Hajj is the fifth of the fundamental five pillars of Islam. It is offered once in a year as an obligation although it is allowable to to offer it voluntarily more than that. Almighty Allah say,
And Hajj to the House (Ka`bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj, then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns). (Aal `Imran 3:97)
Huda TV presents a step by step guide on how to perform Hajj following the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Hajj Step by Step guide is hosted by Musa Maquire and presented by Dr. Muhammad Salah.
Source: Huda TV.
By Editorial Staff
Those who do not know much about the Muslim pilgrimage, (hajj), we will try to brief them on the basic information about it in the following lines:
Pilgrimage (hajj) is one the five pillars of Islam.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported have said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): Testimony that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, establishing Prayer, giving Zakah, Hajj, and fasting Ramadan.” (An-Nasa’i)
- Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim who is financially and physically able to perform it.
- Hajj is obligatory once in a lifetime.
- Muslims make hajj in commemoration of the trials of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim, peace be upon him) and his family in Mecca, which included Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in response to God’s command.
- The rituals of hajj include the following:
- Entering the state of Ihram at certain places appointed to each country.
- Circulating the Kabah seven times,
- Walking between the Mountains of As-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times.
- On Dhul-Hijjah 8, pilgrims gather in Mina, outside Mecca, and spend the night there.
- Early the following morning, pilgrims head to Arafah, where they spend the day praying for God’s forgiveness.
- After sunset, pilgrims move on to Muzdalifah, where they spend the night, then they head back to Mina.
- On Dhul-Hijjah 10, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha. Many pilgrim would have made arrangements to sacrifice a sheep on that day. They also cut or shave their hair. Pilgrims symbolically stone Satan in Mina.
- After throwing the pebbles, pilgrims return to Mecca to offer the Farewell Tawaf and thus they complete the rituals of hajj.
In case, you want to know more about hajj, you can have a one-to-one live chat with us: http://chatonfaith.com/
Fallibility and Mercy
This month of Ramadan was brought to us to come to Allah with our sins, repenting to him, admitting our sins, and He forgives us.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in a number of authentic narrations, “Whoever fasts this month of Ramadan with faith in Allah and hope in Allah’s forgiveness, his previous sins will be forgiven”. (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet also said in the hadith (narration of the Prophet’s words or actions): “Whoever stands and prays in these nights of Ramadan with faith and hope in Allah, Allah (Exalted is He) will forgive them.” (Al-Bukhari)
We take one important lesson quickly from this month, the lesson that we are not asked to be utopian. This is the danger as I alluded to earlier, coming out of a colonial-religious understanding where a massive inferiority complex was ingrained in us, which we still have, we cannot deal with the drama in our community.
Instead of dealing with the problems of our communities, we push them under the rug. For example, I have had parents that come to me with their kids and they say, ‘Brother Suhaib, please don’t put this in the newsletter on Friday’. What do you think I’d put it in the newsletter?
We’re hyper-paranoid of people finding out that we make mistakes because we think that those mistakes mean that Islam is mistaken, and this is a massive error. We are not secure enough to deal with our own drama. We are not secure enough to battle with our own demons because we’re scared, because of an inferiority complex, and because our understanding of religion has been changed to utopianism.
But Allah says, “Wa la yadurallaha shay’a” (nothing can hurt Allah). And the hadith of the Prophet: “If the first of you and the last of you and the most righteous of you stood and asked Allah and He gave, you would not take anything from Him and if the worst of you also would not harm Allah in any way”. (Al-Bukhari)
Because of that, the month of Ramadan is openly calling us to repent to Allah, to re-establish our relationship with Allah, to seek His mercy, but for what? Because we have not made any mistakes or because we have made mistakes? Because we have made mistakes. But when we bring this utopian understanding into the community, we push the Muslims away.
As one person said to me, ‘When I come to the mosque, it is like I’m coming to the court of Judge Judy to be judged by the people and to be declared as evil’. But in the time of the Prophet, the word iman (faith) came from the meaning security and trust; that there is a trust with Allah, amantu billah (I believe in Allah).
Therefore, Allah used this word, not `aqidah (Islamic creed), not tawheed (doctrine of Oneness of God), but iman. Iman in Allah that this security with Allah is as the Prophet mentioned in his definition to believe in Allah, His angels, and His books to the end.
To have secured means I can come to you with my mistakes and I trust that you will forgive me if I seek your forgiveness. That is why Allah says in the Qur’an that if you come back to Him,
You will find Allah the Forgiving, the Merciful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:64)
In our communities now, we are starting at a micro level. Our people are coming to this community and seeking Allah’s mercy. Our people who have made mistakes are coming back, the divorcees fill our community, the drunkards fill our community. Of course there should be some haya’ (modesty), but again, if we’re not careful, we’ll adopt a self-righteous set of constructs that will push the masses of the community away from us, especially the young people.
I notice this because every time someone comes and asks me a question, you know what the first thing they say to me is? ‘I’m sorry’. Why are you sorry? ‘I’m sorry I need to ask…’ Why would you be sorry? Have some self-confidence, brother. ‘I’m sorry brother . . .’ What are you sorry for, man? I got the same drama that you got akhi (brother). ‘I’m sorry…’ No, you’re not sorry, you are human!
One thing we take from the month of Ramadan is that Ramadan is a means of forgiveness. For what? For mistakes. So the Muslim community is going to make mistakes, as Allah says:
Be upright and seek Allah’s forgiveness”. (Fussilat 41:6)
This use of the letter ‘waw’ means that at the same time that you’re upright, seek Allah’s forgiveness.
Because of the insecurity in our Muslim community, we find Muslims in clubs. People say, ‘I can’t believe a Muslim would do something like that’. Why not? I’m not saying go to the club but why not? They are human beings! ‘I can’t believe she lied about me. She wears hijab, that’s why I don’t wear hijab’. Why not? She’s a human being!
But that doesn’t hurt Islam at all; Islam is Islam and Muslims are Muslims. That’s why the first thing I tell a convert is ‘Don’t judge Islam by Muslims, judge Islam by itself’. And that’s why we have the famous statement by Sheikh Muhammad `Abdu. When he went to Europe he said, ‘I saw Muslims without Islam’, then he said about us, ‘I saw Islam without Muslims’. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging mistakes; the community has to gain this maturity in order to deal with the problems of the community.
If we live under a self-righteous set of constructs, we’re not going to help each other at all. But look at the Prophet’s community: even a drunk can come to the masjid of the Prophet. In Sahih Al-Bukhari, a drunken man comes to the masjid of the Prophet and the Prophet orders him to be punished. After the ta`zir (sentence to a crime) is made upon him, the people start to chastise that man, but the Prophet said, “Don’t help shaytan (the devil) on your brother.”
He trusted the Prophet. Would a drunk come to me? No way. Would he come to one of the sheikhs (scholars, leaders) of the masjid? No way. They would not come because they are fearful of this retribution, fearful of their mother and father displayed in front of the community.
One sister said to me, if the people knew about my mistakes in this community, they would laugh at me and relish my mistakes. This is nifaq (hypocrisy). Allah mentions,
If something bad happens to you, O Muhammad, the munafiqin (hypocrites) are happy with it”. (Aal `Imran 3:120)
So we have to move beyond that self-righteous way of looking at things and get back to that good old-fashioned religion that Grandma use to talk about. Organic religion that understands people who make mistakes; where the community can be the crutches that carry the people through errors and mistakes that they make, not judges and self-righteous kings who think that they know everything. This is a disaster.
The month of Ramadan comes as a means of forgiveness for our sins that Allah knows we’re going to make because He knows us better than we know ourselves. With that in mind, I implore this community to work towards establishing social services in this community. Battered women homes, abused children, drug addiction, sex addiction, and these things.
I’m not insulting Islam, Islam is Islam. We’re human beings. But because we’re insecure with who we are, we’re unable to tackle the difficulties of the community, thereby emphasizing our ability to really serve the prophetic message. Ask the young people here who have troubles. One young person comes to me every time and begs, ‘Please Suhaib, don’t talk about it on the minbar (pulpit).’So why should I talk about you on the minbar?’ ‘Don’t tell anyone, if my parents know, they’ll cut me into pieces.’ ‘Why would they cut you into pieces?’ That self-righteous set of ideas not only fell into the community but fell into the homes, and that’s why kids can’t talk to their parents anymore.
They are scared if they go to their mother and father with some drama then it’s on—celebrity death match, kids are going to get taken out. Instead, we should discipline them and we should teach them and we should guide them. This month of Ramadan was brought to us to come to Allah with our sins, repenting to him, admitting our sins, and He forgives us.
This is an extremely important message that we want to take from this month of Ramadan. Get away from the utopian vision that was a product of modernity and fascism and nationalism. We have self-righteous nationalism in this community where people can come with their problems and ask us for help. Even the women who committed zina (adultery) trusted the Prophet enough to go to him. And she knew the punishment but still she went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘I committed zina, O Messenger of Allah’.
What about us? Remember the young man in Sahih Al-Bukhari who comes to the Prophet and says, ‘I kissed a girl’. What about us now? Those people would never come to the community, they would never come to the community because they feel frightened.
As in the Battle of Badr, the month of Ramadan was the time in which Allah granted the believers their biggest victory ever, namely
By Tajuddin B. Shuaib
As in the Battle of Badr, the month of Ramadan was the time in which Allah granted the believers their biggest victory ever. In the eighth year of Hijrah in the Islamic calendar, Allah (Glory be to Him) delivered the sacred city of Mecca to the Muslims, virtually without any resistance or bloodshed. With this victory Allah rescued this great city from the yoke of shirk (polytheism); it became an Islamic city forever, the city in which tawhid replaced shirk and belief replaced disbelief, and Islam and submission to Allah unseated obstinacy and haughtiness. The worship of Allah was finally declared and the idols were smashed.
During 6th year of Hijrah, the Messenger of Allah and the Quraysh signed the famous treaty of Hudaybiyah, which included the clause that any tribe that desired to join either party, the Quraysh or Muslims might do so. The Khuza`ah tribesmen decided to join the Messenger of Allah, and Banu Bakar decided to join the Quraysh.
There was bad blood between the two tribes, a pre-Islamic blood grudge. Banu Bakar seized on this opportunity and attacked the Khuza`ah without any provocation, while Quraysh, in violation of the treaty, secretly gave their allies all the help they asked for, men and supplies.
Khuza`ah had no choice but to inform the Messenger, their ally, that Banu Bakar and their allies Quraysh had unilaterally broken the treaty of Hudaybiyah by attacking them. The Messenger promised them, “I will prevent from you what I will prevent from myself.” (Ibn Hisham)
The Quraish realized they had broken the treaty with the Messenger by attacking the Muslims’ allies. Realizing the gravity of the situation, they dispatched Abu Sufyan to Madinah on a mission of fence-mending and to beg for mercy and apologize for their misdeed. Abu Sufyan went to meet the Messenger to apologize, review and extend the treaty. He spoke to the Messenger (peace be upon him) but he was disappointed because he got no response. Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca totally disheartened because he knew the future was bleak. When he arrived in Mecca, the Quraysh gathered around to find out the result of his mission. “Totally unsuccessful,” he told them.
The Messenger, on the other hand, had called his companions to prepare for war. Unlike other battles, where he concealed his destination, this time he told them exactly where they would be heading. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked the tribes around the Islamic state to enlist in the battle. He demanded that the battle plans be kept secret from the enemy until they reached Mecca because he wanted to surprise them.
The news of the Muslims’ movement was so tightly controlled that no Makkan knew of their approach until they were close to Mecca. The Messenger of Allah stopped there and ordered the army to set 10,000 bonfires. `Umar was guiding the Messenger. Because his movement was so unknown, he needed to tell the Quraysh himself that he was at their door-steps. Thus, he sent `Al-`Abbas to inform any person he could find about the Muslims’ arrival, so that they could come to him and seek some kind of peace resolution in order to prevent any bloodshed in the Sacred City.
While Al-`Abbas was on his lookout, he heard Abu Sufyan saying to his comrade, Badeel bin Zurqaa: “I have never seen a fire this big in my life.” Badeel replied this might be the Khuza`ah army. Abu Sufyan said the Khuza`ah was smaller than this. Al-`Abbas recognized his voice and called to him. Abu Sufyan answered and asked, “What do you want, Abal Fadl?” Al-`Abbas replied, “I am the messenger of the Messenger of Allah and his army of believers is heading this way.” Abu Sufyan, shocked and terrified, asked, “What should I do?” Al-`Abbas said, “Ride with me to the Messenger and I will protect you.”
When Abu-Sufyan was in front of him, the Messenger (peace be upon him) demanded: “Woe to you Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to know that there is no deity but Allah.” He replied: “By my father and mother, you know that if there were any deity beside Allah it would have helped me. The Messenger continued: “Is it not time for you to know that I am the Messenger of Allah.” Abu Sufyan hesitated for a while, so Al-`Abbas encouraged him: “Woe to you. Announce your Islam.” Abu Sufyan then declared the Shahadah, the declaration of faith.
The Messenger told Al-`Abbas to take Abu Sufyan to the foot of the valley and let him see the Muslim soldiers marching. The army paraded past Abu Sufyan, squadron after squadron. No squadron would pass but Abu Sufyan asked, “Who are those?” While they were watching, a squadron commanded by Sa`ad bin `Ubadah (may Allah be pleased with him) passed. When they were passing, Abu Sufyan overheard Sa`ad saying: “Today is the day of battle, the day of great war, the day when all taboos will be lifted.”
Hearing this, Abu Sufyan was alarmed, so when the Messenger passed by him Abu Sufyan told him what Sa`ad had just said. The Messenger said: “Sa`ad lied to you. This is the day in which the Ka`abah will be glorified, the day in which the Ka`abah will be adorned.” Then the Messenger commanded that Sa`ad be relieved of his duty as commander and that his post be given to his son Qais. Had Sa`ad been permitted to proceed, this would have violated the Messenger’s commandment that no blood should be shed in Mecca.
The Messenger proceeded to Mecca, commanding his flags to be concentrated in the area of Al-Hujun. He entered Mecca, a victorious conqueror bowing down his head as a sign of humbleness to Allah (Glory be to Him). He bowed until his head could be seen touching his horse`s neck. Meanwhile, he was reciting:
Verily We have granted thee a manifest victory. (Al-Fat-h, 48: 1)
He repeated it several times.
He put Khalid bin Walid and Az-Zubair bin `Awwam on each side of the Muslim army. The Messenger declared: “Whoever enters into the Masjid he is safe, whoever enters into the house of Abu Sufyan he is safe, whoever enters his own house and closes the door he is safe.” The Messenger entered the Masjid Al-Haram and made circumambulation on his horse. There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting:
Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish. (Al-Israa‘, 17:81)
Say: `Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything. (Saba’ 34: 49)
The Messenger entered the Ka`abah and ordered all the pictures to be destroyed. He prayed inside, and afterward he walked round saying Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), in every corner declaring the oneness of Allah (Glory be to Him). When he came out of the Ka`abah, he stood in the door and said: “There is no deity but Allah alone; He has no associates. He has made good His promise and helped His servant. He has put to flight the confederates. Every claim of privilege, of blood or property is abolished by me except the custody of the House of Allah and water for the pilgrims. The unintentional slaying in a quasi-intentional way by club or whip, for him the blood wit is most severe: a hundred camels, forty of them to be pregnant. O Quraysh, Allah has taken from you the haughtiness of paganism and its veneration of ancestors. Man springs from Adam and Adam springs from dust.” Then he recited to them this verse.
O Mankind, We created you from male and female and made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another: of a truth the most noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the most pious. (Al-Hujurat, 49: 13)
He continued: “O Quraysh, what do you think that I am about to do with you?’ They replied “Good. You are a noble, son of a noble brother.” “Well, I would say to you what Prophet Yusuf said to his brothers: `This day let no reproach be cast on you: Allah will forgive you and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy.’” (Al-Qur’an, 12: 92) He said: “Go your way for you are freed ones.”
On the second day of the campaign the Messenger (peace be upon him) addressed all of Mecca. He said: “Allah made Mecca holy the day He created heavens and earth, and it will be holy until the Day of Resurrection. It is not lawful for anyone who believes in Allah and the last day to shed blood therein, nor to cut down trees therein. It was not lawful to any one before me and it will not be lawful to anyone after me. Indeed, it is not lawful for me except at this time because of Allah’s anger against its people. Now it has regained its former holiness. Let those here now tell those that are not here. If anyone should say, the Messenger killed men in Mecca, say Allah permitted His Messenger to do so but he does not permit you.” The hour that Allah permitted the Messenger was from sunrise to late afternoon on the day of campaign.
The Messenger stayed in Mecca 29 days, while shortening his prayers. He stayed to educate the newly converted Makkans in the basic teachings of Islam, tawhid, to reinforce their iman, and take allegiance from the people.
With this great victory, people entered into the fold of Islam in droves.
Source: Taken from the author’s Ramadan the Fasting Month.