Darul Uloom Abu Bakr

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Darul Uloom Abu Bakr is an Islamic institute of education established by Mufti Siraj Desai. The Darul Uloom serves as a base for coordinating various Islamic activities in Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

In the Court of Allah PDF Print E-mail

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Soon more than two millions of Muslims will present themselves in The Court of Allah, The Exalted, The Majestic.  This is the Baitullah, The First House Built for the Worship of One God, towards which people will flock on foot, and on every lean camel and out every deep ravine, so that they may engage in the Remembrance of Allah...


 

Hajj is a wonderful means of spiritual reform, drawing closer to Allah, and establishing an everlasting link with Allah Ta’ala. However, to achieve this we need to infuse some roohaniyat or spirituality into our Hajj.
 
Muslims in their thousands flock to The Holy Lands year in and year out, completing Hajj and Umrah not once but several times over, yet come back with the same level of spirituality as before. In some the change is barely perceptible, whilst in others there is none at all, and in worse case scenarios the Hajji suffers spiritual retrogression. This is cause for major concern. Like the great ibaadat of salaah will not realize its true benefits unless executed in a proper manner, Hajj, too, will never transform the individual unless he or she injects some spiritual life and vigour into the pilgrimage.  We invite those who intend performing Hajj or Umrah to read and contemplate the following procedure that will insha Allah invigorate and revitalize this most important aspect of our Deen:

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE INTERNAL HAJJ
The Build up to HAJJ:
Repent from sin through continuous taubah salaah.  Realize that our souls have been destroyed through sin. We need to redeem ourselves. We have offered salaah and fasted; we have read Quran and paid our zakaat; we have done the odd act of piety and given charity here and there; yet the soul has been overwhelmed by an avalanche of sin; it’s time for the ultimate redemption.

Fulfil the rights of Allah’s servants and pay what is due to them. Seek the forgiveness of those who were wronged or those unto whom we have dues outstanding. Make good relations with fellow Muslims. Above all, before embarking on this epic journey, ensure that the heart retains none of the malice, rancour, hatred, jealousy, and ill-feeling of the past. Let this heart be clean, and at peace with all Muslims. It is not possible for a heart cluttered with bitterness and animosity to experience the sweetness of Hajj, as it is nigh impossible for a heart filled with carnal and worldly desire to be imbibed with the amplitude of spiritual effulgence that permeates the atmosphere of the Haramayan and its environs. It is, therefore, vital that the would-be Hajji also jettisons worldly attachment and lustful emotions, thus conditioning the spiritual heart to be overwhelmed by the wonderful Blessings of Allah while on Hajj.

Cast off all worldly and haraam connections. By Allah, how is it possible for a man on Hajj, to announce his humble presence before the Majestic and All-Powerful Creator, while his heart is still enshrouded in haraam love? How can a Muslim enter the Most Revered Domain of this universe with even the thought of a strange woman or an illicit affair? Is The Almighty Allah so insignificant in our eyes, that we are unable to unshackle our souls and hearts from haraam attachments before presenting ourselves in His Divine Presence? I swear by the Lord of the Ka’aba! That Muslim who goes to The Baitullah with a heart still tethered to the leash of his or her lover shall never be blessed with even the whiff of acceptance. The body of such a callous individual shall only go through the motions, while the soul will perish through deprivation and despair. May Allah protect us from such a wretched Hajj, aameen.

THE IHRAAM
The two sheets of Ihraam should be a stark reminder of the white calico that we all shall one day be enshrouded in after death. Let this thought linger in the mind right from the time one dons the ihram till it is time to be released. Just as one does not wear shoes, sewn clothes, or any other worldly attachment in the state of ihram, after death too, one shall only take the few pieces of calico into that grave, while being totally relieved of all worldly artefacts. Such contemplation is a wonderful way of developing concern for the hereafter.

Having discarded the fine garments of this world, barefooted and bareheaded, one is relegated to the status of an ordinary human being in front of Allah The Almighty, regardless of how high and mighty one was prior to entering the state if ihram. The King and the pauper, the learned and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, all are now equal before The King of all Kings, and The Richest of all rich, the Mightiest of all mighty. This reflection is a great leveller and humbles the ego of man.

THE TALBIYAH
The cry of Labbayk that emanates from the lips of the muhrim (one who is in ihram) is the proclamation one who has responded to Allah’s invitation.  After having humiliated himself, he declares his presence in front of His Rabb. This invitation was not the cordial prestige afforded to a high-flying dignitary or a senior patron; instead this is the Divine summons of the Almighty King, granting an audience to His lowly servants. It befits such servants to come before Him humbly and submissively, with hearts trembling out of fear, and the outer body quivering with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The true Muhrim does not appear on the Hajj scene as a frivolous adventurer or arrogant jet-setter; instead, this deferent wayfarer, clad in what is almost his kafan, comes before His Lord as a confessed criminal, penitent and remorseful, and with full acknowledgement that his salvation lays only at the Door of The Supreme Master, and nowhere else.

Shouting the talbiyah out loudly, the Hajji is not giving any war cry; instead his anguish has exceeded all bounds, and his rooh continues to grow with intense desire and eagerness. In this state of uneasiness, he uncontrollably calls out to his Lord, while knowing that his Allah hears even the unspoken thought that flutters through the inner recesses of his heart. This is not the time to assume pretentious airs; the Hajji is not out to impress those around him, nor does he care what others will say. He is like a man possessed; possessed by a newly discovered love, that has been sparked off the moment he entered into the state of Ihraam. The taste of Divine Love has triggered off a burning desire and intense yearning to reach the source of that Divine Inspiration. Hence he shouts out at every step and turn, and every incline and decline:
Here am I, O Allah! Here am I! Here am I (proclaiming that) You have no partner; Here am I! Undoubtedly all Praise and All Bounty belong to You, and all Kingdom; (I proclaim yet again that) You have no partner.

Every Talbiyah that he utters is agonizing for the Hajji; for he shouts out, calling His Rabb, but gets no reply!  Imagine the disappointment of one who believes My Beloved is here and calls out to Him, only to met with deafening silence! Imagine the disappointment of Hajar, the mother of Ismail (alayhimus-salaam), who ran to Safa expecting to find water, but to no avail. She then runs over to Marwa and then back again; she goes to and fro in great distress and anxiety but fails to reach the object of her quest. This typifies the Hajji, who runs from Mina to Mudalifah, then to Arafah. There he spends hours calling on His Lord to reveal that Divine Presence that will satiate forever the intensified Love that is by then bursting at the seams of his Heart. He then goes back to Mina, and on to Makka, around the House of His Objective. All this movement is symbolic of the Believers quest for His Allah; a quest for Divine Countenance; a quest for which the Believer had forsaken his house, comfort, luxury and loved ones; a quest for which he has even sacrificed worldly pleasure and love.

THE PLAINS OF ARAFAAT
The Maydaan-e-Arafah, or the Plain of Arafaat is the closest resemblance one can get to the Plains of Judgement. Imagine that you are one amongst millions, standing in front of Allah on the Qiyaamat Day, begging for forgiveness, seeking intercession, and pinning hopes in the Vast Mercy of Allah Rabbul-Izaah. Convince yourself that should the sun set on that day before securing Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, then all is lost, for indeed that will be the exact position of every human being on the Day of Judgment. When that sun sets, the pens of Taqdeer would have dried, and the scrolls already rolled up. By then it would be all over, bar the screaming and whining. Use the Day of Arafah as a dress rehearsal for Qiyaamah. If such a gathering of multitudes fails to invoke thoughts of Qiyaamat and Akhirat, then it is a clear sign of weak iemaan and total lack of conviction in the rituals of Hajj.
Pour out your heart on the Day of Arafah, for Allah’s Mercy is on the Rampage. Not a soul in that gathering shall be untouched by His Powerful and Unstoppable Mercy. Allah has already declared and His Declaration is the Haqq: My Mercy has surpassed by Wrath!  Invoke His Mercy and provoke His Compassion with quivering voices, trembling hearts, and wet eyes blended with hope and agony.

PELTING THE JAMARAAT
This act is in commemoration of the stones hurled at Shaytaan by Hazrat Ebrahim and his wife Hajar (alayhimus-salaam) when they went about preparing for the sacrifice of their son Ismail. Symbolically the Hajji pelts the jamaraat that represents Shaytaan to indicate that nothing shall come between himself and sacrificing for Allah. He shall pelt evil way with the stones of taubah; his thikr shall constitute the missiles to take out the weapons of shaytaan and its forces.

THE SACRIFICE

Slaughtering the Hadi or sacrificial animal during Hajj is just another affirmation from the Hajji that he is prepared to sacrifice wealth and possessions for Allah’s Pleasure alone.  Let his thought filter through the entire spiritual system, as depicted in the dua we read before slaughtering an animal: Verily, my prayers, my sacrifice, my life, and my death is for ALLAH Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. With this have I been commanded and I and among those who submit to The Commands of Allah. (Surah 6: 163)

The theme of Tauheed or Oneness of Allah permeates the entire Hajj. Time and again, we re-iterate the belief that He has not partner. The Hajji, should therefore, continuously remind himself of the Uniqueness and Omni-Potency of Almighty Allah. Let the Hajj become a means of entrenching this belief, and more.

THE TAWAAF
The Baitullah is truly the most revered and honoured sanctuary ever to be erected for the worship of Allah. When the Muslim encircles the ka’bah during tawaaf, there are several spiritual aspects to focus on, viz:

Arriving at the Baitullah is almost as if the search for Allah has ended. “Here at last (the Hajji’s body language seems to be saying) is the Sanctuary of the One I have been seeking. After a mad frenzy of running from pillar to post, I have now finally reached the much awaited destination. I am at the doorstep of the Beloved. But admission is not going to be immediate. Where do I enter? Surely this is The Grandiose and Resplendent Court of My Allah! But how to get in and meet My Allah?” In a renewed state of frenzy the Hajji begins going around the ka’bah after offering the customary greeting of istilaam that The Almighty King has ordained for all those entering His Court. He then hastens with bristling shoulders and a protruded chest, rushing to the object of his heart’s desire.

In the end, the Hajji does not come away with a physical discovery of his Creator, nay, this never happens; but he achieves such spiritual fulfilment that no amount of physical experience can ever match. This is almost the perfect Hajj. Allah take all our Hujjaj somewhere near this level of taqwa in their Hajj, aameen.

 

SABR: THE FORTE OF THE HUJJAJ
Whosoever has made Hajj compulsory upon himself (and sets forth) should not indulge in sexual acts with the wife, or sinful deeds, or disputes. And whatever good you do (in Haj) Allah knows its fully. And take with you (on this journey) your provisions. But the best of provisions is Taqwa. So fear Me O people of intelligence! (Baqarah: 197) This verse of Holy Quran provides two key elements for Hajj: Taqwa and Sabr.

 
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