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the Message Continues ... 10/101




Newsletter for January 2010


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Essentials of Faith--A Rose Garden of Myriad Colors

The Obligation of Hajj

  A Friday sermon by M. Owais Jafrey
Seattle, Washington

All religions reached their final culmination in the Message revealed to our beloved Prophet (May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him and his progeny). The Faith preached and practiced by the Last Prophet is total submission. Days and nights, weeks, months and years are all devoted to submission, prayers and Allah’s remembrance. As changing seasons give splendor to our physical world, likewise the inner world blossoms with inexpressible spiritual colors through different forms of worship the year round. For a Momin, there is an eternal spring, a rose garden, and a tulip festival within. Prophet (SAW)’s Deen and its perfect Shari’ah is a continuum of commands and worship. Not only do they purify the self, but they also serve as means towards achieving the higher and the most cherished goal, which is to seek closeness to Allah and win His love.

Salat is a great symbol to express our relationship and connection with Allah. Through humble submission, the Salat shields the Momin from all evils and empowers him to befittingly fulfill the religious obligations and worldly responsibilities. Allah says in verse 153 of Surah Al-Baqarah:

“You, who believe, seek help through steadfastness and prayer, for Allah is with the steadfast.”

Zakah assists the needy and the poor. It purifies our earnings and at the same time puts a check on our worldly indulgence. Allah says in verse 103 of Surah Tawbah:

“In order to clean and purify them [Prophet], accept a gift out of their property [to make amends] and pray for them --- your prayer will be a comfort to them. Allah is all hearing, all knowing.”

Saum / Fasting imparts training in self-control and brings a person closer to his Creator. It is an annual refresher course aimed at  disciplining the self to do good and to avoid what is bad.

Hajj is an obligation enjoined upon all able-bodied Muslims, who can afford to travel to Mecca once in their life time. They seek Allah’s pleasure through physical hardship and material sacrifice. It is a call to duty in the footsteps of our exalted Prophet Ibrahim (a) and the fulfillment of his tradition / Sunnah as mentioned in verse 27-29 of Surah Al-Hajj:

“Proclaim the Pilgrimage [Hajj] to all people. They will come to you on foot and on every kind of swift mount, emerging from every deep mountain pass to attain benefits and celebrate Allah’s name, on specified days, over the livestock He has provided for them -- feed yourselves and the poor and unfortunate – so let the pilgrims perform their acts of cleansing, fulfill their vows, and circle around the Ancient House.”

As soon as the Ramadhan is over, the sighting of the new moon sets forth the months of Hajj, which are Shawwal, Dhul Qui’dah and Zul Hijjah. Whoever wears the Ihraam during these months, Hajj becomes incumbent upon him. Verse 197 of Surah Al-Baqarah says:  

“The Pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehavior, or quarrelling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage – whatever good you do, Allah is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of Allah – Always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding…”

Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. It was proclaimed obligatory in verse 96-97 of Surah Al-Imran:

“The first House [of worship] to be established for people was the one at Makkah. It is a blessed place; a source where Ibrahim stood to pray; whoever enters it, is safe. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed to Allah by people who are able to undertake it. Those who reject this [should know that] Allah has no need of anyone. ”

Prophet (SAW) ordained: “Hajj is obligatory once in a life time. It is nafil for him, who performs it more than once. [Ahmad] He, while delivering a Khutbah said: “O people! Hajj has been made incumbent upon you, so perform Hajj.”

These three months are for Hajj preparation. Whoever can afford it, it is obligatory for him to perform it at the earliest. It is a sin not to perform it or defer it. Prophet (SAW) advised: “Hasten to perform Hajj, as circumstances are unpredictable.” He (SAW) meant that future problems may hinder its performance.  Human life is short and uncertain. Allah forbid, if some one passes away before performing Hajj, it will be a great set back and loss not to have fulfilled this obligation. Prophet (SAW) said: “The one who in spite of being able to perform Hajj does not perform it and dies in that state, it doesn’t matter if he dies as a Christian or a Jew.” This is a stern warning! Hence one shouldn’t defer and proceed for Hajj at the first available opportunity. Momin is a true lover of his Creator and a seeker of His pleasure, it is not possible for him to procrastinate, delay and not rush to fulfill Allah’s and His Messenger’s command.

Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), not commits sin, nor disputes unjustly (during Hajj), then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” 

He (SAW) also said: (The performance of) Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (accepted Hajj) is nothing but Paradise.” 

Preparation of the Hajj requires that a Momin should make sincere repentance for his sins, be mindful and fulfill his responsibilities and rights towards others. Salvation and entrance into Paradise depends solely on the acceptance of Hajj.  Prerequisites of an acceptable Hajj is that one should completely and totally abstain from sins and be good to people before, during and after Hajj. One should commit to the remembrance of Allah as much as possible and keep his intention focused on the requirements of Hajj and perform it with utmost sincerity. May Allah accept Hajj of those who have performed it, and enable those to perform it, who have not fulfilled this obligation yet.

Note: You can study other Friday Sermons by the Author at  his blog:







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