His Hajj or Pilgrimage

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What is the hajj in islam? What is the pilgrimage in islam?

“The excellence of that mosque (which the prophets build) is not from earth and stone, but (because) there is no greed or enmity in its builder.” (Rumi, Mathnawi, IV, 1139)

Pilgrimage is an important act of worship, which consists of acts expressing the unity of Allah and showing gratitude to Him. Islam aims to increase the spiritual and physical power of Muslims by gathering them around the same object. Thus, Islam invites its followers to perform pilgrimage in order to distinguish the sincere believers from the rest. By means of pilgrimage believers get to know and help each other, for people’s wishes and desires can be formed only by knowing and seeing each other.

The goal of pilgrimage is to glorify Allah’s religion. It is to follow the tradition of the Prophet Abraham and to remember the blessings of Allah the Almighty.

Pilgrimage is the best way to manifest respect to Allah’s house. Since the Ka’bah is one of the signs of Allah, showing respect to it means showing respect to Allah the Almighty. This is why going to pilgrimage is Allah’s right upon all believers who have the means. This is stated in the following verse:

“… And pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.” (Al-i Imran 3; 97)

Ibn Atā (q.s.) explains “who is able to undertake the journey to it” as follows:

Istata’ah or being able to go to pilgrimage is realized by two things: one of them is the “physical and spiritual state” and the other is the “financial conditions.” Those who have the physical strength should set off for the journey, and then the financial means will find them. The spiritual state shows the strength of love. If love is strong, enthusiasm will be strong, too. Long and difficult roads will become short and easy, when enthusiasm prevails; whereas when there is no enthusiasm, the shortest journeys seem insurmountable. Wherever the soul directs its enthusiasm, the feet will run towards the same direction. If a person does not have the physical and spiritual strength, according to Islamic law his/her ability will be based only on his/her financial strength.

Islam allows those who do not have the means, while it persistently invites those who are able to undertake the journey to perform the pilgrimage. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) called them “the messengers of Allah” in his following saying:

“Those who strive on the path of Allah and perform major and minor pilgrimages are the messengers of Allah, because Allah invited His servants to do them and they accepted His invitation. In return for this, they ask from Allah, and Allah gives them whatever they want.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 5)

The Prophet (pbuh) informs us that all creations in the universe along with human beings participate in the pilgrimage. In this respect, he states that:

“Together with every Muslim all trees, rocks, and earth on his/her right and left join the chanting talbiyahs. This participation continues to this and that direction (Allah’s Messenger pointed to right and left) to the end of the earth.” (Tirmidhī, Hajj, 14)

One should hurry and be enthusiastic about going to pilgrimage and joining the excitement and rapture of diving into the spiritual worlds and being cleansed from sins. Like in every other good deed, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) encouraged his followers to show the same sensitivity in performing hajj as follows:

“Let those who would like to perform pilgrimage hurry up! Because they might get sick, lose their ride, or some other obstacle might arise.” (Ibn Hanbal, I, 214)

Pilgrimage is a long and hard journey. This is why a pilgrimage performed just for the sake of Allah purifies the soul from sins just like faith erases the state of disbelief prior to faith. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) expresses this fact as follows:

“The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.” (Bukhari, Ḥajj, 4)

Our Lord opens several doors of forgiveness and presents many rare opportunities for His servants. And He promised many rewards for those who put these opportunities to good use; whereas there will be dire punishments for those who have the means but do not perform it because of worldly preoccupations. In order to warn such people, the Prophet (pbuh) said that:

“If someone has food and a ride to take him/her to Ka’bah house of Allah, but he/she does not go to pilgrimage, it does not matter whether he/she dies as a Christian or Jew.” (Tirmidhī, Hajj, 3)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who has been an excellent exemplar for the entire humanity, performed hajj once after it was made obligatory and showed its every detail to his followers. When the Prophet (pbuh) bade the people farewell, the people called it “Hajjat al-Wada’ or farewell pilgrimage.” (Bukhari, Ḥajj, 132) But the Prophet (pbuh) called it “Hajjat al-Islam or Pilgrimage of Islam.” (Haythami, III, 237)

When the Prophet (pbuh) intended to do pilgrimage, he let the people know about it. His companions got prepared to go with him. Everybody was looking for the chance to go with him and do just as the way he would perform the pilgrimage. When this news was heard outside Medina, people from everywhere rushed into Medina. There were a lot of people joining them on the way, too. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) gave them brief information about the pilgrimage and ihrām, and then he set out on his journey. There were more than 114,000 people with him. He also took a hundred camels with him to sacrifice.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told the people everything about the pilgrimage. In his sermon he explained to them the requirements and sunnahs of pilgrimage and ihrām. When they reached Dhul-Hulaifa, he addressed the believers in the Valley of Aqiq:

“Tonight a messenger came to me from my Lord and asked me to pray in this blessed valley and to assume ihram for Hajj and ‘Umra together.” (Bukhari, Ḥajj, 16) He then prayed two- rak’ahs of ihrām prayer there. After saying his thanks and graces to Allah, he prayed saying:

“O Allah! Make this pilgrimage an acceptable and worthy pilgrimage for me with no hypocrisy and show-off in it.” (Ibn Majah, Manāsik, 4) He put on his ihram in Dhul-Hulaifa and began to chant the talbiyah:

“O Lord! Here I am at Your service, here I am. Here I am at Your service and You have no partners. Yours alone is all praise and all bounty, and Yours alone is the Sovereignty. You have no partners.” (Bukharī, Hajj, 26) Then he said “whoever among you would like to make his/her intentions for major or minor pilgrimage should do the same.”

Pilgrims put on their ihrām at special places called miqāt and get ready to enter Mecca. To put on ihrām for major and minor pilgrimage is like saying takbīr at the beginning of prayers. It is the perceivable way of sincerity and reverence and the clear indication of the intention to make pilgrimage. At the same time it symbolizes the obedience to Allah by leaving all kinds of selfish desires, comfort, and habits.

After the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wore ihrām and began to say talbiyah, he informed believers that Angel Gabriel had come to him and said:

“O Muhammad! Order your companions to raise your voices during talbiyah, for it is among the signs of pilgrimage.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 16)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) led his followers in prayers at every place they passed by. Later people built mosques at those places as a manifestation of their loyalty and love for the Prophet. (Ibn Sa’d, II, 173)

When Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) saw the Ka’bah, the house of Allah, he raised his hands and said the following prayer:

“O Allah! Increase the honor, greatness, goodness, and majesty of Your House. Increase the dignity, beneficence, awe, reverence, and goodness of those who revere it by coming to pilgrimage.” (Ibn Sa’d, II, 173) Then he made his camel kneel down at the door of the Ka’bah.

He put his cloak (rida) over his left shoulder and left his right shoulder naked and entered the Mosque. He directly went to Hajar al-Aswad (the black stone) and kissed it. He first rubbed his hands on the Hajar al-Aswad and then his face. Then, starting from the corner of black stone he began circumambulating the Ka’bah saying,  (Haythamī, III, 240)

He strutted with short but fast steps in the first three circles. Whenever he came to the corners of Rukn al-Yamani and Hajar al-Aswad, he recited the following verse:

… Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire.” (al-Baqarah 2; 201) After he completed this part of the circumambulation, he kissed and rubbed his hands on the Black Stone, and then rubbed his hands on his face. After that, he went to Maqam-i Ibrahim (pbuh) ٭٭ and performed a two-rak’ah-prayer. Then, he turned back to the Black Stone and touched it and told Umar (r.a.):

“O Umar! You are a strong man. Do not push and oppress the weak people to reach the black stone. Neither get disturbed nor disturb others. If you cannot reach at the black stone because of the crowd, wave your hand like you are touching it and then kiss it. Pass by the black stone saying kalimat al-tawhid and takbirs.” (Haythamī, III, 241; Ibn Hanbal, I, 28)

Then the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went out from the Ka’bah’s Bani Mahzum gate and went to the hillock of Safa. When he came close to it, he recited the verse:

“Behold! Safa and Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah… (al-Baqarah 2; 158)

He said, “I am beginning from the first one mentioned in this verse” and he went to the hillock of Safa to begin sa’y. Whenever he saw the House of Allah, he looked at it and pronounced the kalimat al-tawhid and takbir. He said three or seven times:

“There is no god but Allah. He has no partners; Naught is as His likeness. Authority belongs to Him; all praises are due to Him. He brings the dead to life and takes the lives. He is the Omnipotent. There is no god but Allah. Allah fulfilled His promise and helped His servant. He alone defeated the armies which came for enmity.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 84)

Then he quickly walked down the hillock of Safa towards the hillock of Marwa. He was doing sa’y rapidly in the middle of the valley and at his regular speed after that. Meanwhile, he was praying as follows:

“Dear Lord! Forgive me and have mercy on me! You are The Most Honorable and the Bountiful.” (Haythamī, III, 248)

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) reached the hillock of Marwa, he did the same things that he had done on the hillock of Safa. He went between Safa and Marwa seven times and finished his sa’y at Marwa. Then he said:

“Whoever has a sacrificial animal with him should stay in the state of ihrām; and whoever does not have a sacrificial animal should take his/her ihrām off and change their hajj (major pilgrimage) to ‘umra (the minor one).” (Muslim, Hajj, 147) Because Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) had a sacrificial animal with him, he did not take off his ihrām.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stayed in Mecca for four days. On the fifth day he circumambulated the Ka’bah seven times. He then got on his ride after the sun passed, midday. He went to Mina and encamped at Dar al-Imamah. He spent the night at Mina and waited till sunrise. On the morning of the ninth day of Dhu’l Hijjah, he set out towards Arafah. He continued to say talbiyahs until he reached Arafah. There he preached his famous Farewell Sermon. He explained what people need to know and the rulings that they would not be responsible for if they do not know. Though the crowd assembled there, he wanted those rulings to be known by entire humanity.

After the sermon Bilal (r.a.) recited the call for prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) combined the noon and afternoon prayers and performed the noon prayer first and then the afternoon prayer. After the prayer he got on his camel Quṣwa’ and went to the place of standing on the side of Jabal ar-Rahmah (the Mountain of Mercy). Then he turned to the Qiblah and stood there until the sun set and lost its yellowness.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) held his camel’s tether with one hand and raised his other hand and made a long prayer. Below is a part from this prayer:

“O Allah! I take refuge in You from the tortures of grave, misgivings of my heart, and from the disorder of the matters. O Allah! I take refuge in You from the disasters brought by winds.

O Allah! Create light in my eye, in my ear, and in my heart. O Allah! Expand my bosom. Make my deeds easy for me. O Allah! I take refuge in You from change of health to sickness, from Your sudden Anger and punishment. O Allah! Take me to the straight path. Forgive my past and future.

O Allah! The One who raises the degrees, send blessings, and the One who created the earth and heavens. Voices of various languages rise up to You and ask their requests from You. My request from You is that remember me in the world of questioning where people of the Earth will forget me.

O Allah! You hear my words, see wherever I am, know everything I do secretly or openly. None I have done is hidden from You. I am helpless and poor. I ask Your help and mercy. I am scared and I admit my mistakes. I ask from You however a desperate person asks from You. I beg You however a sinner begs You. I pray to You just like the prayer of Your servant standing and crying before You in humility, a servant who sacrifices everything for Your sake, a servant who rubs his/her face to earth just for You. Dear Lord! Please do not deprive me of from the acceptance of my prayer. Treat me compassionately and with mercy, the One who is the best to be asked from and the One who is the most generous of the givers.”[1]

Here is another nice prayer made by some friends of Allah at Arafah:

“O Allah! If I am not qualified to reach You, Your Mercy can reach me; because Your mercy can enclose everything. Dear Lord! No matter how great my mistakes are, they are smaller than Your mercy. O Allah the Most Beneficent! Please forgive my mistakes.

O Allah! If You are going to forgive those who obey You, in whom will the sinners take refuge?

I am always in need of You, but You do not need me. You may forgive me as my Creator. Please let me go back from this place as a forgiven servant whose all needs are taken care of and whose all wishes are bestowed upon.

O Allah who gives the needs of the needy! O Allah who knows everything which are thought about by those who keep quiet. O Allah! There is no lord except You to be asked from. There is no creator to be feared except You. O Allah who has no helper or a gatekeeper to be bribed! The One whose generosity increases as much as the requests and needs increase! O Allah! You host every guest. We are Your guests. Please host us in Your Paradise.

O Allah! It is a custom to give gifts to the visitors, to every caravan, and to everybody who asks. Spiritual rewards are given to those who expect them. We, as a group, have come to Your house. We are standing at this station of pilgrimage. We are here in these blessed places. Our hope is to blessed by the rewards from You. O Allah! Please do not fail our hopes.”[2]

Some people from the tribe of Najd came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) when he was at Arafah and asked him:

“O Messenger of Allah! How should we perform Hajj? With what will it be complete?” He replied:

“Hajj is Arafah. Whoever comes to Arafah before the dawn prayer on the day of Muzdalifah is considered to have reached the pilgrimage. The days of Mina are three. There is no sin for those who hurry and stay there for just two days. There is no sin either for those who are late.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 57)

After the sun set completely, the Prophet (pbuh) moved from Arafah to Muzdalifah with Usamah b. Zayd on the back of the saddle of his camel. There he combined his evening and night prayers together. He first performed the evening prayer and then the night prayer.

Allah’s Messenger stayed in Muzdalifah till the dawn of the next day. He did not leave Muzdalifah until the day was completely lightened up. Meanwhile, he continued to chant talbiyahs and prayers.

According to the narration of Abbas b. Mirdas (r.a.), Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) prayed for the forgiveness of his ummah on the day of Arafah. In return for his prayer Allah the Almighty said:

“I forgive your ummah except the oppressors, for I will take the revenge of the oppressed from the oppressor.” Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said:

“Dear Lord! If you would like, you can give Paradise to the oppressed as a reward and forgive the oppressor.” That night Allah the Almighty did not respond to his prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) repeated his supplication after the dawn prayer in Muzdalifah. When his supplication was responded by Allah positively, the Prophet (pbuh) smiled. Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) said:

“O Messenger of Allah! May our mothers and fathers be sacrificed for you. You never smiled at this time of the day. What is the reason for that? Tell us, may Allah make you happy.” He (pbuh) replied:

“When Satan the enemy of Allah heard that my Lord has forgiven all the members of my ummah, he took a bunch of earth from the ground and threw it over his own face. And he began to cry saying “Shame on me! I am perished, all my efforts are wasted.” Seeing his fear and cry made me smile.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 56)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) collected pebbles in Muzdalifah for the lapidation of Satan in Mina. He left Muzdalifah before the sunrise. When he reached the Valley of Muhassar, he told his companions to collect pebbles for the throwing at the jamrahs.[3] He also told them to hold the pebbles between their fingers and throw them like throwing a slap. Then he showed them how to do it.

The Prophet (pbuh) rode his camel fast in the Valley of Muhassar[4] and reached the big jamrah or the Jamrah of Aqabah.

All three jamrahs are in Mina. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) performed the Jamrah of Aqabah after the sunrise on the Day of Sacrifice. This jamrah is at the end of Mina, while the small and middle jamrahs are close to the Mosque of Hayf.

One of the wisdoms behind the pebbles of the jamrah is to not forget the number of the seven takbirs. It is similar to count the remembrances with the help of the knuckles of the fingers at the end of ritual prayers.

While Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was holding the pebbles between his thumb and index fingers and throwing them one by one; the pilgrims began to do the same. But it was getting crowded and people were knocking each other over. Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) told them:

“O People! Do not stampede and kill each other! When you would like to throw pebbles at jamrahs, choose the small ones and throw them between your fingers.” (Ibn Hanbal, VI, 379)

Qudamah b. Abdullah (r.a.) talks about the Prophet’s state at the moment as follows:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) throwing pebbles on his camel. There were no pushing, no hitting, and no shouting “move away, move away”” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 66)

The Prophet (pbuh) slaughtered sixty three camels for himself, one for each year of his life, and then he gave the knife to Ali (r.a.) and he slaughtered the rest of the camels. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) ordered to be given a piece from the camel meat. Then, he asked that the pieces to be cooked in pots. He and Ali (r.a.) ate from it. After that the Prophet (pbuh) ordered Ali (r.a.) to distribute the rest of the camel meat, skin, and hair among the poor.

After he slaughtered the camels, the Prophet (pbuh) called his barber and got a haircut. He prohibited a total haircut for women saying: “There is no haircut for women but just trimming.” (Darimī, Manasik, 63)

On the first day of the Feast of Sacrifice before noon, the Prophet (pbuh) went to the Ka’bah to perform tawāf ifāda (the obligatory circumambulation). After circumambulation, he performed the noon prayer. Then he went to the Zamzam Well. Towards the end of that day, he returned back to Mina. He spent the nights of next three days (days of tashriq) there. From time to time he also went to the Ka’bah for circumambulation.

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) walked from the Mina Mosque to the first jamrah for the second and third days of the Feast of Sacrifice. On the third day, he threw the pebbles of the third day, and left Mina for Muhassab. When people were wandering around Muhassab, he said:

“Nobody should go anywhere except heading for Ka’bah.” (Muslim, Hajj, 379; Dar’m’, Manasik, 85) On the fourteenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, he announced that they were going to go to Ka’bah before the dawn prayer. And then he went to Ka’bah and performed the farewell circumambulation.

Meanwhile, someone came and asked about staying in Mecca. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) replied:

“Mecca is not a place for encamping. The time to stay Mecca after finishing the rituals of pilgrimage is three days for those who come from outside.” (Ibn Hanbal, IV, 339)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) showed great reverence to the sacred territory of Ka’bah. Whenever he needed to eat something or to relieve himself, he would go outside and go to a far place. He would not stay in there for a long time so as not to get tired; because it is better to live outside the sacred territory of Ka’bah and long for it than to live close to it and get tired of it.

After the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the believers performed the farewell circumambulation, they set out to Medina. (Bukhari, Hajj, 21, 70, 128; Muslim, Hajj, 147; Ibn Majah, Manasik, 84)

Hajj is such an act of worship that is full of memories of the earlier prophets and signs that remind us of the Hereafter. Every ritual of pilgrimage has a deep meaning. This is why Muhammad Parsa (q.s.) narrates from Shibli (q.s.) that he likens hajj to Judgment Day as follows:

“Hajj reminds the believers of Judgment Day. It represents leaving someone’s home, household members, friends, and town. It also represents the states of illnesses, troubles, and death. Arriving at the place of miqāt resembles the blowing of Sūr. Pilgrims take off their worldly clothes and go into the world of Hereafter. The proclamations of labbayk are like responding the caller of Judgment Day. Running to Arafah is a sign of running in the field of Arasat and gathering in the plain of Arafah is the exemplar of assembling on Judgment Day. Standing on the Mount of Mercy is the representation of standing before Allah the Almighty. Flowing from Arafah to Muzdalifah (mashar’i haram) is like going from the first court to the highest court. Going to Mecca to make the visiting circumambulation is to go to see the face of the Beloved. Kissing the Black Stone is to renew and fulfill the covenant with Allah. Farewell circumambulation is similar to leaving the assembly place of Judgment Day and going to the eternal places. Filling the cups with zamzam water represents the believers’ drinking from the pool of Kawthar in Paradise. Slaughtering animals likens to death between Hell and Paradise. Getting a haircut and opening heads represents that every secret will be revealed on the Day of Judgment.” (Tevhide Giriş, p. 241-44)

Because the Prophet (pbuh) made his intention to perform Hajj-i Qiran,[5] he also performed the minor pilgrimage (umrah) while performing the major pilgrimage (hajj). He performed a total of four minor pilgrimages in his life. Even though the minor pilgrimage is not an obligatory act of worship, but a sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), Allah’s Messenger was very attentive about its performance. In respect to the virtues of umrah, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said that:

“Perform hajj and umrah consecutively. Because performing them consecutively purifies the sins and poverty like a bellow cleanses the rust from iron.” (Ibn Majah, Manasik, 3)

“Allah’s Apostle said, “(The performance of) ‘Umra is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.” (Bukhari, ‘Umra, 1)

He promised more rewards for performing umrah in the month of Ramadan as follows:

“Perform ‘Umra when Ramadan comes, for ‘Umra in Ramadan is equal to Hajj (in reward), or said something similar.” (Bukhari, ‘Umra, 4)

The story of a conversation mentioned by Ibn ‘Arabī’s (q.s.) in his book al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah between Sheikh Shiblī (may Allah have mercy on his soul) and his friend is a wonderful manifestation of the spiritual depth of pilgrimage:

“Shibli: Have you made your intention and put on your ihrām?

His friend: Yes, I have.

Shiblī: Have you annul all your intentions except your intention for pilgrimage?

His friend: No, I have not.

Shiblī: Then, you have not made your intention for hajj. Did you take off your clothes to put on ihrām?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Like you took off your clothes, did you take the worldly affairs and everything other than Allah from your heart?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then, you have not entered into the state of ihrām. Have you cleaned yourself?

His friend: Yes, I have.

Shiblī: Have all your deficiencies been cured with it?

His friend: No, they have not.

Shiblī: Then you have not been cleansed. Did you pronounce talbiyah?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Have you received any response for your talbiyah?

His friend: No, I have not.

Shiblī: Then you have not properly said talbiyah. Did you enter the sacred territory (Haram)?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: While you were entering it, have you really believed in that you have given up all the unlawful things?

His friend: No, I have not.

Shiblī: Then you did not enter the sacred territory. After that did you come close to blessed city of Mecca?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: When you got close to Mecca, did you receive any spiritual state from Allah the Almighty?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not get close to Mecca. Did you enter the Ka’bah?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you get closer to Allah as you started to know Him?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not enter the Mosque. Have you seen the Ka’bah?

His friend: Yes, I have.

Shibī: Did you see through the Ka’bah the thing that you intended to see?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you have not seen the Ka’bah. Did you perform seven ramls and mashys? Or did you sometimes run and sometimes calmly walk around the Ka’bah?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you thank Allah the Most Glorious by breaking your ties with the world?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not perform raml. Did you greet Hajar al-Aswad and kiss it?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: (when Shiblī got this respond, he began to tremble) Come to your senses! Do you know what you are saying? Those who greet the Black Stone actually greet Allah the Almighty. They enter the circle of mercy. Has this happened to you?

His friend: No, it has not.

Shiblī: Then you did not greet it. Have you stood in the presence of Allah and performed two rak’ahs of prayer?

His friend: Yes, I have.

Shiblī: Did you realize that you were in the presence of Allah?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you neither stood nor performed prayer. Did you go up the hillock of Safa?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: What did you do?

His friend: I pronounced takbirs seven times, thought about my pilgrimage, and hoped that Allah would accept it.

Shiblī: Did you say your takbirs like the angels do? And did you understand the real meaning of takbir?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Did you descend from Safa?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Have all your spiritual diseases been cured, and have you become healthy?

His friend: No, I have not.

Shiblī: Then you neither ascended nor descended from Safa. Did you run after that?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you run away from your inner self and reach Allah?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not run. Did you arrive at the hillock of Marwa?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you feel a state of solemnity and tranquility?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not reach Marwa. Did you go to Mina?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you ask for forgiveness from Allah for your rebellion?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not go to Mina. Did you enter the Mosque of Hayf?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you fear Allah while you were entering and going out of the mosque? And did you find similar fear in yourself at other times?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not do anything there, either. Did you go up Arafah? Did you stand there?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you understand the state of your creation and did you realize what your future would be?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not fulfill your Arafah duty. Did you go down to Muzdalifah? Did you see the Mashari Harām?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you remember Allah in such a state that you forgot yourself and the whole world?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not stay at Muzdalifah. Did you, then, go to Mina and slaughter a sacrifice?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you sacrifice your inner self?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not slaughter anything. Did you throw pebbles at the jamrahs?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you throw your ignorance and get knowledge in return?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not throw the jamrahs. Did you then get a haircut?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you pull and throw away your desires and wishes related to this world?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not succeed in this either. Did you perform the visiting circumambulations?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: During this visit, did any spiritual realities and miracles appear to you? Because Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) says that, “Pilgrims are the visitors of Allah. And the one who is visited should offer something to his visitors.”

His friend: No, nothing happened.

Shiblī: Then you did not visit it. Did you then take off your ihrām and begin to live a regular life and return to the lawful things?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Have you been determined to eat lawful food from that time on?

His friend: No, I have not been.

Shiblī: Then you did not return to lawful things. Did you bid farewell after that?

His friend: Yes, I did.

Shiblī: Did you bid farewell completely with your soul to your lower self?

His friend: No, I did not.

Shiblī: Then you did not bid farewell. You need to perform your pilgrimage again. Be careful how you perform your pilgrimage from now on. I have taught you how to perform hajj. Try to perform your hajj just like the way I have taught you.” (Ibn Arabī, Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, X, 133-38)

In short, an acceptable pilgrimage, or to perform the major and minor pilgrimages together and try to perform the minor pilgrimage as often as possible, is an important act of worship through which Divine mercy can be attained. In order to dive into the sea of Divine mercy we should obey our excellent exemplar, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), perform our worship carefully, and stay away from bad deeds and speech.

٭ “O Allah! Believing in You; acknowledging Your Book; and following the tradition of Your Messenger”

[1] Ibn Kathīr, Al-Bidayah, V, 166-168; Haythamī, III, 252; Ibn Qayyim, Zad al-Ma’ad, II, 237; Ghazzalī, Iḥyā, I, 337-38

[2] Ghazālī, Iḥyā, 337-38; Bayḥaqī, Shuab, II, 25-26

[3] Jamrah: literally means small pebbles, ember, and cinder. Here it means one of the stations of pilgrimage where small pebbles are thrown. This is performed by throwing a certain number of small pebbles in three places called small jamrah, middle jamrah, and the Jamrah of Aqabah.

[4] Valley of Muhassar is the valley where Abraham’s army was destroyed. This is why the Prophet (pbuh) passed through that valley quickly and advised his followers to do the same in places where Allah’s anger manifested itself.

[5] Hajj can be performed in three ways. 1. Hajj-i Ifrad: Intending to perform just major pilgrimage 2. Hajj-i Qirān: Performing major and minor pilgrimage together with the same iḥrām. 3. Hajj-i Tamattu’: Performing major and minor pilgrimage together but with separate iḥrāms.

Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş,  Erkam Publications

The Human Reality

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