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12-25-2005, 08:40 PM

Admonitions for the Pilgrims
Shaykh Saud bin Ibraaheem Ash-Shuraym
Dhul-Hijjah 6, 1423 (February 7, 2003)

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Visitors to the Sacred House of Allaah! Hajj is an important manifestation of selflessness and altruism, brotherhood and equality in addition to its being an act of worship.

The scholars are unanimous that the Messenger of Allaah did not perform more than one Hajj in his life, which is known as the Farewell Hajj. For he departed this mundane world few months after his return from that Hajj. Every aspect of his Hajj is however, a point of admonitions and lessons as well as deeper understanding of and emulating the Prophet’s way of life.

Brethren in faith! Compassion, mercy and consideration for other people’s convenience and safety are qualities that Islaam strongly enjoins. This is enjoined with greater emphasis if the brotherly get-together takes place under a spiritual atmosphere. In the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet gave his blessed directive to ‘Umar when he wanted to kiss Al-Hajar Al-Aswad that he should not push or shove people and that if he were able to kiss it without pushing people he should kiss it and if not he should just say Allaahu Akbar and move on.

This incidence shows the Prophet’s fervent wish that Muslims should be compassionate to one another and that they should not cause harm to others especially in an atmosphere of worship that should normally be characterized with tranquility and purity.

Dear brethren! Shoving people and fighting them while performing rites of Hajj like kissing Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and throwing the pebbles, or blocking pathways in mosques and passageways without respecting the atmosphere of peacefulness or other people’s feelings and rights are acts that do not befit sincere worshippers. The Messenger of Allaah said: “When kindness is introduced into a matter it adorns it and when it is removed from a matter it disfigures it.” (Muslim)

Attaining rewards in acts of worship cannot be without kindness. For Allaah gives through kindness what He does not give by harshness.

Fellow Muslims! In the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allaah ascended on the mountain of Safaa, looked unto the Ka‘abah, faced it and then said the statement of Monotheism and glorified Allaah saying: “Laa ilaaha illallaah wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulk walahul hamd wahuwa alaa kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaaha illallaah anjaza wahdah wanasara ‘abdah wahazzamal ahzaaba wahdah.” Meaning: (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah Alone. He has no partner. His is the Sovereignty and the Praise and He has power over all things. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah. He has fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His servant and all by Himself defeated the hosts.)

The Prophet has recited this statement in the land of peace and security and at a time when his authority and message were prevalent. When a Muslim remembers Allaah with this statement during his Hajj rites, that rekindles in his heart the faith in absolute power and ability of Allaah. This makes him rely on Allaah alone and attribute all power and victory to Him alone. Allaah says,
“If Allaah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allaah (Alone) let believers put their trust.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:160)

When the Prophet glorified Allaah in every round of his Tawaaf, on the mountains of Safaa and Marwa, while throwing the pebbles at Jamaraat and on the days of Tashreeq, that kindles in the hearts of the Muslims a deep feeling of the importance of remembrance of Allaah.

The word “Allaahu Akbar” is the head and the pillar of remembrance of Allaah and it was one of the first commandments issued to the Prophet. Allaah says,
“O you (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord (Allaah)!” (Al-Muddaththir 74:1-3)

The word ‘Allaahu Akbar’ is a great word. It revives the dead souls. It is the destructive weapon against the enemies of Islaam and those who steal other people’s lands. It is the sword that never goes blunt. The Messenger of Allaah even informed us that a city would be conquered at the end of the time with this word. He said, “When the Muslims will come to this town, they will settle down. They will not strike a sword nor throw an arrow but will only say: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah Allaahu akbar’. The first half of the town will fall and when they say: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah Allaahu akbar’ again, the other half of the town will fall and when they say: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah Allaahu akbar’ the third time, the town will be opened for them and they will enter it and collect booties.” (Muslim)

Dear brethren! On the mountains of Safaa and Marwa was the Prophet remembering the favours of his Lord on himself and the believers. He was praising Him for repelling the evil plot of the hosts, giving victory to His servant and giving glory to His army in the Battle of the Trench about which Allaah says,
“O you who believe! Remember Allaah’s Favor to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces that you saw not (i.e. troops of angels during the battle of Al-Ahzaab (the Confederates)) And Allaah is Ever All-Seer of what you do. When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harboring doubts about Allaah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:9-11)

Belief in the omnipotence of Allaah and His overwhelming power is the only feeling that should occupy the Muslims’ hearts at all times. For this encourages reliance on Allaah alone, creates bravery in the mind and prevents giving in to vicissitudes of time and the threats of the enemies. It also prevents the Muslims from listening to those who are saying that, ‘the enemies have gathered to fight you so fear them’. And when they hear this statement, it increases them in faith and reliance on their Lord.

There is doubt in the fact that a Muslim who believes that man’s life has been predetermined, that his provision has been guaranteed and that everything is in the hand of Allaah which He turns as He wills, such Muslim will not fear death, afflictions or poverty however malicious the enemy may be. The word that he will always utter is,
“Say: "Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allaah has ordained for us. He is our (Lord, Helper and Protector)." And in Allaah let the believers put their trust.” (At-Tawbah 9:51)

Fellow Muslims! After the sunset on the day of ‘Arafah, the Messenger of Allaah proceeded to Muzdalifah and loosened the bridle of his camel so that it would not move fast. And he was telling the people: ‘O you people! Gently! Gently!’ If this stance signifies anything, it is the fact that rites of Hajj should be done in total peacefulness and tranquility and lack of haste.

Nothing equals tranquillity, for haste is a disease of many societies and the time bombs that produce nothing but shattered parts of body and destruction. Haste is a sign of miserable minds and ignorance of consequences. Allaah says,
“And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.” (Al-Israa 17:11)

The Prophet said, “Indeed Allaah answers the invocation of anyone of you as long as he is not hasty and that is by saying: I have invoked and my invocation was not answered.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

The word ‘haste’ is mentioned in the Book of Allaah in 37 places and it is condemned in all but one place that is where Allaah says,
“And remember Allaah during the appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allaah (fear Him).” (Al-Baqarah 2:203)

Haste is therefore a despicable character in man’s religious and worldly deeds. The wise man should be deliberate in all his affairs.

Of the manifestations of haste is to talk without knowledge, to answer a question without understanding and to praise someone before testing him. The hasty man always regrets and fails to attain safety. The Arabs used to call hasty the mother of regrets. Allaah says the truth in His Book,
“Man is created of haste, I will show you My Aayaat (torments, proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). So ask Me not to hasten (them).” (Al-Anbiyaa 21:37)

Visitors to the Sacred House of Allaah! The Prophet has exemplified the greatest meanings of easiness and mercy to mankind and compassion for the believers in his Hajj. He was always anxious that his followers were not burdened with what was beyond their ability. On the greatest day of Hajj (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah), he was never asked of anything done prematurely or delayed on that day but he said to the questioner: ‘Do it, no problem.’ A man came to him and said: ‘I mistakenly shaved my head before I slaughter my sacrificial animal.’ To him the Messenger of Allaah said: ‘Slaughter your animal. No harm.’ Another man came to him and said: ‘I unknowingly slaughtered before I throw the pebbles.’ He said to him: ‘Throw your pebbles and no problem.’ (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

He also said on that day: “I slaughtered here and all Mina is a place for slaughtering. So slaughter your animals in your places of stay. I stayed here and everywhere in ‘Arafah is a place for staying. I stayed here (in Muzdalifah) and everywhere in Muzdalifah is a place for staying.” (Muslim)

This is the habit of the Messenger of Allaah. He would command his envoys to take things easy and make things easy for people. He told Mu‘aadh bin Jabal and Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash‘aree when he sent them to Yemen: “Make things easy and do not cause difficulty. Give good news and do not scare people away.” (Al-Bukhaaree)

It should however, be added that the required facilitation should be within the framework of Islaamic injunctions and justice not according to whims and caprices. Had it be according to desires; there would never have been obligations in the first place because obligation is in itself, a kind of difficulty. People must therefore consider this and should not strain themselves in things that Allaah has made easy for them. Let every one choose for himself the easiest in all rites of Hajj as long as that does not run counter to the Sunnah.

It is also compulsory for Hajj guides not to make things difficult for people through incorrect religious counseling or to answer people’s questions through personal understanding and without valid evidence. For those who issue fatwas will be held responsible before Allaah for all that they say. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever is given a religious counseling without adequate knowledge, his sins will be borne by him who gave him the counseling.” (Aboo Daawood)

Among the common mistakes made by many Hajj guides do is lack of ability to differentiate between violations that need to be atoned by blood and violations in which the perpetrator is given options of atonement with blood, fasting or feeding six poor people. Violations that need to be atoned by blood is to abandon one of the obligations of Hajj like lack of passing the night in Mina, refusal to cast the pebbles at Jamaraat and the like according to the majority of the scholars. Violations in which the pilgrim is given options are those relating to Ihraam.

May Allaah accept your Hajj and make its rites easy for you.


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