"O my soul, it is only a few days, bear them patiently.A lifetime seems long but a flitting reverie"

~Imam Shafi~
" “The heart will rest and feel relief if it is settled with Allah and it will worry and be anxious if it is settled with people.” – Ibn al-Qayyim"....Say : "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge" (Qur'an - 12:108) "Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an, Al-Imran 3:84) . "And if he (Muhammad SAW) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah),We would have seized him by the right hand;And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta),And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him" (Qur'an,Al-Haqqah 69:44-47) "Do they not ponder the Quran! If it were revealed from a source other than Allah,certainly they would have found,many contradictions."[Holy Quran 4:82] " O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, and you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did)" [Holy Qur'an, 84:6] Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." ~Holy Quran 6:164 Imam Malik (rh): “Do not look to the sins of people as if you are Lords, but look to your own sins as if you are slaves. Have mercy on the people of affliction and praise Allah for your well-being, and never say, ‘This person is from the people of Hellfire, and this person is from the people of Paradise.’ Do not be arrogant over the sinners, but rather ask Allah to grant them hidayah and rashad (i.e. guidance).” Ibn Kathir (Ra) narrated: كان نقش خاتم عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه : كفى بالموت واعظاً ياعمر “The engraving on ‘Umar ibn al Khataab’s(Ra) ring was: “Sufficient is death as an admonisher O Umar”. ["Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaaya]. "When you fear the creation, you run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him,& run towards Him.".Ibn Qayyim . "Allahumma la‘aisha illa‘aish-al-Aakhirah": 'There is no life but the life of the next world' "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". (Quran 15:99) “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran: 29:69] "... And my success is not but through Allah . Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return." ~ Al Quran 11:88
"Nothing in this world is really useful to you unless it has some utility and value for the next world"-Imam Ali(R)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hajj: Lessons for Life

There are many lessons that could be learned from Hajj and that have great benefits for individuals and the entire Ummah (Muslim nation).

Dear reader, the following are some of these lessons:
1.     Gaining piety (fear of Allaah The Almighty)
Piety is the aim of Hajj and the best of all matters as Allaah The Almighty Advised the former and the latter peoples Saying (what means):
·        {Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihraam], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do - Allaah Knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allaah (piety). And fear Me, O you of understanding.} [Quran 2:197]
·        {Their meat will not reach Allaah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.}[Quran 22:37]
·        {That [is so]. And whoever honors the Symbols of Allaah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.}[Quran 22:32]
The people of understanding whom Allaah The Almighty chose to fear Him draw lessons from Hajj to obtain piety. They look at the origin of the Divine legislation and its important status in religion, and realize that true love for Allaah The Almighty and slavery to Him are only achieved when one prefers what Allaah The Almighty wills to what he personally wills.
A good example of this is Prophet Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention whom Allaah The Almighty ordered to slaughter his only son, Ismaa‘eel  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention the son that he was granted at an old age and the apple of his eyes.
This was a great trial that shows true faith and sincerity, as Prophet Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention gave all Muslims a great lesson in being sincere to Allaah The Almighty by preferring what Allaah The Almighty decreed to what he wanted regardless of how precious this matter was. Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention hastened to do what Allaah The Almighty ordered him to do despite his deep love and great mercy and pity towards his beloved son, so he succeeded and passed the test. Allaah The Almighty showed mercy to him and prevented the knife from cutting the throat of his son and ransomed Ismaa‘eel  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention with a great sacrifice and made this a confirmed act of the Sunnah for Muslims until the Day of Judgment. This was a great lesson for Muslims to treat Allaah The Almighty in the same way that they treat the ones they love and to sacrifice what they want for the sake of Allaah The Almighty and what He loves.
If pilgrims grasped this meaning and realized this great secret for which sacrifices were legislated, they would return after performing Hajj with these great lessons and they would never slacken or refrain from fulfilling the orders of Allaah The Almighty. They would never prefer the joy of sleeping to praying Fajr (Dawn prayer).
Love of money would never prevent them from abandoning cheating, injustice, Riba, giving less than what is due or selling merchandise by making false oaths.
Love of desires and women would never prevent them from lowering their gaze, maintaining their chastity and guarding their private parts in order to prefer what Allaah The Almighty loves to what their souls love seeking the reward and satisfaction of Allaah The Almighty in this life and the Hereafter.
Love of this life would not prevent them from spending money and sacrificing their soul in the Way of Allaah The Almighty.
You can compare many other matters to these ones.
This is how the people of understanding learn the great lessons of Hajj in order to gain piety.
2.     Getting used to Dhikr (Remembrance of Allaah)
Thikr is the greatest aim of all acts of worship and it is greatly manifested in Hajj. This is because Tawaaf, Sa‘y and throwing the pebbles were all legislated in order to remember Allaah The Almighty according to the narrations of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).
When pilgrims remember Allaah The Almighty constantly while performing these acts of worship, they feel assured, have peace of mind and draw closer to Him. Consequently, this will get them accustomed to remembering Allaah The Almighty after Hajj.

5.     Getting used to Du‘aa’
The Hajj trip is a great opportunity for Du‘aa’ and supplicating Allaah The Almighty as pilgrims have many merits that make their Du‘aa’ more likely to be answered. This is because pilgrims supplicate during honored days and at honored places. Moreover, supplicating while performing Hajj makes this supplication more likely to be answered as there are many rites during which Du‘aa’ is permitted such as Tawaaf, Sa‘y, standing at ‘Arafah, at Al- Mash‘ar Al-Haraam, after throwing the Sughra Jamrah (smallest pillar) and the Wusta Jamrah (middle pillar). All these rites are times when Du‘aa’ is worthier of being answered and this makes the believer get used to invoking Allaah The Almighty frequently in the future.
6.     Getting used to expecting relief
When pilgrims see the crowd during Tawaaf, Sa‘y and throwing the pebbles, they think that these groups would never separate and that they would not be able to complete their Sa‘y, Tawaaf and throwing the pebbles. They might feel angry and upset and even intend not to perform Hajj after this year. Then after a while, the groups of people separate and the rites are performed easily.
This is a great lesson that teaches the pilgrims the servitude of waiting for relief, which is one of the greatest types of servitude and the acts that bring the slave closer to Allaah The Almighty. This teaches pilgrims never to despair of relief from Allaah The Almighty regardless of how difficult the matter is and regardless of the gravity of the situation. Muslims should have good expectations regarding their Lord and wait for Him to provide relief.
7.     Acquiring good morals
Hajj is a practical field where pilgrims are trained to be tolerant, patient, and restrain their anger which is caused by the crowd of people, tiredness and fatigue either on the way to Hajj or during Tawaaf(circumambulation), Sa‘y, throwing pebbles, or any other rites. Pilgrims endure tiredness because they know that Hajj is performed during a limited number of days and they do not wish to nullify their Hajj by giving free rein to their evil desires. They also know that pilgrims are the guests of The Merciful so, honoring them and being patient with what some of them do is a sign of glorifying Allaah The Almighty.
When pilgrims get used to enduring these hardships during the Hajj days, they would maintain good morals during the rest of their lives.
Pilgrims learn to be generous, righteous and merciful, and to favor other people as they experience wonderful situations that embody these meanings. They see generous people who spend on the poor, noble ones who forgive people who abused them, merciful ones who treat poor people gently, tolerant people who endure harm, people who are dutiful to their parents as well as those who are kind with their old mothers.
Pilgrims acquire good morals when they see those people who do not realize the true meaning of Hajj and get angry for any trivial reason. When wise people see such situations, they abandon anger and avoid bad morals.
8.     brotherhood
During Hajj, pilgrims have one Qiblah and one Lord. They share the same feelings, clothing, rites and times. This makes them feel that they are brothers who know each other and are willing to cooperate in the fields of life and religion.  
9.     Establishing the servitude of fearing Allaah  
Pilgrims perform Tawaaf (seven circumambulations of the Ka‘bah), perform Sa‘y (seven circuits between Safa and Marwah), throw the seven pebbles, stand at ‘Arafah at a certain time and leave it at a certain time, then stay at night in Muzdalifah and so forth.
You can never find a pilgrim who performs more or less than what is required or performs any of the rites at different times than those specified or intentionally does any of the prohibitions that must not be done duringIhraam.
Why is this? Because he does not want to nullify his Hajj and he knows that Allaah The Almighty sees him.
This is a great lesson that teaches Muslims to fear Allaah The Almighty and know that He sees them all the time as the One Who monitors Hajj, monitors all other deeds as well.

10.     Getting used to utilizing time
Time is the capital of humans and it is the greatest thing that should not be wasted or neglected.
During Hajj, pilgrims do great deeds in a period of time that might not exceed four days in different places that are far from each other and crowded.
This shows that humans have great potential and latent energy that, if utilized, would yield its fruits in double or even more than this.
This is a great lesson for Muslims that teaches them to get used to utilizing time and not wasting it.
11.    Stirring up the servitude of praising Allaah
A pilgrim sees the sick, the physically and visually challenged people and those who have lost their limbs, and thanks Allaah The Almighty for granting him health. 
He sees the crowds of people sitting on the ground to the extent that one might not find a place to sit, so he remembers the spacious place where he lives and thanks Allaah The Almighty for this.
A pilgrim also sees the poor and the needy who do not have what is sufficient for them so he praises Allaah The Almighty for granting him money and wealth.
He praises Allaah The Almighty for making Hajj easy for him and for helping him perform the rites while many other Muslims long for Hajj but cannot perform it.
He also thanks Allaah The Almighty for making him a Muslim and this makes him adhere to Islam as this is an invaluable bounty.
This is how the slavery of praising Allaah The Almighty is achieved in Hajj.
12.     Remembering the Hereafter
When a pilgrim sees the crowds of people surging over each other at one place while wearing the same type of clothing, uncovering their heads and wearing only Izaar (lower sheet) and Ridaa’ (upper sheet) while abandoning the pleasures of the worldly life, he will remember the Day of Judgment and thus, will prepare himself for the Hereafter as he will look down upon the joys of life and disdain indulging in its pleasures.
13.     Getting used to resisting the devil 
The devil is a clear enemy to man and Allaah The Almighty warned us of him and ordered us to take him as an enemy and never to follow his footsteps. Hence, resisting the devil is among the acts that satisfies Allaah The Almighty.
This matter becomes clear during Hajj; especially while throwing the pebbles, as pilgrims do not throw pebbles at the devil as he is not standing over there in person. However, they throw pebbles at the same places where the devil came to their father Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention and he threw pebbles at him. Pilgrims throw pebbles in order to learn the lesson and realize that Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention knew that the one who was preventing him from obeying the Orders of Allaah The Almighty was the devil as he was embodied for him three times to prevent him from slaughtering his son and Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention threw seven pebbles at him three times and told him, “You will be thrown by me.” Thus, the devil was disappointed and turned on his heels.
People of understanding learn the lesson and realize the wisdom of throwing the pebbles and apply this when dealing with every devil from humankind and Jinn who want to prevent them from obeying Allaah The Almighty. They detest such devils, disobey, resist and keep away from them as well as seek refuge with Allaah The Almighty from them.
People of understanding know that anyone who tries to avert them from the way of Allaah The Almighty or cause Fitnah (trial) is a devil regardless of their appearance and behavior.
How abundant are the lessons of Hajj and how great are its blessings! Hence, we must try to get as much of this as we can in order to gain happiness in this life and the Hereafter and to be among the Party of Allaah The Almighty, as those (the party of Allaah) are indeed the successful ones and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve in this life and the Hereafter.


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