Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj

The pilgrimage attracts about 3 million people from 160 countries annually and begins this year on Nov. 25,

As with the sawm (fasting), exceptions are made for those who are physically or financially unable to fulfill this obligation, and one is actually commanded not to make the hajj if to do so would cause hardship for his or her family. However, those unable to go themselves may fulfill their obligation by sending someone in their stead.

The hajj is commanded in the Qur'an - "And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto God for mankind, for him who can find the way thither" (3:97) - and its rites were established by Muhammad, but Muslim tradition dates it back to Adam and Abraham, who were instructed by angels in the performance of the rites. The hajj was one of the last public acts of worship performed by Muhammad before his death.

"Hajj" means literally "to set out for a place". For a Muslim, that place is the Holy City of Makkah.
brahim abandons Haajar and Ishmael
The Holy Qur'an tells us that the Prophet Ibrahim was given the task of leading mankind.
And remember that Ibrahim
Was tried by His Lord
With certain Commands
Which he fulfilled:
He said: "I will make thee
An Imam to the Nations."

Prophet Ibrahim was ordered to go Makkah. When he reached Makkah, he was commanded by Allah to abandon his second wife, Haajar, and his first-born son Ishmael in this barren, rocky, uninhabited valley.
O our Lord! I have made
Some of my offspring to dwell
In a valley without cultivation,
By The Sacred House;
In order, O our Lord, that they
May establish regular Prayer:
So fill the hearts of some
Among men with love towards them,
And feed them with Fruits
So that they may give thanks.

S 14.37

The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj .
The rites of the Hajj were laid down by Allah to mark historic events in the life of Prophet Ibrahim, which show his absolute and total submission to the will of Allah. Allah commanded the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), on one of his visits to see Haajar and Ishmael, to build the House of God (the Holy Kaaba). With the help of his son Ishmael, Ibrahim built the House of God on the ground where the Kaaba stands to this day.

The Archangel Gabriel brought from Paradise a stone, known as the Black Stone (Al-Hajar Al-Aswad), which was set into one corner of the Kaaba.
Behold! We gave the site
To Ibrahim, of the (Sacred) House,
(Saying): "Associate not anything
(In worship) with Me;
And sanctify My House
For those who compass it round
Or stand up
Or bow, or prostrate themselves
(Therein in prayer).

"And proclaim the Pilgrimage
Among men: 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 God, through the Days
Appointed, over the cattle
Which He has provided for them
(For sacrifice): then eat ye
Thereof and feed the distressed
Ones in want.

"Then let them complete
The rites prescribed
For them, perform their vows,
And (again) circumambulate
The Ancient House."

Surah Al Hajj 22: 26 - 29

Soon Haajar's meager provisions of dates and water were exhausted and both mother and child became thirsty. Seeing the suffering of her son, Haajar became desperate to find water. She ran to the hill of Safa but found nothing. She then ran to the hill of Marwah. But again she was disappointed. Seven times she ran between the two hills. Suddenly, close to where Ishmael lay, water sprang from the earth by the command of Allah. This source of water was to become known as the well of Zamzam.
The first House (of worship)
Appointed for men was that at Bakka (Makkah)
Full of blessing
And of guidance
For all kinds of beings.

S.3: 96

The starting point for the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba is where Ibrahim, by the command of Allah, placed the Black Stone in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.

In order to complete the upper part of the walls of the Kaaba, Ibrahim stood upon a large stone block which he moved along when each section was completed. When the Kaaba was finished, the large stone block was left outside the Kaaba, close to the eastern wall of the sanctuary. It became known as the Maqam Ibrahim (the station of Ibrahim).

As constructed by Ibrahim and his son, the Kaaba was a roofless, rectangular building, with two doors at ground level for access and with a semi-circular back wall.

Each year, Ibrahim returned to Makkah to perform the Hajj.

    The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj
    After Ibrahim

The Hajj  is a pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah). It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a moral obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah (God). The pilgrimage occurs from the 7th to 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. In 2007, the Hajj was from December 17–21; in 2008 from December 6–10, and in 2009 will be November 25–29. Ihram is the name given to the special state in which Muslims live whilst on the pilgrimage.

Preparation for Hajj or 'Umrah
If a Muslim has decided to go for Hajj or 'Umrah, it is recommended that he should record all of his debts and have them witnessed so that in case he dies during the journey, they can be paid from his inheritance. He should sincerely repent for all of his sins in compliance with Allah's command: Repent, all of you, to Allah, O Believers, that perhaps you may be successful. (24:31) It should be noted that sincere repentance involves three principles. First, remorse and sadness should be felt for the sins committed in the past. Secondly, one must stop committing such crimes against oneself and Allah. And, thirdly, a firm intention to not return to such sins in the future must be undertaken. If any of these principles are deleted, repentance becomes an unacceptable, meaningless ritual in which the one repenting is deluded into believing that he can fool Allah. If one who intends Hajj has in his possession the property or wealth of others which he has illegally obtained, he should return such properties before setting out. The wealth which is to be used for 'Umrah or Hajj should come from Halaal (permissible) sources, because the Prophet  said: Verily, Allah is Good and only accepts the good. In Islam, the ends do not justify the means. The use of Haraam (forbidden) methods to make Hajj means will destroy the Hajj and make it devoid of any blessings. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet  said: If a man sets out with filthy earnings, places his foot in the stirrup (of his riding animal) and calls out: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk (I hear your call and am coming. Oh Allah, I hear your call) - a caller will call from the heavens, You do not hear the call and you will not be pleased. Your provisions are Haraam and your earnings are Haraam and your Hajj is not blessed nor accepted. One who intends to perform Hajj or 'Umrah should make sure that his or her intention is for Allah's pleasure and not for any material or worldly gain, like trade, showing off, fame and so on. One should also choose the company of the righteous in making Hajj, for the company of the unrighteous or negligent has caused the ruin of many a Hajj. It is necessary that one who intends Hajj or 'Umrah learn as much about these rites as he or she can before setting out, in order to avoid unnecessary confusion and acts which could ruin these rites.

Types of Hajj

The way in which the pilgrimage to Makkah can be performed and the regulations governing its rites vary according to where the pilgrim lives or whether one intends to make 'Umrah along with Hajj or whether one wants to offer an animal sacrifice or not. These variations have been traditionally grouped into three categories and referred to as the three types of Hajj: Hajj Ifraad, Hajj Qiraan and Hajj Tamattu'. Any one of these three methods, if performed according to their regulations without doing any actions which invalidate them, fulfill the compulsory Islamic requirement of Hajj once in a lifetime. The three permissible kinds of Hajj with the rules and regulations governing each of them are as follows:

Hajj Ifraad (Isolated Hajj)
This refers to Hajj performed by itself without 'Umrah and the pilgrim performing this type of Hajj is called a Mufrid. Such a pilgrim is required to enter the state of Ihraam with the intention of doing Hajj only.

Regulations concerning Ifraad
1. Although the Mufrid may offer an animal sacrifice if he wants to, he is under no obligation to do so.
2. If a pilgrim who has made intentions of Hajj Ifraad, performs 'Umrah during the months of Hajj (Shawwaal, Dhul-Qa'dah and Dhul-Hijjah) prior to the beginning of the Hajj rites proper (the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah), he is no longer considered Mufrid. He must now shift to one of the other two types of Hajj combine 'Umrah along with them and their regulations must instead be followed.
3. ..On arrival in Makkah the Mufrid is required to make Tawaaf (circling) of the Ka'bah known as Tawaaf al-Qudoom (the arrival circuit).
4. ..This is the only type of Hajj allowed for those living within the boundaries from which Ihraam is put on. These boundaries are known as Meeqaat.

Hajj Qiraan (Accompanied Hajj)
This is Hajj combined with 'Umrah without coming out of Ihraam, and the pilgrim performing this type of Hajj is known as a Qaarin. The Qaarin should enter the state of Ihraam with the intention of performing 'Umrah and Hajj together.

Regulations concerning Qiraan.
1. For Hajj Qiraan, the 'Umrah has to be done within the months of Hajj (Shawwaal, Dhul-Qa'dah and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah) and completed before beginning the rites of Hajj.
2. The Qaarin should clip his hair after 'Umrah instead of shaving it.
3. The Qaarin is not allowed to come out of the Ihraam no matter how long the period between his 'Umrah and Hajj may be.
4. The Tawaaf made for 'Umrah takes the place of Tawaaf al-Qudoom.
5. The Qaarin must sacrifice the animal which he brought along with him from the boundaries known as the Meeqaat.
6. Hajj Qiraan can only be performed by those living outside the Meeqaat. The proof for that is Allah's statement: This concession is only for those whose homes are not near the sacred mosque. (2:196)

Hajj Tamattu' (Enjoyable Hajj)
'Umrah is also combined with Hajj under this type; however, a new Ihraam is made for the Hajj. The pilgrim performing this type of Hajj is known as a Mutamatti'. The name Tamattu was chosen because the Mutamatti' is allowed to come out of Ihraam after the completion of his 'Umrah, and enjoy all the pleasures, which were allowable prior to Ihraam, including sex.

Regulations Concerning Tamattu'
1. The 'Umrah has to be within the months of Hajj and must be completed before beginning the rites of Hajj.
2. The Mutamatti' should clip his hair instead of shaving it to come out of his state of Ihraam.
3. After completing 'Umrah, the pilgrim making Hajj Tamattu' must come out of his or her state of Ihraam.
4. After coming out of the Ihraam of 'Umrah, the Mutamatti' is allowed to do everything that was permitted before going into the state of Ihraam.
5. The Mutamatti' is obliged to offer an animal sacrifice, but if he is unable to do so, he is required to fast for ten days according to Allah's statement: But if someone can not afford a sacrifice, he can fast three days during Hajj and seven days after returning home. That is ten days in all. (2:196)
6. The Tawaaf made for 'Umrah takes the place of the arrival Tawaaf (Tawaaf al-Qudoom).
7. Hajj Tamattu', like Qiraan, is only to be done by those living outside the Meeqaat.

A Meeqaat is a fixed place beyond which it is not permissible for a pilgrim (of Hajj or 'Umrah) to proceed towards Makkah without making Ihraam (putting on the garments and making the intention). There are five such Meeqaats surrounding Makkah.
(a) Dhul Hulayfah - This Meeqaat is now known as Aabaar 'Alee (the wells of 'Alee) and it is situated about a mile and a half outside of Madeenah. It is for the people coming from the direction of Madeenah and its vicinity from the north and it is also the farthest Meeqaat from Makkah (approx. 750 km.).
(b) Dhaatu 'Irq - This is the designated Meeqaat for the people coming from the direction of Iraq. It is about 42 miles from Makkah.
(c)     Al-Juhfah - Today Al-Juhfah is an abandoned village north west of Makkah near the town of Raabigh on the Makkah - Madeenah road. Consequently, people coming from Syria and its direction begin their Ihraam for Hajj and 'Umrah from Raabigh.
(d)     Qarn al-Manaazil - This Meeqaat is now called as-Sayl and it was set for the people of Najd and the East. It is situated just outside of Taaif.
(e)     Yalamlam - Yalamlam is the Meeqaat designated for people coming from Yemen and its direction (south). It is about 30 miles south of Makkah. These Meeqaats have all been fixed by statements of the Prophet(SAW)  which are recorded in Hadeeth collected by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. They were set by the Prophet (SAW) for people living in particular areas outside of their boundaries, however, a pilgrim may use any Meeqaat he or she wishes. For those living within the boundaries of the Haram, their Meeqaat for Hajj is their houses. But, if they intend to perform 'Umrah, they have to go outside the boundaries of the Haram in order to enter the state of Ihraam.

A pilgrim intending Hajj or 'Umrah who reaches these Meeqaats or extensions of them by land, by air, or by sea, must enter the state of Ihraam. The Prophet saw said, They (the Meeqaats) are for whoever comes to them intending Hajj or 'Umrah, other than those living within them. Hence, it is better for those coming by air to bathe before riding the plane, unless there is an in-transit stop on the way where this can be done. When the Meeqaat is neared, the garments of Ihraam should then be put on and the intention made. However, the clothes for Ihraam may also be put on from one's house and the intention made later when the Meeqaat is neared or crossed. It should be noted that Jeddah is not a Meeqaat, and thus Ihraam can not be made from there by those coming into the country in planes, ships or cars. One should put on Ihraam on the plane or before boarding the plane. If one made Ihraam from Jeddah, he is required to go back outside of the nearest Meeqaat and make Ihraam again or else he will have to sacrifice an animal in Makkah to make up for the mistake.

As for businessmen or others not intending Hajj or 'Umrah, Ihraam is not necessary for travelling in and out of the Haram area. This is confirmed by the fact that when the Prophet  and his followers entered Makkah in the 8th year as conquerors, no one wore Ihraam. As for those living within the Meeqaats, they make their Ihraam for Hajj from their houses, but they are required to go out of the Haram if they intend to make 'Umrah, based on the Prophet's  command to 'Aa'eshah's brother, Abdur Rahmaan, to take her out of the Haram boundaries and let her make Ihraam from there. (People commonly go to Tan'eem, which is where 'Aa'eshah(R.A) went, but anywhere outside of the boundaries of the Haram is sufficient.) Her 'Umrah at this point after Hajj was due to her inability to do so before Hajj because of menstruation. It should be noted that neither the Prophet  nor his companions made 'Umrah after Hajj, as is the popular practice among people now.

There are three types of ihram and they are as follows:

Tamattu`: At or before reaching the miqat (the place where one must enter ihram), the person enters into ihram for `Umrah only. He performs `Umrah first, then goes out of ihram until 8 Dhul- Hijjah, when he or she enters into ihram again for Hajj. This is the most common type for people from outside of Saudi Arabia.

Qiran: The person enters into ihram for both `Umrah and Hajj, and does not go out of ihram until the Day of Sacrifice (`Eid Al-Adha) at Mina. In this type of Hajj, the pilgrim has to stick to the restrictions of ihram for a longer period of time.

Ifrad: The person enters into ihram only for the Hajj and takes it off only on the Day of Sacrifice.

If a person puts on ihram with the intention of performing whatever Allah has prescribed for him without specifying any of the three kinds due to lack of knowledge, his ihram is considered to be lawful and valid.

    Scholars have said: "If such a person utters Talbiyah like others with the intention of performing the rituals (of Hajj), but says nothing verbally, nor forms an intention in his heart, nor specifies whether it is tamattu', ifrad, or qiran Hajj that he intends, his pilgrimage would still be valid, and he will be reckoned to have made one of the three kinds of Hajj.

Du'aas (Prayers) of Travel
When one begins the journey by being seated in his or her means of transportation (whether animal, car, airplane, boat, etc.), it is recommended that Allah's name be mentioned. The Prophet  had advised that any affair not begun with Allah's name is deficient (of its full blessings)

The traveler should then say Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) three times, followed by the following Qur'anic Du'aa which the Prophet  said on journeys:

Subhaanalladhee sakhkhara lanaa haadhaa wa maa kunnaa lahoo muqrineen wa innaa ilaa rabbinaa lamunqaliboon.
Glory be to the One who subdued this (vehicle) for us, for we were unable to subdue it. And verily we will return to our Lord. (43:13-14)

Upon completion of the previous du'aa the traveler is also recommended to add the following Prophetic Du'aa for travelling:

Allahumma inni as'aluka fee safari haadhaa al-birra wat-taq-waa wa minal-'amal maa tardaa.
O Allah! Verily, I ask of You in this journey of mine righteousness and piety, and the type of conduct which will please you).

Allahumma hawwin alaynaa safaranaa haadhaa watwi 'annaa bu'dah
Oh Allah! Make this journey of ours easy for us and make its distance short
Allahumma antas-Saahibu fis-safar wal-khaleefatu fil-ahl
O Allah! You are the most important travel companion and representative for the household.

Allahumma innee a'oodhu bika min wa'thaa as-safar wa ka'aabatil- mandhar wa sooil-munqalab fil-maali wal-ahl.
Oh Allah! Verily, I seek refuge in you from the hardship of the journey and depressing sights and bad fate in my wealth and family.

The traveler for Hajj or 'Umrah should also occupy his mind and faculties of speech with righteous thoughts, words, and deeds. He should be careful to make all of his Salaahs in Jamaa'ah (congregation) and to do righteous deeds for his travel companions as well as all whom he meets. He should also avoid loose or lewd congregations, Haraam conversations

The Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) stated: Everyone who wants the world and the hereafter should perform hajj rituals.
The prophet of God (S.A.W.) looked at the strings of camels taking Hajis to the pilgrimage of God's House and said: They don't take steps unless it is taken as a good deed, they don't take steps unless it vanishes a sin of them. And when they finish their ceremony of Hajj, they will be told: "You have made a building, don't destroy it. Your sins are forgiven. From now on, do good deeds."

Imam Hussain ibn Ali (R.A) says: Shake hands with Hajis and the people whom have performed the Hajj rituals and Umrah and salute them before they make sin.

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