws tribe. He was an eloquent poet and a respected person among his people. Once, he went on a journey to Makkah during the occurrence of Islam’s call at the hands of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
At-Tufayl said, “As soon as I came to Makkah, I was generously received by the chiefs of Quraish, and was extravagantly honored by them. Soon after my arrival, they all came to me together and said, ‘Tufayl, you are a visitor to our city so let us give you our news. A man named Muhammad ibn `Abdullah has been pretending to be a Prophet of Allah. He has left from under our authority and is trying to split our community. We are afraid he will do to you and to the chiefs of your tribe what he has done to us. If you run into him while you are here, don’t talk to him, and don’t listen to anything he has to say, because when he speaks he is like a sorcerer.’
By Allah, they went on telling me about his “sorcery,” scaring me so much that I decided not to approach that man, or talk to him, or listen to him. The next morning I went to make Tawaf around the Ka`bah, to glorify the idols we used to worship. I put cotton in my ears so that not a word of Muhammad’s teachings would reach my hearing. But as soon as I got into the sacred area I found the Prophet (peace be upon him) standing in front of the Ka`bah, making a prayer that didn’t look like the ways of our traditions. I was much taken by this scene. I found myself walking nearer and nearer to him until I was quite close to him, despite my will. It was the will of Allah that I should hear some of what he was saying -it was so beautiful that I told myself, “Woe to you, Tufayl! You are an intelligent poet; you are able to differentiate the good from the bad. Why don’t you listen to the man? If what he says is good, accept it, and if it’s bad, reject it!’
I stood there until the Prophet (peace be upon him) left for his house. I followed him. When he entered the house, I followed him in and said, ‘Muhammad, your people told me many bad things about you. They scared me so much that I put cotton in my ears to prevent myself from hearing you. But the will of Allah let me hear your speech and I found it good. So, please explain to me what this is all about.’
He explained it to me and read Surat Al-Ikhlas and Surah Al-Falaq. I swear, I’ve never heard anything better than that nor have I met someone more fair on this earth. On the spot, I gave him my hand and pronounced the testimony of faith that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger, and I became a Muslim.” (Siyar A`laam An-Nubalaa’ by Imam Adh-Dhahabi)
The story shows us a technique of the media war waged against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the early days of his call. The chieftains of Arab tribes would ask their people not to listen or meet the Prophet Muhammad because he is a sorcerer, liar, troublemaker, etc. or a terrorist as they claim today despite the fact that Muhammad is completely free of all of this. He was a rational person who sewed peace, love, good neighborhood, and noble manners and combated idolism, ignorance, misguidance and aberration. The same conditions of At-Tufayl are true for the current reality as people are now influenced by media makers who spread false rumors about Islam and its Prophet day and night and manipulate the minds of people in fabricated and unjust course of knowledge.
 See Al-Alukah.net
By: Fahad Ansari
The historical background to the Hajj is about trusting in the promise of Allah.
The Hajj season is upon us once again with millions of pilgrims preparing to don their Ihram and travel to the holy cities in search of Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, striving to turn over a new leaf in their lives and come closer to their Creator.
In preparation for this journey, pilgrims will spend many hours hunting for the best value Hajj packages by speaking to friends and family, checking references, and comparing price plans.
Hard earned savings, which may have been accumulated over a lifetime, will be invested for this three week journey. Wives and children may be left at home alone for this entire period.
Basic luxuries such as a change of clothes, toothpaste, and scented soap will be abandoned for those precious few days when the pilgrims undergo severe hardship in the most testing conditions, even sleeping outdoors in the desert beneath the stars without a tent amongst millions of others from all over the world, all dressed identically in a humble pair of towels. The question inevitably arises as to why these pilgrims voluntarily subject themselves to such difficulty.
What motivates them to leave their families, spend their life savings and suffer such troubles? The answer is simple – it is the promise of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “The one who performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing will come out as the day he or she was born,” i.e. pure and free from sins. (Al-Bukhari)
In another hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than the gardens of Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari)
It is belief in this promise of complete forgiveness, of the treasures of Paradise and the eternal pleasure of Allah that drives Muslims to make these sacrifices for His sake.
In essence, the historical background to the Hajj is about trusting in the promise of Allah. Almost every ritual performed and every step taken derive from a moment in which a member of the family of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) trusted in the promise of Allah with complete submission.
Let us reflect upon the moment when Ibrahim was commanded to abandon his wife Hajar (Hagar, peace be upon her) and their baby son Isma`il (Ishmael, peace be upon him) in the empty barren desert of Makkah with not a living soul for miles.
At that time, Makkah had neither inhabitants nor a known source of water. He left them there alone with them a bag full of dates and a waterskin. For any father, it is difficult to leave his infant child in such circumstances. For Ibrahim (peace be upon him), it would have been even more heart-wrenching, for Allah had blessed him with this son after he was childless until he was 86 years old. Now, he had been commanded by that same Lord to leave his precious son in a barren desert valley.
When Ibrahim started to depart, Hajar followed him, saying, “O Ibrahim! Where are you going and leaving us in this valley that does not have any inhabitants or anything else?” She repeated this several times, but he was not paying any attention to her. She then said to him, “Did Allah command you to do this?” Ibrahim replied, “Yes.” She said, “Then certainly, He will not abandon us.” She went back, while Ibrahim kept on walking, until he was next to a hill where he could no longer be seen. He then recited the following supplication,
Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (Ibrahim 14:37)
Imagine Hajar sitting with her baby in the scorching desert sands alone in glaring silence not knowing what was to be their fate, how they would survive and how she would raise her child.
It was not long before the water ran out and baby Isma`il began to become weak with thirst. With not a drop of water in sight and her infant’s cries echoing in her ears, Hajar began climbing the hills of Safa and Marwa repeatedly, desperately searching for anyone who could help.
Due to her sincerity and her faith and most of all, her trust in the promise of Allah, Jibril (the angel Gabriel) descended from the Heavens to dig the well of Zamzam which continues to flow and quench the thirst of pilgrims to this day.
Moreover, after a few days a group of Bedouins, seeking new pastures, happened to pass by the mouth of the valley. When they saw flocks of bird circling over it, they concluded that there must be water.
Some of their men rode into the valley to explore it and found a lonely woman with a child sitting by the rim of an abundant well.
By the mercy of Allah, the tribesmen asked Hajar’s permission to settle in her valley. She agreed with the condition that the well of Zamzam forever remain the property of Isma`il and his descendants.
Today, during our Hajj, we literally follow in the footsteps of Hajar as she ran frantically between these hills in the roasting desert sun, believing in the promise of her Lord, which He fulfilled.
Years later, Allah commanded Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to return to Makkah where he found his wife and son alive and secure, as was promised by Allah. But Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) test of belief in the promise of Allah was not over as he was commanded to sacrifice his son Isma`il (peace be upon him) for Allah, his son for whom he had yearned for decades, his son who he had not seen for years.
Moreover, his compliance did not betray any feeling of distress, horror or panic; it was marked by calm acceptance and reassurance, reflected in his words as he put this most grave matter to his son:
O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” (As-Saffat 37:102)
These are the words of a man in full control of himself and his feelings, knowing that he is only doing his duty.
That it was hard for Ibrahim is beyond doubt. He was not required to send his only son to war, nor to put him to a task that would end in his death. Nothing of the sort.
Instead he was required to undertake the task himself, by his own hand. And what task was that? It was to slaughter his son by way of sacrifice. This was the order he received calmly, the one that he put to his son and asked him to consider carefully. He did not take his son by surprise and do what was bidden. Rather, he puts the question to him as if it were both normal and familiar.
To Ibrahim, the question was one of obedience. Since his Lord wanted something, so be it, without hesitation. His son should also know and accept it willingly, with submission so that he too would earn the reward of obeying God and experience the pleasure of submission to Him. He himself had known that pleasure and now wants his son to feel it as the pure goodness that surpasses all else that life can offer.”
The reply of Isma`il (peace be upon him) can only be the response of the child of a mother and father who sacrificed all comforts out of a firm belief in the promise of their Lord.
He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” (As-Saffat 37:102)
The response is not one of mere obedience and resignation but marked with acceptance and certainty. Isma`il (peace be upon him) addressed his father with love and affection and fully surrenders to the will of his Lord, trusting in His promise.
During Hajj, the pilgrims commemorate Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) stoning of Satan who tried to tempt him away from obeying Allah in this command by the stoning of the pillars, thereby displaying our enmity towards Satan and our allegiance to Allah.
Finally, let us ponder on the moment after this noble father and son have built the Ka’bah when Allah commands Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to make the call for pilgrimage promising him that
And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass (to perform Hajj).(Al-Hajj 22:27)
When Ibrahim (peace be upon him) made this call, how many people would have heard it that people would come from the farthest regions of the world?
Yet, due to Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) unwavering belief in the promise of His Lord, he obeyed without question. The phenomenal result of this call to Hajj can be seen today when millions of Muslims from the four corners of the globe make the journey by plane, by ship, by road, by camel and even by foot. All answering the call of Ibrahim made thousands of years ago.
All firmly believing in the promise of their Lord to forgive them and cleanse them to the state they were in when their mothers gave birth to them – pure and without sin.
By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan
Who is obliged to perform Hajj?
The main purpose of Hajj and `Umrah is to worship Allah in the places he commanded us to worship Him therein. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
Hajj is an obligatory act of worship.
“Pebble throwing and performing sa`i saying (i.e. going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) are made (decreed) for mentioning Allah.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)
Hajj (Pilgrimage) is uniformly agreed upon by Muslim scholars as an obligatory act of worship, and one of the pillars of Islam. It is prescribed for all Muslims; they are to perform Haj) once in their lifetime provided they can afford it. and it is a collective duty on all Muslims at a set time every year.
On the other hand, any performance of Hajj other than the obligatory one is considered a voluntary act of worship.
Concerning `Umrah, many scholars regard it as a religious duty, for when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked if women had to participate in jihad (fighting in the Cause of All ah), he replied:
“Yes, there is a jihad prescribed for them in which there is no fighting, namely Hajj and `Umrah.”
Accordingly, if `Umrah is authenticated to be a religious duty for women, then the more it is so for men. To illustrate, once a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘My father is an old man who can neither perform Hajj nor `Umrah nor even travel.’ Upon that, the Prophet said le him:
“Perform Hajj and `Umrah on behalf of your father.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Once in a Lifetime
According to the above, it is obligatory for a Muslim to perform Hajj and `Umrah once in a lifetime; the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Perform Hajj only once, and whoever performs it more than that, it is a voluntary act for him.” (Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah)
In Sahih Muslims (Muslim’s Authentic Book of Hadith), it is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace upon him) said:
“0 people! Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you, so perform Hajj.”
Upon that, a man asked, ‘(Is it to be performed) every year?’ The Prophet (peace upon him) answered, “If I were to say ‘Yes: it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it.” (Muslim)
Who Is Obliged to Perform It?
A Muslim, male or female, must perform the obligatory Hajj as soon as one is able to, and whoever defers it without a legal excuse is deemed sinful, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Make haste to (perform the obligation of) Hajj, for the one of you does not know what might afflict him.” (Ahmad)
There are five conditions that must be fulfilled as prerequisites for performing Hajj: to be a Muslim, to be sane, to have reached puberty, to be free (not a slave), and to be able to perform it. Those who meet these prerequisites are obliged to perform Hajj immediately.
Would a Boy Perform Hajj?
Performing Hajj and `Umrah for a little boy is accepted as a supererogatory act of worship, as indicated in the l1adilh narrated by Ibn `Abbas:
“A woman lifted up a boy to (show him to) the Prophet and said, ‘Would this (child) be credited with performing Hajj? He (peace be upon him) replied, ‘Yes, and you will have a reward.” (Muslim)
Scholars uniformly agree that if a boy performs Hajj before reaching puberty, it is still obligatory for him to do it once again when he is an adult and has the ability to do it. That is to say, Hajj, which is performed in childhood, does not spare a person the obligatory Hajj when reaching puberty, and so is the case of `Umrah.
As for a child under the age of discretion, his guardian can assume ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or `Umrah) and declare the intention to perform Hajj on his behalf.
The guardian should stop the child from doing whatever acts which are forbidden during Hajj, and should perform tawaf (circumambulating the Ka`bah) and Sa`i (going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) on behalf of the child while carrying him. The guardian is also to accompany the child to Mount `Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina, throwing the pebbles on his behalf.
The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence”.
Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.