Hajj – The Journey of a Lifetime

 

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“The warmth of the sun spreads across the desert.  An excitement fills the air.  A blanket of people, clothed mainly in white, covers the land.  Islamic praises pound in the ears, drumming out the realization one has arrived at the site so many pious Muslims have gathered in throughout the generations…………..”

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The Pilgrims answer the call for Hajj by a resounding voice of submission:

لبيك اللهم لبيك، لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك، إنّ الحمد والنعمة لك والملك، لا شريك لك

O Allah, I obey Your Order.
I obey You one time after the other.
O Allah, I obey Your Order.
You are the One Who does not have any partner.
I obey You one time after the other.
You are the One Who deserves to be praised and thanked,
Every endowment is from You.
You are the One attributed with Dominion.
There is no partner with You.

As the Hajj season has commenced, the truthful righteous believers started to feel in their hearts the blessings of this season. Some even started preparing themselves for this Holy journey to Makkah and Madinah, the city of the Best Prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him.

Others who long for the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah but are unable to go remained struck with grief and sadness especially because they are unsure whether or not they would be able to perform Hajj in the upcoming years.

Ibrahim Ibn Adham was among many who travelled on foot to perform Hajj. One day and while he was walking to Makkah, he saw a man riding a camel. The man asked Ibrahim Ibn Adham: Where are you going? Ibrahim said: I am heading to Makkah to perform Hajj. Then the man said: but you need a ride to Makkah since it is extremely far. Ibrahim said: indeed I have many but you do not see them. The man said: “Where are they? Ibrahim explained: In times of hardship, patience is my ride, in times of prosperity, thankfulness to Allah is my ride, and in times of feeling tempted to commit a sin, I remember that death is coming very soon. Upon hearing this, the man astonishingly said: keep walking; I swear by Allah with the strong faith you have in your heart, you are in a better situation than me.

There in Makkah, the hearts and the longing souls find their remedy and healing. People circumambulate the sacred House, the Holy Ka^bah, with ultimate submission to Allah as if saying:

“O Lord, No matter how many times we circumambulate and turn, there is no refuge except with You.”

There at the Holy Ka^bah, when you make contact with the black stone and kiss it, remember that the lips of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him touched this blessed stone. As you raise your head from sujud (prostration) while praying before the Ka^bah, you will be overcome by the magnificence of the Ka^bah, and recall once again that you are indeed a slave to the Lord of this Sacred House.

And when you are performing sa^iy between Mount of AsSafa and Al-Marwah, remember the story of Lady Hajar and her dear son Prophet Isma^il when Prophet Ibrahim ^alayhis-salam left them both in Makkah  which at the time was completely deserted and barren, and so Lady Hajar repeatedly asked him: “O Ibrahim, are we to be left alone in this valley with no water, food or companions?” And his intentions were only to fulfill what Allah subhanahu wa-ta^ala ordered him with, and then she said: “Did Allah order you to do this?”  He replied, “Yes.”  Upon hearing this, eloquently and with a complete reliance on Allah she said: “Then we will not be lost.” After that, by the will of Allah, fresh pure water sprung out from the ground in large quantities. This was given the name “ZamZam” water.

And while wearing the clothes of Ihram, people gather on the land of ^Arafat and make supplication to Allah subhanahu wa-ta^ala. The Prophet peace be upon him said:

<<Devils are most humiliated, belittled, disturbed and frustrated during the Day of ^Arafah, and this is due to the descent of great mercies and the forgiveness of major sins on that day.>>

After performing Hajj and ^Umrah, people visit Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, the second best city after Makkah.

In Praising Al-Madinah, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said that the city of Al-Madinah will always be in a better religious state than all other cities”.

It is Al-Madinah that Ad-Dajjal (the one-eyed imposter) will not be able to enter because it is guarded by great angels.

Also Al-Bukhariyy narrated that the Prophet peace be upon him said: “O Allah, bless al-Madinah twice as much as Makkah”.

In Al-Madinah there is ar-Rawdah, an area between the grave of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and his pulpit. On the Day of Judgement, ar-Rawdah will be taken to Paradise. 

Additionally, al-Madinah is the city that contains the body of the best of Allah’s creations, Prophet Muhammad may Allah raise his rank, therefore, the hearts of all Muslims long for it.

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