IN THE NAME OF ALLAH MOST GRACIOUS MOST MERCIFUL
O servants of Allah! Fear Allah as He is to be feared and obey Him rules and regulations. Allah has made several seasons of blessings for mankind. Whenever one goes, another one comes. Behold! We are welcoming Hajj season to answer the call of Allah: “And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways”[Hajj. V;27]. A house [Ka’abah] Allah has made as a place of assembly and safety for mankind: “The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka [Macca]: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security;”[Aal-Imran. V;96-97]. It is a compulsory duty on those who can afford the journey: “Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.”[Aal-Imran. V;97]. And the Prophet [pbuh] said: “O you mankind! Allah has prescribed Hajj on you, so perform it” [Sahihu-Muslim]. It is one of the great deeds in the side of Allah.
Abu Hurairah narrated that: Allah’s Apostle was asked: “what is the best deed?” He replied: “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad)”. The questioner then asked again: “what is the next (in goodness)?” He replied: “To participate in Jihad (Holy War) in Allah’s cause.” The questioner again asked: “what is the next (in goodness)?” he replied: “to perform the greater Pilgrimage (Hajj), which is to be accepted by Allah”[Sahihul-Bukhari]. Hajj serves as a comprehensive mechanism for forgiveness. Prophet Muhammad[pbuh] said: “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relation with his wife(during the Hajj days), and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew”[Sahihul-Bukhari]. He says again: “the reward of the accepted Hajj (with which Allah is pleased) is nothing except Paradise.”[Sahihul-Bukhari]. This is to show you all actions are considered valued, only, when they are done for the sake of Allah, because showing off will only destroy one’s deeds thereby rendering him/her bad rewards. Allah says: “But it has already been revealed to thee,- as it was to those before thee,- "If you were to join gods with Allah., truly fruitless will be thy work (in life), and you will surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good)". Nay, but worship Allah(alone), and be of those who give thanks (to Him).”[Az-Zumar. V;65-66].
And it is very rewarding to assist those in need while performing the Hajj. Mujahid (Allah be pleased with him) said: “I accompanied Ibn Umar on the Journey just to serve him but he also, was serving me”. And ibn Rajab also reported that: “Much of the Salafs used to make it a condition to serve their members during the Journey to seize the opportunity of the rewards thereof”. Brothers and sisters! We must put fear of Allah as our abode particularly on this Journey. Allah says: “And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise.”[Al-Baqarah. V;197.] And the Prophet said: “Fear Allah wherever you are, follow the vicious deed with a good one which will obliterate it and deal with people by good manners” [At-Tirmidhy]. Allah say: “And complete the Hajj or 'umra in the service of Allah”[Al-Baqarah. V; 196]. The best utterance on the day of Arafah is word of testimony. Prophet Muhammad said: “The best of prayer, is that of the day of Arafah, and the best of what I uttered and the Prophets before me: [There is no true god but Allah alone without associate, to Him belong dominion, and praises: and He has power over all things”[At-Tirmidhy]. I commend the efforts of Prophet Ibraheem’s wife through who water of Zamzam was known. The Prophet says: “May Allah be merciful to the mother of Ismail! If she had left the water of Zamzam as it was, (without building a basin for keeping the water), it would have been a flowing stream”[Sahihul-Bukahri]. Allah Who has created this world, controls everything that is in the heavens and on earths. Glory and Majesty be to Him. That is why pilgrims are expected to be repeating: Allahu-Akbar during: Tawaf (circumambulation), As-Sa’y between Safa and Marwa, throwing pebbles, and on the day of immolation (slaughtering)…for hearts to be very well attached to Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala. The day of throwing pebbles reminds particularly the pilgrims of the devout enemy of mankind (i.e. Satan) that is always calling people to hell. Allah says: “Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire.”[Fatir. V; 6].
As a pilgrim, try to avoid anything that will nullify you Ibadat. Know that your sins as a pilgrim are bigger than who is not a pilgrim and that your time is so expensive in the side of Allah. Allah says: “Celebrate the praises of Allah during the Appointed Days”[Al-Baqarah. V; 203]. Spend your time on seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy for you, your parents and the entire Muslims. Recitation of Qur’an: Allah says: “Then when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray.”[Al-Baqarah. V;198]. After finishing your holy rites then Allah says: “So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul”[Al-Baqarah. V;200] And he says: “Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah.s forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”[Al-Baqarh. V;199]. Among the pilgrims are seekers for worldly glitters and some for Paradise. In this regard, Allah says: “There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the Hereafter. And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire! To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account”[Al-Baqarah. V; 200-202].. Thus, the successful ones are those who do it for the sake of Allah.
Allah says: “For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise”[Al-Baqarah. V;197].
Allah Subhanahu Wataala has blessed us with great days within which any righteous act has great reward from Allah. Prophet Muhammad said: “There are no good deeds, preferably better than those done on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah) then some companions said: “Not even Jihad?” He replied: “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who gets out, endangering himself and his property (in Allah cause) and does not return with any of those things””[Sahihul-Bulhari]. Ibn Taimiya was reported to have said: “Ten days of Dhul-Hijja are greater than the (first or second) ten days of Ramadan and the last ten days of Ramadan are greater than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.” The acts of charity in these ten days lengthen its tentacles to slaughtering animals.
Anas narrated: “The Prophet slaughtered seven sacrificial camels while standing, with his own hands, on the day of Al’ad’ha, he slaughtered (as sacrifice) two honed rams, black and white in colour…”[Sahihul-Bukhri]. It is also recommended that those that did not travel for Hajj, to fast on the day of Arafah. Prophet Muhammad said: “I hope that Allah will obliterate the sins of last year and the year to come for fasting on the day of Arafah,”[Sahihu-Muslim].
Some key lessons:
1- Performing Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Denying it will lead to a severe punishment.
2- Hajj is only compulsory upon those that can afford it.
3- The affordability of Hajj is: security, health and enough provision.
4- Fasting on the day of Arafah, will lead to the forgiveness of our sins-Alhamdu lillahi.
5- We should share the bounties of Eid with our brothers and sisters.
6- We must avoid whatever that will nullify our Ibadat during and after Hajj.
7- We should be glorifying and praising Allah all the time particularly during this Hajj season.
8- Our deeds will be registered accepted only when we do them for the sake of Allah
9- Helping weak people while performing and even after Hajj, is very rewarding.