Sunday, 15 November 2009

Pilgrimage to Makka

 Eid Al-Adha is expected to be on or around November 27, 2009.

.........Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk................The Hajj must be performed during a specific period of time in the Islamic calendar, beginning on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the "month of Hajj"), the 12th month in the Islamic calendar. The dates of the Hajj have been set since ancient times, when the Prophet Abraham first called people to make the pilgrimage.

"Proclaim the pilgrimage among people; they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, throughout the appointed days..." (Qur'an 22:27-28).

Muslims believe that these "appointed days" (beginning with the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah) have been set since the time of Abraham, and were recognized and practiced by the Prophet Muhammad.

However, there is another type of pilgrimage to Makka, known as the umrah (lesser pilgrimage), which may be performed any time during the year. During umrah, Muslims observe some of the same pilgrimage rites as during Hajj. However, while this experience is commendable, it does not relieve one from the requirement of performing the Hajj during the appointed annual time.

Ibn Hajjar said in his book "Al Fath". "The majority of the Muslim scholars are agreed that the verse ordering people to perform Hajj was revealed in the sixth year after Hijra. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh.}[2:196]. What is meant by "complete" is the starting of this rite to be obligatory on Muslims".
Other scholars like Al Nawawi and Ibn Al Qayyim believe that Hajj became mandatory on Muslims in the ninth year after Hijra. The reason, they put this date forward is the fact that the Prophet performed only one Hajj (The Farewell Hajj) and that was in the year ten after the Hijra. Since Hajj becomes obligatory as soon as the person have the material means to perform it and can physically do so, these scholars think that the Prophet would not delay performing Hajj three years. But the first opinion is the most sound one. The Prophet delayed his Hajj till the year ten because Makkah was before that date the place of pagans and atheists. It did not become a Muslim city until the year 8 after the Hijra. The pagans used to perform Hajj in months other than originally intended until Islam re-established the proper times.
This is why the Prophet said in the farewell Hajj: "Time has come back to its original state which it had on the day Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. The year is twelve months, four of which are sacred, three of them are in succession, namely Dhul-Qa'da, Dhul Hijja and Muharram, (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar which is between Juma'da (ath-thani) and Sha'ban".(Bukhari and Muslim).

Steps of Hajj
.The pilgrims begin arriving by air, sea, and land during the weeks prior to the pilgrimage period. They usually arrive into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the major port city nearest to Makka (45 miles distance). From there they travel with their Hajj group to Mecca. As they approach Makka, they stop at one of the designated areas to shower and change clothing, entering into a state of devotion and purity for the pilgrimage. They then begin reciting an invocation:

Here I am, Oh God, at Your command!
Here I am at Your command!
You are without associate!
Here I am at Your command!
To You are all praise, grace and dominion!
You are without associate!

The sound of this chant (said in Arabic) echoes over the land, as the pilgrims begin arriving in Makka by the thousands for the sacred rites.

On the first official day of the pilgrimage, the millions of pilgrims that have now gathered travel from Makka to Mina, a small village east of the city. There they spend the day and night in enormous tent cities, praying, reading the Qur’an, and resting for the next day.

On the second day of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims leave Mina just after dawn to travel to the Plain of Arafat for the culminating experience of the Hajj. On what is known as the "Day of Arafat,” the pilgrims spend the entire day standing (or sitting) near the Mount of Mercy, asking Allah for forgiveness and making supplications. Muslims around the world who are not at the pilgrimage join them in spirit by fasting for the day.

After sunset on the Day of Arafat, the pilgrims leave and travel to a nearby open plain called Muzdalifah, roughly halfway between Arafat and Mina. There they spend the night praying, and collecting small stone pebbles to be used the following day

On the third day, the pilgrims move before sunrise, this time back to Mina. Here they throw their stone pebbles at pillars that represent the temptations of Satan. When throwing the stones, the pilgrims recall the story of Satan’s attempt to dissuade Abraham from following God’s command to sacrifice his son. The stones represent Abraham’s rejection of Satan and the firmness of his faith.

After casting the pebbles, most pilgrims slaughter an animal (often a sheep or a goat) and give away the meat to the poor. This is a symbolic act that shows their willingness to part with something that is precious to them, just as the Prophet Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son at God’s command.

Throughout the world, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, on this day. This is the second of the two major holidays in Islam each year.(Festival of Sacrifice) One of the two main Islamic festivals (the other is 'Id al-Fitr), this festival falls on the 10th day of the lunar month of Zul-Hijja and is the concluding act of pilgrimage to Makkah. In commemoration of Abraham's faith, sheep, goats and camels are offered to God, and the meat is distributed to the poor and needy. 'Id al-Adha is observed whether or not one is on pilgrimage)

Indeed in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) women attended the Eid Salaah, however the practises of women for attending Mosque (adherence to rules of Hijab etc.) must be followed and practised.

Ibn 'Abbas (RA) says that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would take his wives and daughters to the two 'ids. This is related by Ibn-Majah and al-Baihaqi.

Ibn 'Abbas (RA) further reports: "I went out with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on the day of breaking the fast or of the sacrifice, and he prayed and gave a khutbah, and then he went to the women and admonished them, reminded them of Allah, and ordered them to give charity." This is related by al-Bukhari.

Aisha (RA) reports that women used to come to the Musjid completely covered in their sheets (Bukhari).

1. It is preferred to make the ghusl Bath), perfume one's self and don one's best attire on the occasions of the two 'ids. ”

Ja'far ibn-Muhammad (RA) relates from his father on the authority of his grandfather who reported that the Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) would wear a Yemeni cloak on every 'id. This is related by ash-Shaf'i (RA) and al-Baghawi (RA).

Al-Hassan as-Sibt says: "The Messenger of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) ordered us to wear the best clothes we could find for the two 'ids and to apply the best perfume we could find and to sacrifice the best animal we could find." This is related by al-Hakim and in its chain is Ishaq ibn Barzakh whom al-'Azdi declares to be weak while Ibn Hibban says he is trustworthy.
Ibn al-Qayyim writes: "The Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) used to wear his most beautiful clothes for them and he had a special cloak that he would wear on the two 'ids and Jumu'ah.

Among the different schools of Fiqh (Jurisprudence), there are different views when it comes to the issue of the extra takbeers in the Eid prayers. However, there are NO differences amongst ‘followers of the sunnah’, when it comes to the rest of the prayer and the kutbah (sermon) which is held after the prayer.

Imaam Maalik (r) said:
"In my opinion, anyone who prays the `Eid prayer individually, whether man or woman, should say seven Takbeers in the first rak`ah, before recitation, and five in the second, before recitation."

This is the opinion of ash-Shaafi`ee - that if one misses the prayer with the imaam, he should pray two Rak`aat in order to at least attain the virtue of performing the `Eid prayer, despite the fact that he missed the virtue of praying it in Jamaa`ah with the imaam. As for the Hanafi’s school, there is no make-up for the `Eid prayer. If one misses it with the Imaam, he has totally missed it."

Umar (ra) reported:
"The travelers' prayer is two Rak`aat; the Adha prayer is two Rak`aat; the Fitr prayer is two Rak`aat; and the Jumu`ah prayer is two Rak`aat; this is their full length as came upon the tongue of Muhammad (saws)."

The Eid Prayer has two rak'ah to perform in the normal way, with the only addition of six takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first rak'ah, and three of them just before ruku' in the second rak'ah. The detailed way of performing the 'Eid prayer is as follows:

The Imam will begin the prayer without Adhan or Iqamah. He will begin the prayer by reciting takbir of Tahrimah (Allahu Akbar). You should raise your hands up to the ears, and reciting the takbir, you give a little pause during which you should recite Thana' (Subhanak Allahumma.......)· After the completion of Thana' the Imam will recite takbir (Allahu Akbar) three times, and after reciting each Takbir (Allahu Akbar) in a low voice, you should bring your hands down and leave them earthwards. But, after the third takbir, you should set them at the level of your navel as you do in the normal prayer.

After these three takbirs the Imam will recite the Holy Qur'an, which you should listen quietly. The rest of the rak'ah will be performed in the normal way.

After rising for the second rak'ah, the Imam will begin the recitations from the Qur'an during which you should remain calm and quiet. When the Imam finishes his recitation, he will recite three takbirs once again, but this time it will be before bowing down for ruku'. At each takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after saying "Allahu Akbar' bring them down and leave them earthwards. After these three takbirs have been called and completed, the Imam will say another takbir for bowing down into the ruku' position. At this takbir you need not raise your hands. You just bow down for your ruku' saying, 'Allahu Akbar'. The rest of the Salah will be performed in its usual way.

The pilgrims then return to Mecca and perform seven tawaf, turns around the Ka’aba, the house of worship built by Abraham A.S. and his son. In other rites, the pilgrims pray near a place called “The Station of Abraham,” which is reportedly where Abraham stood while constructing the Ka’aba. The pilgrims also walk seven times between two small hills near the Ka’aba (and enclosed in the Grand Mosque’s complex). This is done in remembrance of the plight of Abraham’s wife Hajar, who desperately searched in the area for water for herself and her son, before a spring welled up in the desert for her. The pilgrims also drink from this ancient spring, known as Zamzam, which continues to flow today.

In the days and weeks after Hajj, many Muslims take advantage of their travel time by visiting the city of Madinah, 270 miles north of Mecca. The people of Madinah provided refuge to the early Muslim community, when they were being persecuted by the powerful Meccan tribes. Madinah became a center for the growing Muslim community, and was home to the Prophet Muhammad and his followers for many years. Pilgrims visit the Prophet’s Mosque, where Muhammad saw is buried, as well as other ancient mosques, and the many historical battle sites and graveyards in the area.

Pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia are required to leave the country by the 10th of Muharram, about one month after the completion of the pilgrimage.

 Prophet saw sent Abu Bakr (RA)and then Ali(RA) the year that proceeded the farewell Hajj to Makkah to tell people that: "No polytheist should perform Hajj after this year, and none should circumambulate around the Kaaba in a naked state".[Reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim]
2. It is proved that only one verse was revealed to the Prophet during the Farewell Hajj. This verse is Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion.}[5:3].
Omar Ibn Al Khattab(r) said: "I know for a fact, the place where it (this verse) was revealed to him (the Prophet) the day on which it was revealed to the Prophet. It was revealed in Arafat on Friday" [Reported by Imam Muslim].

Muhammad (may peace be upon him) performed Hajj only once. This Hajj is also known as "Hijjat-ul-Widaa".

In the 10th Hijrah year, when the unbelievers were forbidden to visit Holy Ka’bah, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) accompanied by fourteen thousand Muslims left Madinah for Makkah to offer Hajj. That year, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) offered all the Hajj rites. Hence, whatever he did became "Sunnah". Till today, all the Muslims follow it. Before this, he did not perform the complete Hajj rites. In the previous year, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) himself did not go to Makkah. However in the 10th Hijrah year, the Prophet  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed all the Hajj ceremonies; wore the Pilgrim robe (Ahram), circumambulated the Holy Ka’bah seven times and performed "Sai" between Safa and Marva seven times.

10 years after his migration from Mecca to Medina, the Prophet Muhammad performed his Hajj, which came to be known as the "Hajj of Farewell." The Prophet told his followers: "Learn how to perform Hajj, as after this year I may not perform it." As the news spread around, people from Medina and nearby areas started assembling there to accompany the Prophet.

On the afternoon of Thursday, 24 Dhul Qada, 10 AH, the Prophet mounted his she-camel to set out for Mecca. A multitude of people, over 100,000 in number, accompanied him. Jabir, a Companion of the Prophet said, "I could see people as far as my eyes could see." On the way more people joined the caravan. When the Prophet reached a place called Dhul Halifa, he spent the night there and in the morning took a bath and put on ihram, the pilgrims’ dress, made up of two unstitched sheets (women wear normal dress and cover their heads by a scarf). Afterwards he moved towards Mecca saying the talbiyah prayer: "Here I am, O Allah, Here I am at Your service! You have no partner, here I am. All praise, grace and dominion belongs to You. You have no partner." The multitude joined him in repeating these words.

After travelling for nine days, the Prophet reached Mecca on 4 Dhul Hijjah. He first went to the Sacred Mosque. On seeing the Kabah, he said: "O Allah! increase the greatness and sublimity of Your House." And further added, "O Allah, You are peace, with You is peace. Our Lord, keep us alive with peace." Afterwards he performed tawaf—going round the Kabah seven times. As he did this, he kept calling upon God: "Our Lord, give us goodness in this world and goodness in the Hereafter, and keep us safe from the fire of Hell." When he had finished going round the Kabah, he prayed two rakat at the Maqam Ibrahim—the Station of Abraham, and went towards the Black Stone and kissed it. He moved towards Safa, saying that Safa and Marwa were one of the signs of Allah. He went up the Safa hill, till he could see the Kabah. (At that time the hills of Safa and Marwa were outside the Sacred Mosque, but now after the expansion of the grounds, they come within the boundary wall

The Prophet walked briskly between the two hills seven times and ended the walk at Marwa. Some of the seven laps he did on camel-back. Perhaps he did so that people could see him from a distance. The Prophet was staying in Mecca at a place called al-Bath. After staying there for four days, he moved to Mina on 8 Dhul Hijjah and the next morning, he moved off towards Arafat. At Arafat, he stayed in a small tent in the Arnah valley. In the afternoon he rode his she-camel as far as the middle part of the Arafat valley. Here, mounted on his she-camel, he gave a sermon which is known as the Sermon of the Farewell Hajj. Today, at this very spot there stands a mosque by the name of Nimra.

In his message to humanity, the Prophet emphasized the highest moral values. Here the Prophet announced: "No Arab is superior to a non-Arab and no non-Arab is superior to an Arab. No black man is superior to a red man and no red man is superior to a black, except through taqwa or fear of Allah. The most noble among you is the one who is deeply conscious of God."

While the Prophet was praying here, the very last verse of the Qur’an was revealed to him, and so the Holy Book was completed.

After delivering the sermon, the Prophet performed two prayers together—Zuhr and Asr. After prayers, the Prophet came to the spot in Arafat which known as the "standing place". Here, mounted on his she-camel, the Prophet prayed till sunset. He said that the prayer of this day was the best of all. The Prophet was praying with divine feelings. He was praying, the people around him were praying, some standing, some mounted on their animals—weeping and crying to their Lord for His favors, vowing for repentance and craving His blessing. It was such a great moment that the Prophet said, "Arafat is Hajj." He prayed, "O Allah, You are listening to me. You are watching my place. You are aware of my hidden and open affairs. I am miserable and needy, I am pleading to You. Asking your protection..."

After sunset, the Prophet rode towards Muzdalifa. He asked Usama ibn Zayd to ride his camel too. He went on saying Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk—"Here I am O Lord, Here I am". And the people were chanting the same. The Prophet asked people not to run, but to move slowly and calmly, as running was no work of piety. On reaching Muzdalifa, the Prophet asked his Companion, Bilal to give the call for prayers. There he said the Maghrib and the Isha prayer together. The Prophet took rest at night and in the morning after praying, he went towards a place called Mashar Haram where he offered further for prayers. Before sunrise, the Prophet left Muzdalifah for Mina, after taking seven small pebbles from there. On the way, passing through the valley of Muhssar, he asked people to move fast, as this was the place, where the People of the Elephant, who came to destroy the Kabah, were punished by Allah. This incident happened in the year in which the Prophet was born. Riding on, he reached the Jamarah, the three pillars at Mina, at which he cast seven pebbles, saying Allahu Akbar each time. The Prophet gave his second sermon at Mina, which was similar to the previous one at Arafat. Afterwards the Prophet offered his sacrifices, shaved his head and took off the ihram—the pilgrims’ dress. That was the day of the feast—(today we remember that day as Id al-Adha).

On the same day, the Prophet rode to Mecca, performed tawaf, drank water at Zamzam and returned to Mina. At Mina people came to him, asking many questions about the pilgrimage. Some said, "I delayed in doing so and so," or "I performed something before it was due," and so on. But the Prophet would tell them: "No objection, no objection! Objections are only for the person who wrongfully violates the honor of his fellow-man."

At Mina the Prophet spent three more days for the throwing of stones. In the afternoon of Tuesday, the Prophet moved to Mecca, where he stayed in a tent and slept briefly. Before the morning prayer, he went to the Sacred Mosque and performed the tawaf of Farewell.

The Prophet stayed in Mecca during Hajj for 10 days. Afterwards he left for Medina. At a place called, Dhul Halifa he rested for the night, and at the sunrise, entered his beloved city—Medina, the Radiant. When he first saw the city dwellings from a distance, words of praise started pouring from his lips: "Allah is most High. There is no deity save Him. He is One. No one is His partner. He is Lord of everything. All praise belongs to Him and He empowers all things. We are returning repentant, praying, prostrating ourselves, praising our Lord. Allah has kept His promise."The Prophet died two months after performing his Hajj.

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