Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

Read N Write Ad

The Muslim Bloggers Alliance

The Muslim Bloggers Alliance
Bringing Muslim Bloggers Together

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hajj - The Spiritual Journey of the Mukmins to Makkah Al Mukkarramah and Madinah Al Munawwarah, Arabia - Islam's holiest sites.





Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Dear brothers and sisters, fellow Children of the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam.

I would like to share with you the reasons why Allah the Almighty commands those of us who have the means and are able to travel, to go perform the Hajj, at least once in our glorious lives if we can just to capture that essence of the Oneness of Mankind.

The Hajj is also a stage of spiritual exercise in ridding oneself from the negativeness and to open up to a whole world of realization that this life is just what we make out of it by our decisions and deeds, both good and bad.

I don't have to rewrite all that there is about the Hajj for the brothers and sisters over at http://www.ediscoverislam.com/About-Islam/The-religion-of-Islam/a-history-of-the-hajj have done a pretty good job at it.

Here is their article about the Hajj with a few corrections in typographical mistakes and appropriateness of content that I have made.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hajj literally means ‘to set out for a place’. Islamically, however, it refers to the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Makkah with the intention of performing certain religious rites in accordance with the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad, may the Mercy and Blessings of God be upon him.

Hajj and its rites were first ordained by God in the time of the Prophet Abraham and he was the one who was entrusted by God to rebuild the Kaaba - the House of God - along with his son Ishmael at Makkah.

* From what I learned from my study and research about the Ka'abah, it was first raised at the exact spot there in Makkah or Bakkah as it was referred to before the times of Prophet Abraham by Our Father, the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam with the help of Allah's Malaikats @ Angels.

The original building of the Ka'abah was destroyed by the huge floods in the time of Prophet Nuh @ No'ah Alaihis Salam.

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala inspired Nabi Ibrahim @ Abraham Alaihis Salam to rebuild the Ka'abah at the same spot in Makkah al Mukkarramah as Allah's House of Worship @ 'Bait'ullah'.

God described the Kaaba and its building as follows:

“And remember when We showed Abraham the site of the [Sacred] House [saying]: Associate not anything [in worship with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it [i.e. perform Tawaf] and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration [in prayer etc.].” (Quran 22:26)

After building the Kaaba, Abraham would come to Makkah to perform Hajj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son. However, gradually with the passage of time, both the form and the goal of the Hajj rites were changed.

As idolatry spread throughout Arabia, the Kaaba lost its purity and idols were placed inside it. Its walls became covered with poems and paintings, including one of Jesus and his mother Mary. Eventually over 360 idols came to be placed around the Kaaba.

During the Hajj period itself, the atmosphere around the sacred precincts of the Kaaba was like a circus.

Men and women would go round the Kaaba naked, arguing that they should present themselves before God in the same condition they were born.

Their prayer became devoid of all sincere remembrance of God and was instead reduced to a series of hand clapping, whistling and the blowing of horns.

Even the Hajj call was distorted by them with the following additions: “No one is Your partner except one who is permitted by you. You are his Master and the Master of what he possesses.”

Sacrifices were also made in the name of God. However, the blood of the sacrificed animals was poured onto the walls of the Kaaba and the flesh was hung from pillars around the Kaaba, in the belief that God demanded the flesh and blood of these animals.

Singing, drinking, adultery and other acts of immorality was rife amongst the pilgrims and the poetry competitions, which were held, were a major part of the whole Hajj event.

In these competitions, poets would praise the bravery and splendor of their own tribesmen and tell exaggerated tales of the cowardice and miserliness of other tribes.

Competitions in generosity were also staged where the chief of each tribe would set up huge cauldrons and feed the pilgrims, only so that they could become well-known for their extreme generosity.

Thus the people had totally abandoned the teachings of their forefather and leader Abraham.

The House that he had made pure for the worship of God alone, had been totally desecrated by the pagans and the rites which he had established were completely distorted by them.

This sad state of affairs continued for nearly two and a half thousand years.

But then after this long period, the time came for the supplication of Abraham to be answered:

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them your verses and instruct them in the book and the Wisdom and sanctify them. Verily you are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Quran 2:129)

Sure enough, a man by the name of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was born in the very city that Abraham had made this supplication centuries earlier.

For twenty-three years, the Prophet Muhammad, may the Mercy and Blessings of God be upon him, spread the Message of Monotheism - the same message that Abraham and all the other Prophets came with - and established the law of God upon the land.

He expended every effort into making the word of God supreme and his victory over falsehood culminated in the smashing of the idols inside the Kaaba which once again became the universal centre for the worshippers of the one True God.

Not only did the Prophet rid the Kaaba of all its impurities, but he also reinstated all the rites of Hajj which were established by God’s Permission, in the time of Abraham.

Specific injunctions in the Quran were revealed in order to eliminate all the false rites which had become rampant in the pre-Islamic period.

All indecent and shameful acts were strictly banned in God’s statement:

“There is to be no lewdness nor wrangles during Hajj.” (Quran 2:197)

Competitions among poets in the exaltation's of their forefathers and their tribesmen’s achievements were all stopped.

Instead, God told them:

“And when you have completed your rites [of Hajj] then remember God as you remember your forefathers; nay with a more vigorous remembrance.” (Quran 2:200)

Competitions in generosity were also prohibited.

Of course, the feeding of the poor pilgrims was still encouraged as this was done in the time of Abraham, but God commanded that the slaughtering of the animals which was done for this purpose should be done seeking the pleasure of God rather than fame and the praise of the people.

He said:

“So mention the name of God over these animals when they are drawn up in lines. Then, when they are drawn on their sides [after the slaughter], eat thereof and feed the beggar who does not ask, and the beggar who asks.” (Quran 22:36)

As for the deplorable practice of spattering blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of the Kaaba and hanging their flesh on alters, then God clearly informed them that:

“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches God, but it is Taqwaa (piety) from you that reaches Him.” (Quran 22:37)

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, also put a stop to the practice of circling the Kaaba in a state of nudity and the argument that the pagans put forward to justify this ritual was sharply rebutted in God’s question:

“Say: Who has forbidden the adornment [i.e. clothes] given by God which He has produced for His Slaves?” (Quran 7:32)

Another custom which was prohibited through the Quran was that of setting off for Hajj without taking any provisions for the journey.

In the pre-Islamic period, some people who claimed righteousness, having total dependency on God, would travel to perform Hajj begging for food through the whole journey.

They considered this form of behavior as a sign of piety and as an indication of how much faith they had in God?

However God told mankind that to have sufficient provisions for the journey was one of the preconditions for making Hajj.

He said:

“And take a provision [with you] for the journey, but the best provision is piety.” (Quran 2:197)

In this way, all the pre-Islamic practices, which were based in ignorance, were abolished and the Hajj was once more made a model of piety, fear of God, purity, simplicity and austerity.

Now, when the pilgrims reached the Kaaba, they no longer found the carnivals and the frolic and frivolity that had once occupied the minds of the pilgrims there before.

Now, there was the remembrance of God at every step and every action and every sacrifice was devoted to Him alone.

It was this kind of Hajj that is worthy of the reward of paradise, as the Prophet said:

“The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than paradise.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

* Italics show my personal comments or views.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, to address the misinformation that Islam forces each and every Muslim, male and female, rich or poor to go on the Hajj, is simply a clear sign that the idiot at http://surind.blogspot.com has no bloody clue at all as to what he has lambasted at his lying blog!

Just to educate him and those who are as clueless as him, here are the facts about Islam sourced from http://ediscoverislam.com :

What are the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam?

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able!

1. FAITH

There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.

This declaration of faith is called the Shaahadah, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce.

In Arabic, the first part is "La ilaaha il - lal - ’laah-" @ There is no god except Allah’.

'Ilaaha ' (God) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God-wealth, power, and like.

Then comes ' Il - lal - ‘laah:’ except Allah’, the Creator of all things.

The second part of the Shahaadah is 'Muhammadun rasoolul-laah!' @ Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ A Message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.

2. PRAYER
Salaah is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God.

There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and no priests, so the prayers, are led by a learned person who knows the Qur’an, chosen by the congregation.

These five daily prayers contain verses from the Qur’an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day.

Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities.

Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

A translation of the Call to Prayer is:

'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! @ 'Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest!
'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! @ 'Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest!

'Ash har doo Allah ila ha ill lall Laah @ I testify that there is no god except Allah.
'Ash har doo Allah ila ha ill lall Laah @ I testify that there is no god except Allah.

'Ash har doo anna Muhammad dar Rasulullah! @ I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

'Ash har doo anna Muhammad dar Rasulullah! @ I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

'Hayya `alas Salaah!' @ Come to prayer!

'Hayya `alas Salaah!' @ Come to prayer!

'Hayya `alal Falaah! @ Come to success (in the life and the Hereafter)!

'Hayya `alal Falaah! @ Come to success (in the life and the Hereafter)!

'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! @ 'Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest!

'La ila ha ill lall Laah! @ There is no god except Allah.

3. THE ‘ZAKAAH’
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that material wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust.

The word zakaah means both ‘purification’ and growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s surplus savings.

A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqah, and does so preferably in secret.

Although this word can be translated as voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning.

The Prophet (pbuh) said : ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’

The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.’

He was asked’ What if a person has nothing?’

The Prophet (pbuh) replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’

The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’

The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘He should help the poor and needy persons.’

The Companions further asked, ‘What if he cannot do even that?’

The Prophet (pbuh) said : ' He should urge others to do good.’

The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’

The Prophet (pbuh) said : 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’

4. THE FAST
Every year in the month of Ramadaan, all Muslim fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year.

If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed.

Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification.

By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry which leads to growth in one’s spiritual life.

5. PILGRIMAGE (Hajj)
The annual pilgrimage to Makkah the Hajj - is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it.

Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another.

Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter).

Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the Hajj, which were begun by Prophet Abraham, include circling the Ka’bah seven times, and going seven times between the mountains Safaa and Marwah as Hajar did during her search for water.

Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of ‘Arafah and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgement.

In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities are provided for the millions who take part in the pilgrimage.

The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, ‘Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

This, and the ‘Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslims’ calendar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That is just the 5 pillars of faith that we Muslims are obliged to put to practice and perform to the best of our abilities.

We are also enjoined to put to practice our 6 Principles of Iman @ Faith in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and accessible online at numerous sites.

You may want to read about them here in the Wikipedia.

Dear readers,

There is no excuse anymore for those of us who are surfing the web online here. All information about Islam is now made available by those of us who have the means to do so using the internet and there are hundreds of thousands of good informative websites and blogs which teach and share the truth about the ONLY FAITH that God Almighty Himself has revealed to us Mankind through His Greatest and Final Messenger, Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, the Unlettered Prophet, the Chosen One, the Mercy of Allah for All Creation and us Mankind!

Just type 'Islam' into your search engine and see for yourself the huge number of websites available for one to access, read and learn from them.

Here is what I found using Google Search : http://www.google.com.my/search?q=Islam&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Results 1 - 10 of about 133,000,000 for Islam [definition]. (0.11 seconds)

Brothers and sisters,

133,000,000 websites and still counting!

Even if you visit just .oo1% of those websites, there are 1330 websites worth visiting!

You can bet that you will just exhaust yourself in trying to surf even 13 of those websites!!!

You might want to reconfirm and check the contents for accuracy and facts with your nearest Muslim religious teacher, scholar or cleric?

Yet we have numbskulls such as the offending blogger and his atheist guru spew nonsense about Allah the Almighty and Islam today as seen here!

I am by nature a peaceloving Muslim and have lots of friends who aren't Muslims yet we respect each other and accord to each their own space to live and let live as we wish?

As Malaysians, we are enjoined to respect and honor each other as fellow citizens but sometimes brainless vermin such as these spoil our day and make us angry to the stage where we are forced to react and respond accordingly to this recalcitrant blogger who has posted the following update in his so called blog :

"Please note that the video and content of the article do not reflect my views exactly - which does not matter & of which anyone here will ever know about. The Muslim NGO & Blogger ultra fundamentalists have been calling for me to remove this post & have even called for their fellow Hidup Melayu! Fan Club to make police reports. This post will not be removed, as if 'forwarding' something that someone else has said & of whom I do not even know personally, is considered a crime in this country, I would like the whole world to know about it. So Hasbullah Pit & Mahaguru58, & all the Anonymous commenters below, thanks for giving coverage to this Anti-Theist Atheist Cosmopolite-Socialist, named Surind :)"

I would like to ask this blogger @ Surind Raj, that if he says that the insulting full of lies and hatred against Islam and all that it stands for video together with its accompanying transliteration in textual content do not reflect your views, why the hell have you knowingly posted it knowing full well that its hurtful and offensive to us Muslims, throughout the entire world?

I hold you responsible for this attack against us and promise you that I will see to it that you pay for this balsphemy against Allah the Almighty, the Blessed Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and us Muslims!

I want to see whether the Minister of Internal Security Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Albar is going to act upon this blatant breach of the laws here in this country as he is appointed to enforce and see to it that the ones such as this Surind fellow can be allowed to get away with this attack against Islam?

I also want to see whether the Malay Rulers who are said to be the Keepers of the Faith of Islam are going to do anything about this direct assault upon the very faith that Their Majesties are supposed to look after?

I want to see whether JAKIM has it in them to take immediate action upon this Kaffir who prides himself as
Anti-Theist Atheist Cosmopolite-Socialist, named Surind?

Surind,

I will be lodging a police report today at Kuantan. See whether you still have the balls to remain defiant you sick confused one!

Post a Comment