Hajj Special: 1442H

In the cover photo, pilgrims perform Tawaf during Hajj in 2020/1441.​
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ISLAM

Hajj Of The Prophet ﷺ And His Farewell Sermon

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HOW often do we desire to see the face of our beloved Prophet ﷺ? How often are we, when we travel to Makkah or Madina, moved by the fact that this was the place the Prophet ﷺ walked with his Sahabah, fighting the falsehood and establishing the truth. Those in Hajj experience this exceptional emotional bond for doing all what our beloved ﷺ did.

What more can increase the bond than reading about how exactly the Prophet ﷺ performed his Hajj? Do read this beautiful and comprehensive narration of Jabir (RA) regarding the Hajj of the Prophet ﷺ. Books have been written about this narration and so many benefits have been derived from this hadeeth.

Ja‘far bin Muhammad narrated on the authority of his father, saying, ‘We went to Jabir bin ‘Abdullah… I said to him, “Tell me about the Hajj of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.”

He motioned with his hand [to indicate the figure] nine, and then stated, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ stayed in Al-Madeenah for nine years but did not perform Hajj, then a public announcement was made in the tenth year to the effect that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was about to perform Hajj. A large number of people came to Al-Madeenah and all of them were anxious to follow the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and do according to his doing.

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We set out with him until we reached Dhul-Hulayfah. Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays gave birth to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr. She sent message to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asking him, “What should I do?” He said: “Take a bath, bandage your private parts and put on Ihraam.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed in the mosque and then mounted his she-camel and it stood erect with him on its back at Al-Baydaa’. And I looked as far as I could see in front of me but riders and pedestrians, and also on his right and on his left and behind him like this. And the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was among us and the (revelation) of the Quran was being sent down upon him. And it is he who knows (its true) interpretation. And whatever he did, we also did that.

He pronounced the Oneness of Allah (saying): “Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayk la shareeka laka labbayk, inna al-hamda wan-ni‘mata laka wal-mulk la shareeka lak (Here I am at Your service, O Allah! You have no partner. Here I am at Your service, O Allah. Verily, all the praise, the grace and the sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.)” And the people also pronounced the same Talbiyah but with some additions. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not reject anything of it, but he adhered to his own (wording of) Talbiyah.”

Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “We did not have any other intention but that of Hajj only, being unaware of the ‘Umrah (at that season), but when we came with him to the House, he touched the corner (the Black Stone) and (made seven circuits) walking at a fast pace in three of them and walking at a normal pace in four. He then went to the standing place of Ibrahim, may Allah exalt his mention, (Abraham), and recited the verse (which means):{And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer.} [Quran 2:125] And this standing place was between him and the House.

My father said (and as far as I know he mentioned it only on the authority of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ) that he recited in the two Rak‘ahs:{Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One,…}[Quran 112] and:{Say: O disbelievers…}[Quran 109] He then returned to the corner (the Black Stone) and kissed it. He then went out of the gate to As-Safa and as he reached near it he recited:{Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah} [Quran 2:158] (adding:) I begin with what Allah the Almighty began with.

 He first mounted As-Safa until he saw the House, and facing the Qiblah he declared the Oneness of Allah and glorified Him, and said: “Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu, wa huwa ‘alaa qulli shay’in Qadeer. Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu, anjaza wa‘dahu, wa nasara ‘abdahu, wa hazamal ahzaaba wahdahu (None is truly worthy of worship but Allah Alone, who has no partner. To Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise, and He has power over everything. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His servant, and defeated the confederates Alone.)”

He then made supplication in the course of that saying such words three times. He then descended and walked towards Al-Marwa, and when his feet came down in the bottom of the valley, he ran, and when he began to ascend he walked until he reached Al-Marwa. There he did as he had done at As-Safa. And when it was his last running at Al-Marwa he said: “If I had known beforehand what I have come to know afterwards, I would not have brought sacrificial animals with me and would have performed ‘Umrah. So, he who among you has not the sacrificial animals with him should put off Ihram and treat it as a ‘Umrah.”

Suraaqah bin Maalik bin Ju‘sham got up and said, “O Messenger of Allah, does it apply to the present year, or does it apply forever?” Thereupon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ intertwined the fingers (of one hand) into another and said twice: “The ‘Umrah has become incorporated in the Hajj (adding): ‘No, but for ever and ever.’”

‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, came from Yemen with the sacrificial animals for the Prophet  and found Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, to be one among those who had put off Ihraam and had put on dyed clothes and had applied Kohl. He (‘Ali) showed disapproval to it, whereupon she said, “My father has commanded me to do this.”

He (the narrator) said that ‘Ali used to say in Iraq: I went to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ showing annoyance at Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her,  for what she had done, and asked the (verdict) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ regarding what she had narrated from him, and told him that I was angry with her, whereupon he said: “She has told the truth, she has told the truth.” The Prophet ﷺ then asked ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him: “What did you say when you undertook to go for Hajj?” ‘Ali said, “O Allah, I am assuming Ihram for the same purpose as Your Messenger has assumed it.” He said: “I have with me the sacrificial animals, so do not put off the Ihram.”

He (Jabir) said, “The total number of those sacrificial animals brought by ‘Ali,  may Allah be pleased with him, from Yemen and those brought by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was one hundred. Then all the people except the Messenger of Allah and those who had with them sacrificial animals, put off Ihram, and got their hair shortened. When it was the day of Tarwiyah (8th of Dhul-Hijjah) they went to Mina and put on the Ihraam for Hajj and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ rode and led the Dhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha and Fajr prayers there.

The Prophet  then waited a little until the sun rose, and commanded that a tent of hair should be pitched at Namirah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then set out and the Quraysh did not doubt that he would halt at Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haraam (the sacred site at Muzdalifah) as the Quraysh used to do in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ however, passed on until he came to ‘Arafah and he found that the tent had been pitched for him at Namirah. There he got down until the sun had passed the meridian; he commanded that Al-Qaswaa’ (his she-camel) should be brought and saddled for him.

Then he came to the bottom of the valley, and addressed the people saying:

“Verily your blood and your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era) is under my feet completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of Jaahiliyyah. The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabee‘ah bin Al-Haarith, who was nursed among the tribe of Sa‘d and killed by Huthayl. And the usury (interest) of pre-Islamic era is abolished, and the first of our usury I abolish is that of ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib, for it is all abolished.

Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the covenant of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful to you by the words of Allah. You too have right over them, that they should not allow anyone whom you dislike to enter your home. But if they do that, you can beat them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner. I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say?”

They (the audience) said, ‘We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), fulfilled (the mission of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel.’

He (the Prophet ﷺ) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said): “O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice. (Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, then) pronounced Adhan (call for prayer) and later on Iqamah (second call for prayer) and he (the Prophet) led the Dhuhr (afternoon) prayer. He (Bilal) then uttered Iqamah and he (the Prophet) led the `Asr (late afternoon) prayer and he observed no other prayer in between the two. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then mounted his camel and came to the place of standing (at Arafah) making his she-camel Al-Qaswaa’ turn towards the side where there were rocks, having the path taken by those who went on foot in front of him, and faced the Qiblah.

He kept standing there until the sun set, and the yellow light had somewhat gone, and the disc of the sun had disappeared. He made Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, sit behind him, and he pulled the nose string of Al-Qaswaa’ so forcefully that its head touched the saddle (in order to keep her under perfect control), and he pointed out to the people with his right hand to be moderate (in speed), and whenever he happened to pass over an elevated tract of sand, he slightly loosened it (the nose-string of his camel) to climb up until he reached Al-Muzdalifah. There he led the Maghrib (sunset) and ‘Isha’ (night) prayers with one Adhan and two Iqamahs and did not  observe voluntary Rak‘ahs (units) between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then lay down until dawn and offered the dawn prayer with an Adhan and Iqamah when the morning light was clear. He again mounted Al-Qaswaa’, and when he came to Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haraam, he faced the Qiblah, supplicated Allah, glorified Him, and pronounced His oneness (La ilaaha illa Allah), and kept standing until the daylight was very clear.

He then went quickly before the sun rose, and seated behind him was al-Fadhl bin ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, and he was a man with beautiful hair, fair complexion and a handsome face. As the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was moving on, there was also going a group of women (side by side with them). Al-Fadhl began to look at them. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ placed his hand on the face of Al-Fadhl, may Allah be pleased with him, who then turned his face to the other side, and began to look, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ turned his hand to the other side and placed it on the face of Al-Fadhl, may Allah be pleased with him. He again turned his face to the other side until he came to the midst of (the valley of) Muhassir.

He urged her (Al-Qaswaa’) a little, and, following the middle road, which comes out at Al-Jamrah Al-Kubra, he came to the Jamrah which is near the tree. At this he threw seven small pebbles, saying Allahu Akbar while throwing every one of them in a manner in which the small pebbles are thrown (with the help of fingers) and this he did in the midst of the valley. He then went to the place of slaughtering the sacrifice, and slaughtered sixty-three (camels) with his own hand.

Then he gave the remaining number to ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, who slaughtered them, and he made him share his sacrifice. He then commanded that a piece of flesh from each animal sacrificed should be put in a pot, and when it was cooked, both of them (the Prophet and ‘Ali) took some meat out of it and drank its soup. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ again rode and came to the House, and offered the Dhuhr prayer at Makkah. He came to the clan of ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, who were supplying water at Zamzam, and said: “Draw water, O Bani ‘Abd al-Muttalib; were it not that people would usurp this right of supplying water from you, I would have drawn it along with you.” So they handed him a bucket and he drank from it.

Ref: Sahih Muslim, 8/170


What is the purpose of Hajj and why is it important to Muslims

By Zara Andleeb

Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is obligatory on every adult Muslim once in his lifetime if he is financially and physically capable to undertake the journey.

Allah (God in Arabic language) said in the Qur’an (God’s final revelation to mankind through Prophet Muhammad ﷺ):

And pilgrimage to the house is duty upon mankind owed to Allah for whoever can find a way there (Qur’an 3:97)

Hajj rituals commemorate the events that took place during the time of Ibrahim (Abraham) عليه السلام, one of the prophets of Allah. Ibrahim عليه السلام perfected his faith in Allah and showed complete reliance on God during the many trials and tribulations in his life.

His life is worth reading about before going for Hajj or if you simply want to understand Hajj better. When Muslims perform Hajj, they are reminded of his powerful legacy which recharges their commitment to the religion and thus helps them attain pure faith in God.

The fact that Hajj has been going on every year for thousands of years of human history shows that it has to be divinely legislated. Human beings are incapable of starting such a movement.

Many of us who go for Hajj focus a lot in learning the rituals, and of course we must. However, preparing the heart for the pilgrimage should not be any less important. We must prepare our heart to attain the purpose of Hajj. Therefore, let’s look at the inner dimensions of Hajj, spiritual aspects that the pilgrimage reminds us of:

Faith in God and that He is Only One

This is called tawheed in Arabic. This is the heart of our belief. The moment pilgrims enter ihraam (ritual state to perform hajj), they start proclaiming the Talbiyah.

Repeating the Talbiyah makes the heart firm on the fact that Allah is one and that there is no partner besides Him. He, our Creator, is sufficient for us and He alone is in control of everything.

While repeating it, let’s remember what the proclamation indicates: the obligation to worship Allah alone and keep far away from Shirk (worshiping others along with Allah). Since Allah is Alone in His favours and His giving, having no partners, then likewise He is Alone in His Tawheed, not having any equal. [1]

Obedience to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ

No ibaadah (worship) is valid unless it coincides with the commands of Allah and the Messenger ﷺ. Hajj is a worship prescribed by Allah on mankind so we listen and obey. The ultimate purpose behind every worship is obedience to Allah. And Hajj is a manifestation of obedience to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. 

Piety

Taqwa is translated as piety in English. Piety is the fruit of obedience and is also a purpose in itself. Piety is again to enjoin what Allah and the Prophet ﷺ ordered to enjoin and to abstain from what they asked us to abstain from. 

In Hajj, Muslims practice piety from the time they decide to enter the state of performing the pilgrimage. The pilgrims also abstain from what is normally permissible outside Hajj. 

The result of this piety is that they return with their good deeds accepted and blessed to a new life full of Emaan and Taqwa, full of goodness and steadfastness, beautified with an eagerness to be obedient to Allah. [2]

Hereafter

Anything that reminds one of the Hereafter, the Judgement Day, is of tremendous benefit because the goal is to succeed there. And Hajj is an excellent reminder of the Hereafter. The two pieces of white cloth that pilgrims wear to embark on the journey leaving behind all their worldly possessions reminds them of death and their final journey to Allah. 

When pilgrims gather and stand in Arafah, they are reminded of how all human beings will stand on the Day of Judgment before Allah and be accounted for their deeds. Pilgrims pray and seek forgiveness at Arafah and return back hoping their sins are forgiven and that they will change for the better.

Honoring the symbols of Allah

Whatever Almighty God has deemed sacred is sacred. Human beings cannot attribute sacredness to what they wish. The things and places that Allah has deemed sacred are the symbols of Allah. During Hajj, pilgrims honor, exalt and love the symbols of Allah and what He deems is sacred. 

Allah says (what means):

“…And whoever honors the Symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.”  [Qur’an, 22: 32] [3]

Muslim unity

Hajj is a beautiful scene of the unity of all believers regardless of their classes, backgrounds, cultures, or languages. It’s a scene worth watching and feeling. Muslims from around the world, rich and poor, stand as one community wearing two pieces of white cloth, manifesting the fact that Allah only sees what is in the hearts. No one is higher in status in front of God except by virtue of good deeds. 

Hajj unites the hearts and gathers them to obey Allah, be sincere to Him, follow His Shariah, and abide by His commands and prohibitions. 

This is why Allah says (translated): 

“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn).” [Qur’an, 3:96] [4]

Patience and certainty in Allah

Hajj teaches us patience and having trust in Allah, especially during its rituals like the Sa’i. It reminds us of the trials of Hajar, wife of Ibrahim عليه السلام. It reminds us of her patience and certainty in obeying Allah’s commands. She was commanded to stay with her baby in a desert without food and water. People without faith would consider it an unimaginable thing to do. However, she was certain that if this was Allah’s command, He would take care of her.

Allah honored her and her baby with the miracle of Zamzam water in the midst of the desert, which till today continues to quench the thirst of millions of people.

This is just one example. Hajj is no doubt a difficult journey and it used to more difficult in the past. Muslims must practice patience and have certainty in Allah for all their affairs. This will benefit them in life after Hajj. 

Connecting with the past

Hajj brings to mind the migration of Ibrahim عليه السلام, as well as the divine command to put his son for sacrifice. When Ibrahim عليه السلام showed full obedience and was ready to sacrifice, Allah sent a ram from paradise to be sacrificed instead of his son Isma’eel – the purpose was to test Ibrahim’s faith, and indeed the prophets are tested the most.

So beloved to Allah was Ibrahim’s piety that He honored Ibrahim with an incredible status – a role model for prophets and people to follow until the Day of Judgment. Hajj is a commemoration of Ibrahim’s outstanding acts of obedience and the pilgrimage will continue until the Last Day.

Hajj also reminds us of how Ibrahim and his son Isma’eel built the Ka’bah and Ibrahim’s call to people to perform Hajj. Little did they know that the building God was asking them to build in an uninhabited land was to become the main house of God’s worship for the entire earth.

Hajj also revives the memory of  Hajjatul-Wada‘ (the farewell pilgrimage) of the last and final prophet, Muhammad ﷺ who left his followers with advice that will keep them guided on the straight path until the end of time. 

References: 

[1] AbdurRazzaq ibn ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-Badr, Lessons of Creed Acquired From the Hajj, translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

[2] Ibid.

[3] Islamweb

[4] Fatwa of Sheikh Ibn Baz, Unity of Muslims as one of the goals of Hajj


Importance of Arafat day and its place in Hajj

arafat

Name and location

Mount Arafat lies 22 km east of Makkah in the plain of Arafat.[1]  Mount Arafat reaches about 70 m in height and is also known among people as the mount of mercy.

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is called Arafat day because Hajj pilgrims spend their whole day in the plain of Arafat.

The rituals on the Day of Arafah

• Staying at Arafah is one of the essential components of Hajj. The Prophet ﷺ said: “(The essence of) Hajj is Arafah.” [2]

Hence, Hajj would be invalid if a pilgrim failed to spend the required time at Arafah. 

• Pilgrims must move towards the plain of Arafat on the 9th day after praying Fajr at Mina. “The Prophet ﷺ remained at Mina until the sunrise and moved out until he reached Arafat where a tent was pitched for him at Namirah. He ordered that Al-Quswah (his she-camel) to be readied for him.” [3]

• It is recommended for the pilgrims to move at a modest pace. Usamah bin Zaid was asked, “How was the speed of Messenger of Allah ﷺ while departing from Arafat during Hajjatul Wadaa (farewell pilgrimage)?” Usamah replied, “The Prophet ﷺ proceeded on with the modest pace and if there was enough space, he would make his camel go very fast.” [4]

• Combining the two salah with one adhan and two iqama. The pilgrims will pray Dhuhr and Asr in this way. [5]

• It is recommended for the pilgrims to pronounce the Talbiyah, Takbir, Tahleel and Tasbeeh when going from Mina to the plain of Arafah. [6]

• At Arafah, the pilgrims engage in du’aa to Allah and cry seeking forgiveness. 

• The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” [al-Tirmidhi (3585)’, hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1536)]

• After praying Dhuhr and Asr, the pilgrims move to Muzdalifa where they pray Maghrib and Isha together. [7]

What non-pilgrims do on Arafat day 

• Engage in Takbir

• It is recommended to fast on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah for the non-pilgrims.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah and he said, “It expiates for the past year and coming year.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 1162)

• As for the pilgrims who are present in Arafah, it is mustahhab (recommended) for them not to fast, because of the hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

It is narrated from Maymoona t that the people were not sure whether Prophet ﷺ was fasting on the Day of Arafah, so she sent some milk when he was standing at Arafah and he drank it whilst the people were looking on. [8]

Arafah day of the Prophet ﷺ in 10H

Let’s trace back to the Arafah day of the Prophet ﷺ and see what he did. We know that it was the Farewell Hajj of the Prophet ﷺ.

“Prophet ﷺ, on the 9th day, ordered Al-Qaswah (his she-camel) to be readied for him. Hence, the saddle was placed on it and he ﷺ went down the valley where 1,24,000 or 1,44,000 people gathered around him. He stood and delivered the following speech:

“O people, listen to what I have to say, for I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place after this year. (Indeed) your blood, property, and honor are as sacred as this day, this month and this city (i.e. Makkah)…..

….. People, fear Allah concerning your wives. Verily, you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their lawful for you by the words of Allah….”

In the end, he said: 

“And when you are asked about me, what will you say?”

The people replied, “We bear witness that you have conveyed the message and fulfilled your mission.” The Prophet ﷺ then raised his forefinger skywards and then moved it down towards people saying:

“Oh, Allah! Bear witness.” (Thrice)

As soon as Prophet ﷺ said this, the following ayah was revealed to him:

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”

Upon this, Umar رضي الله عنه cried. When asked, he said, “Nothing succeeds perfection but imperfection.” [9]

Significance of the Prophet’s speech

• Scholars considered this speech very important because this was the last and longest speech by the Prophet ﷺ.

• The blood, property and honor of a Muslim are compared to three sacred things: (i) Day of Arafah; (ii) Month of Dhul-Hijjah; (iii) City of Makkah.

• Prophet’s ﷺ concern for the Ummah regarding the message being conveyed and the Sahabas’ reply.

Virtues of Arafah

• Allah perfected the religion

A Jewish man said to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه‎‎, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival).” ‘Umar said, “Which aayah?”

He said: This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3 – interpretation of the meaning]. ‘Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. It was when he was standing in ‘Arafah on a Friday.” 

• Allah’s covenant with mankind

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., ‘Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this….’ (until the end of the 172-173 verse of Surah al-A’raf.) [Ahmad, saheeh by Al-Albani]

• Day of Forgiveness

The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” [Sahih Muslim]

Footnotes

[1], [3], & [9] Rahiqul Maqtum, pp. 608, 610, 611, 612

[2] Sunan ibn Majah, no. 2441; graded Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani 

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 1616

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari,  Hadith no. 1608

[5] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 1605

[6] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 1614

[7] Majmoo Fatawa Ibn Uthaymeen, part 20, no. 404


Misconception: ‘It’s Hajj-E-Akbar If 9th (Arafah) Falls On Friday!’

By Bushra Wangde

“Alhamdulillah, the 9th day is Friday! We’ll get to perform Hajj-e-akbar!” “Hajj-e-akbar mabrook!” “Performing Hajj-e-akbar has greater rewards than an ordinary Hajj…”

THESE are some statements we hear from people that leave us confused as to what is right. There is a common misconception regarding “Hajj-e-Akbar” that if the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah falls on a Friday, then it is called a “Hajj-e-Akbar” meaning greater Hajj. If it doesn’t, then it is called “Hajj-e-Asghar”, meaning “minor Hajj”. People think that if they get to perform Hajj-e-Akbar they will be getting extra rewards and that it is superior to Hajj-e-Asghar.

There is no evidence in the Sunnah or from the sayings of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) regarding such a Hajj-e-Akbar and its virtues.

The greater Hajj is Hajj itself and the minor Hajj is ‘Umrah according to the view of the majority of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The scholars differed in opinion in regard to what is meant by the minor Hajj, and the majority of them are of the view that it is ‘Umrah. It was also said that the minor Hajj is the day of ‘Arafah and the greater Hajj is the day of Al-Adha [i.e. the day of ‘Eid] as on this day the remaining rituals (of Hajj) are completed…”

The scholars named ‘Umrah the minor Hajj because of the letter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to ‘Amr Ibn Hazm  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him which reads “‘Umrah is the minor Hajj”.

Hence, we come to know that the greater Hajj is Hajj itself, and there is no extra reward or virtue if the Day of Arafah falls on Friday. Your reward will be according to your sincere intentions and good deeds performed during Hajj.

May Allah increase us in our knowledge. Ameen.


What To Pack For Hajj: A Checklist And Some Tips

By Salmah Shahnawaz

pack-for-hajj

IF you are anything like me, packing is one of the most daunting things you have to do. I can have an empty suitcase staring at me and I will stare right back until I have a panic attack and realise I need to fill it with things.

When going for Hajj is one of the biggest events of your life and it’s not exactly a holiday, it definitely adds to the pressure. This is to all you folks out there, praying that Allah makes it easy for you!

We packed almost everything we thought we would need, what we didn’t know was that our group was pretty awesome and gave us a lot of stuff as and when we needed it!

However, it is always better to be safe than sorry since you don’t quite know what to expect.

Basic things you need for the journey

* Extra ihram

* Socks for salah

* Sunblock and Vaseline

* Face mask – for all the germs and dust and pollution. Everyone falls sick anyway, but you feel a lot better with a barrier between you and the 2 million people in your face!

* Unscented wipes

* Tissues

* Toothbrush and toothpaste

* Of course your small Qur’an, Fortress of the Muslim, a small book with your du’as, and a pen and notebook to write down your reflections, thoughts, and inspirations

* A prayer mat, even a thin travel one will do

* Medicine bag – Any regular medication you might take, as well as precautionary meds: Panadol, cough drops, pain relievers, muscle cream, gauze and band-aids, etc

* A small cross-body handbag for women, a money belt for men

* A bottle of water and a small towel to help with the heat

* Extra reading material – I took a couple of books to read just to vary things a bit. There is a lot of waiting time when you head to the Haram hours in advance to get a spot inside, or in Mina when there isn’t much to do in the tents besides reflect. With a lot of time in the day and no time-wasters, it is a good idea to make du’a, recite the Qur’an, or read. You could take your Hajj guide, or anything that inspires you to do good

* Phone charger and adapter

What to pack for your stay in Makkah

* Shopping bags to carry your slippers around inside the Haram. The chances of finding your slippers on the shelves with a crowd that size is very very slim. Also, you might exit from a different door than the one you entered, so it’s always better to have your slippers on you!

* The padded socks you get at Makkah are great for tawaf on the hard floors

What will come in handy in Mina

* Disposable underwear (for women) – this is so much easier than having to carry around dirty clothes until you can do your laundry

* Soap, laundry line and pegs for when you want to wash clothes

* Sports shoes for walking (for women)

* Slippers for the bathroom – Even though I took both, we actually found these amazing thick-soled slippers that served the purpose and we didn’t actually need our walking shoes (for women). Our feet were well padded and well above the ground and all its dirt

* Toilet kit – miswak, disposable gloves, unscented soap, shampoo and deodorant, Dettol wipes for the toilet, a shopping bag to put your dirty clothes in after you shower (I love shopping bags!). A life saving tip is to have all of it in a waterproof drawstring bag if possible, that you can hang on the hook behind the door or around the shower head. There isn’t a lot of space in the bathrooms to lay out your items!

* A towel

* An umbrella, even though you might get one from your group

* Sunglasses and a cap/hat

* We took a lot of snacks but we were well-fed by our group Alhamdulillah! They might help on long bus ride so take some, but don’t overpack when it comes to food. There is plenty there!

What things you need to pack for ‘Arafah

‘Arafah and Muzdalifah is only a day, so there is no need to take a lot. Just pack the essentials

* Book of du’as – from the sunnah, as well as your personal ones

* A bag to collect your stones for the stoning

* Prayer mat

* Basic medication

* Socks and snacks

* It’s always good to have a bottle of water on you because the time spent in travelling is long

* Toilet bag

* If you are taken the night before, a blanket is useful as the nights are generally cold (depending on the season)

* We were provided with mats for Muzdalifah from our group, but take a small one just in case

What you need to pack for the days after ihram

* Clothes and underwear

* Pyjamas or night clothes

* Scented shampoos and soaps, attar

* If you are headed to Madinah, you can take a few layers of clothing as it is generally cooler there (depending on the season)

General tips for the journey of Hajj

* Always have some cash on you

* It’s better to scale back on technology and take a phone that is hardy if possible, and one that you are not worried about losing or it being stolen

* Keep copies of your passport on yourself

* Have important phone numbers written down – your hajj group leader’s, the numbers of your family with you on hajj, and your family back home

* Label all your luggage and write down any distinctive feature of your bags

* Be as organised as possible – have specific places for everything in your luggage and try not to leave stuff lying around. With so many people and their things, especially in Mina, it is easy to lose your stuff in a mess

* It is a good idea to enquire from your group what facilities you would be getting there – an umbrella, a mat for Muzdalifah, etc – so that you won’t be packing unnecessarily.

If there is anything that I have missed, or any useful tip that you discovered when you go on Hajj and want to share, do let us know!

Even with an exhaustive packing list, there are two very important things that we should not forget to pack:

1) Sabr, patience – Everyone tells you to have bucket loads of it, and you will realise why only when you get there

2) Taqwa, fear of Allah
“…And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Quran, 2:197)


Do Muslims Really Stone the Devil in Hajj?

By Faraz Omar

hajj-stone

THE simple answer is: Muslims DON’T stone the devil in Hajj every year. We stone the Jamarat, not any devil, Shaitan or Shayateen (pl. of Shaitan). The pillars of Jamarat are not devils. This is a misconception even among a few uneducated Muslims. Scholars continue to clarify this point every year during Hajj.

Throwing pebbles at the Jamarat is an obligatory ritual of Hajj. Although there is a story behind it, we do it simply because these are the rites of Hajj in our religion.

Then how is this association with the devil? The Hajj itself is an act that God first established through Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Muslims are the true inheritors of all the prophets as we follow the same religion that all prophets came with. Some laws were different according to the time and people that earlier prophets were sent to, but the tenets of faith remain the same. Prophet Muhammad r, who is the last Messenger of God, showed us the rituals, which include stoning the Jamarat.

Beyond rituals, if you would like to understand the spiritual aspect and purpose of Hajj, please check our other articles in the issue.

Stoning the Jamarat is actually an imitation of Prophet Ibrahim’s actions. According to narrations, Satan appeared to Ibrahim at those places and tried to confuse or divert him so Allah commanded Ibrahim to throw stones at him.

That God commanded believers — millions and millions and for centuries till the Last Day — to repeat his actions shows the special honor God wished to grant Ibrahim. What a great man he must have been! And Muslims are proud to honor who God is so pleased with.

Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali, a famous scholar of the past, said:

“As for the stoning of the Jamarat, the purpose behind it is to follow the command and manifest submission and servitude to Allah, and show complete obedience without rational thought or the ego having any part in it. The aim is also to imitate Ibrahim u, when Iblees (may Allah curse him) appeared to him in that place to instill confusion in his mind or tempt him to sin, and Allah commanded him to throw stones at him so as to drive him away and dash his hopes. […]

“Remember that you are outwardly throwing pebbles at al-‘Aqabah, but in fact you are throwing them in the face of the shaitan and you are breaking his back with them, because nothing annoys him except your obeying the command of Allah out of veneration for Him…” [Ihya’ ‘Uloom al-Deen, 1/270; Source: IslamQA]

So true! The devil is not annoyed by anything more than obedience to God.


Talbiyah: What Does Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik Mean?

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Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah رضي الله عنه‎‎ said, describing the Hajj of the Prophet ﷺ: “Then he started to say the words of Tawheed, ‘“Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak (Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner).’” (Sahih Muslim)

The pilgrim starts his Hajj with Tawheed, and continues to recite the Talbiyah with its words of Tawheed.

The Talbiyah has a number of meanings, such as:

1. “Labbayka Allahumma labbayk (Here I am, O Allah, here I am)” is one response after another, which is repeated to show that the response is lasting and ongoing.

2. “Labbayka Allahumma labbayk (Here I am, O Allah, here I am)” means, I submit and submit again, i.e., ongoing submission.

3. It may mean staying in one place (labba bi’l-makaan) and clinging to it, which means, I am persisting in obeying You, thus emphasizing the meaning of continuous servitude to Allah.

4. One of the meanings of the Talbiyah is confirming love of Allah. There is an Arabic phrase imra’ah labbah (a loving woman) which refers to a woman who loves her child. One only says “Labbayk (Here I am at your service)” to a person whom one loves and respects.

5. It implies sincerity, as in the phrase lubb al-shay’ which means the essence of a thing, and lubb al-rajul which means a man’s mind and heart.

6. It implies drawing close, as in the word ilbaab, which means drawing close, so it emphasizes the meaning of seeking to draw closer and closer to Allah.

7. It is a symbol of the Tawheed of the religion of Ibrahim, which is the spirit and aim of Hajj, indeed the spirit and aim of all the acts of worship. Hence the Talbiyah is the key to this act of worship that the pilgrim is embarking on.

The Talbiyah also includes:

Praise of Allah, which is the dearest thing with which a person may draw close to Allah.  It implies recognition of the blessings of Allah, for He is the source of all blessings and the One Who bestows them. It includes acknowledging that all sovereignty belongs to Allah alone, and no one else has any true dominion. (Mukhtasar Tahdheeb al-Sunan, Ibn al-Qayyim, 2/335-339)

When the pilgrim is reciting the Talbiyah, he feels a connection with all other created beings, as they all join with him in submission to Allah alone and echo his Talbiyah. The Messenger ﷺ said: “There is no Muslim who recites the Talbiyah but whatever is to his right and to his left of stones, rocks and clods recites it with him, to the furthest point to the east and the west” – meaning from his right and his left.” (At-Tirmidhi, 828)

Inner Dimensions of Talbiyah

We can understand and deduce the inner dimension of Talbiyah through the Hadeeth in which the Prophet ﷺ said: “When any pilgrim utters Talbiyah, every stone and tree on his right and on his left responds with a (similar) Talbiyah, until the whole earth resounds with it.” [Ibn Khuzaymah]

Reflect on this call and the act of repeating Talbiyah loudly as well as its external and internal impact and how it is related to the call of the founder of this great rite, the intimate friend of Allah, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) عليه السلام when Allah The Almighty commanded him to call people and proclaim the message. Allah The Almighty promised him that He will convey his call to all people. Allah Says (what means):

{And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.} [Qur’an, 22: 27]

It means: announce Hajj to mankind and call them to perform Hajj to this House which We have commanded you to build. It was said that Ibrahim عليه السلام said, “O Lord, how can I convey this to people when my voice will not reach them?’’ It was said, “Call them and We will convey it.” So Ibrahim عليه السلام stood up (on his place, or on the Black Stone, or on (the mountain of) As-Safa or on (the mountain of) Abu Qubays and said, “O mankind! Your Lord has established a House so come for pilgrimage to it.’’ It is said that the mountains lowered themselves so that his voice would reach all the corners of the earth, and those who were still in their mothers’ wombs and their fathers’ loins would hear the call. The response came from everything that heard him, from stones, trees, and those whom Allah has decreed will make Hajj, until the Day of Resurrection: “We answer your call, O Allah, we answer your call.” [Ibn Katheer]

It is the slogan of declaring identity. It also indicates that this rite is universal and brings happiness to all creatures, that all beings respond to it and that the Lord of all creatures and the whole universe blesses this rite.

It is the symbol of distinction which differentiates between the advocators of this great Divine rite and the advocators of other contrary earthly projects. It differentiates between this journey to which the whole existence responds and the human nature finds comfort in, and other projects which, if they do not clash, go against existence and are alien to the human nature.


Woman Of Courage: Lessons From The Story Of Hajar

By Bushra Wangde

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Muslims from all around the world flock to Makkah to perform Umrah and Hajj every year although many centuries back, you would not find a single person in the lonely valley of Makkah. Surrounded by rock mountains and with a bed of sand for ground, it offered no vegetation and no water. Yet, this was about to change.

The change was not brought about by a king or an army, but by a woman — a woman of exemplary faith and courage. This woman was none other than the wife of Ibrahim عليه السلام and the mother of Isma’eel عليه السلام, Hajar, may Allah have mercy on her. 

Let’s go back in time and get inspired by her story….

Ibrahim عليه السلام brought his wife and her son Isma’eel عليه السلام while she was suckling him to a place near the Ka’bah under a tree at the highest place in the mosque. In those days, there was no human being in Makkah nor was there any water. He placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and a small waterskin containing some water, and set out homeward.

Isma’eel’s mother followed him saying: “O Ibrahim! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him: “Has Allah commanded you to do so?” 

He said: “Yes.” 

She said: “Then He will not neglect us.” 

She returned while Ibrahim عليه السلام proceeded onwards. 

Having reached the Thaniya, where they could not see him, he faced the direction of the Ka’bah, raised his both hands and supplicated:

“O our Rubb! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) in order, O our Rubb, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.” (Qur’an, 14:37).

Isma’eel’s mother went on suckling Isma’eel عليه السلام and drinking from the water which she had. When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She looked at Isma’eel عليه السلام, tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land.

She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from As-Safa, and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble till she crossed the valley and reached Mount Al-Marwa where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) seven times. 

Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه‎‎ further related: 

The Prophet ﷺ said, “This is the source of the tradition of the Sa’y (i.e., the going of people between the two mountains). When she reached Al-Marwah (for the last time), she heard a voice and she exclaimed: ‘Sh sh!’ (Silencing herself) and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said: ‘O (whoever you may be) You have made me hear your voice; have you any succour for me?’ And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or with his wing), till water flowed out from that place. 

She started to make something like of a basin around it, using her hands in this way and began to fill her waterskin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out until she had scooped some of it.” 

The Prophet ﷺ further said, “May Allah bestow mercy on Isma’eel’s mother! Had she let the Zamzam flow without trying to control it (or had she not scooped in that water) while filling her water-skin, Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” The Prophet ﷺ further added, “Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. 

The angel said to her: ‘Do not be afraid of being neglected, for this is the site on which the House of Allah will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah will never neglect His people.’ The House of Allah (the Ka’bah) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. 

She continued living in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum passed by her and her child. As they were coming from through the way of Kada’, in the lower part of Makkah where they saw a bird that had a habit of flying around water and not leaving it. 

They said: ‘This bird must be flying over water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came towards the water.”

The Prophet ﷺ added, “Isma’eel’s mother was sitting near the water. They asked her: ‘Do you allow us to stay with you?’ She replied: ‘Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed to that.” The Prophet ﷺ further said, “Isma’eel’s mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them. 

“The child (i.e., Isma’eel) grew up and learnt Arabic from them, (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty, they gave him one of their daughters in marriage.” (Al-Bukhari, no. 1867)

Lessons from Hajar

1. Hear and obey

One of the most inspiring things about Ibrahim عليه السلام was that he carried out his duty without any delay. He was commanded by Allah to leave his family in Makkah and he did so. In the same way, we need to learn to follow the commands of Allah and fulfill his obligations without hesitation, In sha’ Allah.

2. Allah is the Most Wise

It would have been heartbreaking for Ibrahim عليه السلام to leave his family all alone in a desert, that too without any protection! Yet he did it.  Allah is the Most Wise, as by this sacrifice of Ibrahim عليه السلام and Hajar, Allah brought out the stream of Zamzam, made Makkah a flourishing city, and made Muslims follow the footsteps of Ibrahim and Hajar both, during Hajj and Umrah, subhanAllah

We don’t know ultimately what is good or bad for us. An accident may actually be a blessing in disguise, and a blessing a trial for us. Only Allah has full knowledge of all things.  

3. Don’t think too much! Just do it! 

Some things are more difficult than the others. If something is difficult we will find as many excuses as possible not to do it. We will complain, argue, keep questioning… “It’s too hot to wear a Hijaab!” “beard is for the elderly!”, “what if they make fun of me?” 

When Ibrahim عليه السلام was commanded he did not once question, “Why?”, nor did he complain. He obeyed Allah and did what he was told to do. Nor did Hajar question or complain or lament. Both knew it was a command from Allah, and became content with it, because they knew Allah would not neglect them while they are being obedient towards Him. 

This is a special characteristic we need to cultivate within ourselves. Whether the command is difficult or easy, let’s do it without falling into the whispers of shaytaan. 

4. Have Tawakkul upon Allah

The only supplies that Hajar had were a bag of dates and some water. How long was it going to last? Not only that, even Ibrahim left her on her own with an infant in a desert. She was devastated at first when she saw Ibrahim leaving! She followed him and tried to know what was he doing and why? 

When she heard it was the command of Allah she was at rest. Her faith was profound in Allah, and knew that Allah would never neglect them. She put her complete trust and reliance upon Allah, knowing that Allah would take care of them in this desert. And He did in the best of ways. SubhanAllah!. Stronger the faith, greater is the reward. 

5. Your patience will be rewarded 

Ibrahim and Hajar had to go through a very difficult trial. Ibrahim عليه السلام had to leave his wife and son in the desert, and Hajar with her infant son had to survive the desert alone. Yet, both did not lose hope, and showed patience during the difficulty. And Allah rewarded them for their patience in a way that they would not have ever imagined. 

Allah send down Jibreel عليه السلام to relieve her from her distress, who dug the earth, from which came Zamzam, flowing till today. Allah made them a role model for us to follow. 

5. Make du’aa

Have trust in Allah, have faith in Him, have patience, but also make du’aa. A believer’s weapon is his du’a, through which he can open doors. After Ibrahim عليه السلام left his family, he made du’aa to Allah:

“Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.” (14:37) 

6. Action!

Having tawakkul is not enough. We need to act too. Hajar did not simply sit there for Allah to provide for her but made her own effort too. She ran between Safa and Marwa seven times, looking for water, after which Allah made the waters of Zamzam flow for her. 

Anas رضي الله عنه‎‎ reported that a person asked the Prophet ﷺ: “Should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have Tawakkul?” Rasool Allah ﷺ replied, “Tie her and have Tawakkul.” (At-Tirmidhi)

7. Keep doing good deeds

Make the effort to do good deeds even if they are small, and be sincere while doing them, because you never know which action will be accepted by Allah and will be so pleasing to Him that it may become a source of great reward in the future.

8. Allah is Almighty and All-Powerful

Allah can do anything. All we need is to have strong faith in Him. If Allah could bring out Zamzam from a desert, will He not help you in the most adverse situations? Will He not make things easy for you? Yes He will and He can, be cause Allah is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and can do anything. SubhanAllah! 

9. Having a good opinion about Allah

“Why me?!” “What have I done to deserve this?” 

These are some common reactions when we face a trial. Is it not better for us to have patience and think good about Allah? Is it not known to us that Allah only does what is good for us? We should always keep a good opinion of Allah, whatever circumstances we might fall in. That’s what Hajar did — when calamity hit she said: “Allah will not neglect us.” 

Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه‎‎ related that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah says, ‘I am as My servant thinks of Me. If he thinks good of me then so it shall be, and if he thinks ill of me then so it shall be.’” (Ahmad)

10. Allah looks after His servants 

Allah is our Rabb, the Nurturer,the Nourisher, the Caretaker and He will never leave us alone when we are facing a trial. He will open doors, make things easy and will lead you to a path. He was the one who looked after Hajar and Isma’eel when Ibrahim left the valley. He was the One who quenched the thirst of Hajar and Isma’eel, who honored Hajar and made Isma’eell a prophet. And we think we are alone? Absolutely not! 

11. You are not alone

We are not alone when we face a trial or a calamity. Everyone goes through something or the other. If someone loses a job, then some other might have lost his beloved one. Nobody is exceptional. Even the prophets faced trials as we see in the case of Ibrahim عليه السلام and Hajar. So let’s face every trial with patience, faith and remain steadfast and let our faith not waver in a storm In sha’ Allah.


HISTORY

Hajj In 1860s: How The Journey Was For Indian Pilgrims

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Hajj pilgrims from India disembarking at Jeddah, 1940. Picture for illustration purposes only. – Royal Geographical Society/Gerald de Gaury

TO perform Hajj once in a lifetime has been the dream of believers for centuries. When we look at the difficulties they went through for this journey — when there were no trains, let alone airplanes —, we may well shake our heads in disbelief that such times actually existed.

We share an excerpt from a well-cited book (see reference) that shows how a typical Hajj journey was for Indian pilgrims in the 1860s during British rule. While there are several travelogues and personal accounts from that era, this gives a good summary in a few words:

“…most pilgrims had been preparing—both financially and mentally—for this journey for years, if not decades. This was necessary too as, apart from the expenses involved, the Haj from South Asia continued to be extremely arduous even after the use of steamships had become quite common. The hardships along the way are perhaps comparable only to those experienced by indentured labourers from the Subcontinent travelling to the Caribbean islands. Some idea of these hardships can be gained if we imagine a hypothetical male pilgrim setting off from somewhere in north India, and reconstruct all the various stages in his journey.

“Our hypothetical Haji would have been required to make the journey to Bombay in the first instance—this journey had become easier with the coming of railways, but till at least the end of the nineteenth century, only major cities and towns had been connected to the network, and pilgrims were forced to make long treks and had to travel on bullock carts and ferries. Once in the city of Bombay, the only port of departure during most years, our pilgrim would have been obliged to obtain a ticket through shipping agents or brokers. This was a difficult process as brokers and agents had a reputation for being notorious swindlers and thugs.

“On successfully negotiating this hurdle, he would have to patiently await his ship’s departure. The time of departure printed on his ticket was virtually meaningless, as no ship ever left Bombay without postponing its departure at least once or twice; in certain cases, pilgrims were forced to wait longer than a month. As European shipping companies in the pilgrim trade were left completely unchecked in their operations, pilgrim vessels were free to wait as long as they did not obtain an adequate number of passengers.

“This, without exception, meant enough pilgrims to swamp all decks, leaving barely enough space for them to fit themselves in. Immediately before departure, however, our pilgrim would also be required to visit the medical camp at the port, where he would be cursorily examined by the doctor while his luggage was steamed and disinfected. He would perhaps also apply for a pilgrim’s passport at the port, though this was not compulsory. Once the ship’s departure had been announced, he would have to find his way through the throng of Hajis, brave the cordon of policemen brandishing and using their batons with complete indiscretion, and find enough space to lodge himself in.

“The ship would then lurch on its course, stopping briefly at Karachi to pick up more passengers and at Aden to load or unload coal or other cargo before finally dropping anchor at the island of Kamaran. Our pilgrim, already emaciated and exhausted from nearly a month’s journey in extremely insanitary conditions and having survived on very limited rations, was now forced to prepare himself for quarantine. Not that there was any time for preparations: his luggage would be tossed into a dinghy and rowed to the island to be disinfected once more, after which he would be moved into one of the quarantine huts. [Due to an outbreak of cholera at the time, and most European states blaming Indian pilgrims for the same, such extra safety measures were introduced – editor.]

“The forced encampment at the quarantine station could last for anything between a fortnight and a couple of months, depending on the discovery or otherwise of contagion amongst pilgrims. Every case of illness was therefore watched anxiously by the entire contingent, and every confirmed case of cholera caused great distress and misery. Once they managed to obtain their release, pilgrims would return to their ships and travel to Jeddah, where they usually joined a caravan of Hajis moving towards Mecca. This could take another fortnight or slightly less. Our pilgrim would then perform his long and anxiously awaited Haj. He would perhaps stay in Mecca for a week or more, like most other pilgrims, after which he would trek—or travel on camelback if he was a prosperous pilgrim—to Medina with another caravan. Subsequently, he made another trip back to Jeddah. The entire journey took no less than four months, and in most cases much longer. […]

“On their return from Mecca, pilgrims were accorded the honorific title of Haji and this became the preferred mode of addressing them. Many successful pilgrims in Egypt painted scenes from the Haj on the walls of their houses to announce their elevated status to the rest of the community; their counterparts in India hung framed photographs, certificates or scenes from Mecca in their houses to achieve a similar effect.[…]

“Many also profited from the commercial opportunities that the trip presented, and mixed the spiritual and the commercial in such a way that their earnings along the way paid for the trip’s expenses. A large number of travellers were also motivated by purely commercial aims, and this was reflected to an extent in the large proportion of Indian traders and shopkeepers residing permanently in Mecca.”

Ref: Mishra, S. (2011). Pilgrimage, politics, and pestilence: The Haj from the Indian subcontinent, 1860-1920. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.


History Of Hajj: And What The Pilgrimage Means

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HAJJ literally means ‘to set out for a place‘. Islamically however it refers to the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Makkah with the intention of performing certain religious rites in accordance with the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Hajj and its rites were first ordained by Allah in the time of the Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] عليه السلام and he was the one who was entrusted by Allah to build the Ka’bah – the House of Allah – along with his son Ismaa’eel [Ishmael] at Makkah. Allah described the Ka’bah and its building as follows:

“And remember when We showed Ibrahim the site of the [Sacred] House [saying]: Associate not anything [in worship] with Me and purify My House for those who circumambulate it [i.e. perform tawaaf] and those who stand up for prayer and those who bow down and make prostration [in prayer etc.].” [Surah Al-Hajj, 22:26]

After building the Ka’bah, Ibrahim عليه السلام would come to Makkah to perform Hajj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son. However, gradually with the passage of time, both the form and the goal of the Hajj rites were changed. As idolatry spread throughout Arabia , the Ka’bah lost its purity and idols were placed inside it. Its walls became covered with poems and paintings, including one of Jesus and his mother Maryam and eventually over 360 idols came to be placed around the Ka’bah.

During the Hajj period itself, the atmosphere around the sacred precincts of the Ka’bah was like a circus.

Men and women would go round the Ka’bah naked, arguing that they should present themselves before Allah in the same condition they were born. Allah had not commanded anything of that sort.

Their prayer became devoid of all sincere remembrance of Allah and was instead reduced to a series of hand clapping, whistling and the blowing of horns.

Even the Talbiyah [1] was distorted by them with the following additions: ‘No one is Your partner except one who is permitted by you. You are his Master and the Master of what he possesses’.

Sacrifices were also made in the name of God. However, the blood of the sacrificed animals was poured onto the walls of the Ka’bah and the flesh was hung from pillars around the Ka’bah, in the belief that Allah demanded the flesh and blood of these animals.

Singing, drinking, adultery and other acts of immorality was rife amongst the pilgrims and the poetry competitions, which were held, were a major part of the whole Hajj event. In these competitions, poets would praise the bravery and splendour of their own tribesmen and tell exaggerated tales of the cowardice and miserliness of other tribes. Competitions in generosity were also staged where the chief of each tribe would set up huge cauldrons and feed the pilgrims, only so that they could become well-known for their extreme generosity.

Thus the people had totally abandoned the teachings of their forefather and leader Ibrahim عليه السلام. The House that he had made pure for the worship of Allah alone, had been totally desecrated by the pagans and the rites which he had established were completely distorted by them. This sad state of affairs continued for nearly two and a half thousand years. But then after this long period, the time came for the supplication of Ibrahim to be answered:

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them your aayaat (verses) and instruct them in the book and the Wisdom and sanctify them. Verily you are the ‘Azeezul-Hakeem [the All-Mighty, the All-Wise].” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:129]

Sure enough, a man by the name of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ﷺ was born in the very city that Ibrahim عليه السلام had made this supplication centuries earlier. For twenty-three years, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ spread the message of Tawheed [true monotheism] – the same message that Ibrahim and all the other Prophets came with – and established the law of Allah upon the land. He expended every effort into making the word of Allah supreme and his victory over falsehood culminated in the smashing of the idols inside the Ka’bah which once again became the universal centre for the worshippers of the one True God.

Not only did the Prophet rid the Ka’bah of all its impurities, but he also reinstated all the rites of Hajj which were established by Allah’s Permission, in the time of Ibrahim عليه السلام. Specific injunctions in the Qur’an were revealed in order to eliminate all the false rites which had become rampant in the pre-Islamic period. All indecent and shameful acts were strictly banned in Allah’s statement:

“There is to be no lewdness nor wrangles during Hajj.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:197]

Competitions among poets in the exaltations of their forefathers and their tribesmen’s’ achievements were all stopped. Instead, Allah told them:

“And when you have completed your rites [of Hajj] then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers; nay with a more vigorous remembrance.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:200]

Competitions in generosity were also prohibited. Of course, the feeding of the poor pilgrims was still encouraged as this was done in the time of Ibrahim عليه السلام but Allah commanded that the slaughtering of the animals which was done for this purpose should be done seeking the pleasure of Allah rather than fame and the praise of the people. He said:

“So mention the name of Allah over these animals when they are drawn up in lines. Then, when they are drawn on their sides [after the slaughter], eat thereof and feed the beggar who does not ask, and the beggar who asks.” [Surah al-Hajj 22:36]

As for the deplorable practice of spattering blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of the Ka’bah and hanging their flesh on alters, then Allah clearly informed them that:

“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is Taqwaa (piety) from you that reaches Him.” [Surah al-Hajj 22:37]

The Prophet ﷺ also put a stop to the practice of circling the Ka’bah in a state of nudity and the argument that the pagans put forward to justify this ritual was sharply rebutted in Allah’s question:

“Say: Who has forbidden the adornment [i.e. clothes] given by Allah which He has produced for His Slaves?” [Surah al-A’raaf 7:32]

Another custom which was prohibited through the Qur’an was that of setting off for Hajj without taking any provisions for the journey. In the pre-Islamic period, some people who claimed to be mutawakkiloon (those having complete trust in Allah) would travel to perform Hajj begging food the whole journey. They considered this form of behaviour a sign of piety and an indication of how much faith they had in Allah. However Allah told mankind that to have sufficient provisions for the journey was one of the preconditions for making Hajj. He said:

“And take a provision [with you] for the journey, but the best provision is at-Taqwaa (piety).” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:197]

In this way, all the pre-Islamic practices, which were based on ignorance, were abolished and Hajj was once more made a model of piety, fear of Allah, purity, simplicity and austerity. Now, when the pilgrims reached the Ka’bah, they no longer found the carnivals and the frolic and frivolity that had once occupied the minds of the pilgrims there before. Now, there was the remembrance of Allah at every step and every action and every sacrifice was devoted to Him alone. It was this kind of Hajj that was worthy of the reward of paradise, as the Prophet said: “The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than paradise.” [2]

May Allah grant us all the ability to visit His House and perform the Hajj in the manner of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Aameen.

Footnotes

1 Labbaik Allahumma labbaik… This is the chant which the pilgrims say when they are going around the Ka’bah.

2 Saheeh al-Bukhari (Eng. trans. Vol. 3 p. 1 no 1)

This article has been taken from: “The Call To Allah magazine”, (Vol. 1 Issue 4)


Ibn Al-Mubarak’s Hajj Story Will Leave You Amazed

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ABDULLAH ibn al-Mubarak (d. 181H) is one of the finest examples of excellence to have lived in our history. He was a scholar, worshipper, soldier, businessman and philanthropist – and he excelled in all these roles.

Allah had blessed him with wealth and Hajj was an occasion he would generously spend during for the pilgrims. Al-Khatib reports in his Tarikh:

“When the time for Hajj came, the companions of Ibn al-Mubarak from Marw would gather around him and say ‘Let us accompany you.’ He would then say, ‘Bring your finances’ and he’d take it and put it in a box, locking it safely. Then he’d go out with them from Marw to Baghdad and he would not cease spending on them and giving them the best of foods and sweet dishes.

“Then they’d leave Baghdad with the best of clothes and appearances until they’d reach the City of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) where he’d say to each one of them, ‘What have your children asked that you purchase for them from the beauties of Madinah?’ They would say such-and-such thing (and he’s purchase it for them, one by one). Then they’d leave for Makkah, and when they’d fulfil their duties he’d say to each one of them, ‘What have your children asked that you purchase for them from the delights of Makkah?’ They would say such-and-such thing, and he would buy it for them.

“They would then leave Makkah and he never stopped spending on them until they reached Marw where he would decorate their homes and doors. After three days, he would hold a feast for them and clothe them until they ate and became delighted, then he would call for the box (which contained their wealth). He would then open it and give back every man his wealth, each with his name on it.” (Tarikh Baghdad)

Not going for Hajj one year

The above appears to have been his norm. However, in one particular year, he could not complete his journey and the story of what happened has left readers awe-inspired for over a thousand years.

In ‘Tartib al-Madarik’ Qadhi ‘Iyad mentions a particular incident concerning Ibn al-Mubarak as he was making his way to Hajj (pilgrimage).

He reports that ‘Abdullah entered Kufa and saw a young woman plucking a dead duck. Since it is impermissible to consume dead meat, he asked her if it was sacrificed. She replied that it was not. “Then why are you plucking it?” He said. She replied, “So that my family and I can eat it.” He informed her that it was not permissible to do so, and so she said, “Go away.”

In a narration mentioned by Ibn Kathir, she said, “My brother and I have only one piece of clothing. We have no food except what we find thrown in the dumps. Carrion has become permissible for us to consume for a number of days now (due to severe poverty). Our father was a rich man but his wealth was taken from him oppressively and he was killed.”

He asked regarding her family’s whereabouts and she informed him. He hired a man to take him there and when he found the house, he released his riding animal and gave it to the household along with all the goods that were on it.

In Ibn Kathir’s narration, it mentions that he handed over most of the money he had to the young woman (money that was provision for his Hajj), keeping only what was sufficient for his journey back to his land, Marw. He gave his provisions away to the impoverished family saying, “This is better for us than our (supererogatory) Hajj this year.”

When his companions returned from Hajj, they came to congratulate him on fulfilling his Hajj too. He said, “I did not go this year…” One of them said, “Subhan’Allah! Did I not leave my possessions with you whilst we were at Mina and on our way to ‘Arafat?” Another one said, “Likewise, didn’t you buy things for me?” He turned to them saying, “I do not know what you are saying. As for myself, I did not go on Hajj this year.”

Later that night, he had a dream wherein a voice called out to him saying, “Rejoice O’ Abdullah! Allah has accepted your act of charity and He sent an angel in your form to carry out the Hajj on your behalf.” (Tartib al-Madarik, by Qadi ‘Iyad. See also Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir)

Ref: Yahya, F. (n.d.). The Life Of Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak.


Rare Pictures: Hajj in 1885

These rare – perhaps the oldest existing – pictures have been attributed to Makkan photographer Abdul Ghaffar and Dutchman Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje who had come to Makkah and embraced Islam. (Archived by Leiden University Library)

View of Ka’bah

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Prayer at Masjid al-Haram

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View of Makkah

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View of Makkah

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View on the eastern part of the Mina valley

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View on the western part of the Mina valley

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A pilgrim tent camp to the east of Mount Arafat

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Muzdalifa

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A pilgrim tent camp at Mount Arafat

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Pilgrims camp east of Mount Arafat

“And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.”[Qur’an, 22: 27]


Stories From Hajj Of The Sahabah & The Righteous

By Rahla Khan

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IT is reported that Umar Bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه once came out and saw a traveling party and asked, “Who is this traveling party?” They replied, “Pilgrims (on Hajj).” He asked them three times, “And nothing else has brought you forth?” They replied, “Nothing else.” He said, “If the travelers (on Hajj) knew who they were coming to, they would feel the delight of having great virtue after forgiveness (from Allah). By He in whose hand is Umar’s soul, never does (the pilgrim’s) camel raise its hoof and place it back down except that Allah raises (the pilgrim) in rank, forgives one of his sins and writes for him a good deed.” (Al-Musannaf, 5:4,5)

There are many stories of the our righteous predecessors and their successors (Tabi’oon) who were constantly conscious of the magnitude of Hajj, and its implications for their worldly life and the Hereafter.

* The Companion Hakim Bin Hizam رضس الله عنه used to stand in Arafat bringing 100 camels and 100 slaves. Once there, he would set free the slaves for the sake of Allah causing the people gathered there to take lessons from his act of piety and increase their du’a saying, “O Allah! Your slave has freed his slaves, and we too are Your slaves, so free us (from the Hellfire).”

* Al-Fudhayl Bin Iyadh رحمه الله saw the supplications of people and their weeping on the night of Arafat and asked the crowds, “If these people went to a man and asked him for a Daaniq (a very small amount of money), would he refuse?” The people said, “No.” He said, “The forgiveness of Allah is even easier to obtain than that.”

* Abdullah Bin Al-Mubarak رحمه الله said that he went to Sufyan Ath-Thawri رحمه الله on the night of Arafat and he was kneeling down and crying. He asked him (Sufyan), “Who is the worst person in this gathering?” He said, “He who thinks Allah will not forgive him.”

* Al-Hussain Bin Al-Hasan Al-Maruzi asked Sufyan Bin Uyainah, “What is the best supplication for the Day of Arafah?” He said, “La ilaha illAllahu wahdahu la sharika lahu.” He narrates: “I said, ‘But this is glorification of Allah and His praise, and it is not a du’a.” Thereupon Sufyan said, “Don’t you know the hadith of Malik Bin Al-Harith which explains it?” I said to him, “Tell me about it.”

He said, “Mansur narrated from Malik Bin Al-Harith that he said Allah The Almighty, says: ‘If a servant of Mine occupies himself in extolling and praising Me instead of asking Me for his needs I give him better than what I give to those who ask for their needs.’” Then he added, “This explains the saying of the Prophet ﷺ‎.”

Our predecessors realized the magnitude of their journey, remained focused on its purpose, reminded each other and encouraged those in their company towards acts of worship and righteousness. As a result they went back with more than just memories, and went on to live and teach others by the benefits and blessings they had witnessed and gained during the Hajj.


Journey Of Hajj Through The Eyes Of Non-Muslims

By Rahla Khan

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MOST prominent TV channels have special coverage of the Haj pilgrimage, and thousands of viewers from all over the world tune in to Saudi TV’s live broadcast of the pilgrimage through satellite channels and the Internet.

The sight of hundreds of thousands of believers from every nation of the world, united in their intention and actions, dressed in the same simple, unstitched white garments, calling out the Talbiyah (Here I am O Allah, Here I am!) going through the various stages and rituals of the Haj has been known to move even the most apathetic of viewers.

The curiosity generated by the Haj is not a new phenomenon, it is said that Ludovico di Varthema, an Italian traveler entered Arabia under the name of Yunus from Damascus, and made the journey to Makkah and Medina disguised as a Mamluk escort of a Haj caravan (1503 CE). He described the chief pilgrim sites with great accuracy, piquing the interest of others.

Centuries later, Sir Richard Burton described the same journey in his ‘Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madina and Makkah’ (1853 CE). Addressing the question of how ethical it was for him to masquerade as a believer in order to gain entry into Islam’s holiest sites, he wrote: “The fact is, there are honest men who believe that Al-Islam with its capital tenets approaches much closer to the faith of Jesus (peace be upon him) than do the Pauline and Athanasian modifications, which in this day and age have divided the Indo-European mind into Catholic and Roman, Greek and Russian, Lutheran and Anglican[…] Practically, a visit after Arab Makkah to Anglo-Indian Aden with its “priests after the order of Melchisedek” suggested to me that the Moslem (sic) may be more tolerant, more enlightened, more charitable than many societies of self-styled Christians.”

There are several verses of the Qur’an that indicate that the Haj has signs and benefits for humanity as a whole, which point to the truth of Islam, and that the Haj rituals have been prescribed so that “they [people] may witness the benefits (provided for them), and to celebrate the Name of Allah…” (22:28).

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) in his explanation of this verse said, “This means benefits in the world and the Hereafter.” In his exegesis of this verse, Abdullah Yusuf Ali says: “There are benefits both for this, our material life and for our spiritual life. Of the former kind, are those associated with intercourse, which furthers trade and increases knowledge. Of the latter kind are the opportunities of realizing some of our spiritual yearnings in sacred associations that go back to the most ancient times. Of both kinds may be considered opportunities which the pilgrimage provides for strengthening our international brotherhood.”

Interestingly, some non-Muslim writers have attempted to go beyond the physical and visual ‘spectacle’ aspect of the Haj, in an attempt to understand its spiritual significance for Muslims and its underlying message to the rest of humanity.

In ‘Understanding the Islamic Experience’, John Renard writes: “No community of faith has developed a stronger sense of pilgrimage’s literal and symbolic centrality than has Islam […] Haj epitomizes their sense of identity as a unique community of faith[…] Islam has thought of itself as both a “middle community” and an unswervingly centered community […] Perhaps more than any other tradition of Islamic tradition, pilgrimage symbolizes the community and equality of persons before God, and embodies the intense longing many Muslims feel for a humanity healed (of) its divisions.”

The fact that non-Muslim authors have taken the road to understanding as opposed to outright antagonism and apathy in the past might seem incongruent and out of place in our tumultuous times, when there is so much ignorance and deliberate misinformation perpetrated about Islam.

However, this is the need of the hour – to invite fair-minded, unbiased people to examine and understand the precepts and practice of Islam – so that a clear, unbiased picture emerges instead of the grotesque caricature that is passed off these days.


SCIENCE

Why Zamzam Water Is Miraculous And Special

By Bushra Wangde

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EVERY Muslim is aware of the miracle of Zamzam and how it came into being. Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام surely did not know the wisdom behind leaving his wife and his only son in a deserted valley without plants or water. Nor did Hajar, may Allah have mercy on her, know that Allah had a special reward in store for her because of the profound faith and patience she showed.

Hajar had only minimal supplies. She had a bag of some dates and a waterskin containing a little water. They soon ran out, after which she and her son Isma’eel عليه السلام became thirsty. Unable to see her little son Isma’eel in agony, she climbed the mountains Safa and Marwa, running to and fro leading up to seven times, desperate in search of some help.  

One of the best angels, Jibreel عليه السلام was sent to relieve her from her distress. He started to dig the ground with his heel (or wing) from where water gushed forth – the blessed water of Zamzam. Let’s try to know more about this blessed water that we have been gifted by Allah.

Where does Zamzam water come from

According to Arab historians, the well of Zamzam — except for a few periods when it became dry or was buried under the sand — has been in use for around 4000 years, Subhan Allah!

The important question is: where does it come from? 

Makkah is built on a mass of igneous rock, and due to the process by which they form, these rocks have no pores. Partial melting of the minerals which comprise the rock cause any existing pores to close up. Science tells us that water reservoirs can only exist in rocks that are highly porous and permeable. 

Geologist Dr Zaghloul Al-Najjar, head of The Committee of Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah, states that this simple and great fact verifies the sanctity and holiness of the land. He said: “Allah in His infinite wisdom prepared for this water a special kind of surroundings that no other water has. It flows through long stretches of rock from which it gains its high mineral content — minerals that Allah knows are good for the body and soul of a man.” 

Dr Yahya Koshak, an expert on Zamzam in the Islamic world, said: “Zamzam is different from other wells. Its main source is not the valley. Its main source is the cracks in the rocks, seeping water from the mountains that surround Makkah.” 

Location of Zamzam water’s well

The well of Zamzam is hand-dug and is about 30.5m deep, with an internal diameter ranging from 1.08 to 2.66m. The well lies within Wadi Ibrahim, which runs through Makkah and taps groundwater from the Wadi Alluvium and to a much lesser extent, the underlying fresh bedrock. The well is now housed in a basement room protected by glass panels that allow a clear view of the well.

Scientific proof of the hadeeth of Zamzam’s origin

The origin of the Zamzam water was a mystery until tunnels were dug around Makkah, where engineers and workers found hairline fractures in the solid mass of rock that stretched for kilometers in either direction through which Zamzam was seeping out. They revealed extensive fractures which could only be caused by a mighty impact. The Sunnah states that it is because of the strong blow with which Jibreel عليه السلام struck the earth that Isma’eel عليه السلام was able to drink.

Is Zamzam pure and healthy to drink?

Water that is stored in the form of snow or ice on the mountains is known as the purest form of water. This water is marketed by brands such as Evian and is advertised as  water from the highest part of the French Alps. It has a high mineral content and purity, and a high percentage of bicarbonates (357mg/l).

Zamzam, on the other hand, contains 366 mg/l of bicarbonates, and is in fact the purest water on earth. A German scientist, Dr Knut Pfeiffer, head of the largest medical centre in Munich said: “Zamzam water is chemically pure.” 

Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyah said:

“Zamzam water is the best and noblest of all waters, the highest in status, the dearest to people, the most precious and valuable to them. It was dug by Jibreel and is the water with which Allaah quenched the thirst of Isma’eel.”

Scientist unable to crystallize Zamzam water

Japanese scientist Dr Masaru Emoto who has a special interest in crystallization of water, discovered that water coming from different lakes, ponds, etc. produced different crystals altogether. He continued this research on Zamzam water as well but astonishingly he couldn’t crystallize Zamzam. 

He said that when he diluted the water by 1,000 and froze it, he got a uniquely-shaped crystal. Two crystals were formed, one on top of the other, but they assumed a unique form, Subhan Allah! Every molecule of Zamzam is a miracle!

Zamzam free of contamination

Growth of algae or any sort of biological growth or vegetation is likely to be seen after some years on a well. This renders the water in the well unpalatable to drink, as growth of algae leads to a change in taste and odour. 

However, Zamzam is different from any other water, as no bacteria can form at its source. It doesn’t go mouldy nor does it change colour, taste or smell. 

Researchers have analyzed Zamzam water and examined the extent of its purity and found that it has a wonderful composition that makes it different from other drinkable liquids because it is naturally pure and sterile and has no germs in it. 

Positive energy from Zamzam

Dr Knut Pfeiffer says: “Zamzam water gives positive energy, energizes your cells and makes you healthier.” 

He conducted this research on 60 people, and took pictures of them before and after drinking Zamzam, and found that there was a great response on the energy fields in humans.

He said: “Zamzam water has something in it that is different to other waters, and what is in it is healing and helping your energetic systems, and your cell systems.”

Science proves Zamzam’s healing and medicinal properties

Muslims have always known about the healing nature of Zamzam. Now even science proves that Zamzam contains healing components.The water contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action.

Dr Knut Pfeiffer says: “Zamzam water is a liquid energetic medicine. In my opinion, it’s not just water, but a medicine.”

Zamzam water improves cellular function resulting in an improvement in health. 

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness.” [Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3302]

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“Myself and others tried seeking healing with Zamzam water and saw wondrous things. I sought healing with it from a number of illnesses, and I was healed by the permission of Allah. I saw someone who nourished himself with it for a number of days, half a month or more, and he did not feel hunger; he performed Tawaaf along with the other people just as they did. And he told me that he consumed nothing but Zamzam water for forty days and he had the strength to have intercourse with his wife, to fast and to perform Tawaaf numerous times.”

Zamzam is rich in minerals

Zamzam water has been proven to contain high levels of fluoride, Mg, Ca, Chloride, sulfate, nitrate and alkalinity when compared it with tap drinking water. The difference between Zamzam water and other (city water) is in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts. The content of these was slightly higher in Zamzam water. This is why Zamzam water refreshes tired pilgrims.

Zamzam can be substitute for food

Have you ever thought of living only on water? Do you think you could survive? Studies have proven that it is possible as long as water is used as a substitute for the food. This is called water fasting, and Zamzam can be used for it. 

It was reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet ﷺ said to Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه‎‎ who had stayed near the Ka’bah and its coverings for forty days and nights with no food or drink other than (Zamzam): “How long have you been here?” Abu Dharr t said: “I have been here for thirty days and nights.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Who has been feeding you?” He said, “I have had nothing but Zamzam water, and I have gotten so fat that I have folds of fat on my stomach. I do not feel any of the tiredness or weakness of hunger and I have not become thin.” The Prophet ﷺ said: “Verily, it is blessed; it is food that nourishes.” (Sahih Muslim, 2473).

Zamzam is whatever intended for

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” (Ibn Maajah, 3062) 

Scholars and righteous people have experienced this – they have drunk Zamzam with the intention of fulfilling some need such as healing from sickness or being freed from poverty and distress, and Allah fulfilled these hopes.   

Drinking Zamzam is a sign of faith

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

“You should have the intention of what you want to gain by drinking this water. He should drink his fill, i.e., fill his stomach with it until it is filled to the ribs, because this water is good. A hadeeth has been narrated concerning this: the difference between the believers and the hypocrites is drinking one’s fill of Zamzam water.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah in al-Manaasik, 1017; al-Haakim, 1/472).

Al-Boosairi said: “This is because Zamzam water is not sweet; it is somewhat salty, and the believer only drinks this somewhat salty water out of faith, believing that there is barakah (blessing) in it. So when he drinks his fill of it, this is a sign of faith.” (Sharh al-Mumti’, 7/377, 378, 379).

Health and medical benefits of drinking Zamzam

Increase number of platelets: Zamzam water fasting helps to increase blood platelets, increases the immunity of the body, increases WBCs, RBCs and detoxifies the body.

Weight loss: It reduces the impacts of hunger.

Weight gain: Regular intake of this amazing liquid helps to nourish the body and may also increase your body weight.

Increases eye beauty: Applying this water over your eyes helps to brighten the eyesight. Washing your eyes with this water is also helpful to cure many eye-related disorders.

Reduce acidity and heartburn: The water is alkaline in nature, which neutralizes the excess acid formed in the stomach thus beneficial for hyperacidity and heartburn.

Good for teeth: Zamzam water effectively increase tooth resistance against acid dissolution, therefore it is useful to harden enamel surface against dental caries. 

Drinking Zamzam gives courage and relieves anxiety

Alhamdulillah, Muslims are surely blessed by Allah, who caused Zamzam water to spring forth for us. Let me end with a story, which will give us true insight of Zamzam.

A woman called Layla al-Hilw from Morocco suffered from cancer. The doctors she consulted in Belgium failed to provide her with a cure for this deadly disease and told her husband to take her home to die. She and her husband decided to visit the Sacred House in Makkah where she drank her fill of Zamzam water -knowing it serves the purpose for which it is drunk-, wept a great deal, read the Qur’an and prayed to Almighty Allah to cure her. 

Her friends advised her to wash the upper part of her body which was filled with nasty swellings as a result of the breast cancer she was suffering from. One day, to her astonishment and great excitement, she found that Allah had cured her, Subhan Allah


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