Islamic circle of North America (Canada Sisters)
Dear friends! Assalaamualaikum,
We hope that with Allah’s mercy you all are in good health and had a good Ramadan and Eid. As we all know the month of Zil-Hajj is around the corner. Some of us are very lucky and getting ready for Hajj, and others who can’t go will join them spiritually.
“IMPORTANCE OF HAJJ”
We all know Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam, meaning it is a must on Muslims if they have all the means to do so. None of us should delay this duty of Hajj because we don’t know how long we are going to live. Allah says in the Quran: “Allah has therefore, a right on the people that whoever has the means to journey to his house should make a pilgrimage to it. And whoever refuses to obey this command should know that Allah needs no favor from any one in the world.” (3:97)
Its explanation is found in two Ahadith of the Prophet (PBUH) “Whosoever possesses provisions and conveyance for the journey to the house of Allah, but in spite of this, does not perform Hajj, and then his dying is like the dying of a Jew or a Christian. (Tirmidhi)
“The person who makes up his mind to go on pilgrimage should make haste to perform this obligation. It is possible that he may be taken ill, or his she-camel may get lost, or perhaps an event occurs which makes it impossible for him to go to the Hajj.” (Ibn-Maja)
The implication is serious and in the explanation of this we see that Hadhrat Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I wish to impose jizya (poll tax meant especially for non-Muslims who were exempt from conception) on those who do not perform Hajj in spite of possessing the required means. They are not Muslims; they are not Muslims at all.”
From Quran, Hadith, and the saying of the caliph of the prophet, we can clearly see that Hajj is not something we can delay or do whenever it suites us to do so, but it is obligatory at least once in a lifetime. It is so sad to see that some of us keep delaying Hajj, especially those who have all the means. They go back home, take trips to Europe but never bother to think about performing Hajj at all. After knowing the order of Allah and not listening to “Him”, mean that one is not surrendering to Allah. How can we say this is the attitude of a believer? Thus all of us who have not gone to Hajj should pray to Allah (S.W.T.) to give the means and when He does, should not delay this duty.
“BENEFITS OF HAJJ”
Allah says in Quran: “so that they may witness things that are of benefit to them” (22:28). Indeed there are so many benefits, but one has to experience himself as narrated about Abu-Hanifa, he was not sure which act of worship is more excellent among the various worships of Islam. After he performed Hajj, he had no hesitation in declaring that Hajj was the most excellent of all.
The Holy prophet has told us, “The person who came on pilgrimage to the house of Allah, then neither committed an indecent act (Rafatha), nor indulge in any disobedience of Allah, he will return home as pure (of sins) as he was in the day his mother bore him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The scholars say in Hajj, there are virtues of Salat, fasting, and Zakat all together and if we combine these all and look at it as a whole, we can see that Hajj is training for Muslims so they can prepare to face any hardship in their life and in the way of Allah.
There are lessons of courage and determination in the journey of Hajj. When a person walks around the Ka’bah (the central point of Deen), an attachment develops with it, and with all the rituals one does during the Hajj such as running from place to place and repeated departures and halts, he receives the training to live a life of a person who is ready to strive in the way of Allah any time.
Among us, those who are lucky enough to go to Hajj this year, should take advantage of this fortunate journey and spend each minute of it in the remembrance of our Rabb but remember this is a good opportunity for Da’wah also. During the Hajj we get the opportunity to meet Muslims from different parts of the world so we should try to know and learn from each other without getting involved in unnecessary Fiqhi discussion (because there are slight variations in Fiqh and Hajj practices among different people, unless there is a clear mistake according to Quran and Sunnah).
Try to say “Salam” to each other and meet with smile even if you don’t know them. Try to be helpful to others (This gives the feeling of brother/sisterhood and the sense of unity). You can take some extra Quran or cassettes and the books of supplications to give to them who don’t have, so they can remember you later and it will be Sadqa-e-jaria and a tool of Da’wah for you.
“PREPERATION OF HAJJ”
Before going to Hajj one should prepare carefully and take the important things with them. The best one, of course as Allah says:
“And take provisions for the journey (to perform Hajj) for verily the best provision is the fear of Allah (Taqwa)” [2:197]
(Taqwa is the state of that heart which is full of Allah’s Greatness and fearful of His anger and trying to keep away from the sins.)
1) One should start making preparation with total devotion to Allah and with the intention only to please Allah.
2) Ask Allah that your Hajj be protected from any wrong motives or actions and will be a Hajj-e-Mabroor (one without any mistakes, committing sins and according to Quran and Sunnah).
3) Pray to Allah to make this journey and performing Hajj easy for you.
4) Try to get in habit of walking daily, start with 20 to 30 minutes in the beginning and then go to an hour at least so you will not be exhausted during the Hajj. Use this walking time to memorize the prayers which should be offered during the Hajj and practice saying Talbiyah. These may be found in the books of traditions, in the words of the holy prophet (S.A.W.).
5) Study books on Hajj and its rites to know all aspects of Hajj process so you can be more confident of what you are doing. You will also be able to help and guide your less knowledgeable companions and answer their questions.
6) Starts making an honest effort to resolve your differences with others and ask forgiveness from those you have hurt the feelings in the past. This is based on specific instructions of Prophet (p.b.u.h).
7) There are some things which are very important to take with you make the list of them so you won’t forget any but the most important thing is to take a copy of the Qur’an with a translation, (so whenever you have time you should try to recite and understand the words of Allah rather than wasting your time. There will be many such times, like waiting at the airport, traveling in the bus, in Masjid-e-Nabawi, in the Haram and at Mina when some times you don’t have any other thing to do), a book on Seerat-un-Nabi, and the book of Supplications.
8) During the “Tawa’f” some people either recite long prayers (duas) reading from a book of duas or someone recites it loud while others repeat after them, instead we should try to memorize these dua’s by heart with their meanings so we know what we are asking from Allah and will have more devotion. Small dua’s known with meaning are better than longer ones without.
There is a saying of the Prophet (S.A.W):“The people who come to
perform Hajj or Umrah are the guests of Allah: if they pray to Allah
(their host) for something, He will grant their prayers, and if they
implore Him for forgiveness, He will forgive them.”(Ibn-Maja) The
pilgrim may pray in a fashion and language of his choosing. Books of
Hajj, however do recommend some prayers, many of which have their
origin in books of Ahadith.
9) Try to learn the Fiqh of congregational and funeral prayer so when the time arrives at the Haram one is aware of how to perform it (especially ladies).
10) Remember Hajj is not a pleasure trip so try to take the hardships during the Hajj as a part of sacrifice expected of you, sacrifice of the pleasures and temptations of every day of life, even the sacrifice of one’s mood and feelings and do every thing according to the desire of your Creator. Patience and understanding go a long way towards making your Hajj more meaningful and enjoyable.
11) Try not to lose your patience and be caring and compassionate, because you will be faced with many situations and considerable physical demands of Hajj which make people short of temper but remember you are on Hajj and stay focused on your mission. Try to have a positive attitude towards others. Remember that Allah says: “There should be no ungodliness and there should be no quarrels.” [2:197]
12) There will be opportunities all the times to buy gold, watches, hijabs, jilbabs and so many other things. We know there is nothing wrong in doing so but we should limit ourselves and use our precious time (Which may be once in a lifetime chance) in shopping wisely.
13) Please keep the name, address and the telephone number of your group leader as well as of your place of residence with you at all times. Wear the bracelet issued by them and carry your picture ID card at all times. They will prove to be invaluable, should something happen to you (Allah forbid) or if you get lost.
14) While traveling, put some kind of bright sign on your luggage (like small peace of ribbon on your suit case or a colored belt around it) so you can easily recognize it.
15) Please spend some time in studying and memorizing the layout and the location of your tent at Mina and Arafat, possibly to a nearby permanent landmark. All tents and pilgrims look alike. If you get lost or confused, it will be extremely difficult, even an impossible, task of getting back to your base. One more thing recommended that buy the set of wlkie, talkie (you can keep one and the other your partner) to locate your partner in case you get lost.
16) Try to learn some basic Arabic words (which can become useful in daily shopping or understanding the address) like East and West or numbers etc.
17) Take some extra medicine and useful things that may come in handy for other people in case you have to share with them.
18) In Mina, after you throw the stones, there is a lot of leftover time.
Some people make friends, talk or sleep, but don’t you think it is better
if we spend this time in reading the Qur’an, saying special duas, or
prepare dars-e-Quran in advance to share with other people around us.
Allah says, “o when you have accomplished your Manasik. Remember
Allah as you remembered your forefathers or with a far more
remembrance.” (2:200) And remember Allah during appointed days (These
are the three days at Mina during the Hajj; 11th, 12th and 13th days of the Dh-
ul-Hijja). But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on
him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allah (fear Him), (2:203)
19) Try to write daily activities as memories in a notebook (like a diary), you will find it very useful later, and they might become memory album for the rest of your life.
20) Make this memorable journey a mean to develop good relationship with other Muslims, at dinner or lunch, in the Masjid or in the tent where ever you are, try to be helpful. Take the contact numbers to talk to them later.
21) Take some small booklets, small copies of Quran to give those people who didn’t bring any book to read with them. Take cassettes on different religious topics to give as a gift when you are saying good-bye. (remember this is the best chance to do Da’wah)
“SIGNIFICANCE OF TEN DAYS OF ZIL-HAJJ”
These ten days have big significance in the year even those who are not going to Hajj, can get the blessings of these ten days, by sacrificing animals on 10th, 11th and 12th of this month, and fasting in these ten days when Hajees will be performing Hajj in Mina, Arafat, and Haram Sharif. Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) said, worshiping in these ten days is dearest to Allah more than any worship during the rest of year, either Dhikr, Sadaqa, Salat or fasting. (Bukhari) There is another Hadith in Tirmidhi that fasting in one of these ten days is as you fast the whole year and Qyiam-ul-lail in one of these nights is like Lailat-ul-Qadar and a big group of Mufassareen agree that the oath in the Surat-ul-Fajar of ten nights is about these ten nights of Zil-Hajj.
There is a saying of Prophet (p.b.u.h), if you are to sacrifice in this
month then it is desirable not to cut your nails and hairs. (Ibn-Maja) This
order is strange but the scholars say the wisdom behind is to look like the
Hajees and feel like them so may be Allah will give some of the rewards of
Hajj to those too who can’t go to Hajj.
Prophet (p.b.u.h) also told us if a person fast on the day of Arafat then Allah will forgive his sins of a year earlier and an year later (Ibn-Maja) and the same wisdom is behind this to get the share in the blessings of His grand Darbar held in Arafat.
Subhan-Allah this is the mercy of Allah.
Other thing the people can do to share the people on Hajj is, to keep
saying the“Takbeer-e-Tashreeq” (which is “Allah-u-Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar,
La-Ilaha ilallah-Wallah-u-Akbar-wa-lillah-il-Hamd”). For men it is wajib
to say it in moderate voice, from the Salat-ul-Fajar of day of Arafat till the
Salat-ul-Asar of the 13th day of Zil-Hajj and this goes for the ladies as well.
Men usually say it in Masjid with others but ladies forget so they should try
to remind each other.
“THE IMPACT OF HAJJ”
As the one scholar said, from the time of deciding and preparing for Hajj to the time of returning home, a tremendous impact is made on the hearts and minds of pilgrims. This process entails sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money, sacrifice of comfort, and sacrifice of many physical desires and pleasures, and all this simply for the sake of Allah, with no worldly or selfish motive.
Together with a life of piety and righteousness, the constant remembrance of Allah and the longing and the love for Him in the Hajj leave a mark on the heart of a Muslim which lasts for years.
But why is that we see now every year thousands of pilgrims go to the Hajj and come back without having any effect on them. Many of them continue to have their bad habits and bad manners. Some young Muslims ask why that is. If Hajj was performed as it was intended it should be, the non-Muslims will see the benefit of it. If after returning the tens of thousands of people who gathered every year from all over the world tell others and show from their behavior, their attitude and their character the real lesson, training and impact of Hajj, surely the world will find out about the benefits of Hajj.
Let’s ask Allah to give the most benefit out of Hajj and understand the spirit of Hajj instead of performing it as a ritual only. All of you, who are going to Hajj, please make special prayers for it, for Muslim Ummah and for all of us. We pray that Allah accept your Hajj and make it the Hajj-Mabroor.
I.C.N.A sisters’ wing
“PROMISE TO MYSELF AND MY RABB”
Say the Kalama with meaning, Ashhadu an La Ilaha Ilallah,
Muhammad-Ur-Rasool- Allah (I witness there is no Ilah but Allah, and
Muhammad is His Messenger) Say it loud to yourself and say it during
Say Talbiyah and say “O Lord I am present to Thee, O Allah
forgive me; I came as you invited me by prophet Abraham to come.”
- O Allah I ask you to let me spend this life according to this Kalama.
- O Allah being faithful to you is just as the Tawa’f around your house, you will be center of rest of my life.
- O Allah being obedience to you is like “Rabat” in my life.
- O Allah running in your way is like Hadhrat Hajra’s Sa’i at Safa and Marwa.
- O Allah sacrifice for your Deen is like Nusuk in my life.
- O Allah I promise you that:
1. I will study Quran with understanding every day and spend my life as
you have guided me.
2. My love, my friendship, my relationships, my teaching, my learning,
all will be according to Quran and Sunnah.
3. I will make my Salat, my fasting, my Zakat, my Hajj the means to
obey you for the rest of my life.
4. I will prepare for the next world as I did for the Hajj.
5. I will collect as many good deeds as I could to face you on the Day of
6. I will sacrifice all the things in your way as Prophet Abraham did,
even his son.
7. I will never harm or hurt any one and will give every one’s rights, as
you taught me not to harm any one or even cut the grass in Ihram.
8. I will try to keep Satan away from me as I stoned him here.
9. I will love all the Muslim as my brothers and sisters, as I learned the
lesson of unity here.
10. I will strive harder and run faster in your way.
O Allah please give me the strength to do all of this today and every
day until the last breath of my life.
(We can keep this page as a reminder or copy it, on our note book to
take on Hajj)