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    Renew your devotion through Hajj!

    [2:125]

    We have rendered the shrine (the Ka`aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.”

    As per the word of Allah that is the Quran, Allah gives the humanity the Ka`aba, a focal point and a safe sanctuary for the people who have tremendous faith and complete submission in Him. Hajj alone has the power to purify a person with all kinds of sin and convert him into a newborn without any iniquity.

    [3:97]

    “And Hajj to the Kabah is a duty that mankind incur to Allah, those who can afford the expenses”.

    Hajj is considered as one of five pillars of Islam. Allah instructs every Muslims to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime, if they are fit physically, mentally and financially for it. A mere preparation of hajj heightens one’s love for Allah as it is solely done for pleasing Allah. With one’s heart yearning to achieve the goal, one turn out to be purer in both thoughts and deeds.

    [2:189]

    They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj.” It is not righteous to beat around the bush;* righteousness is attained by upholding the commandments and by being straightforward. You shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.

    Hajj enables a person to synchronise their inner self with the universe. Every tiny bit of the Universe submits towards Allah’s grace. Each of them obeys the rule set by Him without any mistake. Like them, humankind is also instructed to obey Allah. Feeling the brotherhood shared between two people is also important as it teaches to treat each other well. Wearing the same cloths, following the same routine makes a person feels the similarity and helps them to love each other more. Love, belongingness, the essence of understanding beyond the words alone can unite Humankind for a better future.
    Hajj will also act as a cleaning process that allows human to take a significant rest from their hasty daily routine and surrender themselves to Allah for seeking forgiveness. Human beings are not perfect. In contrast, they are all full of sins. Hajj acts as a shower that washes away every transgression and makes a person just like a newborn baby with no sin. Thus, Hajj brings pleasure that is beyond the materialistic world. It allows a person to attain its true nature that is to be in peace.

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    Hajj an obligatory duty

    عَنِ غَنِيٌّ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ كَفَرَ سَبِيلًاوَمَن إِلَيْهِ اسْتَطَاعَ مَنِ الْبَيْتِ حِجُّ النَّاسِ عَلَى وَلِلَّهِ الْعَالَمِين

    “And Pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.”

    (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse # 97)

    Why is Hajj an obligatory duty?

    Allah has created humankind to worship Him. However, the human becomes entangled with mundane life and forget about Him. Merciful Allah thus presents Hajj an obligatory duty that is a unique blend of prayers, zakat and fasting. Hajj gives us the opportunity to surrender ourselves to the glory of Allah and seek forgiveness. All that Allah asks for is to be mindful towards Him and submit.

    Materialistic thoughts are not able to provide the peace of mind that all men are looking for ages. Duties, stress, hectic work pressure and other tension pull you away from your true nature that is to be close to Allah. Hajj allows a man to forget about everything, get detached from rest of the world, submerged in the thoughts of Allah, and find the peace in His arms.

    Allah makes Hajj an obligatory duty, done once in a lifetime, to all the Muslim people who are sound mentally,  physically and financially. Every Muslim also needs to ensure that they are fulfilled all their worldly responsibility before that.

    Allah has created humankind to worship Him. However, the human becomes entangled with mundane life and forget about Him. Merciful Allah thus presents Hajj an obligatory duty that is a unique blend of prayers, zakat and fasting. Hajj gives us the opportunity to surrender ourselves to the glory of Allah and seek forgiveness. All that Allah asks for is to be mindful towards Him and submit.

    Materialistic thoughts are not able to provide the peace of mind that all men are looking for ages. Duties, stress, hectic work pressure and other tension pull you away from your true nature that is to be close to Allah. Hajj allows a man to forget about everything, get detached from rest of the world, submerged in the thoughts of Allah, and find the peace in His arms.

    Allah makes Hajj an obligatory duty, done once in a lifetime, to all the Muslim people who are physically, mentally and financially sound. Every Muslim also needs to ensure that they are fulfilled all their worldly responsibility before that.

    When is it performed?

    As per Islamic calendar, capable Muslims are required to travel to Makkah with an intention to perform Hajj. Each year Hajj starts on the 8th day of the lunar month, Dhu al-Hijjah. Hajj is a five-day-long process that lies between the 8-12th days of the lunar month. The solar calendar (Gregorian calendar) precedes the lunar calendar (Islamic calendar) by around ten days every year. Due to this reason, hajj falls 10-11 days earlier than its previous year dates in the Gregorian calendar.

    Hajj an obligatory duty includes many rituals such as wearing Irham, staying and offering prayer in Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah, performing Ramy (throwing seven pebbles) at Jamarat-al-Ula’, ‘Jamarat-al-Wusta’ and ‘Jamarat-al-Aqaba’ and sacrificing the animal in the name of Allah. They also need to perform Tawaaf (seven times anti clock circumambulations around the Kaaba; Starting from the Hajar-al-Aswad), drinking water from Zamzam well, Sa’y (to and fro walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah seven times) and performing Qasar or Halaq (a ritual of cutting hair either entirely or trimming it equal to a length of a fingertip).

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    Quran_and_hadith

     

    The significance of Hajj in Quran

    Humankind is presented with a great occasion to get liberated from daily chores and devote them in the full grace of Him. Allah Subḥānahu wa-taʿālā (May He be glorified and exalted) emphasises the significance of Hajj in the Quran in several Sorahs. Verses that illustrate the significance of Hajj in Quran and Hadeeth are given below.

    “And announce to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every sinewy camel; they will come from every deep and distant (to perform Hajj)”. (22:27)

    “We have accomplished the shrine (The Holy Kabah) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctum. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We empower Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify my house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who nod and prostrate”. (2:125)

    “They ask you about the facet of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing contrivance for the people, and determine the time of Hajj”. It is not creditable to beat around the bush; righteousness is acquire by upholding the commandments and by being straightforward. You shall observe GOD that you may succeed”. (2:189)

    Quran also says that Allah is pleased towards those people who seek forgiveness. When people pray at Arafat by doing Wakuf or achieve His grace at the sacred location of Muzdalifah, they simply honour Him for guiding them. Those who have gone adrift before can achieve Allah’s grace by performing Hajj. Merciful Allah does not need you to worship him, but it is for your benefit He creates Hajj. Performing Hajj is like to securing a place in heaven and seeking Allah’s mercy on the final judgment day.

    The significance of Hajj in Hadeeth

    Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), has performed only one hajj in His lifetime. Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), has also declared hajj a JIHAD for children, women, old and weak people. Numerous Hadeeth on hajj explain the significance of Hajj, some of the Hadeeth about hajj are given below:

    Ibn e Umar R.A articulates that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), has said: “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of Allah, subsidising regular prayer, paying Zakah, Hajj and fasting Ramadan”. (Al- Bukhari 8; Muslim 16)

    Abu Hurayrah RA has stated that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH),  is asked which endeavour is the greatest. He has replied, “Belief in Allah and His messenger”. He is asked, what does come after that? He has said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah”. He is asked, then what? He finally has said, “An accepted Hajj”. (Al-Bukhari 26; Muslim 83)

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    Spiritual teachings from Hajj

    Hajj is a journey of mind that flows from ritual to spiritual course. Each ritual of Hajj has a deep spiritual meaning that teaches humankind to be kind and experience the presence of Allah in every tiny bit of the universe. It provides humankind with a unique opportunity to come out from their comfort zone and explore the world outside with ‘Taqwa’ inside their heart. Hence, the experience of Hajj not only save the people in the Judgment day but also assists them to lead their lives in a more aware state of mind.

    Remembrance of Death

    One of the important steps of Hajj is wearing ‘Irhams’. ‘Irhams’ makes a person remember about ‘Kafan’. ‘Kafan’ is also regarded as the symbol of death in Islam. Remembrance of death helps a true Muslim to accumulate ‘Taqwa’ and assists people to fight sins as well as disobedience. For the purpose of Hajj; one has to give up regular clothing and wear two clean, unstitched, white clothes. Similarly, one needs to compose a clean as well as pure heart by polish it daily with “Dhikr” and seeking forgiveness.

    Eternal Journey

    The Hajj journey resembles the journey to Allah and the Hereafter. When one starts, the journey one has to leave everything behind, your homeland and family and surrender to Allah. Travelling is leaving every comfort behind and prepare for unknown to be known. This journey will make you remember how short one’s life is and how insignificant one’s desire in compared to the whole universe. Anything that is real in this unreal world is Allah. Only that is eternal truth rest is just illusion.

    Face the Satan and defeat it

    Ramy, which is throwing seven pebbles at each of the three pillars representing Satan is one of the important steps of Hajj. This Hajj step resembles an incident in the life of prophet Ibraaheem who was instructed by almighty Alla to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah. While he is preparing his mind for this tough but great deed, Satan comes three times and to prevent him from sacrificing his son thus to disobey Allah. Similarly, in our real life, we often visited by Satan in our mind who prevent us from following the path directed by Allah. We must throw pebbles of good thought to abolish the Satan and remain on the path that is shown by Allah’s Messenger Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH).

     

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    The significance of Dhu al-Hijjah

    A long wait for a year is finished, and we are in the auspicious month of Dhu al-Hijjah.  Every Muslim knows how important this month is but little do they know about its actual significance. However, that is what this post is all about. You may be overloaded with the information relating to the deeds that you may have to do on these auspicious days. However, you get little information regarding the reason behind those deeds. In the following portion, a short and handy guide to Dhu al-Hijjah is given for your convenience.

    What is Dhu al-Hijjah?

    Unlike the Gregorian calendar, Hijri calendar depends on the movement of Moon. Each month of Hijri calendar is started with the new moon. Dhu al-Hijjah is the twelfth month of Hijri calendar. The name of the month, Dhu al-Hijjah, means ‘the month of the pilgrimage”. During this month, pious Muslim set their religious journey towards Makkah. Eighth to the twelfth day of Dhu al-Hijjah is marked for the various religious ceremonies, which collectively forms Hajj. Hajj is also considered as one of the five pillars of Islam. Additionally, it is mandatory for every adult Muslim who has enough money to make the trip.

    Fasting

    Fasting allows people to instil God-fearing piety, righteousness, and mindfulness within us. These virtues help us to maintain good character, patience, generosity, purity of heart, and many more. Thus fasting serves the purpose of a shield that protects us from sin and finally retribution of Allah on the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter. Islam proposes three level of fasting that helps a true Muslim to attain “Taqwa”. These are abstention from drink and food, abstention from sins, and abstention from bad thoughts.

    You can keep fast on any day but fasting on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah is considered as the most significant fasting. This day is also marked as the day of Arafah.  In accordance with Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), fasting on this day forgive the sins of the past year as well as the coming Islamic year. It is also important to be mentioned here that; fasting on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day of Eid al Adha also known as the Greater Eid, is prohibited.

    Sacrifice                                            

    Hajj is the representation of life events of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him (PBUH), his two wives, Sarah as well as Hajar and two sons Ismail as well as Isaac. In order to understand the significance of sacrifice, you must know the story behind this act. Eid-ul-Adha is a festival to offer tribute the colossal sacrifice that was done by Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him (PBUH). Ibrahim was instructed by Allah to sacrifice his extremely beloved son, Ismail, as a test of submission. Ibrahim willingly follows to Allah’s command; however, Allah, by His compassion, swaps Ismail at the time of sacrifice with a lamb. Unlike Pagan ritual, Allah does not want the meat or blood of the sacrificing animal what Allah instructed to humankind is selfless obedience, it the essence of sacrifice.

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