Archive for October 2012

Authenticity and Narrators of Ghadir-e-Khumm

59, 31 October, 2012

AUTHENTICITY
A). Consecutively naratted (Mutawatir)
B). Numerous Sahih versions
C). Dedicated treatisis by 26 authors (Most of them are sunnies)
NARRATORS
A). 110 companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
B). 84 Successors (Tabiun)
C). Over 360 scholars to the present day (Most of them are sunnies)

1: Abaqat al-Anwar a book written in Persian by Allama Mir Hamid Husayn al-Musawi (d. 1304 AH) of India. Allama Mir Hamid Husayn has devoted two bulky volumes (consisting of about 1,080 pages) on the isnad, tawatur and meaning of the hadith of Ghadir.

2: Al-Ghadir in 11 volumes in Arabic by Allama Abdul Husayn al-Amini where he gives with full references the names of 110 sahaba of the Prophet and also 84 tabi’un (disciples of the sahaba) who have narrated the hadith of Ghadir. He has also chronologically given the names of the historians, traditionists, exegesis’s and poets who have mentioned the hadith of Ghadir from the first until the fourteenth Islamic century.

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Events of GHADIR-E-KHUMM……..

44, 31 October, 2012

Tabarani and others have recorded the following tradition as related by Zayd ibn ‘Arqam and transmitted through sources unanimously acknowledged to be reliable. Zayd says that the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him and his posterity, delivered a sermon at Ghadir-e-Khumm under a cloth spread as a canopy on two large trees. He said:Hadith1. “O my people! I am going to be recalled shortly and I must comply.

2. I shall be interrogated and you also shall be interrogated. What will you say then?” The entire audience answered: “We shall bear witness that you did convey to us the message of Allah, and tried your best to guide us on the right path and always gave us good console. May Allah bless you with a good reward.”

3. The Prophet proceeded: “Why do you not bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that Paradise is true, Hell is true, Death is true, Resurrection after death is true, that the Day of Judgment will doubtlessly come and that Allah will raise to life the dead from their graves?.” They said: “O Yes! We bear witness to all this.”

4. Then he said: “O Allah! You also may witness.”

5. Then he said: ‘O my people! Allah is my Mawla and I am mawla of the faithful and I have superior right on and control over their lives. And this Ali is the mawla of all those of whom I am mawla. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him.”

6. He further said: “O my people! I will precede you and you also shall arrive at the pool of Kawthar, the pool wider than the distance between Basrah and San’a’, and there are on the pool as many goblets of silver as stars. When you shall reach me I shall interrogate you about your behaviour towards the two in-valuable assets after my death.

7. The major asset is the Book of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, one end of which is in the hand of Allah, the Exalted, and the other end of which in your hands. Grasp it tightly and do not go astray and do not change or amend it. The other asset is my Progeny, who are my Ahl al-Bayt. Allah the Gracious and Omniscient has informed me that the two will not part from each other before they reach me at the pool.

To Know Is To Know…article by… Sayed M. Al-Modarresi

09, 26 October, 2012

http://ahlulbayt.tv/enlight/?p=571

Scholars have debated the meaning of the prophetic tradition “He who knows himself, knows his Lord” for centuries. Allamah M. Baqer Majlisi who is one of the greatest scholars of Hadeeth, a man who has demonstrated a striking insight into the luminous words of the divinely appointed Imams and author of the eminent collection of Hadeeth ‘Oceans of Light’, lists 12 possible meanings for the dictum. One thing is for certain; that the juxtaposition of man and God is for contrast rather than comparison. We all know that God is not to be compared. Period. “Naught is as His likeness” [42:11]. So the meaning becomes ‘he who knows his intrinsic weakness, inherent deficiency, and fundamental impotence, shall know his Lord’s absolute power, ubiquitous presence, and infinite knowledge’.

In this sense, for one to truly appreciate his Lord’s greatness in every sense; his power, generosity, wisdom, mercy.. the list goes on to cover all 1000 divine attributes, one must reach within to find the poverty which is the hallmark of all created beings. Being the mortals who are resistant to such a confession makes this an unmistakably difficult feat. An exercise which requires deep contemplation and an acknowledgment of the truth.

You are He who was gracious,
You are He who blessed,
You are He who worked good,
You are He who was kind,
You are He who was bounteous,
You are He who perfected,
You are He who provided,
You are He who gave success,
You are He who bestowed,
You are He who enriched,
You are He who contented,
You are He who sheltered,
You are He who sufficed,
You are He who guided,
You are He who preserved (from sin),
You are He who covered (my sins),
You are He who forgave,
You are He who overlooked,
You are He who established (in the eareh),
You are He who exalted,
You are He who aided,
You are He who supported,
You are He who confirmed,
You are He who helped,
You are He who healed,
You are He who gave well-being,
You are He who honored
– blessed are You
and high exalted!
So Yours is the praise everlastingly,
and Yours is gratitude enduringly and forever!

While conversely,

I am he who did evil,
I am he who made mistakes,
I am he who purposed (to sin),
I am he who was ignorant,
I am he who was heedless,
I am he who was negligent,
I am he who relied (upon other than You),
I am he who premeditated,
I am he who promised,
I am he who went back on his word,
I am he who confessed (my sins)
and I am he who acknowledged my blessings upon me
and with me and then returned to my sins.
So forgive me for them,
O He who is not harmed by the sins of His servants
nor needs He their obedience.

Self Awareness

It is precisely such a profound sense of awareness that is the purpose of the day of Arafah. A day in which pilgrims head to the House of the Lord to slough off their sins by means of confessing them prior to returning to the holy city of Makkah. Pilgrims are encouraged to stand on their feet from noon till dusk, under the sun, with no clothing or distinguishing articles but their shroud, whilst covered with dust, and confess each and every act of transgression they have perpetrated, along with genuine remorse and a commitment to repent, as preconditions for forgiveness. The contrast is once again eye-opening; the more I recall my sinful conduct and shameful deeds, the more I sense His mercy, compassion, and pardon towards this nefarious slave.

Without question, however, the best reminder of man’s delinquent demeanor and the merciful nature of God is the supplication which was recited by the Master of the Youth of Paradise; Imam Hussein on Arafah. A prayer unmatched in its splendor; a beauty which stems from the astonishing insights which leave us speechless. It is so profound that one is perplexed whether to stand in awe for its eloquence or succumb to its debilitatingly potent revelations about ourselves. From the very start of the supplication, you will slip into a sea of facts with profound implications which inextricably change your view of the world. The tears which flowed from Imam Hussein’s eyes whilst reciting it in his tent along with ours, are symptoms of this powerful elixir.

I can boldly claim that one who recites this supplication is transformed, albeit for the duration of it and before the distractions come rushing in.

 

The story of Great Trial of Sacrifice

00, 26 October, 2012

The story about the great trial of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is an interesting one and there are many lessons that can be derived from it by those who believe in Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and claim to follow his creed.  To summarize what had transpired:  Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had prayed to Allah (SWT) to grant him a son.  Allah (SWT) fulfilled his wish and gave him Prophet Ismail (AS) at very old age.  “O God! Grant me with a righteous son. So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing son.” (37:100-101).

When the child attained 13 years of age, Allah (SWT) commanded Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in his dream to sacrifice him for His sake.  “When he was old enough to assist in his endeavour, he said: ‘My son! I see in my dream that I am sacrificing you. See what you think?'” (37:102).  Because it was the command from Allah (SWT), the righteous son encouraged his old father to discharge his duty.  “He said: ‘O Father! Do whatever you have been commanded.  If Allah wishes, you will find me to be patient.” (37:102).

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) set out with his son Prophet Ismail (AS) to the sacrificing spot.  It was certainly not an easy task!  On the way, Shaytan or Satan appeared in a form of an old advising man.  He tried to stop Prophet Ibrahim (AS) from offering the sacrifice, but because of the strong faith in Allah (SWT), Prophet Ibrahim (AS)’s determination to comply with the command of his Creator could not be shaken.

Shaytan then tried his luck with young Prophet Ismail (AS) to persuade him to escape from his ill fate.  As a result of his father’s invocation, Prophet Ismail (AS) was a righteous son and he too, could therefore not be influenced.  Both, the father and the son chased Shaytan away.  They then arrived at the sacrificing spot at Mina.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) tied the hands and the legs of his son so as not to be perturbed by his pain and restlessness. He blindfolded himself and carrying the knife enacted the command of Allah (SWT).  When Prophet Ibrahim (AS) removed his fold, he saw Prophet Ismail (AS) by his side and in his place; a Ram lay slain before them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) trembled lest Allah (SWT) rejected his sacrifice. Suddenly he heard a voice that was soothing:

“We called out to him: O Ibrahim! You have indeed fulfilled the vision!  Thus indeed We reward the virtuous.  This indeed was a manifest trial. Then We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:  Peace be to Ibrahim.” (37:104-109)

 

Lesson from the Great Trial of Sacrifice

Dr. Ali Shari’ati in his book, ‘Philosophy of Hajj’ writes and I quote:

“This is a story of man’s perfection and his freedom from selfishness and animalistic desires.

It is man’s ascension to a higher spirit and loves, to a strong will that frees him from any thing that may hinder his responsibility as a conscious man.” 

In other words, Allah (SWT) is telling us: 

On this day of Eid Al-Adha, you should select your Ismail and bring him to Mina!

Who is your Ismail?  Anything that is causing an obstruction for you to reach your Lord and fulfil your duties towards Him.

Your Ismail could be:

Your wealth,  Your job,  Your rank,  Your power,  Your lust,  Your greed,  Your spouse,  Your children.

It could be anything and make sure that it is as dear to you as Prophet Ismail (AS) was to Prophet Ibrahim (AS). 

As you are sacrificing an animal on this day, bear in mind that you are in fact, sacrificing that dearest thing in your life and telling Allah (SWT): 

“O My Lord! Henceforth, this thing, which has been dearest to me in life,

will Insha’Allah not hinder me from reaching You and acquiring Your pleasure.”

THIS WILL MAKE YOUR EID PERFECT

 

Hajj in the Quran

09, 17 October, 2012

http://www.islamic-laws.com/hajinquran.htm

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful .

وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِال’حَجِّ يَأ’تُوكَ رِجَالاً وَعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأ’تِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ .

“And proclaim that the people shall observe Hajj pilgrimage.

They will come to you walking or riding on various exhausted (means of transportation). They will come from the farthest locations.” [22:27] These are the verses (in sequence) that deal with Hajj (Pilgrimage) in the Quran;

I seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [al-Baqarah 2:125]

وَإِذ’ جَعَل’نَا ال’بَي’تَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَم’ناً وَاتَّخِذُوا’ مِن مَّقَامِ إِب’رَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِد’نَا إِلَى إِب’رَاهِيمَ وَإِس’مَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَي’تِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَال’عَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ.

We have rendered the shrine (the Ka`aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.” [al-Baqarah 2:158] .

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَال’مَر’وَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللّهِ فَمَن’ حَجَّ ال’بَي’تَ أَوِ اع’تَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَي’هِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَي’راً فَإِنَّ اللّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ.

The knolls of Safa and Marwah are among the rites decreed by GOD. Anyone who observes Hajj or `Umrah commits no error by traversing the distance between them. If one volunteers more righteous works, then GOD is Appreciative, Omniscient.

[al-Baqarah 2:189]

يَس’أَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأهِلَّةِ قُل’ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَال’حَجِّ وَلَي’سَ ال’بِرُّ بِأَن’ تَأ’تُو’ا’ ال’بُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ ال’بِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأ’تُوا’ ال’بُيُوتَ مِن’ أَب’وَابِهَا وَاتَّقُوا’ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُم’ تُف’لِحُونَ.

They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj.” It is not righteous to beat around the bush; righteousness is attained by upholding the commandments and by being straightforward. You shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.

[al-Baqarah 2:196]

وَأَتِمُّوا’ ال’حَجَّ وَال’عُم’رَةَ لِلّهِ فَإِن’ أُح’صِر’تُم’ فَمَا اس’تَي’سَرَ مِنَ ال’هَد’يِ وَلاَ تَح’لِقُوا’ رُؤُوسَكُم’ حَتَّى يَب’لُغَ ال’هَد’يُ مَحِلَّهُ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضاً أَو’ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأ’سِهِ فَفِد’يَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَو’ صَدَقَةٍ أَو’ نُسُكٍ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُم’ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِال’عُم’رَةِ إِلَى ال’حَجِّ فَمَا اس’تَي’سَرَ مِنَ ال’هَد’يِ فَمَن لَّم’ يَجِد’ فَصِيَامُ ثَلاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي ال’حَجِّ وَسَب’عَةٍ إِذَا رَجَع’تُم’ تِل’كَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَلِكَ لِمَن لَّم’ يَكُن’ أَه’لُهُ حَاضِرِي ال’مَس’جِدِ ال’حَرَامِ وَاتَّقُوا’ اللّهَ وَاع’لَمُوا’ أَنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ ال’عِقَابِ.

You shall observe the complete rites of Hajj and `Umrah for GOD. If you are prevented, you shall send an offering, and do not resume cutting your hair until your offering has reached its destination. If you are ill, or suffering a head injury (and you must cut your hair), you shall expiate by fasting, or giving to charity, or some other form of worship. During the normal Hajj, if you break the state of Ihraam (sanctity) between `Umrah and Hajj, you shall expiate by offering an animal sacrifice. If you cannot afford it, you shall fast three days during Hajj and seven when you return home – this completes ten -provided you do not live at the Sacred Masjid. You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

[al-Baqarah 2:197]

ال’حَجُّ أَش’هُرٌ مَّع’لُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ ال’حَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي ال’حَجِّ وَمَا تَف’عَلُوا’ مِن’ خَي’رٍ يَع’لَم’هُ اللّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُوا’ فَإِنَّ خَي’رَ الزَّادِ التَّق’وَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُو’لِي الأَل’بَابِ.

Hajj shall be observed in the specified months. Whoever sets out to observe Hajj shall refrain from sexual intercourse, misconduct, and arguments throughout Hajj. Whatever good you do, GOD is fully aware thereof. As you prepare your provisions for the journey, the best provision is righteousness. You shall observe Me, O you who possess intelligence.

[al-Baqarah 2:198]

لَي’سَ عَلَي’كُم’ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَب’تَغُوا’ فَض’لاً مِّن رَّبِّكُم’ فَإِذَا أَفَض’تُم مِّن’ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذ’كُرُوا’ اللّهَ عِندَ ال’مَش’عَرِ ال’حَرَامِ وَاذ’كُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُم’ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَب’لِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّآلِّينَ.

You commit no error by seeking provisions from your Lord (through commerce). When you file from `Arafaat, you shall commemorate GOD at the Sacred Location (of Muzdalifah). You shall commemorate Him for guiding you; before this, you had gone astray.

[al-Baqarah 2:199]

ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا’ مِن’ حَي’ثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاس’تَغ’فِرُوا’ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ.

You shall file together, with the rest of the people who file, and ask GOD for forgiveness. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[al-Baqarah 2:200-201]

فَإِذَا قَضَي’تُم مَّنَاسِكَكُم’ فَاذ’كُرُوا’ اللّهَ كَذِك’رِكُم’ آبَاءكُم’ أَو’ أَشَدَّ ذِك’راً فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّن’يَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِن’ خَلاَقٍ (200) وِمِن’هُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّن’يَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ (201) Once you complete your rites, you shall continue to commemorate GOD as you commemorate your own parents, or even better. Some people would say, “Our Lord, give us of this world,” while having no share in the Hereafter. [2:201] Others would say, “Our Lord, grant us righteousness in this world, and righteousness in the Hereafter, and spare us the retribution of Hell.” [al-Baqarah 2:203]

وَاذ’كُرُوا’ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّع’دُودَاتٍ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَو’مَي’نِ فَلاَ إِث’مَ عَلَي’هِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلا إِث’مَ عَلَي’هِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُوا’ اللّهَ وَاع’لَمُوا أَنَّكُم’ إِلَي’هِ تُح’شَرُونَ.

You shall commemorate GOD for a number of days (in Mena); whoever hastens to do this in two days commits no sin, and whoever stays longer commits no sin, so long as righteousness is maintained. You shall observe GOD, and know that before Him you will be gathered.

[Al-Imran 3:96-97]

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَي’تٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكاً وَهُدًى لِّل’عَالَمِينَ (96) فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّـنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِب’رَاهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِناً وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ ال’بَي’تِ مَنِ اس’تَطَاعَ إِلَي’هِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ ال’عَالَمِينَ (97) The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Becca; a blessed beacon for all the people. In it are clear signs: the station of Abraham. Anyone who enters it shall be granted safe passage. The people owe it to GOD that they shall observe Hajj to this shrine, when they can afford it. As for those who disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone.

[al-Ma’idah 5:1]

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا’ أَو’فُوا’ بِال’عُقُودِ أُحِلَّت’ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الأَن’عَامِ إِلاَّ مَا يُت’لَى عَلَي’كُم’ غَي’رَ مُحِلِّي الصَّي’دِ وَأَنتُم’ حُرُمٌ إِنَّ اللّهَ يَح’كُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ.

O you who believe, you shall fulfill your covenants. Permitted for you to eat are the livestock, except those specifically prohibited herein. You shall not permit hunting throughout Hajj pilgrimage. GOD decrees whatever He wills.

[al-Ma’idah 5:2]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا’ لاَ تُحِلُّوا’ شَعَآئِرَ اللّهِ وَلاَ الشَّه’رَ ال’حَرَامَ وَلاَ ال’هَد’يَ وَلاَ ال’قَلآئِدَ وَلا آمِّينَ ال’بَي’تَ ال’حَرَامَ يَب’تَغُونَ فَض’لاً مِّن رَّبِّهِم’ وَرِض’وَاناً وَإِذَا حَلَل’تُم’ فَاص’طَادُوا’ وَلاَ يَج’رِمَنَّكُم’ شَنَآنُ قَو’مٍ أَن صَدُّوكُم’ عَنِ ال’مَس’جِدِ ال’حَرَامِ أَن تَع’تَدُوا’ وَتَعَاوَنُوا’ عَلَى ال’برِّ وَالتَّق’وَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُوا’ عَلَى الإِث’مِ وَال’عُد’وَانِ وَاتَّقُوا’ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ ال’عِقَابِ.

O you who believe, do not violate the rites instituted by GOD, nor the Sacred Months, nor the animals to be offered, nor the garlands marking them, nor the people who head for the Sacred Shrine (Ka`bah) seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. Once you complete the pilgrimage, you may hunt. Do not be provoked into aggression by your hatred of people who once prevented you from going to the Sacred Masjid. You shall cooperate in matters of righteousnessand piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil. You shall observe GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

[al-Ma’idah 5:94]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا’ لَيَب’لُوَنَّكُمُ اللّهُ بِشَي’ءٍ مِّنَ الصَّي’دِ تَنَالُهُ أَي’دِيكُم’ وَرِمَاحُكُم’ لِيَع’لَمَ اللّهُ مَن يَخَافُهُ بِال’غَي’بِ فَمَنِ اع’تَدَى بَع’دَ ذَلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ.

O you who believe, GOD will test you with some game within reach of your hands and your arrows (during pilgrimage). GOD thus distinguishes those among you who observe Him in their privacy. Those who transgress after this have incurred a painful retribution.

[al-Ma’idah 5:95]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا’ لاَ تَق’تُلُوا’ الصَّي’دَ وَأَنتُم’ حُرُمٌ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَاء مِّث’لُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَح’كُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَد’لٍ مِّنكُم’ هَد’ياً بَالِغَ ال’كَع’بَةِ أَو’ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَو عَد’لُ ذَلِكَ صِيَاماً لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَم’رِهِ عَفَا اللّهُ عَمَّا سَلَف وَمَن’ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ اللّهُ مِن’هُ وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو ان’تِقَامٍ.

O you who believe, do not kill any game during pilgrimage. Anyone who kills any game on purpose, his fine shall be a number of livestock animals that is equivalent to the game animals he killed. The judgment shall be set by two equitable people among you. They shall make sure that the offerings reach the Ka`bah. Otherwise, he may expiate by feeding poor people, or by an equivalent fast to atone for his offense. GOD has pardoned past offenses. But if anyone returns to such an offense, GOD will avenge it. GOD is Almighty, Avenger.

[al-Ma’idah 5:96]

أُحِلَّ لَكُم’ صَي’دُ ال’بَح’رِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعاً لَّكُم’ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ وَحُرِّمَ عَلَي’كُم’ صَي’دُ ال’بَرِّ مَا دُم’تُم’ حُرُماً وَاتَّقُوا’ اللّهَ الَّذِيَ إِلَي’هِ تُح’شَرُونَ.

All fish of the sea are made lawful for you to eat. During pilgrimage, this may provide for you during your journey. You shall not hunt throughout the pilgrimage. You shall reverence GOD, before whom you will be summoned.

[al-Tawbah 9:2]

فَسِيحُوا’ فِي الأَر’ضِ أَر’بَعَةَ أَش’هُرٍ وَاع’لَمُوا’ أَنَّكُم’ غَي’رُ مُع’جِزِي اللّهِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ مُخ’زِي ال’كَافِرِينَ.

Therefore, roam the earth freely for four months, and know that you cannot escape from GOD, and that GOD humiliates the disbelievers.

{al-Tawbah 9:36]

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللّهِ اث’نَا عَشَرَ شَه’راً فِي كِتَابِ اللّهِ يَو’مَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَات وَالأَر’ضَ مِن’هَا أَر’بَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ ال’قَيِّمُ فَلاَ تَظ’لِمُوا’ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُم’ وَقَاتِلُوا’ ال’مُش’رِكِينَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُم’ كَآفَّةً وَاع’لَمُوا’ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ ال’مُتَّقِينَ.

The count of months, as far as GOD is concerned, is twelve. This has been GOD’s law, since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the perfect religion; you shall not wrong your souls (by fighting) during the Sacred Months. However, you may declare all-out war against the idol worshipers (even during the Sacred Months), when they declare all-out war against you, and know that GOD is on the side of the righteous.

[al-Tawbah 9:37]

إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي ال’كُف’رِ يُضَلُّ بِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا’ يُحِلِّونَهُ عَاماً وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُ عَاماً لِّيُوَاطِؤُوا’ عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ فَيُحِلُّوا’ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ زُيِّنَ لَهُم’ سُوءُ أَع’مَالِهِم’ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَه’دِي ال’قَو’مَ ال’كَافِرِينَ.

Altering the Sacred Months is a sign of excessive disbelief; it augments the straying of those who have disbelieved. They alternate the Sacred Months and the regular months, while preserving the number of months consecrated by GOD. They thus violate what GOD has consecrated. Their evil works are adorned in their eyes. GOD does not guide the disbelieving people.

[al-Hajj 22:26-27]

وَإِذ’ بَوَّأ’نَا لِإِب’رَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ ال’بَي’تِ أَن لَّا تُش’رِك’ بِي شَي’ئاً وَطَهِّر’ بَي’تِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَال’قَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ (26) وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِال’حَجِّ يَأ’تُوكَ رِجَالاً وَعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأ’تِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ (27) We appointed Abraham to establish the Shrine: “You shall not idolize any other god beside Me, and purify My shrine for those who visit it, those who live near it, and those who bow and prostrate.”And proclaim that the people shall observe Hajj pilgrimage. They will come to you walking or riding on various exhausted (means of transportation). They will come from the farthest locations.” [al-Hajj 22:28-29]

لِيَش’هَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُم’ وَيَذ’كُرُوا اس’مَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّع’لُومَاتٍ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ ال’أَن’عَامِ فَكُلُوا مِن’هَا وَأَط’عِمُوا ال’بَائِسَ ال’فَقِيرَ (28) ثُمَّ ل’يَق’ضُوا تَفَثَهُم’ وَل’يُوفُوا نُذُورَهُم’ وَل’يَطَّوَّفُوا بِال’بَي’تِ ال’عَتِيقِ (29) They may seek commercial benefits, and they shall commemorate GOD’s name during the specified days for providing them with livestock. “Eat therefrom and feed the despondent and the poor.” They shall complete their obligations, fulfill their vows, and visit the ancient shrine.

[al-Hajj 22:33]

لَكُم’ فِيهَا مَنَافِعُ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَى ال’بَي’تِ ال’عَتِيقِ.

The (livestock) provide you with many benefits for a period, before being donated to the ancient shrine.

[al-Hajj 22:36]

وَال’بُد’نَ جَعَل’نَاهَا لَكُم مِّن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُم’ فِيهَا خَي’رٌ فَاذ’كُرُوا اس’مَ اللَّهِ عَلَي’هَا صَوَافَّ فَإِذَا وَجَبَت’ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِن’هَا وَأَط’عِمُوا ال’قَانِعَ وَال’مُع’تَرَّ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّر’نَاهَا لَكُم’ لَعَلَّكُم’ تَش’كُرُونَ.

The animal offerings are among the rites decreed by GOD for your own good. You shall mention GOD’s name on them while they are standing in line. Once they are offered for sacrifice, you shall eat therefrom and feed the poor and the needy. This is why we subdued them for you, that you may show your appreciation.

[al-Fath 48:27]

لَقَد’ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤ’يَا بِال’حَقِّ لَتَد’خُلُنَّ ال’مَس’جِدَ ال’حَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُم’ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ فَعَلِمَ مَا لَم’ تَع’لَمُوا فَجَعَلَ مِن دُونِ ذَلِكَ فَت’حاً قَرِيباً.

GOD has fulfilled His messenger’s truthful vision: “You will enter the Sacred Masjid, GOD willing, perfectly secure, and you will cut your hair or shorten it (as you fulfill the pilgrimage rituals) there. You will not have any fear. Since He knew what you did not know, He has coupled this with an immediate victory.” To read commentaries about these verse, please, refer to Tafsir Al-Mizan by Allamah Tabatabai.

Sura 22 is called Al-Hajj. Read the whole Sura,

The Thirty-eighth Greater Sin: Not Giving Importance to Hajj

08, 17 October, 2012

http://www.al-islam.org/greater_sins_complete/43.htm

The thirty-eighth of the Greater sins is to consider Hajj insignificant and not to give it due importance. This has been recorded in the tradition of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) by Amash and in the tradition of Imam Riďa (a.s.) by Fazl Ibn Shazān. Since Hajj is also an obligatory article of faith, what is true of avoiding prayers and zakat also applies to Hajj, viz. a person who refuses to acknowledge it as an obligatory duty is a Kafir and the one who does not fulfill this duty, due to laziness, carelessness or excessive involvement in worldly affairs has committed a great sin. Hajj is highly emphasised as a religious duty of tremendous importance. Indifference towards it is sacrilege.

Delay from the year of Capability is Harām

Hajj is from those obligatory duties that must be performed immediately, if it is possible to do so. Not only is failure to perform Hajj a greater sin, but postponing it, is also a greater sin, even if it be for a year. Hajj has to be performed the very year, in which one is capable of doing so.

Muhaqiq says in Shariatul Islam that delay from the year of capability is a deadly (Great) sin. Shahīd Thani (the second Martyr) says in Masālik, “There is no difference of opinion among the Shia Scholars regarding this matter and there are sufficient proofs from the Qur’an and traditions that delay from the year of capability is a Greater Sin.” It is therefore clear that any delay in performing Hajj amounts to not giving it the importance which is due to it.

Qur’anic ayats and traditions of Ma’sūmīn (a.s.) equate failure to perform Hajj with infidelity. It is a denial of Allah (S.w.T.) and a sort of polytheism. The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an,

“…and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.”

(Surah Āli- ‘Imran 3: 97)

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“By the words ‘whoever disbelieves’ is meant the one who does not perform it.”

‘Ali Ibn Ja’far records in his Sahih that, “My brother Imam Mūsa Ibn Ja’far (a.s.) says,

‘Indeed, the Almighty Allah has made Hajj incumbent on those who are capable. That is if they do not perform Hajj in the year of capability the omitted Hajj will become incumbent on them every year till the end of their lives.’”

For further explanation of this statement the bookUrwathul Wuthqa can be referred.

‘Ali Ibn Ja’far says: I asked Imam (a.s.) whether those of us who did not perform Hajj would become infidels? Imam (a.s.) said,

“No, but the one who denies Hajj and does not give it due importance. He shall be a Kafir.”

Zarih Muharibi writes in his Sahih a tradition from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.):

“If a person dies without performing the obligatory Hajj while there was nothing that prevented him from doing so, that is, he was not having any need or problem and neither was he sick and nor any strong person stood in his way, then Allah shall raise him in Qiyāma with the Christians or Jews.”

(Wasa’il ul-Shia Vol. 8 page 20)

Imam (a.s.) also said,

“A person who delays Hajj intentionally till such a time that he dies, will be raised by Almighty Allah on the day of Qiyāma in the form of a Jew or a Christian.”

(Wasa’il ul-Shia Vol. 8 page 21)

Muhaddith Faiz says in the book Wafi regarding above tradition that “need” means a necessity that impoverishes or that which will impoverish him in the future. Also, Imam (a.s.) has said that a person who fails to perform Hajj without a valid excuse will die as a Christian or a Jew. This implies that he has no faith in this important Islamic tenet. Otherwise in the absence of any obstruction he would have performed it immediately, considering the possibility that he may not be alive the next year.

Ishaq Ibn Ammar narrates from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that he said,

“One who dies (without performing Hajj) while he was healthy and wealthy is like the one regarding whom Allah says that, ‘We shall raise him blind in Qiyāma.’”

Ishaq was surprised and he asked Imam (a.s.) whether that person will be actually blind in Qiyāma? Imam (a.s.) said,

“Yes! Allah will blind him from seeing the path to Paradise.”

(Wasa’il ul-Shia)

Muhammad Ibn Fuzail says that he asked Imam Mūsa Ibn Ja’far (a.s.) regarding the ayat,

“And whoever is blind in this, he shall (also) be blind in the hereafter and more erring from the way.”

(Surah al-‘Isrā’, 17: 72)

Imam (a.s.) said,

“It is the one who delays Hajj even in the event of his being financially capable. He keeps saying he would perform Hajj the coming year till he dies without performing Hajj.”

(Wasa’il ul-Shia Vol. 8 page 18)

Ayats that Imply the ones who Neglect Hajj

The Almighty Allah says in Surah Munafiqūn,

“And spend out of what We have given you before death comes to one of you, so that he should say: My Lord! Why didst Thou not respite me to a near term, so that I should have given alms and been of the doers of good deeds?

And Allah does not respite a soul when its appointed term has come and Allah is Aware of what you do.”

(Surah al-Munāfiqūn 63: 10-11)

After this Imam Mūsa bin Ja’far (a.s.) said,

“I should have given alms”, indicates Sadaqah and “good deeds”, implies Hajj.”

(Faqih Vol. 2 page 220)

Also the following Ayat says,

“Say: Shall we inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds?

(These are) they whose labour is lost in this world’s life and they think that they are well-versed in skill of the hands.”

(Surah al-Kahf 18: 103-104)

Imam (a.s.) explains,

“It implies those who neglect Hajj and continue to postpone it saying they’ll go next year.”

There are many traditions that say neglecting Hajj is a Greater Sin, however the ones quoted above should suffice our purpose.

Worldly Consequences of Postponing Hajj

One of the worldly consequences of postponing Hajj is failure in the affairs for which Hajj is postponed.

Imam Baqir (a.s.) says that if a person postpones Hajj in order to acquire or complete some worldly affair he will see that other people have gone and come back from Hajj while neither his aim is achieved nor his work complete.

 

Neglecting Hajj causes poverty

The Messenger of Allah (S) says in the Sermon of Ghadīr:

“O gathering of People! Perform the Hajj of the Holy House. Those families who perform Hajj become wealthy and those who neglect Hajj will be reduced to penury.”

“O gathering of People! The Haji is helped by Allah and whatever they spent (on Hajj) is restored to them in this world. And Allah does not waste the recompense of the doers of good (in hereafter).”

(Ihtijaj of Tabarsi)

Imam Baqir (a.s.) says,

“Three things are such whose reward is in this life in addition to that of the Hereafter: Hajj that removes poverty, Sadaqah that removes calamities and doing good (to others) which increases the life span.”

(Mustadrak ul-Wasa’il)

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“If people neglect Hajj there will be no delay in the descent of punishment upon them.”

(al-Kāfi Vol. 4 page 271)

Samah says that, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) asked me why I did not go for Hajj this year? I said I have entered into a deal with some people and there were other activities also. I hope that those matters for which I couldn’t go for Hajj will be beneficial for me. Imam (a.s.) said,

I swear by Allah! Allah has not reposed benefit in any matter that acts as an obstruction to your Hajj. Every person remains deprived of Hajj due to the sins that he has committed.”

(al-Kāfi)

Ishaq bin Ammar told Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that, “A person had sought my advice regarding his intention for going for Hajj because he was weak (physically and financially), so I urged him not to go for Hajj.”

Imam (a.s.) said,

“For preventing the person from Hajj you have made yourself eligible for being involved in some malady for the whole year.”

Ishaq says that as the Imam (a.s.) had predicted, I was sick throughout the following year. It follows that we must not restrain anyone from good deeds, especially Hajj. If we do so, we close the way of Allah (S.w.T.). Our aim should be to motivate others to do good deeds and encourage them to hasten towards them. Similarly we should never advise people to give up a good action they wish to perform and substitute it with another good one of our choice. Because it is possible that he may not do the latter and even skip the former. Thus, if we do this we will have performed the divine obligation of Amr bil Ma’rūf.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“Beware of discouraging your believing brother from Hajj. If one does this he shall face worldly calamities in addition to the punishment of Hereafter.”

(Wafi)

Virtues of Hajj

Just as neglecting Hajj is severely punished its fulfillment is greatly rewarded with numerous benefits for this life as well as hereafter. Traditions mention a great number of benefits some of which are presented below.

The Messenger of Allah (S) says,

People who perform Hajj are of Three kinds. The first kind are those who have greater position than others, and all their past and future sins are forgiven, and Allah shall protect them from the chastisement of the grave. The second group is that whose only past misdeeds are condoned and the third group is such that their wealth and children will remain safe till they return from Hajj.”

(al-Kāfi)

Another tradition speaks of a group who go for Hajj but do not fulfill all the conditions. Their hajj is not accepted and they do not qualify for any rewards in the hereafter but till the time they return their families will remain safe.

A person asked Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) in the Masjidul Harām as to who is the greatest sinner? Imam (a.s.) replied,

“One who stands at mawquf (Between Arafat and Muzdalifah), walks between Safa and Marwa and prays at Maqam al- Ibrahīm and even after this he thinks Allah has not forgiven him. He is the greatest sinner.” (Because he has despaired of Allah’s Mercy) and as we have stated before despairing of Allah’s Mercy is a greater sin).

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) relates from his forefathers that a Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet (S) and said, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! I started for hajj but could not reach it though I am wealthy. So tell me how much I should spend to obtain the Tawāb equal to it?”

The Messenger of Allah (S) said,

“Look at Mt. Abu Qubais, If the whole of it turns to gold and comes to your possession and you spend all of it in the way of Allah you would still not be able to reach the status of one who has performed Hajj.”

Then he (S) said,

“When a person decides to go for Hajj, after this for every item that he pick up and puts down he is rewarded ten times and he is raised ten degrees. When he mounts the camel each of its step is just as stated before. When he performs the tawaf of Kaba he is purified of all sins. After he has finished running between Safa and Marwah he is again cleansed from sins. Again when he stays at Arafat his sins are washed. When he stays at Masharil Harām he is purified of bad deeds. When he stones the satans he is again forgiven the sins.”

In this way the Messenger of Allah (S) mentioned each stage and continued saying that the person is purified of sins. Then he (S) told the Bedouin,

“How can you reach the level of one who performs Hajj?”

After this Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“His sins are not recorded for four months and if he does not commit a greater sin, only good deeds are recorded during this period.”

(Tahzīb, Vol. 5, page. 19)

Muhaddith Faiz commenting on the above tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) says that, there are different classes of sins, based on their terrible consequences, their blackening of the heart, their magnitude, etc. and what the tradition probably implies is that man is purified of particular kinds of sins at the different stages of Hajj till he is cleansed of every kind of sin. There are traditions which mention that there are some sins which are only forgiven when the Haji camps at Arafat on the day of Arafah.

Another tradition says,

“People who come for Hajj and Umrah are guests of Allah. If they ask Allah for anything He grants it to them, if they call Him He replies. If they recommend for others He accepts it. If they remain quiet He gives without their asking and for each Dirham they spend on it, He shall give them a thousand.”

The different types of sins are material, mental or physical in nature. Physical sins may verbal or practical. Of the practical sins, there are as many sins as can be associated with the different parts of the body. These sins are of different magnitude. Some invite calamities, some nullify supplications, some prevent rains, some obstruct sustenance and others cause sudden death as mentioned in the supplication of Kumayl. So each of the Hajj rituals is prescribed for a particular kind of sin. The effect of some sins is not known to anyone except Allah. The sins which are forgiven in Arafat are probably hard-heartedness, neglect or staying at the place of sin, etc.

(Wafi)

The narration continues,

“When the pilgrim reaches Makkah, Allah appoints two guardian angels for him who protect him during Tawaf, Prayer and Say’y. When on the day of Arafah he camps, they slap his shoulders and say that Allah has forgiven all his previous sins, now he should worry about his future.”

When does Hajj become Wajib?

The first condition necessary for Hajj is maturity. If a person performs Hajj, even before reaching maturity, it cannot substitute for obligatory hajj, even though it may have been correctly performed and is Mustahab like any other act of worship. After reaching maturity, the person is obliged to perform Hajj again, provided all the other necessary conditions apply to him. The second condition is that he should be of a sound mind, the third that he should be independent (not a slave), the fourth condition is that by going for Hajj he must not be compelled to do a Harām act, or to forgo a Wajib act. (For the latter situation some scholars are of the opinion that, that Wajib act should be carried out, which is considered more important according to the priorities laid down by the tenets of our religion, and the fifth condition is that he should be capable of performing Hajj.

Conditions that make one capable

Capability is based on the factors mentioned below.

1)      He should have the money to cover the expenses to and fro from Hajj. Should have means of transportation.

2)      He should have sufficient physical strength to go for hajj and return.

3)      There should be no obstacles that prevent him from travelling for Hajj. If he is apprehensive about the safety of his life, property and honour on the way to Hajj, he is not obliged to go for it.

4)      He must have the time to complete the Hajj.

5)      He must have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of his household till he returns. His household constitutes all those who are dependant on him. Whether their expenses are Wajib on him; like the wife and children or those whose expenses are notWajib; like younger or elder brother who is himself poor and is sustained by him. Also the orphans that he has undertaken to maintain and the servants who are under his care.

6)      He should not face difficulties regarding his livelihood upon returning from Hajj. He should have some income or profits from estates through which it would be possible for him to maintain his household expenses and not to bear hardships.

If one has missed Hajj due to carelessness he must perform it the next year, even if he does not have financial capability or has to bear hardships and problems. If in the subsequent years he is financially capable but suffers from a malady and there is no hope for its cure, he must send someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. He should fix a payment for the substitute and must also bear the expenses of his proxy. Even if he has not appointed a proxy and dies before it, his successors are obliged to send someone as a proxy and perform the Hajj of deceased. Special provision must be made in the property of the departed person even if he had not made a bequest in this regard. This provision should be made whether there remains any amount to be distributed among his inheritors or not and even if his successor is his child. This should be done, because to pay for the proxy Hajj of the deceased is as important as paying his debts. It is the foremost duty on the successor. After that if any amount remains it can be shared among the survivors.

In case the deceased had made a bequest for proxy Hajj the expense of the same must be deducted from the one-third portion of his wealth (Regarding which he is allowed to make bequest).

It should be noted that only one Hajj is obligatory in one’s life. After a person has performed the obligatory Hajj, it is Mustahab (recommended) for him to perform it every year, if he is capable of doing so. If all the above six conditions are fulfilled it is obligatory for the person to perform Hajj the same year. As already mentioned, postponing a Wajib Hajj for the next year is Harām and a Greater sin.

It is Mustahab to appoint Proxies for living and Deceased Persons

It is Mustahab to appoint proxies to perform theMustahab Hajj of living or deceased people. As mentioned in the tradition of Wasa’il ul-Shia narrated from Muhammad bin Isa that Imam Riďa (a.s.) sent him some money and instructed him to perform Hajj as the proxy of Imam (a.s.); along with his brother Mūsa and Yūnus bin Abdur Rahmān.

Abdullah Ibn Sinan says that I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s.) when a person came to him and Imam (a.s.) gave him 30 Dinars so that he should perform the Proxy Hajj and umrah of his deceased son, Ismail. After that, Imam (a.s.) said,

“If you do so, Ismail will get the reward of a mustahab Hajj because it is paid from his property and you will get the reward of nine Hajjs because you shall bear the difficulties and hardships of Hajj.”

(al-Kāfi Vol. 4 page 248)

The Proxy of Imam should be Pious

It is mentioned in Wasa’il ul-Shia that Abu Muhammad Alji had two sons, one was pious and the other evil. Some Shias had paid him a sum to appoint a proxy for performing Hajj on behalf of Imam Hujjat Ibnul Hasan (a.s.). It was one of the acts of worship that Shias used to perform. So Abu Mahmūd gave the amount to his evil son and performed the Hajj with him. Abu Muhammad says that on the day of Arafah I saw a wheat-complexioned, well-dressed and handsome youth. He was engrossed in supplications and seeking forgiveness more than other people. When it was time for the people to move from Arafat to Mashar he came to me and said, “O Shaykh! Aren’t you ashamed of Allah?”

“Why?” I asked.

He said, “You are told to appoint a proxy for a person you knew well for performing Hajj, and you have entrusted it to a man who drinks and spends on evil deeds.”

Then he pointed to one of my eye and said,

“Do you not fear becoming blind in the eye?”

I was ashamed and when I recovered from the shock I tried to look for the youth but he had disappeared from the plains of Arafat. Forty days had not passed when the eye towards which he had pointed, become infected and I became blind.

The book al-Kāfi contains a tradition related by Mūsa bin Qasim from Imam Jawad (a.s.) that he said to Imam (a.s.), “I wish to perform Tawaf on your behalf and on the behalf of your ancestors. But some people have told me that it is not allowed.” Imam (a.s.) said,

“Perform as many circumambulations as you can. This is certainly permitted.”

The narrator says, “After Three years I again went to Imam (a.s.) and said, “A few years ago I had sought your permission to perform tawaf on behalf of your respected self and your honoured ancestors. So, I performed this deed as much as Allah gave me Tawfīq (divine opportunity). I performed tawaf on behalf of the Holy Prophet (S), Amir ul-Mu’minīn ‘Ali (a.s.) and so on till the end when I did it on your behalf. And these personalities are so dear to me that I consider their love a part of my faith.”

Imam (a.s.) said,

“Then you have followed a religion, besides which there is no other acceptable faith in view of Almighty Allah.”

Imam (a.s.) said,

“You may perform this deed as much as you can. It is the best of deeds that you perform.”

Reasons why Hajj is made Obligatory

The traditions of Ahl ul-Bayt (a.s.) mention the reasons for making Hajj obligatory. The traditions also explain the significance and wisdom underlying each of the rituals.

In Wasa’il ul-Shia is a tradition by Imam Riďa (a.s.), in which the Imam (a.s.) says that Hajj is made incumbent so that people may derive the spiritual and material benefits inherent in it. Some benefits of Hajj are as follows:

Hajj is a unique occasion, to present yourself humbly before the Almighty and devote yourself entirely to Him in order to gain His pleasure and seek nearness to Him. It is an occasion for you to set aside all your worldly cares and concerns and immerse yourself entirely in worshipping your creator and carrying out His commands. For this you deny yourself worldly pleasures and comfort, face hardships and the vagaries of nature. Your sincere efforts in fulfilling the obligations of Hajj are rewarded with Allah (S.w.T.)’s pleasure and nearness to Him; untold bounties for this world as well as the hereafter; your repentance is accepted and your sins forgiven; your supplications are granted, this is a special divine favour for individuals who are part of a large gathering at a single place.

Besides Hajj is a unique opportunity for Muslims in general, from all over the world. It provides a common ground for interaction between Muslims of different countries at various levels. Individuals benefit financially be they traders, suppliers, retailers or hirers or beggars and destitute who receive alms.

People of one country get first hand information of the situations prevailing in other Muslim countries. Such interaction brings awareness of the problems and difficulties faced by your brother Muslim and perhaps open avenues for extending help.

Servitude of Allah (S.w.T.) and Comparison with Angels

Amir ul-Mu’minīn (a.s.) says in a sermon of Nahjul Balagha:

Allah (S.w.T.) has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage (hajj) to His sacred House which is the turning point for the people who go to it as beasts or pigeons go towards spring water. Allah (S.w.T.) the glorified made it a sign of their supplication before His Greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity. He selected from among His creation those who on listening to His call responded to it and testified His word. They stood in the position of His Prophets and resembled His angels who surround the Divine Throne securing all the benefits of performing His worship and hastening towards His promised forgiveness. Allah (S.w.T.) the glorified made it (His sacred House) an emblem for Islam and an object of respect for those who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and laid down its claim for which He held you responsible to discharge it. Thus, Allah (S.w.T.) the glorified said:

“…And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can afford to journey thither. And whoever denieth, then verily, Allah is Self sufficiently independent of the worlds”

(Surah Āli- ‘Imran 3: 97)

Allamah Narāqi has described the spiritual and material benefits of Hajj in eloquent words in his bookMe’rajus Sadat. Some of his comments:

The main purpose for which Allah (S.w.T.) has created man is that he should recognize his Creator, be devoted to Him and remain attached to Him. [This depends upon the purity of his inner self, which in turn depends on his control over his sensual desires and his aversion to evil]. Throughout his life he has to continually remember Allah (S.w.T.) and direct his efforts in thought and action towards dedication to Allah (S.w.T.). At all times his priorities are to be clear; that nothing pertaining to the material world is to have precedence over the pleasure of Allah (S.w.T.). As a means of attaining this objective the Almighty desires to be worshipped. The compassionate Allah (S.w.T.) has ordained that by worshipping Him and supplicating Him man would have fulfilled the very purpose of his creation and his existence. In His wisdom and mercy He has made some acts of worship obligatory so that man is compelled to benefit himself.

Zakat and Khums are compulsory deeds of worship. Acting upon them a person will be obliged to spend from his wealth in the way of Allah (S.w.T.). This practice will gradually develop in him a detachment towards material world. Fasting as an obligatory worship inculcates a spirit of self-control over desires and self-denial of worldly pleasures. Prayers encourage us to give our full attention to Allah (S.w.T.), both with our senses and our bodily movements.

Hajj is such an excellent act of worship that it embraces the significance and virtues of all other forms of worship. Not only does it include spending in the way of Allah (S.w.T.), leaving our homeland, denying ourselves comfort and pleasures; spending time in prayers and supplications and several other rituals like Tawaf, recanting the oath we have taken for Allah (S.w.T.). We also have to perform some ritual like running between Safa and Marwah, which display an extreme form of humility and helplessness and the stoning of satans which we cannot fully comprehend. Some rituals can be understood through reason, but there are some others that defy our intellect and try as we may we cannot fathom the depths of their significance.

However, keeping their benefits aside we must consider them a form of service to Almighty and a fulfillment of one of His commands. Indeed, total submission and true devotion is displayed only through such types of rituals. Because submission implies that we do whatever we have been commanded solely for Allah (S.w.T.)’s pleasure. That is why the Messenger of Allah (S) said regarding Hajj.

I have heeded your call by performing Hajj by sincere servitude and obedience.”

He (S) did not utter such words regarding any other act of worship. Indeed the act of worship the wisdom of which we cannot fathom is the best form of worship. Those who are surprised at the unusual rituals of Hajj have not understood the secret of devotion and servitude. One of the special characteristic of Hajj is to perform all rituals even without necessarily comprehending the rationale behind them.

Every ritual of Hajj has a significance that relates it to the events of the hereafter. Besides, it is a necessary requirement of Hajj that all the people gather at a place which was frequented by the Angels who brought divine revelation to the Holy Prophet (S). Before the Messenger of Allah (S), the friend of Allah (Khalīlullah) Hazrat Ibrahīm (a.s.) stood at this place and it was at that very spot the Angels descended for him. It is such a purified land that from Adam (a.s.) to the seal of the Prophets the greatest messengers of Allah have camped here. It is here that divine revelation and angels have descended through the ages. It is the birth place of the chief of Prophets (S) and the ground oft trodden by him and the other prophets (a.s.). The Almighty Allah has addressed it as “My House” and made it a place of worship for men. He appointed the surroundings of this House as a Sanctuary. He chose the plain of Arafat near His House as a place of forgiveness. In order to maintain the dignity of His House, He prohibited the killing of any living creature or uprooting of vegetation. He bestowed a special status to this place, for people to gather from far off places and humble themselves before the Lord of the House and confess verbally that He is higher and beyond place and time.

No doubt, gathering at such a place increases love and brotherhood. We get a chance to meet righteous believers from around the world thus forming ties of friendship, which results in early acceptance of the invocations of the people. We are also reminded of the struggles and difficulties borne by the Messenger of Allah (S) in the establishment and dissemination of religion. All these factors purify the souls of those present in Hajj and fill them with tenderness. It is a display of the magnificence of Islam and the greatness of the founders of Islam.

Last, the high status of the House of Allah was further enhanced by Him by making it the birth place of Amir ul-Mu’minīn ‘Ali (a.s.), without allegiance to whom, no act of worship is acceptable to Allah (S.w.T.).

The Life of Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi

00, 16 October, 2012

http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/library/pro_ahl/imam09_jawad/the_life_of_imam_jawad/index.htm

 Dedication 4
 Introduction 19
 His birth and upbringing 27
 Under the wing of his father 41
From his high ideals 69
 His knowledge and sciences 83
 His companions and the narrators of his traditions 125
 The age of Imam al-Jawad (a.s) 170
 At the age of al-Ma’moon 201
 The end 224
 Ziyarah of Imam al-Jawad 234
 Reference books 243

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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