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Hajj: A celebration of Peace

Discussion in 'Islam DIR' started by Sajdah, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    By Aisha Stacey

    More than 2 million people surround me. We all have one common goal, one purpose for being here together. I do not stand out from anyone else. There are no signs of wealth or greatness upon me. No Rolex watch or Nike shoes to mark me as a rich person. I am one person alone, in a sea of humanity.

    I am black or white, yellow or brown, the color of my skin is not important. I am from Europe or Asia or South America, my homeland is any corner of this wide earth. The people around me are young and old, male and female, rich and poor. We represent humankind in our diversity, yet we are united. We are unity in diversity. Where am I? I'm at hajj.


    Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims declare that there is no god but Allah,and that Muhammad is His messenger. They pray, they fast, they pay obligatory charity, and they go to Hajj. Hajj is a pilgrimage to the city of Makah in Saudi Arabia.

    At the mosque and in the surrounding area, Muslims perform prayers and rituals. Hajj is an obligatory act performed once in a lifetime by all mentally, physically, and financially able Muslims.

    [And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makah) to the House (Kabah) is a duty that mankind owes to God, those who can afford the expenses (for one's conveyance, provision and residence) ; and whoever disbelieves then God stands not in need of any of mankind, jinn and all that exists] (Aal `Imran 3:97)

    This year, 2009, Hajj coincides with the last days of November. Muslims from all over the world will gather to worship God. They arrive in Saudi Arabia, by plane, bus, car, or train. Some endure great hardship, others merely buy a first class ticket, but they come as equals.

    People make this journey prepared to stand at the House of God, the Kabah, and affirm their love for God and His religion of Islam.

    [And proclaim to humankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj)] (Al-Hajj 22:27)

    Hajj commemorates Prophet Abraham, his wife Hajar and their son Ishmael, and the sacrifices and hardships they endured to establish the city of Makkah and the house of God.

    Because of this, Hajj is often described as following in the footsteps of Prophet Abraham. The Hajj is several days of total devotion to the One God. Muslims come together to celebrate His praises, ask for His forgiveness and demonstrate unity for His sake alone.

    Through out the Muslim world, hajj has come to symbolize unity. Although Muslims may be disunited due to many outside influences, such as money, politics, border disputes or other worldly concerns, hajj is the great leveler.

    At hajj, all Muslims are equal; nothing about the rituals they perform makes one person better than another.

    More than 2 million Muslims stand in one place, wearing the same simple clothing, following the same rituals and saying the same words. They are united in their devotion to God. The black man stands next to the white man and they call on God with once voice. The king stands beside the pauper and they declare their submission to the will of God using the same words.

    Muslims from every corner of the globe are united in their submission to the will of God. They cry out as if with one voice, "Here I am O God, here I am at your service, and You have no partner. Here I am. All praise, grace, and dominion belong to you. You have no partner."

    This supplication is said repeatedly by the pilgrims. It is their answer to God's call for the Muslims to perform Hajj. These words are repeated with joy and reverence by all, regardless of status or class.

    Some people are so overcome with emotion that they weep, others feel elated and happier than they have ever felt before. Every person there feels that he is one person, alone among millions answering God's call and God hears his supplication and sees his arrival.

    The pilgrims feel amazed that they are the guest of the Most Merciful God. He or she attends this gathering by the invitation of God, not at the invitation of a government or organization, nor at the request of a family member or friend.

    Hajj is performed because God has invited the believers to congregate together. Regardless of place of birth, nationality, ethnicity, gender, or status, all are welcome, and all are equal in the sight of God.

    The Muslims gather to meet one another and demonstrate to the world that they are united. Unity in diversity. They are united by their worship of One God.

    [O humankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with God is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa (piety, God consciousness). Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.] (Al-Hujurat 39:13)

    Islam is the religion of unity. Repeatedly throughout the Quran God reminds the believers that they must remain united and seek strength through unity. Hajj epitomizes this unity. People from every race and color come together in submission to the will of God.

    Muslims are one brotherhood and they come together with a sense of purpose and a desire for peace.

    [The believers are nothing else but brothers (in Islam). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear God, that you may receive mercy.] (Al Hujurat, 39:10)

    [And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of God (this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember God's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islam), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus God makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided] (Aal `Imran 3:103)

    Hajj is the largest annual gathering of Muslims; it is the largest gathering of people united by the peacefulness and serenity that is Islam.

    Hajj is a celebration of peace; peace with God, peace with one's own self and peace with one another. Anything that disturbs the peacefulness of hajj is prohibited. No matter what is happening in the material world at hajj, peace prevails.

    Muslims gather together and their diversity is a wonder to behold.

    Prophet Muhammad said,

    "In their love, kindness, and compassion for each other, the believers are like a human body." (Al-Bukhari)

    Muslims at hajj are one people, they are a soothing sea of humanity, gathered together to worship One God. Muslims turn their faces in one direction and submit to the will of God. They are united by their love of God, and united in their diversity.


    Reading Islam.com
     
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  2. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    What you've said, "Muslims at Hajj are one people", is no doubt true in letter and spirit during the Hajj. This brotherhood of humans (or believers) is verily the spirit of Hajj. My question is, would it not have been even more glorious for Islam if that oneness is spread to all creation and included at least the animals, sparing the poor goats from ritual massacre?
     
  3. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Mercy is encouraged in everything, including the slaughter...There are some requirements of the slaughter in Islam, one of them is to sharpen the blade to relieve the pain of the animals.

    Also the sacrifice is given to the poor and the needy.
     
  4. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    Virtues of Hajj

    by Shaykhul Hadeeth Muhammad Zakariyya
    Abu Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it as free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him.”

    When a child is ushered into this world, it enters this life without any blemish and is free from any form of sin. Now, when the Hajj has been performed with utmost sincerity for Allah’s sake, the pilgrim returns to that sinless state.

    When we speak of forgiveness of sins as in the Hadeeth mentioned above, we actually refer to minor sins. However, the contents of this Hadeeth have been noted in such numerous Ahaadeeth that some learned Ulaamaa are of the opinion that minor as well as major sins are included in this pardon from Allah.

    In this Hadeeth under discussion, three things are mentioned. In the first place we read that Hajj should be for Allah’s sake, and that there should be no worldly object and no ulterior motive prompting this holy deed, neither should it be for the show of things, nor for personal fame. Many people proceed to Makkah for the sake of personal honour and show. Such people have indeed wasted whatever they have spent by way of wealth, health and energy. For them there shall be no reward. We admit that when a person has performed his Hajj even for the sake of showing others, his obligation has been carried out. But how foolish it is indeed that a person should deny himself such great virtue and reward (in the form of Allah’s great pardon) merely because of his desire to be noted among some people.

    Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam once said, “Near the time of Qiyaamah the rich ones from amongst my Ummah will perform Hajj for the sake of travel and holiday; (like having a holiday in Hijaaz instead of one in London or Paris). The middle class will perform Hajj for commercial purposes, thereby transporting goods from here to there while bringing commercial goods from there to here. The Ulamaa will perform Hajj for the sake of show and fame; (to outdo and surpass Maulana so and so, or any rival shaykh who had performed Hajj a certain number of times). The poor will perform Hajj for the purpose of begging.” (Kanzul Ummaal)
    The Ulamaa have stated that should a person perform a “Hajje Badal” on behalf of someone else for a specific price, so that he derives worldly benefit from such a Hajj, he too is included among those who perform Hajj for commercial purposes.

    In another Hadeeth we read “that the kings and rulers will perform Hajj for the sake of having pleasurable holidays; the wealthy ones for the sake of business; the poor ones for the sake of begging; while the learned ones will come for Hajj for the sake of show.” (It’haaf)

    In the first of these two Traditions, we read that the wealthy ones will perform Hajj for the sake of having a tour and a holiday. In the second Hadeeth we read again that they will do so for the sake of business. In actual fact there is no contradiction here even though it apparently seems so. In the former case, those mentioned as wealthy ones are actually those very rich ones who in the second Hadeeth are called sultaans or rulers. In actual fact they are slightly lower that the rulers. For this reason they are also called the middle class.

    Once Umar radhiyallahu anhu was standing between Mount Safaa and Marwah. A group of people came along, alighted from their camels and proceeded to perform tawaaf around Ka’bah. They then came for the sa’ee between Safaa and Marwah. Umar radhiyallahu anhu inquired from them as to who they were. They replied that they were from Iraq. When Umar radhiyallahu anhu inquired as to whether they perhaps had any other intention, e.g. to claim an inheritance, to reclaim a debt to them, or for any other business purpose. They replied: “No”. Then Umar radhiyallahu anhu said: “In that case restart your deeds (like people who have done no evil deeds)”.

    What Umar radhiyallahu anhu implied was that having come to the Holy House solely for Allah’s sake, their previous evil deeds were forgiven. They can now start anew. The second point that becomes clear from the Hadeeth under discussion is that no evil word shall be spoken. The Ulamaa have explained that the word “rafath” (evil speech) includes every single form of words which are unseemly, nonsensical and unnecessary to such an extent that even the mention of sexual relations with one’s wife is also included. To indicate or insinuate such actions with hand signs or the eyes, should be refrained from. All such actions and others which stir passions and lust are condemned.

    The third point towards which attention is drawn is “fusooq”, which here signifies every single form of disobedience to Allah’s will. One should especially avoid any form of argument and dispute. In one Hadeeth our Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said: “The beauty of Hajj is attained by speaking amicably with others and to feed them.” To argue with fellow Hujjaaj and to fight with them is the opposite of amicable speech. Hence it is the duty of a Haajji not to criticise his fellow Hujjaaj, to meet everyone with love, humility and humbleness, and to deal with them in a most friendly manner. Some Ulamaa have explained that to meet others in a friendly manner does not only mean that one should not hurt or trouble one’s fellow men. It means that one should (without retaliation) bear and pardon the hurt that comes from their side to you.

    The word safar (a journey) means in actual fact “to expose”, “to make clear”. The Ulamaa informs us that a journey is called safar in Arabic because on a journey one’s character is exposed and becomes clear.
    Once Umar radhiyallahu anhu asked a man whether he knew a certain person to which the man said that he knew him. Then Umar radhiyallahu anhu inquired, whether the man had been on a journey with that person, to which the man said that he had not. Then Umar radhiyallahu anhu said: “You do not know him.” In one Hadeeth it is stated that a person praised another in the presence of Umar radhiyallahu anhu. Umar radhiyallahu anhu asked: “Did you travel with him?” He replied: “I did not travel with him.” Umar radhiyallahu anhu asked: “Did you have any dealings with him ?” He answered: “No, I had no dealings with him.” Umar radhiyallahu anhu then said: “You do not know that person.” (It’haaf).

    There can be no doubt about it that only after having been with a person in similar cases can one truly know a person’s character and his reactions to situations. On a journey there is always a certain amount of inconvenience which inevitably leads to arguments and it is for this reason that the Qur’aan especially mentions: “And let there be no arguments in Hajj.”

    Source: Shariah Program
    Virtues of Hajj | Haq Islam
     
    #4 Gharib, Nov 21, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
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  5. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    I think you are completely off the point. The mercy offered here is as between AC current and DC current in capital punishment. Moreover, who has sacrificed here? The goat? A greater sacrifice would have been to go vegetarian.
     
  6. Sajdah

    Sajdah Al-Aqsa Is In My Heart.

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    Ah, I see....It is a massacre if Muslims are doing it in Eid Al-adha, and a celebration if Americans are doing it in their thanksgiving day!
     
  7. Shamuwn

    Shamuwn Member

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    Very good point
     
  8. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    Look, this sort of reply does no good to your claim that Islam is the final and complete religion of God. Therefore how do you compare what Islam teaches and what is the practice of Americans in memory of their arrival in America?
     
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  9. neves

    neves Active Member

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    Why is it inhumane to think of animals as food? To take a stance like that is being blind to the overall picture of the way we produce food. In some places in the world, growing crop is not a possibility, furthermore trying to grow crop where it does not naturally grow is overall more harmful to the world and its environment (which include animals). Human were made to be omnivores (look at our teeth) and as such we eat living things to survive (be it plant or animal).

    The sacrifice of the animal is not for its blood to reach God. The sacrifice is to show you are willing to donate a part of your property for the sake of God, by donating meat to the needy.

    The animal is killed in a humane way. Look at the research on the way Muslims slaughter their meat.

    Ritual Slaughter in Islam
     
  10. Vile Atheist

    Vile Atheist Loud and Obnoxious

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    Question on the Hajj, if anyone wouldn't mind answering. What's the part called where the pillar is stoned? I can't quite remember the name exactly and it bothers me lol. It was something like "Jamrat"?
     
  11. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    The question is not about man eating animals. Some men used to eat other men. The question is about religion and it culturing influence. If religion caters to the baser instincts of man, then such a religion is more a populist religion than a culturing religion. If any sacrifice is to be made at all, why make animals the scapegoat and try to gain merit on account of it? Killing in a humane way is a contradiction of terms.

    Elsewhere in RF there is a thread about mass massacre of animals in a Hindu temple in Nepal. So this ritual is not unique to Mecca. However, the difference is that this ritual is sought to be ended, as it has in many other temples, by reformists. In Islam there is no reformer in sight.
     
  12. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    Since I've been advised that I am not to "argue" in Islam directory, I am withdrawing my comments and the Moderator may delete the same. I would like to open another thread. Do I have your permission to quote your comments there?
     
  13. neves

    neves Active Member

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    sure your welcome to if u wish.
     
  14. Sahar

    Sahar Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand what your problem is exactly!! I don't know why some people adore arguing for nothing.
    The sacrifice is not confined to the pilgrims but to all Muslims around the globe.
    Nothing is wrong with killing animals for food. And nothing wrong at all with the emphasis on the sacrifice in Eid.
    We don't need any kind of reformation regarding this issue. But what we need is to emphasize on how to treat the animals well before their slaughtering like what Sajdah said. Some butchers slaughter them in front of each other which is wrong, we need to correct such behaviors.
     
    #14 Sahar, Nov 23, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  15. Sahar

    Sahar Well-Known Member

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    Ramy al Jamaraat.
    Ramy = throwing
    Jamara(a)t = pebbles/stones
     
  16. K.Venugopal

    K.Venugopal Immobile Wanderer

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    I have startered a new thread on the subject at:
    http://www.religiousforums.com/foru...animal-sacrifice-during-hajj.html#post1784427
     
  17. Vile Atheist

    Vile Atheist Loud and Obnoxious

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    That's it! Thanks :). I couldn't remember the name and it was starting to bug me.
     
  18. Sahar

    Sahar Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome. :)
     
  19. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    Virtues of performing Hajj

    Hazrat Abu Huraira(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) said: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall remain from it as free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him

    Hazrat Abu Huraira(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) said: “Verily there shall be no reward for a righteous pilgrimage except Jannah“

    Hazrat Ayesha(radhiyallahu anha) reports that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafaat. And on that day Allah draws near to the earth and by way of exhibiting His pride remarks to the Angels: “What is the desire of these servants of mine

    “Hazrat Talhaa(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: “Apart from the day of the battle of Badr there is no day on which the Shaytaan is seen more humiliated, more rejected. More depressed and more infuriated, than on the day of Arafaat, and indeed all that is only because of beholding the abundance of descending mercy (on that day) and Allah’s forgiveness of the great sins of the servants“. (Mishkaat)

    Hazrat Ibn Shimaastah(radhiyallahu anhu) reports we were present around Hazrat Amr Ibn al-Aas(radhiyallahu anhu) before he passed away. He cried for a long time and then related the story of his embracing Islam. He said: “When Allah caused Islam to enter my heart, I came to Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and said: ‘O messenger of Allah, put forth your hand that I may swear allegiance. ‘When Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) stretched forth his hand, I withheld mine. Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) inquired: “What troubles you ‘O Amr?” I said: I went to make a condition that Allah shall forgive my previous sins”. Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) replied: ‘O Amr, do you then not know that Islam washes away all sins committed in disbelief, and that the Hijrat (migration) washes away all sins committed before Hajj?”

    Hazrat Sahl bins Sa’ad(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: “When a Muslim shouts Labbaik, then verily every stone, tree and all the ground to his right and to his left recites the same, and this continues till that cry reaches the end of the earth“.

    Hazrat Abu Moosa(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “The Hajji shall intercede on behalf of four hundred families or he said four hundred people from his family, and verily does he return from Hajj (sinless) as on the day his mother gave birth to him.”

    Hazrat Ibn Umar(radhiyallahu anhu) report that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “When you meet a Hajji (on his way home) then greet him, shake hands with him and ask him to beg forgiveness of Allah on your behalf before he enters his home, for his prayer for forgiveness is accepted since he is forgiven by Allah for his sins

    Hazrat Buraidah (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “The expenses incurred during Hajj is like that incurred in Jihaad; rewarded seven hundred times
    Hazrat Jaabir(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “A Hajji never becomes poor and destitute

    Hazrat Aayesha (radhiyallahu anha) reports that she once sought permission from Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) to go for Jihaad. Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) replied: “You Jihaad is Hajj

    Hazrat Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “Whoever desires to perform Hajj, should hasten towards performing it

    Hazrat Abu Hurairah(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said: “Whoever sets forth in a journey to perform Hajj and passes away on route, for him shall be written the reward of a Haaji until the day of Qiyaamah; and whoever sets forth to perform Umrah and passes away on route, for him shall be written the reward of a Mu’tamir until Qiyaamah; and whoever sets forth on a journey to fight in the way of Allah and passes away on route, for him shall be written the reward of a Mujaahid until the day of Qiyaamah

    Hazrat Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallahu anhu) reports that a Sahabiyah (a Muslim lady who saw Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) once said to Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam): “O Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaihi Wassallam), the obligation of Hajj has come at a time now when my father is a very old and weakly man. He is unable to remain seated on a camel (or horse). Can I then proceed to perform Hajj on his behalf?”
    Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) replied: “Yes, you can.”
    Another Sahabi(radhiyallahu anhu) also came with a similar request: “O Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam), my sister made vow that she would perform Hajj. Now she has passed away. What should we do?”
    Rasullullah(Salallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) replied: “Should she have passed away while she owed someone something, would you have settled that debt?”
    The man replied: “Yes indeed.”
    Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) said: “This is a debt due to Allah. Settle it.” (Mishkaat)

    Hazrat Jaabir(radhiyallahu anhu) reports: “Verily Allah causes three people to enter into Paradise through one Hajj; The deceased, (on whose behalf this Hajj is being performed) the Haaji performing it and he (the heir or others) who makes possible its performance (by financial aid).”
    Source: Al-Islaah publications
    Virtues of performing Hajj | Haq Islam
     
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