Yearning for the Secured Land (Makkah)
Sheikh Saalih aal Taalib
January 7, 2005 ~ Dhul Q’adah 26, 1425
All praise be to Allah. He raised the symbols of Islam and He clarified for His creation the clear methods and signs. He contrasted between the months and days and He made the pilgrimage (one) of the pillars of the great religion. I praise Him – Glorified is He – and I thank Him and I ask Him of His gift of beautiful pardon and I seek His forgiveness from errors and sins and I ask Him for guidance and ability and entering in the group of the one who says my Lord is Allah and is then steadfast. And I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone. He has no partner. He is Ever-Living, the Sustainer, the One Who does not sleep. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the preferred over the rest of the creation and beings. May Allah’s salutations and peace be on him and on his noble family and companions.
Thereafter: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [Hashr; Verse 18] “And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him.” [Baqarah; Verse 235]
O Muslims: Save the time for yourselves, for it is invaluable, and make good for yourselves the time and do not partake except of that which is permissible of it. And measure your actions by the Shar’i scale, and rectify the objectives and intentions and take from sincerity its virtue and monitor the world of secrets in private and public, for how good introspection is and how glorious (it is) and seize the virtuous days before they leave, days that Allah has honoured and blessed.
Thereafter: O Muslims: In these blessed days Makkah is welcoming the delegations of pilgrims and the sacred mosque is embracing the guests of the Most Beneficent in a majestic convoy, honoured by the care of Allah. They come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway, calling out the call of their Lord (Talbiyyah), responding to the announcement of His friend: “And proclaim to mankind the pilgrimage. They will come on every lean camel. They will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway. That they may witness things that are of benefit to them” [Hajj; Verse 27-28]. The pilgrims come, urging their mounts, yearning preceding them, hope prompts them, joy fills them while they are journeying to the revered house of Allah; wishing for the expiation of sins and reaching the gardens (of Paradise). They are discharging the fifth pillar of the pillars of their religion in the holiest of places on the face of the earth.
Makkah Mukarramah is a history and memories, biography and a tour. “Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for the worlds. In it are manifest signs: the place of Abraham; whosoever enters it, he attains security.” [Aal Imraan 96-97]. The prophets made pilgrimage to it and the leader of the true believers prayed towards it. And from Makkah, the light of guidance radiated, and the message of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) went forth until it prevailed across the earth, and changed the world, and anchored the most beautiful and most just civilization known by history, for it is the centre of the world, a symbol of the unity of the Muslims, a source of light for the worlds; the best land by Allah, and the most loved land by the messenger of Allah – peace be upon him. Makkah Mukarramah is the mother of all cities. In it was the birth of the most honourable of mankind. On its hills, he was nurtured and raised; and in its expanses he walked and did not lose heart. (For) half a century, the life of the prophet – peace be upon him – was witnessed in Makkah, so which honour excels this honour?! And if these hills spoke, then which biography would they mention?! And which history would they transmit?!
At these sites, Gabriel – peace be upon him – descended with revelation, and the prophet – peace be upon him – cut open with Tawheed from the Safa mountain. If the Ka’bah were to speak to you or Zam Zam and the station (of Abraham) were to relate, they would say: Abu Bakr and Umar were here, and Uthman and Ali (too), and the rest of the noble companions – may Allah be pleased with them all. They illuminated this world, purified the earth, and Tawheed battled against paganism until Allah made the religion (of Islam) manifest.
Here the prophet – peace be upon him – stood in front of the Ka’bah to establish the great principles of the religion and he illustrated the finest path of humanity, which every civilization is incapable of realising up to this day.
Pilgrims of Allah’s sacred house, congratulations to you on reaching the revered house of Allah, congratulations to you on these symbols and emotions; an honourable time and an honourable place with greatness of deeds, so praise Allah for what He has awarded you of these bounties, and thank Him for He has proclaimed increase for the one who thanks. You have come, welcome, and (may) your walking be easy, and you are the guests of Allah and His delegation. It is compulsory to honour (you) and supply (you). May Allah make easy your pilgrimage and make your pilgrimage accepted and your efforts thanked. May Allah accept from us and from you.
O Muslims: Verily intending (to travel to) this pure land expiates sins, and wipes out evil deeds and unloads errors. In fact there is no reward for an accepted pilgrimage except Paradise: the saying of your prophet – peace be upon him.
How many souls yearn for the plain of Makkah and (how many) hearts sink for its hills, and how many a weeper (cries) yearning, craving, and how many a heartbroken (person) wishes to see the bare valley, wishes to spend a night in Mina or crowd at the Jamarat or circumambulate the house (of Allah) and shed tears. He wishes for these places where the tears flow, and mercy descends, sins are abolished and supplications are answered. Allah has watered those hills and plains.
This is Khaif (Masjid) and that is Mina
So be kind to us O camel-driver
And restrain the mount for us (for) an hour
We will weep (the amount that covers) a district and cry our blood
For this occasion we have prepared crying
And for this day, the tears attract us
The camel-driver does not have to (provide) the means even if he is kind
While I shed my tears, then embrace (the teachings of Islam)
This house that which he knows
Deserving of its inclination are those who are the most yearning.
And the camps continue to burst in with pilgrims from every distant land. How beautiful are the sounds of the Talbiyyah called out aloud in the airplanes in the skies and (in) the cleaving of the waves of the sea and (in) the ships that swap up the path and track the journey, coming to the sacred house, I am present, O Allah, I am present. Here I come. You have no partner. Here I come. One outlook, one goal, all of them are answered, then they meet in the sanctity of Allah. Verily they are caravans of faith; a journey of life to the place of inclination of the hearts; and the centre of Islam; and the qibla of the Muslims.
Servants of Allah: Pilgrims to His sacred house: Verily the status of pilgrimage by Allah is great, and its position in the religion is big. Allah mandated it by His Saying: “And pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the worlds.” [Aal Imraan; Verse 97]. As for its virtue, then Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrated that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “An Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) to an Umrah is expiation for what is between them and an accepted pilgrimage has no reward for it except Paradise.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]. And also in the two authentics (Bukhari and Muslim) that the prophet – peace be upon him – was asked: Which is the best of actions? He said: “Belief in Allah – Exalted and Majestic.” It was said: Thereafter what? He said: “Striving in the path of Allah.” It was said: Thereafter what? He said: “An accepted pilgrimage.”
Verily it is trading of this world and the Hereafter and profit of both the worlds. Ibn Mas’ud – may Allah be pleased with him – said: The messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – said: “Follow up the pilgrimage and lesser pilgrimage, because they certainly remove poverty and sins as fire separates the impurities from iron.” [Narrated by Ahmad and Tirmidhi with an authentic chain]. And in the two authentics: that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever performs pilgrimage to this house and does not commit any obscenity or wrongdoing, he will come out as his mother gave birth to him,” i.e. free from sins and mistakes. This is with the multiplication of good deeds and raising of ranks. Jabir – may Allah be pleased with him – narrated that the prophet – peace be upon him – said while he was in Madeenah: “One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except Masjidul Haraam. And prayer in Masjidul Haraam is better than one hundred thousand prayers in any other mosque.” [Narrated by Ahmad and Bukhari in tareekh with an authentic chain] – i.e. the prayer of 54 years, so will anyone be blamed for the inclination towards the sanctity after this?! Aside from the standings of mercy in Arafaat and the gaining closeness (to Allah) at Mash’aril Haraam (Muzdalifah), and the going about in the mountain passes of Mina, and walking around the House and between Safa and Marwa, and stoning the Satans, and all that is from the occasions of mercy and acceptance of supplications.
As for Arafaat, and what will explain to you what Arafaat is?! The prophet – peace be upon him – said: “Allah frees far more people from Hellfire on the Day of Arafah than on any other day, and Allah comes closer this day and proudly says to the angels, ‘What do these people want and seek?” [Narrated by Muslim by Aisha – may Allah be pleased with her]. Verily they want the mercy of their Lord and His Paradise. They want the forgiveness of their sins and emancipation from Hellfire. They come from every distant place of this world and the outskirts of the land. They left their families and countries, and spent everything they could in order to reach these honoured places, in a time when you see some affluent, able (people) lazy to fulfill the obligation of Islam. They spend their wealth and waste their time in traveling, pleasure rides, and amusement and negligence. They have not made pilgrimage (even) once. These (people) should know that verily they are leaving out a pillar from the pillars of Islam. Umar bin Khattab – may Allah be pleased with him – said: “Whoever dies, being well off enough but having never done pilgrimage let him die as a Jew if he wishes or as a Christian.” And the same was narrated on the authority of Ali bin Abi Talib – may Allah be pleased with him. So he should fear Allah and the capable one should take the initiative before he passes on and if incapability or death overtakes him then excuses of complacency and laziness will not benefit him.
O believers, pilgrims to Allah’s ancient house: Allah has brought you to His house, so honour His Symbols, He will increase you in faith and piety: “Thus it is. And whosoever honours the symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.” [Hajj; Verse 32]. And from amongst honouring the symbols is good deeds and completing them and ensuring their perfection and following the guidance of the prophet – peace be upon him – in every small and big (action), and surely he said: “Take your rituals from me.” Just as following weakness and complacency in the rituals is abandonment and deficiency, and Allah – the Exalted – says: “And perform properly the pilgrimage and the lesser pilgrimage for Allah.” [Baqarah; Verse 196]. Just as from honouring the symbols of Allah is distancing (oneself) from whatever decreases (the reward/value) of the pilgrimage, and respecting and revering the time and the place that the True – Glorified is He – has honoured. Refrain from disputes, arguments, quarrelling and disturbance, for acceptance and forgiveness are conditioned with that. Allah – Glorified and Majestic – said: “The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform pilgrimage therein, then he should not have sexual relations, nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the pilgrimage.” [Baqarah; Verse 197], and indeed the prophet’s – peace be upon him – saying previously as mentioned in the two authentics: “Whoever performs pilgrimage to this house and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he will come out as his mother gave birth to him.”
Verily the purification of the self, increasing in faith and attainment of piety will be when a Muslim approaches his acts of worship with etiquette and devotion and he devotes himself to what he came for and (for) what he intends, preserving his time, sincere to his Lord. Like this, it is imperative to ask about Shar’i rulings before beginning actions, for how many a pilgrim worships Allah with ignorance. He does not learn, nor does he ask. And how many a seeker of fatwa (religious ruling) if he asked before acting, he would not be in transgression. And upon those in charge of the pilgrims is a great responsibility, so they should fear Allah, and every shepherd is responsible for his flock.
O believers, verily the principle on which this great house was built is the Oneness of the Lord of the worlds, who said in the true revelation: “And (remember) when We showed Abraham the site of the (Sacred) House (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me’” [Hajj; Verse 26]. And amongst the verses of pilgrimage, He – Glorified is He – said: “So shun the abomination (worshipping) of idol, and shun lying speech (false statements), worshipping none but Allah, not associating partners (in worship, etc.) unto Him.” [Hajj; Verse 30-31].
So purify your deeds, may Allah have mercy on you. And stick to the Sunnah in your actions and throughout your life, for verily associating partners with Allah renders deeds useless. And mandate the remembrance of Allah – the Exalted – for it is a prominent feature of pilgrimage, and it is an announcement of the Oneness of Allah which is the slogan of pilgrimage: “O my Lord, here I am at your service. Here I am at your service. You have no partner. Here I am at your service. Verily all praise and bounty and kingdom is for You. Here I am at your service. You have no partner.” And surely He – Glorified is He – said: “And remember Allah during the appointed days” [Baqarah; Verse 203], and He said: “Then when you leave Arafaat, remember Allah (by glorifying His Praises) at the Mash’aril Haraam (Muzdalifah).” [Baqarah; Verse 198], and He – the Most Majestic of speakers – said: “So when you have completed your rituals (of pilgrimage), then remember Allah” [Baqarah; Verse 200], and He – Glorified is He – said: “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days (i.e. 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th of Thul-Hijjah).” [Hajj; Verse 28]
May Allah bless me and you in the Great Quraan, and make us tread the path of the master of the messengers. I say these words of mine, and I seek the forgiveness of Allah – the Exalted – for me and you and the rest of the Muslims so seek His forgiveness. Verily He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
All praise be to Allah as He ought to be praised. And may salutations and peace be upon our master Muhammad, His prophet and His servant. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. Honoured in His Majesty. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the purest of people and the most virtuous of those who made pilgrimage to the Sacred House. May Allah’s salutations be upon him and upon his family, companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of His Promise.
Thereafter: O Muslims all over the world: In a short while the first ten days of the month of Thul-Hijjah will set in, and they are days of which Allah has honoured their worth and raised their remembrance, and swore by in His Book saying: “By the 10 nights (i.e. the first 10 days of Thul-Hijjah)” [Fajr; Verse 2]. And in Saheeh Bukhari, narrated by Ibn Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with him – that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days (of Thul-Hijjah).” They said: O messenger of Allah, not even striving in the path of Allah? He said: “Not even striving in the path of Allah, except that person who left with his life and wealth and did not return with any of it.”
And it is recommended in it (that you do) much good deeds and various types of voluntary acts and Takbeer (saying Allah is great) and Tahmeed (praising Allah) and Tahleel (saying there is no god but Allah), so revive these ways, and seek good from Allah that you may be successful.
And whoever is not a pilgrim, it is preferred that he fasts the Day of Arafah (9th day of Thul-Hijjah), according to the narration of Abu Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – that the prophet – peace be upon him – said regarding the fasting of the day of Arafah: “I have hope in Allah that it (the fast of Arafah) will be an atonement for the sins of the past and the forthcoming year.” And whoever intends to do the sacrifice (of a sacrificial animal) should not cut anything from his hair or nails from the beginning of the ten (days) until (after) he sacrifices.
And there is an important matter that people should be warned of, alas and that is the competing in giving religious rulings by those who are not well-versed in them and speaking regarding (the rules of) Allah with no knowledge, for how many a hasty one causes the pilgrims to transgress, and maybe he carries the sin of corrupting their pilgrimage by his issuing of religious rulings while he is not a legal source, and by his contributing to directives while he was not asked, and surely he would have been in safety if he mandated the fearing of Allah and piety. And surely the companions – may Allah be pleased with them – used to defend religious rulings, so what is the matter with today’s nation, they compete in them as if they are spoils of war?! There is no doubt that teaching people, guiding them and giving them religious rulings is among the greatest of actions that bring one close to Allah, and the most necessary of compulsory acts, but it is for the scholars, and knowledgeable students of knowledge. As for the ignorant and the masses, it is a sin, and surely Allah has coupled speaking without knowledge with Shirk (associating partners with Allah), sin and adultery. Verily pilgrimage is an act of worship and rituals that require comprehension and deep understanding, and upon the qualified is that they take charge of their degree so that others are dispensed for them.
Then remember – may Allah have mercy upon you – that Allah has surely commanded you with a command which He begins Himself, and which the angels who glorify His Holiness repeat, and which He directed to you O believers amongst the Jinn and humans, so He – Majestic in His Highness – said: “Allah sends His Salutations on the prophet (Muhammad – peace be upon him) and also His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your salutations on him (Muhammad – peace be upon him), and (you should) greet him with peace.” [Ahzaab; Verse 56]
O Allah send salutations, peace and blessings on Your slave and servant Muhammad for as long as the stars shine and the clouds combine, and send salutations and peace on Your prophet and his family, his companions, his wives and offspring and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Recompense.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…