Hajj – A Definition
Literally, Hall refers to the intention of visiting a place. The Holy Qur’an transfers the meaning of Hajj from its lexical general meaning to a traditionally specific meaning which denotes the annual pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca, one of the religious duties of Islam.
The great annual gathering called Hajj, is a collection of rites and ceremonies, offered by Muslims, who are bound to carry out religious duties, in a specific place and during a specific time set by Islam, similar to the way the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did.
Hajj is so called because the Muslim who performs it goes to Mecca, the Sacred House, at the start of Dhul-Hijjah (the eleventh month of the Muslim calendar) and visits other sacred places like Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah to offer his devotions.
Islam states specific dates, time and place for offering such devotions. Failing to heed them renders them unacceptable by Allah.
Ihram (donning the pilgrim’s robes) begins in a certain place. Tawaf (the ceremonial circumambulation of the Ka’ba) is done in a specific place. Sa y (walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah) is done in a certain place. Wuquf (remaining in certain places during Hajj) is performed in specific places. Likewise, Rainy al-Jamarat (casting stones at the symbolic Satans) is done at specific sites and passing some nights is also a rite done in a certain place…etc.
As place has its significance and lawful position in this worship, date and time, also, have importance and impact as a prominent factor that renders this worship correct. Therefore, the most important of the devotions connected to this great duty are offered at specific times. Staying in Arafat, for example, takes place on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah. Passing the night at Muzdalifah is on the night of 10th (eve of Eid al-Adh hah): Yawm An-Nahr (the day in which animals are sacrificed) is the 10th day which is also the day of Eid. And spending the night at Mina is on the 11th and the 12th nights, of Dhul-Hijjah…all of them are related firmly to specific times.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FATHER OF THE PROPHETS:
The Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) continued his long journey across Babylonia, Syria and Arabia. He folded up long periods of time, while crossing plains, hills, valleys, rivers and deserts to arrive eventually in the promised land of Mekkah al-Mukarramah. To this place, he brought with the pioneers of faith and life; his wife Hajar and his eldest son lshmael (a.s.).
The land of peace was the last station of the journey of Ibrahim (a.s.). Ibrahim (a.s.) examines the deserts and mountains of Mecca, as if looking for a new great event that will come into being on this particular land. Ibrahim’s great heart resorts to silence to cover his secret and fate. Ibrahim (a.s.) raises his head, and stretches his hands towards the heavens. He humbly says:
“0 our Lord! Surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley un-productive of fruit near Your Sacred House, our Lord! That they may keep up prayer; therefore, make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; happily they may be grateful.”
Holy Qur’an (14:37)
With these words Ibrahim (a.s.) bids adieu to his wife and child and returns to Palestine to his first wife Sarah. Hajar finds refuge in silence, Ishmael turns about. She clambers up and down the two hillocks of Safa and Marwah. He gets desperately thirsty. Hajar (Hagger) runs up the nearby hill in search of water. She seeks water but in vain and in her desperation climbs up another hill. He kicks the desert’s sands with his small feet. On his withered lips, there is thirst and dryness. Deep in his heart there is love and faith. In his eyes is the great hope of the future
which gives the good news of the rising of an Ummah that will grow in the barren valley the tree of faith and life. For some precious drops of water, the baby beats the ground with his feet, and caresses the sands with his fingers with the serenity of the prophets and the love of the saints, as if stroking the breast of the earth – the dear mother – so it may pour on his lips drops of water. The helpless mother watches in deep anguish.
Behold, the earth’s heart relents affectionately to her great son. It responds to his wish as he responds to the call of Allah. The ground splits a little, and suddenly a spring flows to extinguish the thirst of the earth. This is a sign foretelling the greatness of this great baby. Hajar is seized by astonishment. Is it true or a mirage? She slowly approaches the water and dips her hand into it and gives a handful to Ishmael.
Mother and son Ishmael stay near the spring of Zamzam. Ishmael joyfully plays around it, in the land of the Divine Messages, soon to rebuild in this very land with his father, the Ka’ba, to which the hearts of the monotheists have always longed for. A place visited by its lovers.
Years pass and Ibrahim (a.s.) returns to meet Ishmael, to write a new chapter of the history of faith on the sacred land. He, with the aid of his son, embarks on the building of a house for worship. He continues the construction. He raises the foundations of the house, little by little the house, symbolic of monotheism in the heart of barren Arabia, is built. The Ka’ba is raised, where the souls circumambulate around it:
“And when We assigned to Ibrahim the place of the House, saying: Do not associate with Me anything, wad purify My House for those who circumambulate wad the standing wad the bowing wad the prostrating. And proclaim to the mankind (the duty of) pilgrimage; they shall come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path”.
Holy Qur’an (22:28-27)
Ibrahim (a.s.) and his son complete the construction of the house
“And when Ibrahim wad Ishmael raised the foundations of the House:
Our Lord! Accept from us; surely You are All-Hearing: All-Knowing, Our Lord! And make us both submissive to You and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to You and show us our ways of devotion wad turn to us (mercifully), surely You are the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful”.
Holy Qur’an (21:127-128)
The House of Allah became a symbol of faith, a place of worship and glorification of Allah, a place to which people journey, a place of sanctity and security to the guests of Allah.
Ibrahim (a.s.) was looking after the House. In it he was humbly worshipping and glorifying Allah, and holding it in high esteem. He deeply felt the glory of this sublime symbol and waited for its great role in humanity’s life.
This stony House was Allah’s. It was a simple humble House floating on a sea of sand amidst waves of mountains and scattered hills, surrounded by bareness on every side. Could any one think that house set up in the middle of the desert, out of touch with the spring and people, could ever be so inhabited and highly glorified? Yes…
“And your Lord creates wad chooses whom He wills.”
Holy Qur’an (28:68)
It was not long before glory shaded the land of stones and sand. The bare valleys of Mecca became a valley of fertility and abundance.
And why not? Was it not the land chosen by Allah to be the center of Ibrahim’s message, the caller of the faith, and the roving messenger who was fascinated by the message of monotheism, and escaped the injustice of the tyrants to the justice of Allah, and from the nonsense of idol-worship to the religious wisdom of righteousness?
Was it not the land that deeply believed in Ibrahim’s goals when the fertile valleys of Babylonia and Syria turned him down?
Was it not the land that would enrich the soul with faith, and make the whole earth prosperous with civilization?
Allah had chosen it for Ibrahim (a.s.) to put the Ka’ba in its heart and prepare a place for worship.
Was it not the land Allah willed to be a secure sanctuary and a house of peace?
Yes, indeed it was!
Allah willed that, within a short time the stark valley was clothed in a verdant vest. It was rapidly inhabited by the hearts of lovers and became crowded with worshippers. The valley echoed with the resounding call and Allah wanted this to be, so He ordered Ibrahim (a.s.):
“And proclaim to mankind (the duty of) pilgrimage; they will come to you on foot wad on every Lean camel, coming from every remote path”.
Holy Qur’an (22:27)
Ibrahim (a.s.) called mankind and the faithful’s hearts responded. The caravans of the (pilgrims) compete generation after generation – to perform Hajj (pilgrimage). The voice of Ibrahim (a.s.) is still powerfully echoing in the ease of men, wafted on the waves of air: A perpetual call, a lovely voice, to which the souls anxiously and eagerly listen, and the hearts zealously hover towards. That is the call of our father lbrahim (a.s.) still ringing in the hearts of the uniteranians, when they are still responding to it humbly:
Labbaika .Allahumma labbaik
Labbaika La sharika laka labbaik
Innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulk
La sharika laka
(Here I am, my Lord here I am.)
(Here I am, You have no partner, here I am.)
(Praise, grace and the kingdom is for You.)
(You have no painter.)
Therefore, Hajj became a religious duty since the Father of the Prophets Ibrahim (a.s.) voiced the monotheists’ call over two milleniums later, when mankind had almost forgotten Ibrahim’s toil, and had plunged in idol worship, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the direct descendant of Ibrahim and Ishmael renewed the call of Islam, of which Hajj is a main pillar. The Ka’ba is its direction. The Glorious Our’an calls on all Muslims:
“…it is the duty of mankind towards Allah to make the pilgrimage to the House, whoever aim afford die way there, and whoever disbelieves surely Allah is Self- Sufficient above any need of the beings. ”
Holy Qur’an (3:97)
A narrative from the household of the Prophet (s.a.w.) says:
“In the period between the prophethood of Jesus and Muhammad, the Ka’ ba complained to Allah, the Exalted saying: 0 my Lord! Why my visitors have dwindled? Why my worshippers have decreased? Allah, the Most High replied that: I shall send down a new light for the people who will eagerly long to you as the cattle yearn for their young ones2. This is a clear reference to Ibrahim and Ishmael’s illustrious descendants Prophet Muhammad and his ummah who revived the great socio-political-religious gathering at the Ka’ ba, called Hajj.”
Imam Mi (a.s.) says:
“(Allah) has made Hajj to His Sacred House incumbent upon you, by making it (Ka’ba) the Qibla for humankind. People gather around it (to satisfy their longing for faith and religion), as animals gather around (a watering place to satisfy their thirst) and as pigeons flock towards a place of refuge. Allah, the Exalted has made Hajj a sign of their humbleness to His greatness, and their submission to His mightiness. Allah chose from His servants obedient ones who respond to His call believe in His word. They follow in the footsteps of His messenger, and imitate His angels who circumambulate around His throne.”3
THE PEACEFUL JOURNEY TO THE SECURE LAND
“And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! Make this city secure, wad sai’e me wad my sons from worshipping idols.”
Holy Qur’an (14:35)
Allah made a secure land for the people, and a place for peace. Its remembrance fills people with security and calm. Its rites widely spread on earth peace and deep respect for life. Within man the incentives for vice and aggression diminish, and also those impulses which call him to unjustly shed blood and transgress the limits set by Allah. It was so heinous a behaviour that the angels wondered before the creation of man: How can man be qualified to be the viceroy of Allah on earth when he makes mischief on earth and sheds blood.
“Will You place on it one who will corrupt therein and shed blood, while we extol Your glory wad sanctify You?”
Holy Qur’an (2:30)
Is it not sufficient for him to be doomed to death and nonexistence that he holds such criminal tendencies?
Is it not fair that he who celebrates the praise of Allah and extols His holiness is qualified to inhabit the earth, respect life, and Allah’s will and wisdom?
For the purpose of completely wiping this crime off the face of the earth and obliviating it, Islam plants in the Muslim who performs Hajj an inclination to call for security and peace. Its growth inculcates in him the percept of the holiness of life, so that he perceives that nobody deserves
to live except he who respects life. Those who humbly celebrate the praise of Allah, who know Him are qualified to inhabit the earth..
The pilgrim finds the rites of Hajj an enlightenment urging him to respect life, practiced and deeply felt in the secure land of Mecca; the land of security and peace. So, Allah has made the Sacred House and the sacred city (Mecca) a pilgrimage for people, and a secure place towards which the fearing souls resort. Near it, the hearts that have lost the delectation of life find refuge.
Not only worldly fears dissipate in the Sacred House, but sins are also shed. It is the place where one repents returning to his Creator, winning His remission. In the Qur’an, many verses emphasize the security and sanctity of the Sacred House. Words like “security and “haram are repeatedly mentioned, to show man the value of his life Thus man is disillusioned from fear, his greatest complex, and the misadventure that follows him everywhere:
“So let them serve the Lord of this House, Who feeds them against hunger and gives them security against fear”.
Holy Qur’an (106:3-4)
“And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols.”
Holy Qur’an (14:35)
“Therein are clear signs – the station of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it is secure.”
Holy Qur’an (3:97)
“And We made the House (the Ka’ba in Mecca) a resort and a sanctuary for the people..”
Holy Qur’an (2:125)
“I swear by the fig and olive, And mount Sinai. And this city made secure.”
Holy Qur’an (95:1-3)
“I am commanded only that I should serve the Lord of this city: Who has made it sacred, and His are all things, and I am commanded that I should be the first of those who submit.”
Holy Qur’an (27:91)
“Allah has made the Ka’ba, the Sacred House, as livelihood for people, and the sacred month.”
Holy Qur’an (5:97)
“And forbidden to you is the game of the land, so long as you are on pilgrimage.”
Holy Qur’an (5:96)
“0 you who believe, violate not Allah’s rites, nor the sacred month.”
Holy Qur’an (5:2)
The above cited texts are by no means the only ones referring to the security, peace, holiness and respect of life, rather, these are only a few of the Qur’anic verse mentioning the holiness of the Sacred House (Ka’ba), the sacred land (Mecca), and the sacred month (the pilgrimage month). They emphasize forbiddance of such aspects of Hajj as the killing of animals or hunting them, cutting trees or shrubs growing in the sanctum sanctorum, killing any living thing, including pests like insects and reptiles, as long as they are on pilgrimage. By so doing, Islam aims at implanting within man respect of security, love of peace, and save him from mischief, crime and the shedding of blood.
Hajj is genuinely a peaceful trip to the city of security and peace. It is a journey through which the pilgrim feels the value of security in himself and the community. Thus, he becomes aware of the Omnipresence of his Creator Who made this sacred place a secure one. In it, his self feels calm. He could seek refuge Allah’s wrath by hoping for His remission, feeling His ever-close mercy, and entering under His protection. The pilgrim returns ready to repent, and plans a new phase of his life.
How beautiful is the discernment of this truth by Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) when he addresses the pilgrims by saying:
“And move into Allah’s security, His shade and protection, His help to you to attain your goal of entering the sanctuary, and entering the House while deeply knowing the greatness of its owner; His Highness and Omnipotence.”4
HAJJ AS WORSHIP
Hajj is a bodily and spiritual journey. It is man’s migration towards Allah’s grace and pleasure.
It is the abandonment of one’s relatives, wealth, and wordily comforts, and enduring a host of difficulties, troubles and hardships for the Creator’s sake.
“And proclaim among people the pilgrimage; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path.”
Holy Qur’an (22:27)
Hajj is a form of a worship, to which several factors intertwine.
Physical and material, spiritual and emotional. Hajj, therefore, is a physical and material form of worship in which the worshipper gives of himself both physically and materially and endures hardships and troubles in the way of Allah, demonstrating his pure pristine servitude to Allah and his independence from any power other than Him. This pure goal of Hajj is the goal of any worship in Islam that is to be for the sake of Allah alone, regardless of any existing power other than Him. It is the utmost goal of man’s worship. Man’s conscience completely awakens and man is rendered, purified and cleansed of all evil and vice, provided sincerity of intention is involved.
For this aim, Hajj is ordained and the Holy Our’an regards it as Allah’s right over His servants:
“…it is the duly of mankind towards Allah to make the pilgrimage to the House, whoever can afford the way there;…”
Holy Qur’an (3:97)
Hajj is a main pillar of religion, and a mainstay of faith. Traditions and texts reported from the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his pure progeny (a.s.), refer to the significance of Hajj. It is reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said:
“Prayer was not ordained, Hajj and Tawaf were not made incumbent on the faithful, and rites were not conveyed to man, but to remember Allah.”
And he (s.a.w.) also said:
“The people who perform the Hajj and Ummrah are the guests of Allah. Allah grants them whatever they ask Him, accepts their prayers, and compensates them for their expenditures.”
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said:
“So long as the Ka’ ba is secure, so is the religion” 5
And he (a.s.) also said:
“If one should leave off Hajj, when he is capable of performing it, with no legitimate excuse, then he has neglected an Islamic rite.” 6
Islam gives Hajj primary attention. It goes to the point of granting the Islamic state the authority of sending a number of Muslims to Mecca, even if it is done by force, should all of them decline to perform it. It is a bid to keep Islam’s religious rites fresh and dynamic. In case the pilgrims are unable to attend the journey, the Islamic state is responsible to pay for traveling expenses to Mecca for performing this congregational worship.
Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said:
“Should all the people abandon Hajj, the governor is authorized to oblige them to perform it. Should they give up performing pilgrimage to the tomb of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the governor is authorized to order them to do so, if they are penniless, he should pay them from the treasury.”7
It was reported from Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.):
“If anyone of you had amounts of gold as huge as Abu-Qubais (a mountain in Arabia) and spent it in the way of Allah, its reward would never be equal to the reward of Hajj (from Allah), A dirham (an Arabic currency denomination) disbursed by the pilgrim is worth 2000 dirhams in the way of Allah.”
He (a.s.) is also reported to have said:
“Hajj is the jihad (holy struggle for the sake of Allah) of the weak.”
He (a.s.) further said:
“He who is not prevented from the Hajj by an obvious necessity, a tyrannical ruler or a disease which confines him (or her) at home and dies without having performed the Hajj, might as well die a Jew or a Christian.”
VALUES AND MEANINGS IN HAJJ’S RITES
Hajj is a collection of rites and observances. It is a number of actions and recitations. They are all combined to be performed within a certain time and place, the result is worship, and an enlightening action conducive to the building up of the Muslim character. It effectively rebuilds the personality, corrects its course in life, and focuses its direction toward Allah.
Hajj, in its general formula of certain devotions and prayers recited by the pilgrim, inspires the soul with spiritually sublime feelings. The pilgrim then realizes the grandeur of his undertaking and the greatness of humbleness and servitude to Allah. It inculcates into the soul the highest of morals, and leads it to righteousness, and benign behaviour.
Every action, word, and prayer during Hajj is a symbol that inspires the soul with a vivid feeling and encompasses a secret and an objective.
Ihram (donning the pilgrim’s garb). Talbiyah (the saying of labbaika Alahumma labbaik), Tawaf (circumambulation), Sa’y (walking to and fro between the hills of Safa and Marwah), Wuquf (staying at Arafat)…etc, all of these are meaningful actions and feelings with deep meanings that the pilgrim experiences spiritually.
Hence, the genuine value of Hajj, and its reforming effects on the soul and behaviour does not lie in mechanically routine practice, devoid of any meaning or value beyond what is seen, but in the awareness of the pilgrim and his spiritual and ideological awareness of every action he practices, every call he makes and in every prayer he reiterates. Otherwise, the pilgrim is not but a tourist, idly wandering around a historic place. He achieves none of the goals of Hajj and his soul remains untouched.
How deep was the awareness of the pious to the implications and goals of Hajj! How excellent was their depiction of Hajj, because they lived it a deeply effective truth within themselves, and a symbolic language expressing their deep feelings.
Let us take an exemplary picture for this deep understanding of the implications of Hajj. Herein Imam Ali bin al-Husain (al-Sajjad) (a.s.) describes Hajj, discloses its symbolic implications, and the inspirational meaning of each devotional rite (deed) during Hajj. The reader will understand from the explanation of the Imam that such rites are designed to accommodate the aims of Islam and demonstrate its goals in symbolic and exact way. The pilgrim practices these rites within the greatest gathering of people assembled for worshipping and standing under the shadow of the greatness of Allah, the Almighty.
It is reported that when Imam Zain al-Abideen (a.s.) returned from Hajj, he was welcomed back by al-Shibli. The Imam asked Shibli, 0, Shibli, have you performed the Hajj?”
And Shibli replied.”Yes, 0 Holy Imam.”
The Imam asked, When you were about to remove your clothes and wear the Ihram, what was your intention during those exciting moments? Did you avoid absolutely all the things that must be avoided and that which is inferior to Almighty Allah?”
Shibli replied: “No.”
He then asked, Did you say Labbaik’ with full knowledge and great respect? Did you hear the command of Allah and obey as Ibrahim did?”
He replied, “No.”
Imam: While you were in Arafat, standing so close to Almighty Allah, did you have a chance to know Him? Were you not eager to grasp a bit of knowledge?’
Imam: When you entered the Ka’ba, as the people of the cave’ had done, did you deny your self-centeredness? Did you fear the punishment of the Hereafter?’
Imam then asked him, When you shot the idols, did you think of them as evil? Did you then avoid all wrong deeds?”
“When you offered the sacrifice, did you feed a hungry person or an orphan? Did you first think of Allah? Did you then kill your selfishness?”
“When you stood in Ibrahim’ s position, did you rely absolutely on Allah sincerely and with strong faith?”
“While you circumambulated and made the Tawaf of the Ka’ ba, were you reminded of all the angels who constantly circumambulate this world?”
“During your Sa’y, while you were running between Safa and Marwah, were you sanctified and purified?”
“Now that you have returned from Mecca, are you homesick for the Ka’ ba ? Did you bury yourself’ there? Are you impatient to return?”
Shibli replied, “No. Of whatever you have asked me so far, I have understood nothing!”
Then the Imam said, “0 friend, you have not performed the Hajj! And you have not obeyed Allah! You went to Mecca and visited the Ku’ ba, but when you decide to return to Hajj again, by to do as I have instructed you”8
TALBIYAH – THE SOUL’S RESPONSE TO ALLAH’S CALL
Since the Qur’an calls on Muslims to perform Hajj, worshippers respond to this eternal call. They begin by humbly repeating the call of love, loyalty, and faithfulness to Allah:
“Labbaika Allahumma labbaik. Labbaika La sharika laka labbaik. Innal hamda wan ni mata laka wal mulk. La sharika lak”
(Here I am, my Lord. Here I am.
Here I am, You have no partner.
Here I am. Praise, grace, and the kingdom is for You.
You have no partner.)
Thus was the call of Muhammad (s.a.w.), which he taught his ummah.
It is a call recited by the hearts that faithfully respond to Allah’s call. By so doing, they display their loyalty, and good intentions, bravely challenging all the troubles and hardships.
They sincerely express their love and longing to Allah, the Exalted, for visiting the holy lands. The pilgrim calls, along with the others Here I am, my Lord, here I am.’ I have responded to Your call and command, and Tam under the cloak of Your mercy, because of my love and loyalty to You. You are the One Who has possessed my soul, feelings and life. Nothing except You can prevent me from coming to You. You have granted me the honor of being Your servant. You love me, that is why You have embraced me with your mercifulness. How can I decline your invitation?
Are not the creatures and the worlds Yours?
Are not You the source of all graces, deserving of our deep thanks and praise…?
Am I not indebted to you? I, the servant, who always praises and glorifies you?
Here I am before You, I have left all of what You have bestowed on me: My family, wealth, social status and pleasures, in seeking of Your pleasure, out of my great desire to come to You.
O my Lord, accept me as You have accepted Your servant. Accept my prayer, and grant me Your blessings and mercy. Accept me, for I have forsaken all disobedience to You.
OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS
“And proclaim among people the Pilgrimage; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel coming from every remote path. That they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during the stated days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds, then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy”.
Holy Qur’an (22:27-28)
Hajj is a great Islamic conference. It is and ideal demonstration of faith in which diverse groups of every race, class, and nationality join together at a given time and in a specific place. They repeatedly recite a single call, and proclaim the same slogan. They gather for one purpose.
To declare their servitude and loyalty to Allah alone, freeing themselves from any trace of polytheism and ignorance, in a deeply effective, collective way, which fills the soul with feelings of faith, and uniterism.
As the Holy Qur’an proclaims, and the Prophetic traditions bespeak, it is not only worship and a way of getting closer to Allah, but is a way of granting the pilgrim social, educational, economic and political benefits. Combined together these bounties are conducive to improvement within an Islamic society, increase its awareness, recti1~’ problems, and activate its movement.
During Hajj, Muslims witness the most excellent example of equality, submissiveness, and human brotherhood. This is accomplished by removing the outer difference and donning the dress of unity Ihram. The result is that all feel a oneness among the human race, brotherhood and equality.
While performing Hajj, Muslims feel a oneness with the earth and the people. The invalidate all the artificial boundaries established by human, regional, national and racial superiority complexes and egoism. Traveling across thousands of miles, they penetrate all barriers, and rise above all-man-made hurdles, in order to respond to Islam’s call of faith.
During Hajj, Muslims meet each other in a magnificent communion. They relate to each other’s domestic and regional affairs. They consult each other concerning their life and religion. They exchange experiences, opinions, and good habits. They become acquainted with each other’s problems. They learn of each other’s viewpoints. This interchanging of ideas increases their awareness, knowledge grows, and the impetus to reform is invigorated. As a result, plans are proposed, projects designed, educational, political, social and economic centers are established. The Muslims support each other, as if they are one body and one soul.
Since Hajj is a large and impressive human gathering, it attracts millions of Muslims from different countries. It also stimulates an economic movement, which is beneficial to the world of Islam.
During Hajj, the pilgrim imbibes ethical and educational lessons which reduce his faults. He enquires patience through hardship. He becomes humble, generous, and tender. He renounces lying, backbiting, animosity, and pride. He learns from his journey through mixing with other. Within him, positive social tendencies grow and morals are refined.
Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s.) has talked about Hajj and its benefits, eloquently answering the question of one of his followers, (Hisham bin al-Hakam). Once he asked Imam Ja’far (a.s.), Why does Allah order His servants to perform Hajj, and circumambulate around the Ka’ba?
The Imam (a.s.) replied:
“Allah has created His servants and instructed them how to obey Him through the performance of religious duties. He has made (Hajj) a gathering in which people from the East and the West participate and become acquainted with one another. Every’ single one of them benefits from the experiences of others who come from different places. Memories of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), and his life will never be forgotten…etc.” 9
This explanation is completely congruous with that of his nephew, Imam Au bin Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) on the benefits of Hajj and its social effects. Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) says:
“People are ordered to perform Hajj so that they remain the guests of Allah, the Most High, gain divine rewards and win the remission of whatever wrong they have committed through repentance, and preparing for the future. During Hajj people spend of their wealth and selves, leave their families and children, refrain from pleasures travel inhospitable weather and are filled with determination to complete Hajj, while being continuously humble, calm and submissive. During Hajj benefits abound for all people every where, from the East and the West, on land and sea, for those who perform Hajj and for those who have not.
All people profit from Hajj, whether merchant, seller, buyer, the poor, and the destitute. Whenever the pilgrims get together the inhabitants of that place prosper. They in crease in knowledge, while spreading the statements of the Imams to every corner of the earth. As Allah, the Most High says:
“… Why should not then a group of every party from among them go forth in order to master religion so that they may warn their people when they return to master religion so that they may warn their people when they return to them that they may beware?”10, and that they may witness advantages for them”11
Allah, thus willed that Hajj be a place of prayer and devotion, a season for worship and enlightenment, and a bounteous field for the fulfillment of man’s social interests.
SOME USEFUL TERMS
Wajib- obligatory, necessary, incumbent. An act which must be performed. You will be rewarded for performing it and punished for neglecting it, e.g., the daily prayers, the Hajj (pilgrimage), Jihad (holy struggle for the sake of Allah), the fasting of Ramadhan.
Haram – forbidden, prohibited, It is necessary to abstain form the acts which are haram. If someone performs a haram act, he will be punished, e.g. eating pork, drinking wine, lying, betraying.
Mustahab – recommendable, desirable. An act whose neglect is not punished, but whose performance is rewarded, e.g. the call for prayers (adhan), saluting others, making ghusl (bathing) for Friday.
Makruh – reprehensible, disliked. An act whose performance is not punished, but whose avoidance is rewarded, e.g. sleeping till sunrise, urinating in stagnant water, eating in the state of janabat.
Halal – permitted, allowed, lawful, legal. An act or the thing which is permitted and lawful. An optional act on which Allah has given us the right of doing or leaving it, e.g., drinking water, eating food, choosing one’s work or house.
The following is a concise set of religious regulations concerning Hajj. It is recommended to refer to the more detailed books of jurisprudence, or to a religious authority in order to gain a thorough understanding of the religious rules which the Muslim pilgrim is duty-bound to seek.
The following diagram makes clear the direction of circumambulating the Ka’ba:
1. Hijr Ishmael ( semi-circular wall of Ishmael,).
2. The circumambulation must be performed around the outside of the wall.
3. Indicates the nearly 30 meters from the Ka’ba to the limited area of circumambulation.
4. Direction of tile pilgrim in circling the Ka’ba.
5. The Station of Ibrahim.
6. The Black Stone, marking the starting point for circumambulation.
7. The door of Ka’ba.
CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HAJJ BECOMES COMPULSORY
Islam sets certain conditions under which it becomes compulsory for a Muslim to perform Hajj.
1. One mud possess: Physical wad mental capability wad assurance of his family’s safety.
Hajj is incumbent on the Muslim who can provide for his family while he is away on pilgrimage. He should be physically capable of traveling to Mecca and enduring the journey’s hardships. He should be financially stable even after his return. Furthermore, he has to feel secure personally, financially, as well as concerning his family. Time must also be considered i.e. he must have enough time to travel to Mecca, perform the rites of Hajj, and return without undue haste.
2. Puberty: Hajj is compulsory on the adult Muslim who has reached mental and physical maturity.
Lawful Stated Time of Hajj:
1. The time in which Hajj is to be performed is specified during the three months of Shawwal, Dhul-Qi’da, and Dhul-Hijjah. Thus if a Muslim attains the specified conditions under which Hajj becomes compulsory during this period of time, he should perform Hajj. If he does not perform Hajj during the first year while being to do so, he is obliged to do so the following year.
2. The person obliged to perform Hajj can make his intention for performing Hajj on any day of this specific period of time, should he want to enter Mecca, from whichever Miqat (the five places of the appointed time), he passes through while entering Mecca.
Hajj in Islam :
Hajj in Islam is of three kinds:
1. Hajj Al-Ifrad.
2. Hajj Al-Qiran.
3. Hajj Al-Tamattu.
The difference between both Hajj al-Ifrad, Hajj al-Qiran, and Hajj al-Tamattu, is that the first two are incumbent on the inhabitants of Mecca, (those who do not live a distance of more than l6 farsakhs (nearly 86 Kilometers from Mecca). However, Hajj al-Tamattu is incumbent on the Muslims who live more than 86 kilometers away from Mecca.
This Hajj consists of two compulsory rites:
1. Umrah al-Tamattu .
2. Hajj al-Tamattu .
This umrah must be preformed before Hajj aI-Tamattu.This piligrim should perform umrah before the advent of Hajj’s time.
Umrah al-Tamattu consists of five acts:
2. Circumambulation (Tawaf)
3.The Ritual Prayer of Circumambulation
4.Walking seven times between Safa wad Maree’ah (Sa’y)
5. Cutting maw of the hair or nails (fingers or toes) (Taqsir).
Here is a brief explanation of the above-cited Hajj acts:
1. Ihram :
It begins from one of the following stated Miqats: Masjid Al-Shajarah, Juhfah, Wadi Aqiq, Yalamlam, Oarn Manazil (according to route the pilgrim takes when traveling to Mecca).
Ihram consists of three acts:
A. Intention: Stated thus, “1 make Ihram of Umarh aI-Tamattu of Islamic Hajj to bring me closer to Allah, the Exalted.”
B. Talbiah: (the saying of Labbaik). It is:
Labbaika Allahumma Labbaik
Labbaika La sharika Laka Labbaik
Innal kamda wan ni’mata Laka wul Mulk
La sharika Lak
(Here I am, my Lord, Here I am. Here Jam. You have no partner. Here I am.
Praise, grace and the kingdom is for You.
You have no partner).
Note: It is obligatory to cease Talbiyah (the saying of Labbaik), whenever the pilgrim sees only the houses of Mecca.
C. (Only for men) Wearing the two articles of Ihram (the waist-wrapper and the clock) which should cover the part of the body between
the navel and the knees while the clock should cover the shoulders.
Note: As a precautionary measure, the pilgrim has to wear his attire before making his intention and Talbiyah (the saying of Labbaik). Otherwise, he should repeat his intention and Talbiyah once more.
Abstinence During Ihnzm:
Upon making Ihram, several things are forbidden for the pilgrim:
1. Hunting land animals, or helping others to hunt, slaughter or eat them, with the exception of harmful animal (such as snakes scorpions…etc.).
2. Sexual intercourse, kissing, looking or touching with desire.
4. Marriage for himself, for others, or being witness for others in their marriage.
5. Smelling aromas.
6. The application of antimony to the eyes, as an adornment.
7. Anointing the body.
8. Looking at a mirror for the sake of beautifying oneself, wearing a ring as an ornament. It is forbidden for women to wear jewelry as adornment (but she can have what she ordinarily wears with the stipulation that she does not display it to anyone, even the male relatives who are mahram, (marriage is forbidden).
9. Wearing sewn clothes (for men).
10. Wearing footwear that covers the upper part of the foot, forbidden (for men).
11. Telling lies, cursing.
12. Swearing to emphasize an argument, by saying “By Allah..
13. Killing insects that usually live on the human body, like fleas.
14. Shaving, or plucking hair from the body.
15. Drawing blood from the body, extracting teeth, cutting the nails.
16. Walking or traveling under moving shade, forbidden (for men).
17. Covering the head forbidden (for men).
18. Covering the face forbidden (for women).
19. Preventing oneself from smelling unpleasant smells.
20. Cutting (unearthing) or uprooting trees, plants or grasses that grow in the haram (sanctuary).
21. Carrying weapons.
Note: Should the pilgrim while in Ihram disobey and do what is forbidden (with the exception of few of them), he has to pay expiation as
per the case. For further details, please refer to the books of jurisprudence, or consult a religious authority to understand the judgment specified for individual cases.
2- Circumambulation (Tawaf):
Tawaf is the second duty of umrah. It literally means to circumambulate around the Sacred Ka’ba beginning from the Black Stone and ending at it.
Tawaf is correct only when the following conditions are met:
a. Intention: The pilgrim should intend: I make Tawaf of umrah al-Tamattu’ of the Islamic Hajj seven times seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Exalted. When making the intention the left side of the pilgrim should face the black stone.
b. Purity from all major and minor impurities through ablution or obligatory bathing (Ghusl).
c. Clothes and body should be free of any impurities (Najassat).
d. Circumcision in the case of men.
e. Covering private parts during Tawaf.
Duties to be Observed During Tawaf:
It is obligatory for a pilgrim to observe the following points:
1. Starting from the Black Stone for each of the seven Tawafs.
2. Ending at the Black Stone.
3. The left side of the Ka’ba should be always on the left side of the pilgrim during Tawaf.
4. The pilgrim should circumambulate around Ismail’s Hijir (a semi-circular short wall facing Ka’ba from the west that is consider a part of Ka’ba) without entering it.
5. The pilgrim should make Tawaf around the Ka’ba and away from the place called Shadhrawan (the lower part of the walls of Ka’ba).
6. One should circumambulate around the Ka’ba seven times continuously.
7. Tawaf should be performed between the Ka’ba and Ibrahim’s station (which is about 13 meters away from Ka’ba)
1. Circumambulation is invalid if it is done more than seven times or if the pilgrim considers the additional turns as a part of his/her obligatory Tawaf (circumambulation); otherwise he/she should start once again.
2. Likewise, when the pilgrim comes out of the area of circumambulation, his circumambulation is invalid.
3. During circumambulation, if the pilgrim doubts the number of circumambulation he has performed is more or less than seven, his circumambulation is invalid.
3. The Ritual Prayer of Circumambulation (Tawaf):
1. Ii is obligatory for the pilgrim, after finishing the circumambulation, to perform its two-cycle prayer like the morning prayer, with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
2. One must immediately perform the two-cycle prayer without any delay.
3. It is recommended to recite after Sura al-Hamd, Sura al-Tawhid in the first cycle and Sura al-Kafirun in the second; unlike the ritual prayer in which one may recite any sura (chapter) of the Holy Qur’an except those which require a prostration.
4. This particular prayer can be recited, either aloud, like mourning prayer, or quietly like the noon prayer.
5. Any doubt that may arise during performing this prayer, makes it invalid and it should be recited once again from the beginning.
6. It is obligatory to recite this kind of prayer alongside Ibrahim’s station.
4. Walking Between the Hills of Safa & Marwah (Sa’y):
1. After performing the prayer of circumambulation, one should complete Say between Safa and Marwah.
2. Sa’ y consists of going from the hill of Safa to Marwah and vice versa.
3. It is obligatory to make Sa y seven times. Note here that going from Safa to Marwah, is considered as one time and going from Marwah to Safa, as another.
4. While performing Say, one is free to do it either on foot or riding though the first is better.
5. It is recommended but not obligatory to have ablution while performing Sa’y.
6. It is permitted to sit for a rest either on the route of Safa or Marwah or on the way between them.
7. It is recommended but not obligatory to perform Sa’y immediately after circumambulation; in other words, one can delay it until night with or without any excuse. However, it is not permitted to delay it for the next day without an excuse like sickness.
8. Sa’y is a form of worship and should be performed with the pure intention of obeying Allah’s Command and seeking His nearness.
9. Cutting Some Hair or Nails (Taqseer):
It is obligatory for the pilgrim, after performing Sa’y, to cut some of his/her nail or hair (the head, moustache or beard) with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
It is forbidden to shave one’s head instead of doing Taqseer, and the cutting of a piece of hair or nail is a form of worship. If it is done to show off, a person’s umrah will be invalid unless it is repeated.
After the cutting of a piece of hair or nail, everything which was forbidden for the pilgrim will be lawful except for hunting and cutting (unearthing) trees, plants or grass that grows in the sacred area.
This Hajj consists of the following rites:
The best time of Ihram, is the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah (Yam al-Tatwiiya). But this date may be preceded by three days or be delayed to noon of the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. Ihram starts in the holy city of Mecca and preferably at the Holy Mosque. The pilgrim should make his/her intention as follows: WI begin Ihram of Hajj al-Tamattu seeking Allah’s nearness Subsequently the pilgrim starts Talbiyah (saying of labbaik) after donning the attire of Ihram. A person after finishing Ummrah al-Tamattu and leaving aside Ihram, should not leave Mecca because of a need and if the need arises, it is obligatory to wear Ihram for the Hajj al-Tamattu in Mecca and leave Mecca in the state of Ihram and in the same state of Ihram, return for the Hajj.
2. Staying at Arafat:
Arafat is the name of a valley in which the pilgrim stays on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. It is an area of more than two square miles and is approximately 12 miles outside Mecca. The pilgrim should stay at Arafat on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, from noon till sunset. Kindly note that it is forbidden to leave Arafat before sunset be it intentionally or unintentionally. The pilgrim should also make the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness, so if the pilgrim spends the whole time in sleep or in unconciousness, the staying will be invalid and the type of pilgrimage is changed to Umrah al-Mufredah. Thus Hajj al-Tamattu should be performed the following year. The obligation and definition of staying in Arafat is precisely the absolute staying in that noble place, whether you reach there by walking or sitting in or on a means of transportation.
3. Staying at Muzdalifah:
On the night of the Eid (festival), and while leaving Arafat after sunset, the pilgrim sets out for Muzdalifah (the name of a place also called Al-misha’ r al-Hararn. The obligatory time for this is between the whiteness of dawn and sunrise.
Staying in Mash’ar is a form of worship in which the intention is obligatory. If you pass through the valley of Mash’ar before the rising of the sun, you have committed a transgression but without redeeming it. It is permitted for the following (those who meet difficulty because of the large crowd on the morning of Eid) to leave Muzdalifah before dawn:
1. People who do not have the strength like women, children and old men.
2. People who have an excuse like fear or sickness.
3. People who are the guides to the above-mentioned people and must watch out for or take care of them.
4. The Obligations of the Pilgrim in Mina:
The pilgrim, after leaving Muzdalifah, should set out for Mina to perform the following three acts:
1. Pelting in Jamrah al-A-qabah:
It is (the largest symbol of the devil which is situated on the outskirts of Mina towards Mecca), and should be thrown with seven pebbles on the tenth day, and the followings should be observed:
a. Throwing of the pebbles must be accompanied by the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
b. The number of pebbles must be seven.
c. Pebbles must be thrown separately (one after the other) i.e. it is not permitted to throw several pebbles at a time.
d. Pebbles should reach the place and whatever does not reach, does not count.
e. The time of throwing is from the rising of the sun of the Eid day, till the sunset of the same day.
It is permissible to those who meet difficulty (in throwing the pebbles at the exact time) or fear for themselves because of the large crowd (like women, the old men, sick and the weak), to do it on the night of Eid.
f. Pebbles must be from the sacred area; and those outside (the sacred area) are not acceptable.
g. Pebbles should not have been used previously (even if they were used in the preceding years).
h. It is recommended that the pebbles be collected in Mash’ar.
i. Throwing must be done with the hands.
j. A person must be sure that the pebbles should hit the mark.
k. Another person may act as a representative (in throwing the pebbles) for children, the sick and those who, because of an excuse, cannot themselves go to the place for the throwing of the pebbles.
l. A person who is excused from throwing the pebbles in the day time, can do so at any time during the night.
2. Offering the Sacrifice at Mine:
a. It is obligatory for the pilgrim to slaughter an animal at Mina with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
b. For the sacrifice, one of four types of animals must be used: Camel (not less than five years), cow (not less than two years), sheep (more that one year) or goat (more than two years). Among them, the camel is the best.
c. The animal should be healthy, free of defect (not sick. blind, lame, too old or very lean).
d. If the pilgrim is unable to buy the sacrificial animal, instead one must fast ten days (three in Mina and the other seven in his/her homeland).
3. Shaving (Halq) wad cutting some hair or the nails (Taqseer):
a. Shaving is preferred (for men), particularly for the one who is performing Hajj for the first time. Some jurisprudents consider shaving (for men) as obligatory; but (for women) shaving is not permitted. instead, she must cut only a bit of her hair or nails.
Note: After performing the above mentioned obligations, everything which was forbidden for the pilgrim during Ihram, becomes lawful except using perfumes and having sex if one is married.
5. The Acts in Mecca:
After the performance of the rituals on the tenth day in Mina, the pilgrim has to go to Mecca for day of Eid to perform the following:
1. The circumambulation of the Hajj. It is exactly like the circumambulation of Umrah and should be done with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
2. The rituat prayer (two rak’as) of circumambulation of the Hajj should be done behind Ibrahim’s station, preceded with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
3. The Sa’y (going and coming) between Safa and Marwah with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
6. The Circumambulation of Women:
It is similar to the circumambulation of Umrah, done with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
7. The Ritual Prayer of the Circumambulation of Women:
It is obligatory to perform the two raka’s prayer behind Ibrahim’s station with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
Note: the circumambulation of women and its prayer are obligatory for both men and women. If they perform it not, both women for men and men for women do not becomes permissible. This however, is not a pillar of Hajj and nonperformance does not invalidate the pilgrimage.
8. Spending the Night at Mimi:
After performing the pilgrim has to go back to Mina and spend the 11th and 12th nights of Dhul-Hijjah at Mina with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness.
The pilgrim can leave Mina after the noon of the 12th day. Should he/she stay at Mina till sunset, one is obliged to spend the 13th night and pelting Jamarat on that day becomes obligatory.
9. Pelting the Jamarat:
The last compulsory duty of the three Jamarat should be performed on the 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah with the intention of seeking Allah’s nearness. If one spends the 13th night this makes pelting the Jamarat necessary on the next day.
1. The first Jamarat should be pelted first and then the middle one, and lastly the Jamarat al-A qabah.
2. The pilgrim should throw only seven pebbles, following the same rules of the day on which the offerings are slaughtered.
Regulations Concerning Women During Hajj and Umrah:
1. On the one hand, it is forbidden for a woman, while in Ihram, to cover all or part of her face (that which must be washed during ablution wudu with a veil or even a covering that she puts on her forehead where it clings to her face. On the other hand, it is permissible for her to cover her face while sleeping.
2. It is permitted for her to be in the state of Ihram with sewn covering and her regular shoes where the upper part of her feet are not uncovered.
3. She should perform sa’ y (going and coming back seven times between Safa and Marwah) emulating Hajar’s search for water) at her usual pace; not hurrying.
4. In order for her to be out of the state of Ihram, she should only perform taqsir (to cut a bit of her hair not shave her head).
5. If she has begun to menstruate she is forbidden to do the umrah of tamattu. When she arrives in Mecca and has more time, she should wait until she is purified and if she is purified even during the ninth day of Dhil-Hijjah; during which she can perform her Umrah and, then, assumes I/tram for Hag, in this case, it is obligatory for her first to do circumambulation tawaf of Umrah; to pray two ritual Rak’ah prayers of circumambulation; to performs the endeavor (sa’y); to cut a bit of her hair taqsir; to make Ihram of Hajj and, then, go to Arafat.
6.If she is having her monthly period and she has not been ritually purified until the last moments for the umrah of tamattu, she should change her intention to hajj of Ifrad , that is, perform the umrah after the end of the hajj, and her hajj is correct and replaces the Islamic Hajj.
7. Menstruation and bleeding after childbirth do not forbid her from performing certain acts like assuming Ihram in stated Miqats, standing in Arafat and Muzdalifah, performing the acts to be done in Mina and doing sa’y (the endeavor between Safa and Marwah). They only forbid her from entering the Sacred Mosque, or doing circumambulation and other actions which are forbidden in this state.
8. If her menstruation or bleeding after childbirth has stopped and she cannot do ritual bathing ghusl, because of her sickness or finding no water, she should do tayamum (a substitute for ablution) and, then, do her obligatory circumambulation.
9. If her menstruation started before performing the circumambulation of Hajj and she could not stay in Mecca to be purified and do her obligations, because her caravan of pilgrims does not wait for her, she must appoint another person to do her circumambulation, then, she, performs her endeavor sa’y after the circumambulation of her representative.
Performing Hajj Representing Others:
1- Whoever is capable in his/her life to perform Hajj, but, dies without performing it, while leaving an inheritance, it is obligatory, in this case, to appoint a representative to perform their Hajj out of his/her inheritance before its being divided among his or her heirs, because Hajj is considered as a debt.
2- It is obligatory for men and women who are unable to perform the acts of Hajj, due to their sickness or agedness while being financially capable to perform it, to appoint others to fulfill this divine duty.
3- The one who represents another in performing Hajj should have the following qualifications: attained puberty, is sane, is a believer and, also, should not be, himself, charged with a Hajj which has not been performed yet.
4- It is right for both man and woman to represent each other in performing the acts of Hajj.
1. Tawaf of al-Wida’e (the Farewell Circumambulation).
It is recommended for the pilgrim, when leaving Mecca, to bid farewell to the Sacred House by performing another seven circumambulations as farewell, and to touch the Black Stone, and praise and glorify Allah by saying peace and blessing be upon Muhammad and his progeny.
2. The visit to Madinah aI-Munawarah (the City of the Prophet): Among the most important recommendations for the pilgrim, before or after performing Hajj (pilgrimage), is to go to Madinah al-Munawarah to visit the holy shrine of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and also the holy shrines of his household (Ahlul-Bait) i.e. his daughter, Fatimah with her three sons, Imam Hassan, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, and Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (upon them be peace) at the Baqi cemetery.
A SUPPLICATION SAID BY IMAM ZAIN AL-ABDEEN ON THE DAY OF ARAFAT
The followings are some quotations from the famous supplication made by Imam Zain Al-Abdeen (a.s.) on the day of Arafat:
“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds,
Praise be to You. 0 Creator of the heavens wad the earth,
Possessor of Glory and Honor.
Lord that is worshipped of lords, the Creator of every creature wad the heir to everything,
There is nothing like Him. The knowledge of nothing is hidden from Him. He surrounds everything and keeps watch over all things,
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the One, the Single, the Unique.
You are Allah, there as no god but You, the Gracious, the Bountiful the Glorious, the Honorable, the Great, the Embed.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the High, the Exalted, the Master of mighty punishment.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Knowing, All-Wise.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Hearing, the Seeing, the Eternal, All-Cognizant.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Respected, the Most Honorab4, the Everlasting, the Most Eternal.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the First before every unit and the Last after every number.
You are Allah, there is no god but You, Sublime in His Nearness and the High us His Sublimity,
You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Possessor of oil Goodness, Glory and Majesty wad worthy of all praise.
You are Allah, there is no god but You Who did create things without origin, did shape whatever You did shape without any model and did invent the things invented without following any example.
It is You Who did measure everything by proper measure, did make everything easy as it deserved and did manage everything, beside Yourself; as it required to be managed,
It is You Whom no participant helped in creating nor any assistant assisted in Your affairs and neither was there any resemblance with You nor peer.
It is You Who did resolve wad whatever You did resolve was firm. You did decree and whatever You did decree was just. You did command, and whatever You did command was equitable,
It is You Whom space does not contain. No sovereign ever rose to dispute Your Sovereignty, neither did way argument or explanation ever defeat You,
It is You Who have exhaustively counted all things, have fixed a duration for everything and have measured everything with a proper measure,
It is You Whose Divine Essence imagination fails to reach. Reason fails to judge Your quality wad eyes never perceived Your whereabouts,
It .s You Who can not be defined for then You would have been finite, You were never comparable for then You would have been perceptible. You never did beget for then, You would have been (a dung) begotten.
It is You Who have no opposite that may contend with You. You have no equal that may prevail over You and no peer that may vie with You,
It is You Who did originate, invent, create, bring into being and did make handsomely whatever You did make.
Holiness is Yours. How sublime is Your dignity. How High among places is Your place. What a manifestation of truth is Your Discernment.
Holiness is Yours, 0 Gracious One, how Gracious You are. 0 Kind One, how Kind You are. 0 Wise One, how Knowing You are.
Holiness is Yours, 0 Monarch how Powerful You are. 0 Bountiful, how Liberal You are, 0 Glorious, how Embed You are – the possessor of all Beauty, Greatness, Majesty and Praise.
Holiness is Yours. You have stretched forth Your Hand for benevolence. Guidance is obtained from You. Therefore whoever besought You for any mailer sacred or secular obtained Your Hearing.
Holiness is Yours. Whoever existed in Your Knowledge, bowed himself to You. Whatever was beneath Your Throne humbled itself before Your Glory. All Your creatures submitted themselves to Your obedience.
Holiness is Yours, You are not received, nor searched, nor touched, nor brought near, nor removed, nor distanced, nor disputed with, nor oppressed, nor fought with, nor imposed upon, nor deceived,
Holiness be to You. Your path is straight wad Your Command is righteous. You are Living wad Wantless,
Holiness as Yours Your Word is Wisdom. Your Decree is inevitable and Your Resolution decisive,
Holiness be to You. There is none to reject Your Will, none to alter Your Words,
Holiness be to You. 0 Possessor of manifest signs, Creator of the heavens and life.
Praise be to You, a praise as lasting as Your existence,
Praise be to You, a praise as enduring as Your Blessings,
Praise be to You, a praise to match Your Workmanship,
Praise be to You, a praise that would increase Your Satisfaction,
Praise be to You, a praise that would compete with the praise of every praiser, a gratitude that would surpass the gratitude of every thanks giver,
A praise that would become none but You, wherewith none is approached but You,
A praise which may secure the continuance of former (blessings) and whereby permanence of the future (rewards) may be requested.
A praise that would go on multiplying with the continuation of time and would go on increasing by successive additions.
A praise which the keepers of accounts would fail to count wad which would exceed the record kept by the writers in Your Book
A praise that would suit Your Supreme Throne, and would become Your exalted Footstool,
A praise whose reward from You would be perfect and whose recompense would submerge every other recompense.
A praise whose outward form would accord with its inward spirit wad whose inward substance would harmonize with the sincerity of the motive underlying it.
A praise with the life of which no creature ever praised You wad whose excellence is known to none other besides You.
Such a praise that he who endeavors to count it would be helped and he who tries his best to reckon it exhaustively would be assisted.
A praise that would comprise whatever You have created of praise and would string together what You will create afterwards,
A praise nearer to Your Word than any other praise, and no praiser greater than him who praises You with it,
A praise the abundance of which would entitle the praiser to further reward from Your Bounty and to which You would add incrementally from Your Liberality.
A praise that would become the Honor of Your Countenance and suit the Glory of Your Majesty.
O Lord bless Muhammad wad the descendants of Muhammad, the elect, the chosen, the honored who enjoy Your Nearness, with the most excellent of Your Blessings. Confer on him the most perfect of Your Favors. Favor him with the most auspicious of Your Mercies,
On this day, allot me a portion by which I may achieve a share of Your Approbation.
Do not turn me away without that bounty which such of Your servants as worship You return (laden),
Verily, though I have not sent beforehand the good deeds sent in advance by them, nevertheless, I have advanced Your Unity wad denied opponents, equals and anything as similar to You, I have come to You through the gates through which You did command to come. (I) have approached You with that without which none can approach You,
Moreover, I have reinforced dais with repentance to You, abasement and humility in Your Presence, and with a good opinion of You and reliance on what is nigh You. I have coupled this with hope from You which whoever entertained was hardly ever disappointed.
I pray to You like one contemptible, disgraceful, poor, needy, timid and seeking refuge. Moreover, (I pray) fearfully, humbly, craving protection wad imploring shelter, neither inflated with the pride of the haughty, nor elated, with the conceit of the obedient, nor arrogant on account of the mediation of intercessors.
After all, I am the smallest of the small the most insignificant of the despicable and like an atom or even inferior to it.
Therefore, 0 You Who do not hasten the workers of evil to punishment, nor do withhold Your Blessings from those brought up in comfort,
0 You Who favor the erring with pardon, indulge the guilty by allowing them time (to mend).
I am an evil-doer, I admit, and (also) a sinner and a strayer, I am he who tried to go against You presumptuously,
I am he who disobeyed You deliberately,
I am the one who concealed (my faults) from Your creatures and committed them in Your Sight,
I am he who feared Your creatures and felt secure from You, I am he who did not fear Your Power and did not dread Your Wrath,
I am the transgressor against my own soul I am the one pledged to my penalties,
I am the possessor of little modesty.
And enduring distress.
For the sake of him whom You have chosen from Your creation, for him whom You have elected for Yourself,
For the sake of him whom You have selected from among Your creature and whom You have taken by preference for Your mission,
For the sake of him whose obedience You have linked to Your own: (for the sake of) him, disobedience to whom You count as disobedience to You.
For the sake of him whose love You have placed nigh to Your own; (for) him whose enmity, You have fastened to Your own,
Protect me in this day of my life, as You do protect him who cries to You expressing abhorrence of his sins and who seeks shelter by asking Your Pardon repentantly.
Deal with me as You deal with those who obey You, those nigh to You and those of rank at Your Sight,
Make me intuitively return to Your Pardon, the sweetness of Your Mercy, Your Comfort, Your Consolation and the garden of Your Blessings,
With Your boundless wealth, let me relish that taste of freedom from care (that I may employ myself) in what You love wad exert myself in that which would bring me closer wad nearer to You,
Grant me one of Your presents,
Let my commerce be profitable and my return be without loss,
Make me fear Your position wad be eager to meet You,
Let my repentance be sincere and acceptable, by which You may leave no sin (unforgiven), neither small nor great wad by which You may remove every blemish, evident or hidden,
Remove from my breast the grudge against true believers,
Make my heart tender to the meek;
Be to me as You are to the righteous,
Adorn me with the ornament of the god-fearing,
Do not let me be a supporter of tyrants, nor their helper and an accessory in nullifying Your Book;
Encompass me in a manner I may not know, with an enclosure wherein to protect me,
Open for me the gates of Your repentance wad Your Mercy and Your Grace and Your ample Sustenance. Surely I am one of those who beg of You,
Accomplish for me Your Reward, surely, You are the best giver of reward,
Make the rest of my Life (to be spent) in performing the Hajj (pilgrimage) and the umrah to achieve Your Approbation, 0 Lord of the worlds,
May Allah bless Muhammad and his holy infallible descendents wad peace be on him and them forever and ever.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
1. Ummah is an Arabic term with a variety of shades to meaning. For
example it can be community, nation, a people or a group. In this term
ummah refers to the entire Muslim world community, irrespective of the
differences of language, race and nation states.
2. AI-Hur al-Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 5, The Book of Hajj, p. 14/ 4th edition- 1398 A.H.
3. lmam Ali, Nahjul-Balagha.
4. Shaikh Muhammad al-Na’ini, Rawai Mukhtara min al-Hajj (Excellent
Chosen Texts from al-Hajj, p.33, Quoted from al-Bihar, Chapter of al-Hajj, p.38.
5. Al-Hur al-Amili.
6. Ibid, p. 17.
7. Ibid, p.16.
8. Shaikh Muhammad Hassan al-Na’ini, p.40.
9. Al-Hur al-Amili, ibid, p.9.
10. Holy Qur’an (9:122)
11. AL-Hur al-Amili, ibid, p.7.