The Objectives of the Islamic Pilgrimage and its Witnesses
Sheikh Saalih aal Taalib
November 2, 2012 ~ Dhul Hijjah 17, 1433
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Verily all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His help and seek His forgiveness. And we seek protection in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the evil of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, there is no misguidance for him. And whoever He misguides, there is no guidance for him. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. May Allah’s salutations, peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his family, companions, those who succeed them and those who follow them in goodness until the day of Judgement.
Thereafter: Verily the most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad – peace be upon him -, and the worst of affairs are the newly invented ones. And every newly invented affair is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a misguidance, and every misguided one is in Hellfire.
Behold verily the best advice after praise and greetings, is the advice of fearing Allah, the Great. “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” [Surah al Ahzaab: 70-71]
Surrender leadership to Allah, and prepare for the day of Returning, and be sincere to Allah in private and public; for how many a person (with) much clothes (is) naked of reward; mentioned on earth; unknown in the heaven.
O pilgrims on these plains! O you who have traveled from every direction and field, here is the watering place, so enjoy; and here is fresh water, so drink. Allah has honoured you by your accomplishment of a great day of the days of Islam; and a majestic event of the events of the Muslims, so you have completed your pilgrimage and fulfilled your prescribed duties. And surely Adam; Nooh; Ibraheem; Moosa; Eesa; many prophets; Muhammad, the noble prophet; his companions: Abu Bakr; ‘Umar; ‘Uthman; ‘Ali; the great companions; the leaders of the schools of thought and the pious Muslims have preceded you in these steep hills.
And here you are succeeding them on these lands. The Lord is One; the sacred lands are the same; the goal is united, so why is the condition different to their (the predecessors’), and the men inferior to their men?!
Your lineage – O Muslims – in beliefs, is continuous to the prophets of Allah and His messengers; so why the deviation?
And the law of Islam – Quraan and Sunnah – is still alive, and the testimonies of monotheism is still standing from the era of Ibraheem, so why the confusion?
And your religion is the greatest law that was revealed from the heaven to the earth, so why the humiliation?
You have discharged the rituals, whose slogans are monotheism, so make it your slogans until you meet your Lord, and surely the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever meets Allah without having ascribed any partners to Him enters Paradise.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Revere Allah and respect His messenger. And revere that which has come from them and submit to it make sincere your intentions and deeds to Allah. And follow the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ and his companions whom Allah is pleased with and they are pleased with Him. And base your worship on the Quraan and Sunnah, “And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” [Surah Hashr: 7] And discard that which is not cited in the Sunnah.
O Muslims: Pilgrims to Allah’s ancient house! Verily the one who does pilgrimage or ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) to the House has surely increased in his closeness to Allah, and has neared much to Him, and the close ones are the most deserving of respect with Allah – Majestic is His Greatness. Their hope spurs them on to increase in obedience, and their shyness prevents them from staining with any sins after Allah has hosted them and made them superior; forgave their sins and completed their rituals.
O yes, surely Allah has enabled you to please Him, and made the exposure to the breezes of His mercy easy for you, so remain steadfast on His command, “And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun after it has become strong.” [Surah an Nahl: 92]
And the most deserving of advice to the Muslim after (the advice of) piety: is what the Prophet ﷺ advised Sufyaan (Radiallahu Anhu) when he said: “O messenger of Allah! Tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone besides you.” He replied: “Say I believe in Allah, then remain steadfast.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Behold and surely the most worthy for a believer to remain steadfast on after monotheism: is the preservation of prayer, for it is a pillar of the religion; and the differentiation of the believers from the disbelievers, and surely Allah (Exalted and Majestic) said: “Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [Surah Mu’minoon: 1-2]
Tirmidhi, Nisaai and Haakim narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Ten verses have been revealed to me, whoever acts upon them will enter Paradise, then he read ‘Successful indeed are the believers’ until he completed 10 verses.”
“Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness.And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). And those who pay the Zakat. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts), Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors; Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants; And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) prayers (at their fixed stated hours). These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.” [Surah Mu’minoon: 1-11] These are the means of success and the means of entering Paradise: prayer; charity; refraining from non-beneficial sayings and actions; preserving the modesty and (abstaining from the) prohibited; refraining from indecency; and preserving the trust and promise.
O believers: Islam is submission to Allah, and compliance to Him with obedience; free from polytheism and its people. And the submission to Allah is expressed by the rules of pilgrimage just as the salient features embody it, and the biography of the prophet of Allah Ibraheem and his family exemplify it; that righteous family in which Ibraheem submitted to the command of Allah by leaving his wife and her suckling son in a valley of poverty; because Allah ordered him to do that. And his wife Haajar asked: “Did Allah command you with this?” He said: “Yes.” She said: “If it is so, He will not neglect us.”
So their Lord did not neglect them, and He split the earth with the water of Zam Zam, and He blessed it, and He populated the valley with humans, and the hearts of people inclined towards them, and Allah granted them pure sustenance, and He made their land safe and peaceful.
And Ibraheem submitted to the command of Allah of sacrificing his son, and Isma’eel also submitted to this command. And Allah said regarding them: “Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead” [Surah Saaffaat: 103], i.e. they both submitted, but Allah, the Most Merciful was kind.
Verily it is an example to the submitting righteous family, and a lesson to the Ummah in every detail of the event, and the reward in both the situations was that Allah was with them, and He raised their status, and made prophethood in both of them and in their progeny, and He made their heritage rituals for the believers until the day of Judgement.
Servants of Allah: And from the spirituality of pilgrimage: is training on piety, and among the verses of pilgrimage: “And take a provision for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa.” [Surah Baqarah: 197]. Surely it is a limited act of worship in numbered days. The pilgrim strives to complete it, and he is cautious from being deficient or futile in it, and he requests acceptance from his Lord; hoping for His Mercy; seeking saviour from His fire. And this is the summary of life and its essence.
And piety is a heart feeling during which a Muslim is spurred on to journey, consistent with the wishes of Allah; driven by the fear of Allah; and hope for what is by Allah, not what is by people. And when a Muslim makes the pleasure of his Lord his objective, he succeeds and is saved.
O Muslims: Pilgrimage is a special season (where) the reality of holy worship spreads among the Muslims: Obedience and responding to the call of the Beneficent; and submission to His laws and rulings, and no matter how much a person encompasses himself in outward affluence, he is not released from the feeling of reality; the reality that he is an individual among millions of people, and that he is needy to Allah, just like the rest of the travelers to Him; seeking mercy, forgiveness and pleasure from Him.
Therefore, surely it is an error to seek a luxurious pilgrimage, or complaining of hardships encountered by those who are not used to hardship, for verily Allah (the Exalted) said: “And they carry your loads to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves.” [Surah Nahl: 7]. So simplicity and abandoning of luxury is from the objectives of the pilgrimage. In it is training, servitude and humility, and equality while in devotion in front of Allah.
And in that also: is training for the Muslims that there be mercy on their brethren, humility to them, carrying out their interests, staying away from self-centeredness and selfishness, let alone depriving of their rights, or changing of what has been entrusted of their obligations.
Servants of Allah: And from the witnesses of pilgrimage: is that Allah the Exalted encompassed it with care and protection, and showered on the pilgrims to His House security and serenity, in times when the world is disturbed like the fire of war burning in various lands, and (while) we are not spared from the envious and hostile, but Allah the Exalted is the One Who is Kind and protects; covers and pardons; showers His apparent and hidden bounties on us, and utilized truthful defenders for this land. May Allah protect the servants and the land through them.
So for Allah is praise and thanks, and for Him is good praise, and Allah has been truthful: “Have they not seen that We have made (Makkah) a sanctuary secure, and that men are being snatched away from all around them?” [Surah Ankaboot: 67]
Surely it is a bounty deserving mention, gratitude and caution; speaking about the bounty of Allah the Exalted, and thanks to Him and praise.
May Allah bless me and you in the Quraan and Sunnah, and benefit us of what is in them of verses and wisdom. I say these words of mine, and I seek the forgiveness of Allah the Exalted for me and you.
All praise be to Allah by Whose bounties all righteousness is completed. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner: A testimony on which we live and die. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah’s salutations, peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his family, companions and those who follow them in goodness until the day of Judgement.
Thereafter: O believers: With seeking forgiveness, big actions are ended, and glad-tidings for the one who finds in his records abundant seeking forgiveness. And verily good deeds are a good tree requiring watering and care until it grows; steadies and produces its fruit.
And from the signs of the acceptance of good deeds: is following it up with good deeds; for the one who is accepted and drawn close to Allah, He grants him the ability to do good deeds, and He saves him from evil deeds.
So aspire – may Allah protect you – to protect your deeds, and guard yourself, and be truthful and draw near (to Allah), and be happy and hopeful. And sincerity and reward is the pivot of acceptance.
May Allah make you successful with Paradise; occupying of the highest stages, and make us and you of those to whom the angels call out with the saying of Allah (Exalted and Majestic is He) : “Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire! “Our Lord! And make them enter the ‘Adn Paradise which you have promised them, and too the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. “And save them from (the punishment, because of what they did of) the sins, and whomsoever You save from (the punishment, because of what they did of) the sins (i.e. excuse them) that Day, him verily, You have taken into mercy.” And that is the supreme success.” [Surah Ghafir: 7-9]
This; and send salutations and peace on the best of humans; purest of mankind and best of messengers: Muhammad bin Abdullah; for whoever sends salutations on him once, Allah sends salutations on him, due to this, ten times.
O Allah send salutations, peace, and increase, and blessings on your servant and messenger Muhammad, and on his good pure family; his companions, the fortunate personalities and those who follow them in goodness until the day of Judgement.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…