Hajj literally means ‘to set out for a place’. Islamically however it refers to the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Makkah with the intention of performing certain religious rites in accordance with the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Hajj and its rites were first ordained by Allaah in the time of the Prophet lbrahIm [Abraham] (AS) and he was the one who was entrusted by Allaah to build the Ka’ba – the House of Allaah – along with his son Ismaa’eel [Ishmael] at Makkah.
Allaah described the Ka’ba and its building as follows:
“And remember when We showed Ibrahim the site of the [Sacred] House [saying]: Associate not anything [in worship with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it [i.e. perform tawaaf] and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration [in prayer etc.].” [Surah Al-Hajj 22:26]
After building the Ka’ba, Ibrahim (AS) would come to Makkah to perform Hajj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son. However, gradually with the passage of time, both the form and the goal of the Hajj rites were changed. As idolatry spread throughout Arabia , the Ka’ba lost its purity and idols were placed inside it. Its walls became covered with poems and paintings, including one of Jesus and his mother Maryam and eventually over 360 idols came to be placed around the Ka’ba.
During the Hajj period itself, the atmosphere around the sacred Ka’ba was like a circus. Men and women would go round the Ka’ba naked, arguing that they should present themselves before Allaah in the same condition they were born. Their prayer became devoid of all sincere remembrance of Allaah and was instead reduced to a series of hand clapping, whistling and the blowing of horns. Even the talbeeyah was distorted by them with the following additions:
‘No one is Your partner except one who is permitted by you. You are his Master and the Master of what he possesses’. Sacrifices were also made in the name of Allaah. However, the blood of the sacrificed animals was poured onto the walls of the Ka’ba and the flesh was hung from pillars around the Ka’ba, in the belief that Allaah demanded the flesh and blood of these animals.
Singing, drinking, adultery and other acts of immorality occurred amongst the pilgrims and the poetry competitions which were held were a major part of the whole Hajj event. In these competitions, poets would praise the bravery and splendor of their own tribesmen and tell exaggerated tales of the cowardice and miserliness of other tribes. Competitions in generosity were also held. Thus the people had totally abandoned the teachings of their forefather and leader Ibrahim (AS). The House that he had made pure for the worship of Allaah alone, had been totally desecrated by the pagans and they had com rites which he had established were completely distorted . This sad state of affairs continued for nearly two and a half thousand years.
In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
OVER the years Ishmael’s children themselves had children. His descendants increased and formed tribes which spread out all over Arabia. One of these tribes was called Quraysh. Its people never moved away from Mecca and always lived near the Kabah.
One of the duties of the leader of Quraysh was to look after those who came on pilgrimage to the Kabah. The, pilgrims would come from all over Arabia and it was a great honor to provide them with food and water.
In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
Life of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)
NEARLY four thousand years ago, in the Sumerian town of Ur in the valley of the river Euphrates, lived a young man named Abraham. The people of Ur had once worshipped Allah but as time passed they forgot the true religion and started praying to idols, statues made of wood or clay and sometimes even of precious stones.
Even as a small child Abraham could not understand how his people, and especially his father, could make these images with their own hands, call them gods, and then worship them. He had always refused to join his people when they paid respect to these statues. Instead he would leave the town and sit alone, thinking about the heavens and the world about him. He was sure his people were doing wrong and so alone he searched for the right way.
One clear night as he sat staring at the sky he saw a beautiful shining star, so beautiful that he cried out: ‘This must be Allah!’ He looked at it in awe for some time, until suddenly it began to fade and then it disappeared. He turned away in disappointment saying: I love not things that set
On another night Abraham was again looking at the sky and he saw the rising moon, so big and bright that he felt he could almost touch it. He thought to himself:
This is my Lord.
By Muhammad Al-Shareef
When Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) completed the structure of the Kabah, Allah(Subhanahu wa ta’ala) commanded him to call the people to Hajj. Ibrahim(Alaihis salaam) pleaded, “O Allah! How shall my voice reach all of those people?” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told him that his duty was only to give the call and it was up to Allah to make it reach the people.
Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) then climbed Mount Arafat and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Hajj, so perform Hajj.”
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed in the Qur’an: “And proclaim the Hajj among mankind. They will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways” (Surat Al-Hajj, Ayat 28).
To this very day millions upon millions of Muslims continue to answer the call of Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam). Perhaps this year you shall be amongst those who answer the call.
`Amr ibn Al-`Aas narrates, “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, `Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, `What is wrong `Amr?’ I said, `I want to make a condition.’ `And what is that?’ he said. I said, `That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, `Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!” (Sahih Muslim).
Hajj is the fifth pillar upon which Islam stands. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala)made it compulsory upon every able Muslim male and female to perform it, at least once in a lifetime. Allah revealed: “Hajj thereto is a duty mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures“(Surat Ali Imran, Ayat 97).
Performance of the Hajj washes away all sins. Abu Hurairah narrates: I heard the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wassalam) say, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression) , he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari).
Hajj is one of the greatest deeds one can accomplish in his or her lifetime. Abu Hurairah narrates: The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked, “What deed is the best?” He said, “Iman in Allah and His Messenger.” “Then what?” “Jihad in the sake of Allah.” “Then what?” “Hajj Mabroor, a Hajj accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).”
Abu Sha’thaa’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that salaat as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that sadaqa is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.”
Hajj is the greatest jihad. Aishah (Radiallahu anha) asked the Prophet(Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), “We find that jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we (women) do jihad?” The Prophet replied, “Rather the best jihad is a Hajj Mabroor!” Aishah later said, “I’ll never cease performing Hajj after I heard that from Rasul Allah” (Agreed Upon).
The dua of the one in Hajj shall be accepted. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The soldier in the path of Allah and the one who performs Hajj and the one who performs `Umra, all are the delegation of Allah! He called them and they answered. And they asked Him, and He shall grant them (what they ask for)!” (Authentic, narrated by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban).
In the Islamic history books it was narrated that on the day of Arafat, a man from Turkmenistan stood on the plains of Arafat in Hajj. To his left all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).To his right all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah(Subhanahu wa ta’ala). Because of his native tongue, he could not imitate the lengthy prayers of the others. At this realization everything blurred in front of him. His face reddened, his eyes poured tears as he raised his hands, “O Allah! Grant me everything that they are asking for! Grant me everything that they are asking for!” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) accepted his dua. Read the rest of this entry »
Running to Remember a Mother and Her Trust in AllahMuslims who perform the Hajj or Umra must run in the middle portion of the distance between Safa and Marwa seven times. Safa and Marwa are two hills close to the Kaba. This is a commemoration of one mother’s sacrifice for her son.
That mother was Hajira (may Allah be pleased with her). Her son was the Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was Hajira’s husband, and Ismail’s father.
Hajira’s example of sacrifice took place when she and her baby was left in the valley of Makkah by Allah’s order as pioneers to start a civilization.
Here was the wife of a Prophet, the princess of the king of Egypt, left with her child in the desert. All for the sake of pleasing our Creator.
As Prophet Ibrahim headed for his next responsibility from Allah, he reached an area where Hajira and Ismail could not see him. At that point, he turned back, raising his hands in Dua and said,
“O Our Lord! I have made of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation by Your Sacred House; in order 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.” (Quran 14:37).
Hajira returned to her place and started drinking water from the water-skin, and her milk increased for her child.
But when she had used up all of the water, she ascended the Safa hill and looked, hoping to see somebody.
The area was empty. Read the rest of this entry »
From Christian Ph.D. Robert Morey
Quran proves – “Allah” is NOT a ‘moon god’:
“And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not bow down (prostrate) to the sun nor to the moon, but only bow down (prostrate) to “Allah” Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.”
[Holy Quran 41:37]
The Christian acquaintance who sent me a copy of Morey’s booklet also sent me five questions related to this subject. I will attempt to answer them below:
What is the significance of the crescent moon in Islam?
The Quran answers this question before you asked it. Read this verse:
“They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.”
[Holy Quran 2:189]
Why does Islam follow a lunar calendar?
In both the Bible and the Quran religious festivals are regulated by the lunar calendar. Jews and Muslims have kept to these regulations which they believe to be from God. Why does Christianity follow a solar calendar?
Why is the feast of Ramadan marked by the appearance of the crescent moon?
I think you mean the fast of Ramadan. God commanded Muslims in the Quran to fast from dawn to sunset during the month called Ramadan (see Quran 2:185, 187). The beginning and end of the month is determined by the crescent (2:189) based on the instruction of God’s Messenger, on whom be peace.
Why this method and not another is not for us to say but for God and His Messenger to prescribe. However, I find it an efficient method. It is a universally applicable method, and it allows for Ramadan to move through all the seasons. This allows believers to have the pleasure of worshipping God by fasting in all the various seasons: one year in the summer, some years later in the winter.
Why does the Quran place the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians when scholars have clearly proven that the Sabeans were involved in the moon cult?
I am not aware that the Quran has placed the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians. Perhaps you have in mind the following verse:
“Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in “Allah” and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
[Holy Quran 2:62; also 5:69]
This verse, however, does not place the Sabeans on the same level as the Jews and Christians except in a particular context. The verse speaks of four distinct communities, and offers all four the opportunity to fear not nor grieve if only they would believe in “Allah” and the Last Day and do right. The four communities are:
the Believers (i.e., the Muslims)
While they are all offered the same opportunity for improvement, nothing, is said in this verse about the validity of the existing faiths of these four communities. Otherwise the Jews and Christians who are criticized in the Quran for their deviations will not be placed on the same level with the believers. The matter becomes clear when you realise that believers here does not mean saved persons but those who ostensibly belong to the community of Muslims. They, as well as the other three groups, must do the following to be saved: believe in “Allah” , believe in the Last Day, and do right. Doing right, according to the Quran, includes following every teaching of Muhammad.
Did the Meccans worship the true God since they recognized “Allah” ? Was “Allah” one of the gods of the Ka’bah?
And if so, where did the Meccans derive the recognition and the name of “Allah” from?
First, “Allah” was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka’bah, although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) entered Makkah victorious he went into the Ka’bah and broke the idols therein.
Second, the word “Allah” has been used all along for the name of “God” in the Arabic Bible for Jews and Christians alike. The proof is easy to verify; simple go to any hotel or motel on the earth and look in the drawer next to the bed and take out the complimentary Bible, placed there by the Giddeons and then look on page 5 or 6 where they list the examples of translations they have made into other languages. The second example given is for Arabic speakers. The verse is from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. Everyone knows this one; “For God so loved the world…” and the word in Arabic for “God” is “Allah.” Then if you have a Bible in Arabic, look on page one in Genesis, and you will find the word “Allah” 17 times.
Next, the word for “God” to the Arabs, ever since the time of Abraham, peace be upon him, has been “Allah” and He is to them, the Lord of the Ka’bah (the black box in the center of the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah). He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah.
The Arabs know of Allah because Abraham visited Makkah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka’bah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.
Elsewhere we have shown conclusively that the true god, “El” of the Bible is the same as “Allah” of the Quran.
Please refer to: “Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah – What Is God’s Real Name?” by Sheikh Shabir Ally.