Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jawal Zad Hajj

1) The gathering of Hajj is the invitation of the Lord of the Worlds. Muslims meet there on a footing of equality. "And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj), that they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade)." [al-Hajj 22:27-8-interpr. of meaning].

2) Dhul-Hijjah The prohibition on cutting the hair and nails applies to the one who is offering the sacrifice, whether or not he (or she) delegates someone else to do the actual deed. The person who is delegated does not have to adhere to this prohibition. Also, it appears to apply only to the one who is offering the sacrifice, not to his wife and children, unless any of them is offering a sacrifice in his or her own right.

3) Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu'l-Hijjah. Allah has preferred these days over all the other days of the year. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." (al-Bukhari)

4) O you who are seeking out the Sacred House: "When you leave your house, heading for the Sacred House, for every step your mount takes, Allah decrees one good deed (hasanah) for you and erases one bad deed." (a hasan hadeeth). As for your standing in 'Arafah, Allah descends to the nearest heaven and boasts to the angels about the pilgrims: "These are my slaves, they come to me dishelved and dusty from every deep and distant highway. They are hoping for my mercy and fear My punishment, and they never saw Me. Imagine if they did see Me? If you had sins like the sands of 'Aalij [a place with a lot of sand], or as many as there are days in the life of the world, or as many as the drops of water coming from the sky; Allah will wash those sins off of you. As for when you throw the pebbles, the reward is saved up for you; and when you shave your head, you will have a hasanah, for every hair that falls; and you make tawaf around the House, you will come out [free] of your sins like the day your mother gave birth to you." (hasan)

5) Before leaving for Hajj: repent to Allah for your sins and untangle yourself from disobedience; fulfill your promises and return trusts; leave enough money for your family, and if you plan to leave them an udhiyah (sacrifice), make good on it; leave what has been preoccupying you so you can focus on the rites of Hajj; learn the rulings of Hajj by reading books and brochures, and by listening to lectures and tapes; get the phone numbers for scholars and fatwa services; and set some money aside for emergencies and for charity.

6) For those who intend to make Hajj and offer the sacrifice (the hadiy): if you wish to offer a sacrifice (udhiyah) in your home country as well, do not remove or trim anything from your hair or nails starting from the first of Dhul-Hijjah. The exception is for those who are performing Hajj Tamattu': They must remove something from their hair to complete their 'Umrah. For those who are sacrificing the hadiy only, they can remove what they wish from their hair and nails until they enter ihram for Hajj.

7) The one who performs Hajj on behalf of another must have performed Hajj for himself first. A man may be a proxy for a woman and vice versa. The proxy may accept money for doing the Hajj even if it is more than he spends. He must return the extra money if that was a condition of the arrangement. Whoever desires the money only will not find any reward with Allah. Whoever does it to see the Sacred places and to help his brother by being his proxy, then it is hoped he will have a reward like the one for whom he performed Hajj.

8) Hajj is a manifestation of being a slave of Allah and one's thankfulness for His blessings. It teaches surrendering to Allah, submission to Him, and hastening to Him. Hajj opens the door to hope, the hope of returning from it like the day one was born, free of sin. It also teaches one to leave forbidden things and to get used to being organised.

9) Hajj and other righteous deeds are a means of expiation for sins if a person does them as prescribed in sharee'ah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "From one Umrah to the next is an expiation foe whatever (sins) came between them, and for an accepted Hajj there is no reward but Paradise." (al-Bukhari, Muslim)

10) The Hajj is a common gathering with a single purpose. The people are equal. They wear one type of clothing, their actions are as one, and their call is one: "Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa 'l-ni--mata laka wa'l-mulk, laa shareeka lak (Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Hare I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.)"