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.
Recently life has sent me many blows, one after the other, and seeking guidance and mercy from God became a daily action. It is often said that in ease we forget our worship and in hardship we turn to God. Unfortunately this is true for many of us. So during my hours of seeking relief and to ease my heart I came across very nice paragraphs in a book of supplications. I would like to share this with you now, hoping that you will also benefit from these points.
The well known scholar Ibn Al Qaiyim in his book of athkar mentioned many benefits of supplications. The process of prayer and dua drives away Shaytan, pleases God and replaces pain and sorrow of the heart with peace, happiness and contentment. It strengthens the heart and body, illuminates the countenance and heart, and leads one to prosperity. Thikr, or remembrance of God nurtures the love of Allah in the hearts of the believer and draws him or her closer whereby God opens the doors of understanding.
Thikr invigorates the heart, cleanses it, washes away transgressions, and it closes the gulf between the worshiper and the Creator. Worship and supplication cause a feeling of assurance and well being – sakinah- as the angles sit with those who quietly recite the praises of God…. There is a want and a need of the human heart that can not be satisfied except with Thikr. It brings order out of chaos, relieves the believer of the twin burdens of anxiety and wrong doing, relieves the indolent heart, and restrains the tongue from gossip and idle chatter. There is a knot in the heart which is undone by making supplication and giving thanks to the Creator and is a balm for the heart and a cure for its ailments. Nothing can bring blessings nor deflect affliction like it. It smooths out difficulties and eases hardship, lightens burdens and banishes fear and anxiety. Thikr, or remembrance of Allah nurtures confidence and reliance upon Allah and eliminates pessimism and cynicism. It supports the believer with the stamina and strength to do what would other wise be difficult.
Finally, thikr is a mighty barrier between the believer and the fire of Hell. The angels seek forgiveness on behalf of those who rehearse the praises of God. It is a mighty fortress against the trials and tribulations of this world and the hereafter.
Adapted from Al Wabil As-Saiyib, Ibn Al Qaiyim.
Yasir Qadthi offers a lecture regarding dua and its importance. Those who really want to worship God should continually make supplications and increase it during times of ease, not just when we are faced with calamities and troubles. The lecture is really good and Yasir really brings up some good and important points.
Such a wonderful short lecture on how a believer should be truthful between himself and God
This is a combination of lectures regarding women in Islam. They are very informational and motivational.. I hope you like it. A nice reminder is that Islam elevates the status of women through the hadith in which a companion came to the prophet pbuh asking: Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: A person came to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving my companionship (of a kind treatment from me?) He said: Your mother. He, again, said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: It is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: It is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he (The Prophet (peace be upon him)) said: It is your father.
Never allow anyone to put you down and make you feel worthless. You were created by ALLAH with a purpose, to touch other peoples lives, and to leave a permanent mark in this world. As long as you seek ALLAH’s help and forgiveness, you are knocking to greatness. Believe in yourself. Believe in ALLAH and his plan, and never allow yourself to go astray. Remember, whoever goes to ALLAH walking, he comes to him running. Therefore, repent, live righteous, prostrate to your creator, and know that whoever seeks ALLAH, he seeks greatness………..