The Ultimate Muslim Warriors

Fearing not the blame of any blamer

Prelude

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah (swt), the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

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The Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices and institutions known as the five pillars of Islam. Pilgrimage is not undertaken in Islam to the shrines of saints, to monasteries for help from holy men, or to sights where miracles are supposed to have occurred, even though we may see many Muslims do this. Pilgrimage is made to the Kaaba, found in the sacred city of Makkah in Saudi Arab, the ‘House of Allah (swt)’, whose sanctity rests in that the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (as) built it for the worship of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) rewarded him by attributing the House to Himself, in essence honoring it, and by making it the devotional epicenter which all Muslims face when offering the prayers (salaat). The rites of pilgrimage are performed today exactly as did by Ibrahim (as), and after him by Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Pilgrimage is viewed as a particularly meritorious activity. Pilgrimage serves as a penance – the ultimate forgiveness for sins, devotion, and intense spirituality. The pilgrimage to Mecca, the most sacred city in Islam, is required of all physically and financially able Muslims once in their life. The pilgrimage rite begins a few months after Ramadan, on the 8th day of the last month of the Islamic year of Dhul-Hijjah, and ends on the 13th day. Mecca is the center towards which the Muslims converge once a year, meet and refresh in themselves the faith that all Muslims are equal and deserve the love and sympathy of others, irrespective of their race or ethnic origin. The racial harmony fostered by Hajj is perhaps best captured by Malcolm X on his historic pilgrimage:

“Every one of the thousands at the airport, about to leave for Jeddah, was dressed this way. You could be a king or a peasant and no one would know. Some powerful personages, who were discreetly pointed out to me, had on the same thing I had on. Once thus dressed, we all had begun intermittently calling out “Labbayka! (Allahumma) Labbayka!” (At your service, O Lord!) Packed in the plane were white, black, brown, red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blond hair, and my kinky red hair – all together, brothers! All honoring the same God, all in turn giving equal honor to each other . . .”

Thus the pilgrimage unites the Muslims of the world into one international fraternity. More than two million persons perform the Hajj each year, and the rite serves as a unifying force in Islam by bringing followers of diverse backgrounds together in worship. In some Muslim societies, once a believer has made the pilgrimage, he is often labeled with the title ‘hajji’ ; this, however, is a cultural (an innovation), rather than religious custom. Finally, the Hajj is a manifestation of the belief in the unity of Allah (swt)- all the pilgrims worship and obey the commands of the One God.

At certain stations on the caravan routes to Makkah, or when the pilgrim passes the point nearest to those stations, the pilgrim enters the state of purity known as ihram. In this state, the certain ‘normal’ actions of the day and night become impermissible for the pilgrims, such as covering the head, clipping the fingernails, and wearing normal clothing in regards to men. Males remove their clothing and don the garments specific to this state of ihram, two white seamless sheets that are wrapped around the body. All this increases the reverence and sanctity of the pilgrimage, the city of Mecca, and month of Dhul-Hijjah. There are 5 stations, one on the coastal plains northwest of Mecca towards Egypt and one south towards Yemen, while three lie north or eastwards towards Medina, Iraq and al-Najd. The simple garb signifies the equality of all humanity in Allah’s (swt) sight, and the removal of all worldly affections. After entering the state of ihram, the pilgrim proceeds to Makkah and awaits the start of the Hajj. On the 7th of Dhu al-Hijjah the pilgrim is reminded of his duties, and at the commence of the ritual, which takes place between the 8th and the 12th days of the month, the pilgrim visits the holy places outside Makkah – Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Minaa – and sacrifices an animal in commemoration of Ibrahim’s (as) sacrifice. The pilgrim then shortens or shaves their head, and, after throwing seven stones at specific pillars at Minaa on three or four successive days, and heads for the central mosque where he walks seven times around the sacred sanctuary, or Kaaba, in the Great Mosque, and ambulates, walking and running, seven times between the two small hills of Mt. Safaa and Mt. Marwah.

Apart from Hajj, the “minor pilgrimage” or Umrah is undertaken by Muslims during the rest of the year. Performing the Umrah does not fulfill the obligation of Hajj. It is similar to the major and obligatory Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj), and pilgrims have the choice of performing the Umrah separately or in combination with the Hajj. As in the Hajj, the pilgrim begins the umrah by assuming the state of ihram. They enter Makkah and circle the sacred shrine of the Kaaba seven times. He may then touch the Black Stone, if he can, pray behind the Maqam Ibrahim, drink the holy water of the Zamzam spring. The ambulation between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven times and the shortening or shaving of the head complete the Umrah.

  • Prelude to the Rulings of Hajj:

Verily all praise is for Allaah, we praise Him and seek His aid, and we ask for His forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allaah has guided, none can misguide him, and whomsoever Allaah has mis- guided, none can guide him, and I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, without any partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

To proceed,

Verily the desire to make Knowledge easily accessible to the public has called me to explain the rites of Hajj and to do that by extracting these from my original book: “the Hajj of the Prophet as narrated by Jaabir ” – in the same way that I produced an abridgement of my book on the Prophet’s manner of Prayer – except that I have herein included many important additions not found in the original – and I have been careful to record their source and authenticity – along with other additions with I have added in accordance with the method used in my other books as regards quoting the standard Hadith along with its source – in abridged form – while usually referring the reader to my other books – some of which have been published and some of which have not. As for what is to be found in my original book on Hajj, then I have not quoted the sources in full herein – regarding it as sufficient that reader should refer back to the original as it is widely available to the honourable readers – so anyone who wishes to check on such a point will find it easy to refer back to and I will refer to it as ‘The Original’. And to add to the usefulness of the book I have ended it with a brief mention of the innovations connected with Hajj and visiting Madinah.

And I have called it “The Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah” from the Book and the Sunnah and Narrations from the Pious Predecessors.

I ask Allaah the Blessed and Most High to make all my work good and sincerely for His Face and that should be no sharer in that with Him.

[(Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaani) (Damascus, 21st Sha’baan 1395 H)]

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Written by al Muddaththir

January 31, 2005 at 6:34 pm

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