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Days Of Gratitude And Love – The Two Spiritual Meanings of Hajj, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this inspiring reminder, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the two key practical spiritual meanings of Hajj: gratitude (shukr) that causes one to turn to Allah, as expressed by journeying to the Kaaba; and love (mahabba) that causes one to always yearn for Him and make one’s life revolve around love of the One Beloved, as expressed by the tawaf.

This reminder was delivered as the Friday sermon (khutba) at the Sayeda Khadija Centre, in the Greater Toronto Area, during Hajj season, September 2016.

What Is The Significance of the Day of Arafah? Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

This Friday sermon by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin focuses on the significance of the most sacred day of the year: the Day of Arafah. Ustadh Amjad also recommends three things to do on the Day of Arafah, to reap the benefits and rewards of this special day.

Support the Muslim Chaplaincy of the University of Toronto today by donating at www.muslimchaplaincy.com

Photo credit: Al Jazeera English

Join The Fadhkuruni Campaign This Dhul Hijjah With A Simple Invocation

With the advent of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah which are the best days in this life, Habib Muhammad Abdur Rahman al-Saqqaf has initiated a tremendous project and invites you all to participate in the campaign.

The Fadhkuruni Campaign aims to revive the sunnah of remembrance of Allah, by abundantly reciting this invocation (dhikr):

SubhanaLlah wal hamdu liLlah wa laa ilaha ilaLlah waLlahu akbar NastaghfiruLlah al-‘Adhim wa natubu ilayhi

Please enter the number of this Dhikr that you have completed on this website.
Habib Muhammad has requested us all to please spread this message to our families, friends & wider networks to encourage the revival of the remembrance of Allah, Most Exalted.
All Success is from Allah
Please Share Widely

Cover photo courtesy of The Muslim Chaplaincy of University of Toronto and Qurrat Ansari Photography.

Hajj: So Much More Than Just A Gathering, by Ustadh Salim Mauladdawila

The Hajj brings millions of Muslims together on a horizontal plane each year but it is so much more than just an enormous gathering. Ustadh Salim Mauladdawila brings us back to a core message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ – the call to and importance of unity amongst Muslims and what there is to gain from it.

Nearly 1384 years ago to the day, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ addressed his Companions on the Hajj pilgrimage. In the valley of Urana and the foot of Mount Arafat, The Prophet ﷺ sat upon his camel al-Qaswa’ before his Companions and advised them in what was subsequently knows as his ‘farewell sermon’. Imam Muslim relates the beginning of the sermon from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir as follows:

“Verily your blood and your wealth are [made] sacred upon you, like the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this land of yours.”

Two days later, in the holy valley of Mina, The Prophet again addressed his companions from upon his camel. Imam al-Bukhari narrates that he spoke, “O people! What day is this?”
They replied, “It is a sacred day.”
He then asked, “What land is this?”
They replied, “It is a sacred land.”
He asked again, “What month is this?”
They replied, “It is a sacred month.”
The Prophet then said, “Verily your blood, your wealth, and your honour are sacred upon you like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this land of yours, in this month of yours.”

Brotherhood forged

Certainly one of the greatest accomplishments of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the sacred brotherhood he forged amongst the Companions. The unity found in the melting-pot of Medina at the time of his passing was a living example of the Quranic verse, “O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest amongst you in the sight of God is the most god-fearing of you” [49:13]. Previously-warring Bedouin Arab tribes made peace, Persians were brothered with Ethiopians, and the wealthy befriended the freed slaves. The emphasis the Prophet placed on this unity in his farewell sermon is a fitting capstone to his prophetic message, and the Muslim nation today would do well to reflect upon the poignancy of his words.

The conditions of unity

The unity the Prophet spoke of is a sanctified part of our religion. A Muslim’s blood, wealth, and honour are, as Imam al-Nawawi comments, even more sacred than the holy times and place the Prophet mentioned. As a part of Islam, unity has conditions, and cannot simply be claimed without it having a reality. In the Quran, God tells us signs of its establishment. He says, “Surely all believers are brothers. So reconcile between your brothers, and fear God, so that mercy may be shown to you” [49:10], and “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, establish prayer, give zakat, and obey God and His Messenger. God will have mercy upon them” [9:71]. True unity, then, manifests itself as “[reconciling] between [our] brothers” and “[enjoining] what is right and [forbidding] what is wrong”. It is unity founded upon mercy, and as long as our unity is lacking this mercy, it cannot be called true.

The consequence of merciful unity

In the second halves of the quoted verses, God tells us that a direct consequence of this merciful unity between Muslims is that we receive mercy from Him. Indeed the Prophet tells us, “The merciful are shown mercy by The Merciful [God]”. The Cordovan hadith scholar Ibn Batal explains that the initial mercy between the believers is itself out of God’s mercy, hence, when the believers give the unity forged between them its due, God invariably increases their unity and exposes them to an even greater portion of His mercy. Sanctifying what God has sanctified and giving our unity a reality, we enter into a state of continuous exponential improvement. Conversely, when we do not do this, we expose ourselves to God’s anger, for as the Prophet explained to us, “God will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind”.

When we lie, cheat and plot

Many Muslims today could benefit from being reminded about the sanctity of our unity. When we lie to and cheat one another, when we plot and scheme against our brothers, we are directly calling upon ourselves God’s wrath; and for what gain? Regrettably, it is all too often that we hear Muslims slandering, attacking, disgracing, and shaming other Muslims over frivolous affairs. Imam al-Bukhari narrates in his book of prophetic etiquette al-Adab al-Mufrad, “If one is fed at the expense of a Muslim, God will feed him like it of hell. If one is clothed at the expense of a Muslim, God will clothe him like it of hell. If one achieves a position of ostentation and hypocrisy at the expense of a Muslim, God will put him in a position of ostentation and hypocrisy on the Day of Resurrection”. Will we let these teachings of our Prophet  ﷺ fall on deaf ears?
Several Companions tell the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ looking upon the Kaaba saying, “Verily God has ennobled you, venerated you, and glorified you, and a believer is even more sanctified than you”. The Prophet ﷺ also said, “Whosoever wrongfully harms a believer, it is as if he has destroyed the Kaaba”, and Imam Ibn Majah relates him saying, “The destruction of the world is less [in the sight of] God than wrongfully killing a believer”. Calls of disunity today are heard far and wide, be it on the pulpits of our mosques or in endless social media messages. Vitriolic diatribes have, in some circles, sadly replaced religious knowledge, and we find Muslims seemingly well-versed in technical religious arguments showing ignorance of the basics of cleanliness and prayer.

Together we are stronger

The Quran says, “And hold firmly to the rope of God all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of God upon you: when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does God make clear to you His verses that you may be guided” [3:103]. Islam united the Companions of the Prophet and was their salvation. Through remaining united our predecessors in faith accomplished amazing deeds and attained greatness in the sight of God. Imam Malik bin Anas, one of the most highly regarded scholars in Islam and founder of the Maliki madhhab, is famously quoted as saying, “The end of this nation will not be righted except by what righted the beginning of it”. Working towards unity, then, should be of paramount importance to us, and God has given us generous incentives to unite. The reward of our five daily prayers is multiplied by 27 if we pray them in congregation. Once a week a congregational prayer is obligatory upon us. Twice a year we gather in a larger congregation for the Eid prayers. Zakat is a decentralised social welfare charity established over 1300 years ago specifically to benefit needy individuals, as many of the scholars state, in one’s local community. We fast for one month a year, gaining a small taste of the hunger that the less fortunate live every day. Undoubtedly the greatest embodiment of this is the annual Hajj pilgrimage, where Muslims gather from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe, don identical clothing, and perform the one great act of worship at the same place, at the same time.
In the midst of this powerful expression of the immense unifying force of Islam and its respect for humans of all backgrounds such that “surely the noblest amongst you in the sight of God is the most god-fearing of you”, we cannot help but feel united. One feels amongst brethren before their creator, a member of a community who have left their homes desiring only their Lord. Good actions become easy. Generosity and forgiveness become one’s natural disposition. We encounter amazing acts of kindness and humanity on Hajj and we leave feeling firmer than ever in our faith and proud to call ourselves ‘Muslim’. All this is an example of God’s mercy, which he promised us when we “enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, establish prayer, give zakat, and obey God and His Messenger”.

Hajj is not just a gathering

We should strive, then, to ensure that our gathering in this holy place, where the Prophet told us of the sanctity of unity, is not merely an assembly of bodies, for Hajj is no mere assembly. Those who are blessed to travel this year should do so representing their families, communities, cities, and all Muslims behind them. They should stand before our Lord as one nation in heart and in form, for how repugnant would it be to outwardly honour the Kaaba, but inwardly commit acts worse in God’s sight than its destruction? Those who travel should return striving to maintain the bonds which they felt when they were in that sacred place. For those not fortunate enough to perform the Hajj, they should pray for those who do travel; for their safety and for the acceptance of their Hajj, for in God’s acceptance is renewed forgiveness and mercy for us all. And we should all pray for all Muslims, and do whatever little we can to spread mercy amongst both believers and non-believers.
Islam’s message is complete and we are to take it all as it was given to us. God told us that we are allies, so we should be so. The Prophet told us that our fellow believers are sanctified, so we should treat them so. The Prophet told us, “You shall not enter heaven until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not direct you to a thing which, if you do it, will foster love between you? Spread the [greeting of] salaam between yourselves”, so let us begin with this small step and may God encompass us all with his divine mercy.
[cwa id=’cta’]

Can I Wipe Myself With a Towel While in a State of Pilgrim Sanctity?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it permissible for males and females in a state of pilgrim sanctity to wipe the head and face with a towel after wudu or taking a bath?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Drying your limbs with a towel is not problematic whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram). This is because the interdiction relates to the normal wearing of clothing, namely, that which is made for the limb, and remains on it without something external keeping it in place. Drying yourself with a towel meets neither of these conditions.

This is why the jurists (fuqaha) mention wrapping a shirt around yourself, for instance, as a wearing which is deemed invalid, and doing so, thus, does not necessitate a penalty (jaza’). “Wearing” a shirt in such a manner covers part of the body, yet it is not considered normal wearing; but it would obviously still be improper to do this as it is contrary to the sunna.

[Qari, al-Maslak al-Mutaqassit fi al-Mansak al-Mutawassit (201); Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (201)]

Please also see: Wearing Stitched Clothing in Ihram: What Kind of Expiation is Due? and: Can I Wear Stitched Footgear, Belts, or a Backpack While in Ihram? and: A Hajj Reader

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo:
Al Jazeera English

Dr. Ramon Harvey’s “The Secrets of Hajj” Now Online

Dr. Ramon Harvey’s exposition of Imam Ghazali’s Book 7 of the Ihya Ulum al-Din, The Secrets of Hajj, is now online, thanks to Travelling Light.

The Hajj is very much the final frontier for the Muslim; the only pillar of Islam that requires a single execution. Yet the journey to the House of Allah symbolizes man’s true end: a return to the Divine Creator. Dr. Ramon Harvey explores Imam Ghazali’s “The Secrets of the Hajj” explaining the pilgrimage’s essential elements, its properties, its merits, and its mysteries. The lecture is delivered from the Trebbus Mevlevihane in Germany. For more lectures on the Ihya Ulum Al-Din, please visit Classes | Travelling Light.

Resources for Seekers

Photo by Azfar Ahmad.

Does Performing Hajj Remove the Duty to Make up Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Does performing Hajj remove the duty to make up prayers or fasts because it is forgiven?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, generally such traditions (hadith) are referring to minor sins (sagha’ir). Major sins still need to be compensated for by repentance, and unfulfilled duties need to be made up. However, some scholars did hold that tremendous acts such as the Hajj can be a means of Allah Most High forgiving a person’s major sins. [see: What is the Difference Between Major Sins and Minor Sins? and: Forgiving Major Sins and the Hadith of the Prostitute Who Gives Water to the Thirsty Dog]

Please see: A Reader on Missed Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Fadi El Binni of Al Jazeera English

Is It Permissible to Recite Supplications From a Book Moving Between Safa and Marwa? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it permissible to read duas from a book whilst performing Sa’i (moving between Safa and Marwa)?

Is it preferable to recite in Arabic or can you make dua in your mother tongue?

Answer: Assalāmu ʿalaykum,

I pray that you are well.

It is permissible to recite supplications from a book while moving between Safa and Marwa, as well as during Tawaf, if this helps a person to supplicate.

Both of these situations are ones of remembrance of God. Reciting transmitted supplications, Qur’an, or supplications you (or another) have composed, are all permissible.

These supplications can be recited in either Arabic, or one’s mother tongue. However, since both of these situations are ones of closeness to the divine, it is preferable for you to ask for something that applies to you and your personal circumstances, and to understand what you are asking for, as opposed to reciting something you do not understand.

Shuaib Ally

Photo: Aiman titi

Can I Perform a Voluntary Circumambulation (Tawaf) for Someone Else?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Can I perform a voluntary circumambulation (Tawaf) for someone else?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Yes, it is permitted to send the reward of any voluntary deed to another believer, whether alive or deceased.

Please see the following related answers: Can I Donate to Charity on Behalf of Another Person? and: Can I Donate the Reward of Recitation of a Surah to Multiple People? and: Donating Reward to the Dead: A Detailed Answer

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is a Sacrifice (Dam) Required for Performing the Stoning Rite (Rami) Before the Slaughtering (Dhabh) in Hajj?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I have recently completed Hajj. On 10th Dhul Hijjah like many people I paid for someone to complete the animal sacrifice on my behalf. Unfortunately on our way to the pelting we got a phone call saying that it had been done (before we could pelt at the jamarat ).

I have been recently informed that the Ahnaf do not consider this acceptable. Therefore I wanted to ask what is the Hanafi fatwa on the matter. Is a sacrifice necessary?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

No, a sacrifice (dam) is not required if you perform the stoning rite (rami) before the slaughtering (dhabh) as somebody performing both the hajj and `umrah (hajj al-qiran/al-tamattu`) together in a single journey. (Neither is it required if you are performing only the hajj itself (hajj al-ifrad), without an accompanying `umrah.)

This ruling is according to the position of the Companions (sahibayn) because they did not consider it necessary (wajib) to uphold an order (tartib) between the stoning and slaughtering. Further, due to the vast number of people now in attendance and the difficulty of managing the entire pilgrimage, there can be some degree of hardship in sticking to the relied upon position for every single ruling.

This is contrary to the position of Imam Abu Hanifa himself which is based on the words of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), “Whoever brings forth a rite before a subsequent rite must sacrifice.” This is the basis and it should be followed, but there is leeway in the matter, particularly if you have an excuse in your specific situation.

[Qari, al-Maslak al-Mutaqassit; Zayla`i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq]

Please also see: A Hajj Reader and: What is the Preferable Type of Hajj in the Hanafi School: Tamattu’ or Qiran? and: Leaving the Position of Abu Hanifa and How to Determine the Relied-Upon Position in the Hanafi School

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani