Manifestations of Servitude to Allah during Hajj
Sheikh Usaamah Khayyat
September 27, 2013 ~ Dhul Qadah 21, 1434
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Praise be to Allah the Sovereign, the Pure, the Peace, I thank Him (I) for His ample favours and graces, and I bear witness that there is no deity worth worshipping except Allah alone with no associate. He ordered that Hajj be made to His House and made it a religious obligation for all Muslims. I also bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is the Servant and Messenger of Allah and that he is the best of all those who performed prayers, gave zakat, practiced fasting, and stood at ‘Arafa and Al-Mash’ar al-Harām. We beseech Allah to send His Salat and Peace upon His Servant and Messenger Muhammad, his family, Companions –the honorable and obedient– the tabi’in and upon all those who followed them in righteousness.
Now then, servants of Allah: I enjoin you to fear Allah and to remember that you will stand before Him on “the Day when man will see that (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth, and the disbeliever will say: “Woe to me! Would that I were dust!“” [Surah An-Naba’: 40] “That Day shall a man flee from his brother, And from his mother and his father,And from his wife and his children. Everyman, that Day, will have enough to make him careless of others.” [Surah ‘Abasa: 34-37]
O Muslims! In every Hajj ceremony and rite, servitude to Allah assumes its most perspicuous form. Its effects and features can be clearly seen and sensed in observing these rites such as ihram, uncovering of the head, circumambulation of Ka’bah, touching its corner, kissing the Black Stone, the fast walking between Safā and Marwā, standing at ‘Arafa, spending the night at Muzdalifah and Mina, casting the stones, and animal slaughtering.
In all these rituals, there are manifestations of sincere servitude to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, offering Him exclusively the worship which is the purpose behind creating mankind. Allah Almighty says, “And I (Allâh) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone)” [Surah Adh-Dhariyat: 56]
All these practices again remind us of the position of Allah’s servant in the hereafter which induces perfection of belief in it –the hereafter– and the necessity to prepare for it and not to be oblivious of it through mundane worldly affairs and not to be infatuated and deceived by the shiny embellishments of life.
This requires accuracy of performance and adherence to the straightest paths leading to the ultimate goal of achieving Allah’s satisfaction and gaining His generous reward. It is that abundant reward reported by the Prophet of guidance ﷺ as he says, “Sins committed between one `Umrah and another are expiated. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur (pilgrimage accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.” [Narrated by the Two Imams in their Two Sahih Books]
Blessed be Paradise as the house of Allah’s benefaction, and the haven for His sincere servants as a reward for those who have performed Hajj to Allah’s satisfaction, and was among those whom Allah has described in the Qur’ān “For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more. Neither darkness nor dust nor any humiliating disgrace shall cover their faces. They are the dwellers of Paradise, they will abide therein forever.“ [Surah Yūnus: 26]
In order for Allah’s servant to gain this promised reward, he must adhere to certain forms of behaviour some of which are delineated in the verse: “The Hajj is (in) the well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein, then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj.“ [Surah Al-Baqarah: 197] To this effect, the Prophet himself ﷺ said, “He who performs Hajj and abstains from rafath (sexual intercourse with his wife) nor commits sins, then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim in their Two Sahih Books]
Rafath refers to sexual intercourse and any other act related to it whereas fusūq refers to all sorts of sinning whether covert such as shirk , hypocrisy, and other sinful acts emanating from the heart, or overt such as cursing, using abusive language, slandering, assaulting, and all the proscriptions imposed on the pilgrim once he has put on his ihram.
Other forms of behavior include undertaking good deeds. A pilgrim should be kind to the poor, orphans, and widows, support charity organizations and grant them various kinds of aid that would help them carry out their magnanimous charity endeavours, etc. This charitable spending in Hajj or Umrah will be rewarded, as narrated in the Two Sahihs reporting what Aishah (Radiallahu Anha) said quoting the Prophet ﷺ as saying to her during her Umrah, “Your reward is proportionate to your physical effort or charitable spending.”
In another version by Al-Hākim in his Al-Mustadrak through an authentic chain of narrators, the previous hadith reads this way: “Your Umrah reward is proportionate to your charitable spending.”
Another form of behaviour in this regard is the choice of halāl earning and using it in performing this great religious duty. Quoting Abu Hurairah, Muslim narrates, in his Sahih, that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah is Benevolent; and so He accepts but what is benevolent and Allah commanded the faithful, as He did His Messengers, saying, “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Taiyibât [all kinds of Halâl foods which Allâh has made legal, and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.“ [Surah Al-Mu’minūn: 51]; He also says, “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 172]. Then he mentioned the man who travels a lot with his hair unkempt and his body dust-covered, raising his hands towards heaven supplicating Allah: “O my Lord! O my Lord!” But his food is harām; his drink is harām, and he was nourished by harām. How would his prayers be answered!?”
Every step a Hāj (pilgrim) takes and every phase he completes, from the moment he departs home until he concludes his manāsik (religious ceremonies) and his Hajj acts are indeed occasions for supplication and remembrance that call for making his earning lawful and his spending charitable.
Another point is sincerity to Almighty Allah in all that the Hāj does, and acting in a lawful and wholesome way that is free from bid’ah. In his interpretation of the Qur’anic verse, “Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” [Surah Al-Mulk: 2], Al-Fudhail bin ‘Iyadh said, “An act will not be accepted if pure but not right or right but not pure. Acts will only be accepted when they are both pure and right. Pure means dedicated solely to Allah and right means conforming to Sunnah.”
One of the aspects of integrity vis-à-vis Allah ‒O servants of Allah‒ is abstinence from undertaking Hajj for pride, show-off, and fame, or for the purpose of being called Hāj upon returning home. The Prophet ﷺ narrates a Hadith Qudsi via his Lord:” I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake other than Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him, whom he associated with Me.” It was related by Muslim in his Sahih via Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu).
Another aspect of being sincere to Allah is to avoid notoriously expensive Ihrām clothes, transportation, or lodging; a pilgrim should remember that he has decided to perform Hajj in order to get the contentment of Allah and His reward. He certainly has not decided to perform Hajj for pride, vanity, or show-off against other pilgrims of the House of Allah.
He should take the guidance of the best of creatures [Prophet Muhammad] ﷺ as the best example; Imam Al-Tirmithi in his book, Ashamail, and Ibn Mājah in his Sunan related via an authentic chain of narrators by Anas Ibn Mālik (Radiallahu Anhu) as saying: “The Prophet ﷺ performed Hajj on a tattered saddle wearing an old gown worth four Dirhams, or is not even worth that; then the Prophet said: “O Allah! (I pray You for) a Hajj with no hypocrisy or desire for fame.” That is to say: O Allah! Make it a Hajj that is free of hypocrisy and desire for fame.
As for the necessity that the deed (Hajj) be performed in all legality, which means it be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the Holy Qur’ān has indicated this and made it the basis for proper compliance (with the Prophet’s Sunnah), a means for gaining the love of Allah, and a path that leads to the forgiveness of sins. Allah says: “Say: If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Ale Imran: 31]
The Hāj to the House of Allah must follow the Sunnah in every one of the Hajj deeds, from the moment he sets out on his trip until he returns back home. He should keep in mind what has authentically been reported on the Prophet ﷺ in his Farewell Pilgrimage, like what was reported in the Hadith narrated by Jābir Ibn Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhum) and which has been related by Muslim in his Sahih.
The Hāj must make the Prophet’s Farewell Pilgrimage a guiding light and a torch that illuminates the road for him. This indeed is the ultimate rationale behind this great Hajj and superb ritual.
Allah so truthfully put it thus: “Indeed in the messenger of Allah (Muhammadr) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” [Surah Al-Ahzāb: 21]
May Allah grant me and you the benefit of the guidance of His Book and of the Sunnah of His Prophetﷺ! I say this and I ask Allah to forgive you and me and all Muslims for all sins; He is the All Forgiving!
All praise be to Allah! We thank Him and seek His aid. We ask for His forgiveness and we seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves and from our evil deeds. He whom Allah guides, will never go astray, and he whom Allah allows to go astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. O Allah send Your Salat and Peace onto Your Servant and Messenger, Muhammad, and his family. O Allah! Be content with the Prophet’s Companions and those who followed him in righteousness till the Day of Judgment!
Now then, O servants of Allah! Allah has attributed to this obligatory form of worship (Hajj) two sanctities that make an integral part of it; these are: the sanctity of time and the sanctity of place. As some Muslim scholars have said this is to strengthen the feeling of the sanctity of this great pillar (of Islam), so that the pilgrim may be so attentive in all his moves, acts, and reposes. Indeed, he must be fully conscious and never oblivious, for one second, of what goes around him.
He added to this the sanctity of Ihram and ordained for it special rulings and standards of behaviour in order to ascertain humility and avoid adornment or being dishevelled. Such rulings and standards of behaviour are also ordained in order to commend fearing and glorifying Allah, and to observe accountability vis-à-vis oneself not to go too far in pursuing one’s fancies and whims.
These legislations and rulings that are relevant to the heart, the senses, the intentions, the actions, the time and place have imparted on the obligation of Hajj a garment of purity, piety, asceticism, observance of Allah’s commands, self-accountability, and Jihad (struggle against the whims of the self). Indeed, nothing is similar to Hajj in this respect.
Therefore Hajj has got deep effects on the self and morals validating the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: “He who performs Hajj and abstains from rafath (sexual intercourse with his wife) nor commits sins, then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.”
Therefore, fear Allah ‒O servants of Allah‒ and know the value of this holy and obligatory ritual; do your best to perform it as Allah wants, with all integrity and in accordance with the guidance of Allah’s Prophet ﷺ.
Always remember that Allah has commanded you to send your Salat upon the Seal of Prophets, the Imam of the Messengers, and the Blessing sent by Allah to the Worlds –Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah– as He says in His Holy Book: “Allâh sends His Salât on the Prophet, and also His angels (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah Al-Ahzāb: 56]
O Allah! Send Your Salat and Peace on Your Servant and Messenger Muhammad! O Allah! Be pleased with his four Caliphs, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali, on all the Companions of Your Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and the tabi’în, and those who righteously followed them till the Day of Judgment! O Allah! Be pleased with us all, along with them, by Your pardon and generosity, O You, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!
O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Protect Islam, O Allah! Rout polytheism and polytheists and all the tyrants and corruptors! O Allah! Unite Muslims and their ranks, set right their leaders, and unite them on what is right, O You Lord of the worlds!
O Allah! Grant victory to Your Religion, Your Holy Book, the Sunnah of Your Prophet ﷺ, and Your true mujahideen and servants!
O Allah! Grant us security in our homelands, and set right our Imams and leaders! O Allah! Support with the truth our Imam and leader and provide him with a righteous retinue, guide him to whatever You please and accept, O You the All-Hearer of supplication! O Allah! Guide our leader, his deputies and brothers to do what is good for Islam and Muslims and what will lead to the good of your servants and their homelands, O You to Whom everything returns on the Day of Judgment!
O Allah! Make good our outcome in all matters, and save us from the humiliation of the worldly life and the torment of the Hereafter!
O Allah! Make better our religion which is our bond, and make better our Dunya (life in this world) which is the source of our living! O Allah! Make better our Hereafter to which we are returning, and make life for us an increase of all that is good, and death a relief from every evil!
O Allah! We ask You to guide us to do good deeds, forsake reprehensible actions and love the needy! O Allah! We ask You to forgive us and have mercy upon us!
O Allah! If You want to send an affliction on some people, we beseech You to take our lives before your affliction is sent!
O Allah! We seek refuge with You against the disappearance of Your blessing, the departure of Your well-being, the suddenness of Your revenge, and all forms of Your wrath!
O Allah! Make it an accepted Hajj, a rewarded effort, and a forgiven sin!
“… Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!“[Surah Al-Baqarah: 201]
“They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.”“ [Surah Al-A’raf: 23]
O Allah! Send Your Salat and Peace on Your Servant and Messenger, Muhammad, on his family and all of his Companions!
Translated by Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
 Meaning Muzdalifa, one of the holy sites of Hajj.
 A male pilgrim is not allowed to wear normal clothes; instead, he wraps himself in two pieces of unsewn white cloth.
 Halāl is everything that is legal according to Sharia law.
Bid’ah is innovation in religion.