Udhiya (animal sacrifice) and conditions of its validity

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of creations, and peace and blessings be upon Sayyidona Muhammad, upon his noble companions, and upon his chaste and kind family.

The udhiya (animal sacrifice):

Dear brothers, the udhiya is obligatory once a year for the free, sane, and wealthy resident Muslim, because the prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, says:

((In the day of udhiya, the spilling of blood is the preferable human being’s deed for Allah. Verily, the udhiya will come in the day of resurrection with its centuries, with its fluff, and with its hoofs; verily, Allah will raise the value of this blood before it falls on the floor, so, be happy with it.))

[Narrated by Al Tirmithi from A’ishah]

1. The wisdom of udhiya:

Through the udhiya the rich muslim expresses his thanks to Allah, The Greatest, for His multiple blessings, such as the blessing of guidance, and the blessing of survival from year to the next, and that is the wisdom of udhiya. It is mentioned in the hadith which was narrated by ‘Abdullah Ibn Busr’ that a bedouin said:

((“O messenger of Allah, who is the best among people”” The prophet, peace be upon him, said: “It’s the man who has lived for a long time, and his deeds were good.”))

[Narrated by Al-Tirmithi from Abdullah Ibn Busr]

In addition to the previous is the blessing of safety and healthy, the blessing of sustenance, and it is an atonement for the sins that he has committed during this year, and an expansion upon his family, his relatives, his friends, his neighbors, and the poor Muslims.

2. The conditions for making the udhiya mandatory:

One of the conditions for making the udhiya mandatory is the wealth, where the wealthy man is who owns the minimum amount liable for paying out Zakah, so it must be surplus to his essential needs; or he is the one who is not in need for the price of udhiya only during the days of eid; or he is the one who is not in need for the price of udhiya all the year; taking into account the difference between ‘the four juristic schools of thought’ about the definition of the wealthy man.

3. The conditions for the validity of udhiya:

The animal that is used for udhiya should be sound from flaws which lead to decreasing the amount of udhiya meat, or which causes harm for the person who eats it; so it’s not permitted to immolate a sick animal, nor one eyed, lame, lean, nor the mangy animal; and, it’s recommended to choose the fattest and best animal. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to immolate the horned white ram.

4. The time of slaughtering the sacrifice:

The time of slaughtering udhiya extends along the period that starts after performing ‘Eid prayer’, and ends shortly before the sunset of the third day of ‘Eid Al-Adha’; but the best time extends along the period that starts after the Eid prayer, and ends before the sunset of the first day of Eid Al-Adha.
It’s disapproved to immolate at night.

5. Types of udhiya that are valid to slaughter at ;Eid Al-Adha’:

The valid udhiya should be from cattle such as camels, cows, sheep, and goats; on the condition that the age of sheep is six months, and the age of goats is one full year, according to some imams.

6. How much udhiyas that muslim should slaughter”

It’s sufficient for muslim to immolate an ewe for himself, and for his family who are living with him, those he is responsible for, and all of them share the reward.

7. The recommended matters about the udhiya:

One of the recommended matters about the udhiya is that the Muslim who slaughters the animal turns towards the Qiblah, to slaughter the udhiya himself if he could do, and to say: “In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest, O Allah, You have bestowed me this udhiya, and I return it to You, O Allah, make it accepted from me, and my family.” Or he can entrust someone to slaughter the udhiya, but he should attend the slaughtering, and the evidence is the saying of the prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to Fatima:

((Go and attend the slaughtering of your udhiya, that Allah will forgive you at each drop of its blood.))

[‘Al-Targheeb and Al-Tarheeb’, weak trace]

8. What should the muslim do with the meat of udhiya”

It’s recommended to distribute the udhiya in three parts, the first third for the Muslim who slaughters the animal and his family, the second third for his non-poor relatives, friends, and neighbors, as a present in order to enable the social relations, and he gives the last third as charity to the poor muslims; and the evidence is the saying of Allah, The Almighty:

“Eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). “

[Al-Hajj 22:36 ]

Allah, The Greatest, says:

“And the Budn (cows, oxen, or camels driven to be offered as sacrifices by the pilgrims at the sanctuary of Makkah.) We have made for you as among the Symbols of Allah, therein you have much good. So mention the Name of Allah over them when they are drawn up in lines (for sacrifice). Then, when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). Thus have We made them subject to you that you may be grateful. (36) It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) to the Muhsinun (doers of good). (37) “

[Al-Hajj 22:36, 37]

Invocation:

O Allah! We beseech You to show us the way of righteousness together with those to whom You showed it; and to give us good health together with those whom You have healed; and to be our Protector, as You are of those whom You protect; and to bless what You have bestowed on us; and to save us from the affliction that You have decreed –for You rule with justice and You are never judged; and he whom You protect shall never be humiliated and he whom You make Your enemy shall never be elevated.
Blessed and dignified are You!
And we thank You for what You have decreed, we ask Your forgiveness and we repent to You. O Allah! Please lead us to the good deeds for no one leads to them but You; please lead us to the good conduct for no one leads to it but You; please make us do well in the religion, which is our dignity, and make our lives good for it is our existence, and grant us safety on the Day of Judgment for it is our Final Destination. Please supply our life with all good things and make our death a rest from every evil.
O our Master, the Lord of all Worlds! Please make me desire what You have made lawful and reject what You have made unlawful, and make me by Your benevolence independent of all others, and make my obedience to You turn me away from my disobedience; and by Your generosity and mercy elevate high the word of rightness and of the religion; lead Islam to victory, and grant Muslims dignity in every place on earth. Show us Your strength against Your enemies. O Allah, the most Generous!

Dr Nabulsi
http://www.nabulsi.com/
Posted in Pillars of Islam, Qur'an and Hadith | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hajj is a trip of hearts not a trip of bodies

hajj-journey-of-hearts

Hajj trip is the greatest worship in man’s life:

Dear brothers, no doubt that you are certain of our subject for today, it’s about Hajj ‘pilgrimage’, because the day of Arafat is so close. Hajj, as you know, is a ritual, a financial, and physical obligation, which is, outwardly, to travel to the Kaaba, to circumambulate it, to move between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, and to stay in Arafat, but in fact, Hajj is a trip of the hearts, not a trip of bodies; and it’s a journey of souls, not a journey of ghosts, because Allah Almighty says:

“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.”

[Ibrahim 14:37]

Allah has prescribed the acts of worship, prayer, fasting, Zakat, and Hajj in order to be in direct contact with Him; the five prayers are performed daily, friday prayers is performed weekly, and Ramadan (fasting month) comes once a year, but the journey of Hajj is the greatest worship in man’s life.
The prophet, peace be upon him, says:

((I am the invocation of my father ‘Ibrahim’.))

[Al-Baihaqi in the Defile of Belief from Al-I’rbad]

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own.”

[Al-Baqarah 2:129]

((And I am the glad tiding of my brother ‘Issa’)).

[Al-Baihaqi in the Defile of Belief from Al-I’rbad]

“And giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.”

[As-Saff 61:6]

((When my mother was pregnant with me, she dreamed that a light was coming out of her, by which the palaces of Bosra shone )).

[Al-Baihaqi in the Defile of Belief from Al-I’rbad]

The more Islam is fought, the stronger it gets

Brothers, I swear that serious conspiracies have been weaved against this religion (Islam) since one thousand five hundred years, and in spite of that it is still lofty, and all the misguided groups are still in the mud.
The misguided groups characterize by four qualities; they deify people, reduce duties, rely on weak or fabricated speeches, and they are of an aggressive tendency. What happened to ‘Al-Qaramita’” They perished.
Thousands of misguided sects wanted to change this great religion, but they perished and disappeared, while Islam remained lofty, so the greatness of this religion is that whenever it is fought, it becomes stronger.
It was possible that infidels are on another planet, it was possible that they are in another continent, or in another era, because Allah is the All-Able to do everything, but Allah’s wisdom wanted that we live together with infidels, and that’s His wise decision; but in order that we live together, means that there is an everlasting and eternal battle between right and wrong.Why”
Because the right strengthens through challenge; the more the challenge is its strength increases, and the people of right deserve Paradise only through sacrifice and making every effort. Look at this wonderful hadith:

((I am the invocation of my father ‘Ibrahim’, I am the glad tiding of my brother ‘Issa’, and when my mother was pregnant with me, she dreamed that a light was coming out of her, by which the palaces of Bosra shone. ))

[Al-Baihaqi in the Defile of Belief from Al-I’rbad]

The rites of hajj are of the rituals of Allah:

The rites of hajj are of the rituals of Allah, Allah, The Greatest, says:

“And whosoever honors the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.”

[Al-Hajj 22:32]

Some scholars said: performing Rituals differs completely from glorifying the rituals.

“And whosoever honors the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.”

[Al-Hajj 22:32]

One of the aspects of glorifying rituals is that the Hajji (person who performs hajj) performs them just as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had done, another aspect is that hajj enjoys good manners and a status of longing, another aspect is that a hajji never grumbles or bores from performing them, and another aspect of glorifying rituals is that the Hajji performs Hajj and wishes to do it again every year.

The major goal of hajj (pilgrimage) is getting a pure heart:

Brothers, the most unfortunate thing is that a hajji returns to his country to find the embellishments has been set to celebrate his return, he tells you about everything except the hajj itself, and except those sacred feelings, and we mean by sacred that it’s like a crucible in which a believer’s heart melts in order to get rid of its filth and return pure as the day his mother has given birth to him; so he returns with a pure heart and a clear soul, and that is the major goal of hajj, which is the highest worship as a major university level.

Hajj rectifies a Muslim’s life, his values, and his principles:

Dear brothers, our Lord, Glory be to Him, says:

“Allah has made the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, an asylum of security and Hajj and ‘Umrah (pilgrimage) for mankind “

[Al-Ma’idah’ 5:97]

Hajj rectifies a believers life, faith, principles, and values:

” Allah has made the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, an asylum of security and Hajj and ‘Umrah (pilgrimage) for mankind, and also the Sacred Month and the animals of offerings and the garlanded (people or animals, etc. marked with the garlands on their necks made from the outer part of the stem of the Makkah trees for their security), that you may know that Allah has knowledge of all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and that Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything. “

[Al-Ma’idah’ 5:97]

Knowing Allah, is the reason of creating heavens and earth:

Now, look:

“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), “

[At-Talaaq 65:12]

“That you may know “

[At-Talaaq 65:12]

The reason behind creating heavens and earth is to know Allah:

“That you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge. “

[At-Talaaq 65:12]

Knowing that Allah knows everything leads to obedience:

When you are aware that Allah knows everything, that He will ask and He will punish, you would obey His commands, it would not be possible to disobey Him. you cannot disobey a man who has force, more knowledge and ability than you.
The simplest example is when you are standing at the traffic light, a policeman is standing, another policeman is on his motorbicycle, also a traffic police officer is in his car, and you are just an ordinary citizen; would you cross the red light”
You are certain that the knowledge of legislator will punish you through this policeman, and that he is able to withdraw your driving license and to apply a severe penalty against you, so you would not cross the traffic light when it’s red.
According to your instinct, when you are certain that the knowledge of Allah reaches you, and His ability reaches you, you would obey His order; and that is hajj:

“That you may know that Allah has knowledge “

[Al-Ma’idah’ 5:97]

In order that after returning from hajj, you should be aware that Allah knows every movement; would you have an answer if Allah asks you, why did you get angry” Why did you become satisfied” Why did you have a relationship with that person” Why did you cut off your relationship with another” Why did you make peace with that person” Why did you show enmity toward another” Why did you divorce”

“That you may know that Allah has knowledge “

[Al-Ma’idah’ 5:97]

“That you may know that Allah has knowledge of all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and that Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything. “

[Al-Ma’idah’ 5:97]

Universe exploitation for man:

Dear brothers, the most precise thing that scholars of interpretation have said: “When a Muslim performs hajj to Kaaba, glorifies the rituals of Allah, determines to obey Him, and follows the Sunnah of the prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace; his interests will be achieved in the worldly life and in the hereafter, and then the divine treatment will be stopped because of the saying of Allah, The Greatest:

” Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. “

[Al-Nisaa 4:147]

Allah has exploited this universe as a tool for knowledge and honoring
An exploitation of knowledge:

((Crescent of welfare and guidance.))

[Abu Dawud from Quatadah]

Anything has two functions; an beneficial function which has been mastered by the west, and a guiding function which has been mastered by early Muslims, and you should combine the two functions, in order to make use of what Allah, Almighty, has created, and that these things are the evidence of the greatness of Allah, and believing in Him.

Believing in Allah and thanking Him is the reason of our existence:

Allah the Almighty says:

” Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. “

[Al-Nisaa 4:147]

Because this universe is exploited; an exploitation for knowledge and an honoring exploitation, the reaction of the knowledge exploitation is to believe, and the reaction of honoring exploitation is to thank, so if you believed and thanked, you would have achieved the goal of your existence.
A Pilgrim (Hajji) takes off his sewn and surrounding clothes, and wears Ihram garments. His usual clothes reflect more or less his worldly affairs, his financial status, his social status, the degree of his employment, his scientific degree, and his religious degree. these clothes are part from man’s world.
A Military man wears badges, and a civilian wears very expensive clothes; therefore, your clothes reflect your financial position, your status, and sometimes, they reflect your knowledge. There are special clothes for the teachers of universities, and for judges; so these clothes reflect man’s life, gains, and his financial size.
Allah has commanded the hajji (pilgrim) to take his clothes off as if he has forsaken all his worldly life, so the richest people and the poorest people, the most powerful people and the weakest people become equal in tawaf, (circumambulation of the Kaaba), sa’i (striving between the two hills of Safa and Marwah in Makah), and in Arafat.

Unified clothes in hajj aim at eliminating differences among Muslims:

Brothers, these sewn and surrounding clothes reflect the type of the association of man to a nation, people, tribe, or clan, for example, you find that Jews have their own clothes, and Pakistanis have their own clothes; therefore, if a Muslim has remained wearing his usual clothes, he would still be adherent to his worldly life, to his tribe, to his class, or to those who like him; but for a great wisdom, Islam has legislated the standard color of clothes which are not sewn or surrounding and have the same design for hajj, in order that the personal identity disappears, and humans seem as one entity, so dealing with them becomes purely human, after that class differences, regional identities, and multiple affiliations have faded; so, this one colored dress portrays man through his pure nature in the face of his Creator, the Only One, and the Judge.

After that hajji (pilgrim) has taken off his sewn and surrounding clothes, and has worn the unified ihram clothes, he would enter the horizon of forbidden, so, inwardly, it’s forbidden to think of something which harms Al-Haram; for people, there is no sexual relations (with his wife), no committing sin, nor disputing unjustly during the Hajj; for animals, there is no hunting, nor killing; for plant, there is no cutting off nor distorting; and for inanimate, there is no breaking, nor eradicating. These forbidden things are of the necessities of hajj in order that there is always peace to all creatures; therefore, when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw a funeral he said:

((“Relieved or relieving”” The people asked, “O Allah’s messenger! What is relieved and relieving”” He said, “A believer is relieved (by death) from the troubles and hardships of the world and leaves for the Mercy of Allah, while (the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, and the animals from him.”))

[Agreed upon narrators from Abu Qatada Ibn Rib’i Al-Ansari]

If those tyrants who are bombarding, destroying, occupying, and looting died, or their rule ended, the result is the same, where people, states, plants and animals would find relief from them. Inanimate, plant, animal, and human being are the original divisions.

What is prohibited in the state of Ihram:

Brothers, it’s prohibited for the muhrem hajji to wear sewn clothes, to wear any kind of perfume, to shave or cut his hair, and to approach pleasures that are permissible outside of Hajj; as the reason behind prohibiting all the previous matters is to connect to Allah tightly.
Sometimes, in Physics as an example, in order to know the impact of one factor we freeze the rest of the factors, we make them idle. If we have assumed that we perform the Hajj in a place in Switzerland, where the beautiful country, the fresh air, the stunning views, the green valleys, and the wonderful lakes; if we could perform the hajj at any time of year, so, no congestion would happen, hajji would mix with tourists. While Allah, Almighty, has made the hajj in an uncultivated valley, where there is no interesting view, but there is a link with Allah; hence, Allah has isolated all the factors of pleasure and happiness in the worldly life, and He has moved one factor which is the connection with Allah, Almighty.

The purpose of hajj:

Therefore, the purpose of hajj:

“In order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) “

[Ibrahim 14: 37]

The muslim in hajj must be away from any intervention of the pleasures of the world, in order that if hajji has arrived to Allah, he would arrive to everything, as this tranquility which Allah has put in the believer’s heart would make him happy even if he has lost everything, the prophet Ibrahim was happy in this tranquility when he was thrown in the fire, the prophet Yunus was happy in it when he was in the belly of the whale, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was happy in it while he was in the cave, and the people of cave were happy in it while they were in the cave; so, you would be happy in this tranquility even if you have lost everything, and you would be miserable by losing it even if you owned everything. If a person has reached to Allah, he would reach to everything:

((O son of Adam, call Me and you’ll find Me, and then if you have found Me, you would find everything, but if you have missed Me, you would miss everything, that you should love Me more than everything)).

[The brief interpretation of Ibn Katheer]

Therefore, the hajji whose heart has been filled with happiness, satisfaction, and connection with Allah, Almighty, says to himself: O my Lord, what did he lose the one who has found You” And what did he find the one who has missed You”..

If Allah is with you, who would be against you”
And if He is against you, who would be with you”

Dear Brothers, the wisdom of these prohibitions and these rituals in the hajj does not appear at first glance, never grant this innate need to the perfume, to the hair cutting, and to the pleasure of what Allah has permitted for the hajji outside the hajj, in order that Allah freezes all the sensual pleasures and stirs the happiness of contacting Him; therefore Sayyidona Omar says: “Learn jurisprudence before you go to hajj”.
Worship, in fact, means that the person never follows his will, but his Lord’s will.

Virtues of the day of Arafah:

Brothers, the day of Arafah is one of the virtuous days, invocations are accepted, stumbles are forgiven, and Allah boasts the people of Arafat before His angels. Allah has made the day of Arafah as a great day, and He has raised its value among days.
It’s the day in which the religion has completed, and the grace has concluded; it’s the day of sins forgiveness, the day of emancipation from the fire, and it is the day of the great meeting between the longing, returning worshiper, and the Merciful, Oft-Repentant Lord; and between this occurring, evanescent, limited man, and the Absolute, Ageless, Eternal, Great Creator, and then the man goes out of the narrow limits of his selfsame to the vastness of the big universe, from the limits of his meager strength to the great cosmic energies, and from the limits of his short age to the extension of eternals which no one knows but Allah.

So, the day of Arafah is the day of knowledge, the day of forgiveness, and at the day of Arafah, mercies descend upon worshipers from Allah, the Creator of the earth and the heavens. It has been said: “The person who has stayed at Arafat, but he was believing that Allah did not forgive him, his hajj would not be accepted.”

The perfection of giving is that Allah forgives you, and makes you confident that He has accepted you. I definitely believe that if the person has stayed sincerely in Arafat, Allah would make him confident that he has been forgiven, as if he has returned to the day his mother gave birth to him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((“There are no days better for Allah than the first ten days of Thi Al-Hijja” a man said: “Are they better or to perform jihad for the sake of Allah the same number of days”” He said: “They are better than performing jihad for the sake of Allah the same number of days; and there is no day better for Allah than the day of ‘Arafah, as Allah, Glory be to Him, comes down to the heaven which is close to the earth, and then He boasts the people of earth before the people of heaven. He says: “Look at My slaves who have come to Me Shaggy, dusty, and facing the sun. They have come to Me from every deep ravine, they hope My mercy although they did not see My torment.” So, you did not see a day in which people emancipation from fire more than the day of Arafah.))

[Close to ‘Sahih Ibn Hibban’ from Jaber, may Allah be pleased with him]

Allah honors hajji by forgiving his/her sins:

Brothers, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has said before the sunset of the day of ‘Arafah:

((“O Bilal, make people listen to me,” Bilal stood up and said: “Listen to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.” Then people listened. So, the prophet peace and blessings upon him said: “O people, Jibril has come to me earlier and delivered the greetings of my Lord, and said: Verily, Allah, Almighty, has forgiven the people of ‘Arafat, and the people of the sacred monument (Muzdalifah), and He has ensured their consequences.” Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, stood up and said: “O messenger of Allah, is this speech especially for us”” The prophet said: “It’s for you, and for those who will come after you until the day of resurrection.” So Omar, may Allah be pleased to him, said: “It’s so many welfare from Allah.”))

[‘Al-Targheeb & Al-Tarheeb’ from Anas Ibn Malek, may Allah be pleased to him]

((There is no day in which Allah manumits a slave from the fire more than the day of Arafah, and verily, Allah, Almighty, approaches, then He boasts His slaves before the angels saying: “What did those people want” Look at My slaves who are shaggy and dusty, bear witness that I have forgiven them.”))

[Narrated by Muslim from ‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased to her]

Dear brothers, verily, Allah forgives the hajji, and as an exaggeration in honoring the hajji by Allah, He forgives those whom the hajji has asked forgiveness for; it means that any service you provide to the hajji before his travelling or after his return, which makes his heart filled with gratitude and he asked forgiveness for you, then you should know that it is granted.

In hajj, the best thing that man achieves is the monotheism:

Brothers:

((There is no day that satan is smaller, more defeated, and more raging than the day of Arafah, and the reason for this is the mercy which descends on that day, and the passing of the great sins by Allah.))

[‘Mouataa Malek’ from Abu Al-Dardaa, may Allah be pleased to him]

((He said: The best invocation is the invocation of the day of Arafah, and the best speech which has been said by me and by the prophets who have come before me: “There is no god but Allah, Alone with no partner, He has the dominion, He has the praise, and He is Powerful to do everything.))

[Ahmad from A’mr Bin Shoua’eeb]

In hajj, the best thing that man reaches is the monotheism, that he puts all of his thinking in Allah alone, and that he doesn’t think about the great power, the dominating nation, and the arrogant body:

“And to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him (O Muhammad ) and put your trust in Him. “

[Hud 11:123]

(( The best speech which has been said by me and by the prophets who have come before me: “There is no god but Allah, Alone with no partner, He has the dominion, He has the praise, and He is Powerful to do everything.))

[Ahmad from A’mr Bin Shoua’eeb]

The hajj is the penultimate trip, in preparation for the last trip:

Brothers, we see an amazing scene on Arafah, human plants cover the mountain of Arafah, with various races, its branches are those raised hands with invocation to the Lord of earth and heaven; where the hajji sees a miniature image of the great gathering of the day of resurrection before him, and that he should prepare himself from now, because there is a return to home after the hajj trip, as it is the penultimate trip; but when man has come to the great gathering of the day of resurrection, he would never be able to return to his country.

Arafah is a place for gathering where no differentiation among people could be found, human beings from all denominations, creeds, nations, countries and regions; you find rich and poor people, strong and weak people, and you find educated as well as ignorant people, all of them in one place raising their hands with invocation to Allah, Almighty.

Hajj is the penultimate trip in order to be prepared for the last trip, all people wearing identical clothing, saying identical invocation and identical supplication. They are all weak, each one of them an individual; it’s a miniature model of the last trip (to the hereafter). So, hajj is the penultimate trip in preparation for the last trip.

Some secrets of ‘throwing pebbles’:

Dear brothers, there are some secrets in ‘throwing pebbles’; let’s start with the ‘the big jamrah’: Some scholars said that, according to the military language, the big jamrah symbolizes condensation, crowding and to start with facing the biggest matter. The prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, endowed ‘the big jamrah’ and ‘the medium jamrah’ with staying for a long time for appealing.
They are three jamrahs, with a distance of time between one and another, in order that the believer should remain completely aware of the treachery of his enemy, and he should know that the battle against satan has several locations, continuous, and extended throughout his life; so, the three jamrahs should be thrown within three days, but whosoever hastens to leave in two days, then it is permissible and is not considered a sin.
Look at the most serious word of ‘Imam Al-Ghazali’, mercy of Allah be upon him: “The only way to humiliate satan during throwing pebbles at him is by your obedience to Allah.” if a hajji disobeyed his Lord after his return, then it is satan who would stone him.
In each tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba), you stand at the ‘black stone’, make a sign at it and say: “O Allah, believing in You, confessing Your book (Quran), following Your religious law, and pledging to be obedient to You.”

Hajj is a worship adorned with the best deeds and ethics:

Brothers, the sacred house (Kaaba) attracts believers from the five continents of the world; so they come in different qualities, and each group carries the concerns of their society. They come to worship their Lord in this place, they come to return, through the temporal dimension, to the past of this nation, and to return, through the spatial dimension, to the land in which revelation has descended, they come to return to the place which combined this eternal divine message in order to provide themselves with useful lessons which help them to reform their lives according to their Lord’s approach, and to reform their religion which is the infallibility of their affairs.

Brothers, Hajj is a worship which is adorned with the best deeds and ethics; as Hajj is to be far above the material things and the desires of this worldly life, to train yourself to decrease them, and to be satisfied with the modicum. So, it’s not appropriate for one who is performing this act of worship to engage with what has been forbidden by Allah the Almighty; furthermore, it is not enough that you refrain from all these forbidden things, but you should command that which is reputable and prohibit that which is disreputable.
Verily, the good ethics, the good talk, and catering food to people are of the greatest acts of worship to Allah during performing hajj.

Facts in sentences:

Brothers, facts in sentences:

It’s not reasonable nor acceptable that a hajji returns to his bad behavior after performing the duty of hajj.

It’s not reasonable nor acceptable when a hajji is present in the ‘masha’er’ (the sacred places in hajj) but he does not feel any noble feelings!

It’s not reasonable nor acceptable that a hajji seeks to perform a Sunnah or recommended matter, then he commits a sin, or he transgresses a duty for them; the kissing of the black stone, as an example, is Sunnah, is it rational to scramble and hurt your brothers while protecting them is your duty in order to perform a sunnah (which is kissing the black stone)”

It’s not reasonable nor acceptable that a hajji tells you everything about his trip to hajj except about the hajj itself.
It’s not reasonable nor acceptable, that a hajji throws the pebbles as an expression of his antagonism to the devil, then he becomes a plaything in his hand after returning to his country.
I know a restaurant owner who was offering alcohol in his restaurant, then he repented to Allah after he has performed hajj, but the percentage of sales decreased to one tenth, so he returned to offer alcohol. After ten days he has passed away. Hajj is the greatest worship ever.

It’s not reasonable nor acceptable that the command of Allah, which is related to this duty, is limited to that a hajji comes from distant lands to sit in the sacred places, eats, sleeps, and talks about the affairs of the worldly life!
Sometimes, you see some people in Arafat talking about their worldly affairs! Did they come from the far countries, and spend hundreds of thousands in order to talk about their worldly affairs”

Verily, the command of Allah, which is related to the worship of hajj, is greater and more honorable than worldly life’s affairs; it’s illogical to come to Mecca from distant lands, to achieve your material existence in the place only, or to spend your time in something that is far of what you have been ordered by Allah. This is not the kind of Hajj by which the interests of Muslims in the worldly life and the hereafter Is achieved.

People’s rights and Allah’s rights:

Dear brothers, you must know that a big illusion which is common among most people, that if you have returned from hajj, your sins would be forgiven as if you were born again; this is true in matters between you and Allah, but when it comes to the relation between you and Allah’s servants, rights should be given back.
In fact, hajj does not expiate sins which their committer did not repent from them, that the one who is committing a sin continuously, and he does not repent from it, performing hajj will not expiate this sin.
Hajj is an expiation and reward for the repenting servant, who is returning to Allah, who is asking for His mercy and forgiveness, and who has left his sins decisively; and the evidence for that is narrated by Imam Muslim from Abdullah bin Mas’oud, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: People had said to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him:

((“O Messenger of Allah, shall we be blamed for our acts in pre-Islam”” He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied: “The one of you, who has done well in Islam, would never be blamed for his bad acts before Islam, and who has done wrong, he would be blamed for his bad acts in both Islam and before it.”))

[Muslim from Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud, may Allah be pleased with him]

If a man, who has committed sins, has repented a genuine repentance after performing hajj, Allah would erase those sins; then if he returned to committing the sins, Allah would punish him for his sins before and after performing hajj.
For the person who has performed hajj, all the sins that have been committed against Allah would be forgiven, but the sins which have been committed against people would be forgiven only by returning the rights to their owners or by asking them for forgiveness, and there is a very strong evidence about that.

((All the sins of martyr are forgiven except debt.))

[Narrated by Ahmad and Muslim from Abdullah Ibn A’mr Ibn Al-A’ass]

Although martyr grants his life to Allah, but if he was debtor, the debt would not be forgiven. When one of the companions, who fought with the prophet, peace be upon him, all the invasions, had died; the prophet said:

((“Is he indebted to anyone”” They said: “Yes” He said: “Perform ‘Al-Janazah prayer’ for your companion.” And he did not.))

[Narrated by Ahmad from Jaber]

It’s a big illusion that man commits sins as much as he wants in the hope that Allah will forgive him after performing hajj. The rights of people are based on punishment, and the rights of Allah are based on forgiveness.

Hadiths about the importance of hajj:

O brothers:

((Hasten to perform the duty of hajj, because one of you does not know what may happen to him.))

[Narrated by Ahmad in the trace of ‘Bani Hashem’, from Ibn A’bbass]

((Be continuing between hajj and Umrah, that both of them negate the poverty and the sins as the bellows removes the impurities of iron, gold, and silver; and the only reward for the accepted hajj is the paradise.))

[Narrated by Al-Tirmithi in Hajj and Al-Nisae’e in Manasek, from Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud]

((People who perform hajj and Umrah are the delegation of Allah, if they have appealed Him, He would accept, and if they have asked Him forgiveness, He would forgive them.))

[Narrated by Ibn Majah in Manasek from Abu Huraira]

((The Jihad of old man, child, weak, and woman is hajj and Umrah.))

[Narrated by Al-Nisae’e in Manasek]

((Hajj is the jihad of each weak man.))

[Narrated by Ibn Majah and Ahmad in Manasek from Om Salamah]

((“O Messenger of Allah, do women go to jihad”” He said: “Yes, they go to jihad in which there is no fighting, they go to hajj and Umrah.”))

[Narrated by Ibn Majah and Ahmad in Manasek from A’ishah]

Ask yourself before you have been asked, and evaluate your deeds, before they have been evaluated against you, and you should know that the angel of death has overpassed us to other people, and he will overpass other people to us, so we should be careful. The wise man is one who blames himself, and who has prepared himself for what is coming after death. The disabled man is one who has followed his desires, and who has wished the false wishes. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of creations.

Dr Nabulsi
http://www.nabulsi.com/
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I Don’t Feel Ramadan

“I don’t feel Ramadan,” she vented.  She, working night shifts and feeling exhausted throughout her days, expressed the same sentiment many others have during this Ramadan of long fasting days and short nights.

“I’m a mom of three small kids,” a sister explained. “I have health problems and can’t fast. If I can just get my prayers in on time, I’m grateful. I’m starting to get depressed because Ramadan is almost over and I haven’t felt it at all.”

“I’m taking care of my elderly parents and working long hours,” he sighed. “Work is hard and being there for my parents is stressful, even though I love them. I was looking forward to Ramadan because I so badly needed the spiritual boost. But now it’s here, and I feel worse because I haven’t felt any spiritual highs. I feel guilty because I should do more acts of worship, but I’m just too tired.”

Many of us have felt inadequate this Ramadan. Long hours of fasting with short nights have made it hard for those of us with life responsibilities or those of us who are unable to fast due to our health “feel” Ramadan. We have not been able to do the extra worship we used to and even when we get in our extra Qur’an or pray in the mosque we have trouble concentrating, so we end up just feeling lame.

But what we really need is a perspective shift.

We need to recognize that taking care of our loved ones, providing financial support for our families and taking care of our health are some of the highest forms of worship in and of themselves. We just need to make the intention and internally shift our perspectives.

Perspective Shift

Here are three action items for those of us feeling low eman (faith) this Ramadan:

  1. Change your perspective.

You are rewarded for your intention. Would have gone to taraweeh (Ramadan night prayers) but couldn’t make it because of work hours and needing to get some sleep in? Couldn’t read your planned Qur’an because of the kids who won’t let up on your time for even five minutes? Couldn’t fast because of your health situation?

Your life circumstances simply do not allow even the small amount of worship you so desperately wish you could partake in. Even if you do have the time, you do not have the energy to focus internally and feel the drive. You are exhausted. You feel depleted.

And that is where your intention comes in. You would be doing all you could to rake up the spiritual vibes if it were possible. So, instead of lamenting your lameness, think of God’s greatness, subhanahu wa ta’ala, exhalted is He. In His mercy, He will reward you anyway for all of what you planned to do but could not. Think of the powerful words of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him), comforting all of us in this exact situation:

“God ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write): If somebody intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then God will write for him a full good deed (in his account with Him); and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then God will write for him (in his account) with Him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times: and if somebody intended to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then God will write a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intended to do it (a bad deed) and actually did it, then God will write one bad deed (in his account) 1

And if there was ever something you used to do but could no longer do it because of health or your life situations, recognize that you are still being rewarded for it. The Prophet ﷺ comfortingly told us,

“When a slave of Allah falls ill or goes on a journey, he is credited with the same amount of recompense as he used to do in his state of health or when he was at home.” 2

And that is why it is so important to take advantage of your time and health when you have it. Because once they are gone, you will still be rewarded for all of what you would be doing if you could. But that is the key—doing it when you can.

  1. Drawing nearer to God happens through actions, not through feelings.

God tells us in a holy hadith (narration): “My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it…” 3

We want that “Ramadan feeling” because we get the spiritual high of feeling close to Him. That is essentially what we are craving for.

But here He is telling us that the way we draw close to Him is through the religious duties He has made obligatory on us and then through anything extra. He does not say: “You draw close to Me through a feeling you get and that’s how you know you’re actually close to Me.”

We are so blessed that He did not require us to experience “a feeling”, an emotion, something we have little to no control over, in order to be close to Him. He does not demand we cry out of love for Him everyday, even if that is what we want to do. He does not ask us to weep for our sins every minute, even though that is what we probably deserve to do.

He is empowering us to take action in managing our side of our relationship with Him. If we are taking those actions, we are already near to Him, God willing.

  1. Take a moment and speak to Him.

Give yourself five minutes, just you and Allah. Sit and raise your hands and share what is in your heart with Him in your own words, even though He is well aware of it. Allow the burden of your frustration with yourself to be lifted off your shoulders and into His Hands.

“Dear God, I feel distant from you and it hurts especially because it’s Ramadan and I want to feel close to You in this month. Please, accept all my sacrifices for Your Sake and let me taste the sweetness of our relationship together through what I’m doing. As much as I wish I could be in the masjid and concentrate when reading Qur’an like I used to do to get that emanhigh, I can’t. But I’m doing whatever I can to fulfill the responsibilities You’ve given me in this phase of my life. So please, write me amongst the highest in Paradise, pour blessings into my life and let me taste the sweetness of my relationship with You through what I’m doing.”

As our responsibilities pile up, so do our inabilities to focus on the spirituality we were banking on to experience in Ramadan. In the weeks prior, we were so anxious for this opportunity just to get spiritually tuned.

And then once Ramadan gets here and we do not feel it, it is easy for us to sink into even more serious depression because what we thought would give us the boost did not work, so then we blame ourselves. We see ourselves as failures, so we assume that is the way He views us too. But our perception of our own selves is not a reflection of who we are in His eyes. His mercy overcomes any shortcomings of a believer who sincerely struggles to be close to Him, even when we fall.

Be Easy on Yourself

So be easy on ourselves, as Allah (swt) is easy on us. As you speak to Him, remind yourself that everything you do can be an act of worship in which to draw nearer to Him.

Even the mundane can be worship. You brushing your teeth to follow the Prophetic tradition, to maintain the health of your body, to have great smelling breath for your loved ones and the angels who surround you, is an act of worship in and of itself. You smiling at your parents, kissing your spouse, texting a friend to brighten their day; all of those are acts of worship in and of themselves. Your entire life, your entire day, is filled with actions which could all be acts of worship, simply through your intention.

The beauty of Islam is that it does not restrict worshiping God to praying, fasting and reading Qur’an. It can encompass your daily actions simply through your intention.

As the great scholar, Abdullah ibn Mubarak, is reported to have said: “Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great.”

You may not have felt that “Ramadan feeling,” but you may have been doing the actions of someone close to God, someone successful both in and outside of Ramadan, simply through re-framing your perspective, remembering God through the actions you are doing, and renewing your intention through even the mundane.

There is still time. Renew your intention. Reframe your perspective. In these blessed nights, make your Ramadan worship something transformational. Choose to understand your relationship with God as one that will continue even when your life changes. Choose to magnify your intention.

  1. Sahih al-Bukhari 6491
  2. Sahih al-Bukhari 2996
  3. Sahih al-Bukhari 6502

 

source:  www.virtualmosque
by:  Maryam Amirebrahimi
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