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Monday, September 2, 2013

SOME BENEFITS OF HAJJ

Praise be to Allah that made pilgrimage to His sacred house an obligation for his servants, that they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. Allah forgives whoever perform the pilgrimage without obscenity of sexual relations and disobedience all of his sins. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant of Allah and the best of the noble Messengers. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him (pbuh), his families, his companions till the day of reckoning before the Lord of majesty and glory. Thereafter, O servants of Allah, I urge you and I to fear Allah. It is a reason for safety from calamity and forgiveness of sins and abundance of provision and ultimately entry to the paradise. Allah say: { وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً, وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لا يَحْتَسِبُ } (الطلاق 2-3) And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out, And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him.. (65:2-3) O Muslims! Allah says: {وَأَذِّنْ فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالاً وَعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ , لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ ويَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللهِ في أيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ اْلأنْعَامِ }(الحج:27 - 28) 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. That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. (22: 27- 28) In the verse above, Allah elucidates He established pilgrimage and made it mandatory for His servants, that they may gain great benefits; known and unknown, and are of different types including worldly benefits, religious benefits, individual and collective benefits, which include the following: 1- Attainment of Piety: Piety is the goal of every matter and gatherer of every good. Hajj provides great opportunity to achieve that and attain its peak. Whoever reflects attentively on the verses of pilgrimage in the Holy Qur’an will discover a resounding repeat of the persuasion to possess piety in the hajj rites. Allah says: {الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ} ( البقرة 197) Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do - Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding. (2:197) {لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ }(الحج 37) Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. (22: 37) (ذَلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ}(الحج 32) That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols of Allah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts. (22: 32) {وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ} (البقرة 203). And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. Then whoever hastens [his departure] in two days - there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays [until the third] - there is no sin upon him - for him who fears Allah. And fear Allah and know that unto Him you will be gathered. (2: 203) Piety is achievable through performing the hajj rites and gaining closeness to Allah through various acts of righteousness, the impact of which remains so long as the person is honest and sincere to Allah, he gains Allah’s favour and success. This is the best benefit and the greatest of all for whom Allah guides to the honour of acceptance of his hajj rites. 2- Forgiveness of Sins: Part of the benefits is forgiveness of sins, whereby the pilgrim returns home clean and pure. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever performed the pilgrimage and had not sexual intercourse (in the state of ihram), nor acts of disobedience, returns from his sins (purified) as the day his mother gave birth to him” (Agreed upon) 3- Manumission from fire: The Prophet said: “There is no day in which Allah does manumits from fire as the day of ‘Arafah” (Muslim) 4- Gaining Paradise: On acceptance of the hajj of a person, Allah had promised to reward him with paradise as stated by the prophet (pbuh): “A righteous hajj (acceptable before Allah) has no other reward except paradise” (Agreed upon). (righteous hajj (acceptable before Allah) i.e: free from sinful acts, sincerely for Allah, and from lawful earning) 5- Abundant Rewards: There are abundant rewards for many acts of obedience done at the holy sites which cannot be found elsewhere such as manifold rewards for solat: The Prophet (pbuh) said: “A Prayer (offered) in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers elsewhere, except in the Sacred Mosque, and prayer at the Sacred mosque is better than one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere" (Imam Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others). Likewise, there is great rewards for circumambulation around the Ka’bah and for pointing to the two of its pillars. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever circumambulates the sacred house and observe two rak’ahs, he is like one who has set free a slave” From Ibn 'Ubayd bn 'Umayr from his father, he said: Ibn 'Umar used to crowd at the two pillars (of the Ka’bah) in a manner I have not seen any of the companion of the prophet (pbuh) did’ And I said: “O father of Abdur-Rahamaan, you do join in crowding at the two pillars in a manner I have not seen any of the companions of the prophet engaged in’ He replied: “If I do as such, verily I heard the Prophet (pbuh) saying: “Verily touching of the two (pillars) obliterate sins” And I also heard him saying: “Whoever circumambulate round this house for a week and calculate it, it is like freeing a slave” I also heard him saying: “He will not place a foot down and raise the other (while circumambulating) except that Allah cleanses him of his sins and record for him a good deed” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Majah) 6- Frequent Dhikr and Supplications: Upholding regular and frequent dhikr and prayers whereby it become habitual after the pilgrimage. Hajj entails dhikr and prayers whilst on the journey, or on stations, before and after various acts of worships and in all conditions. Whoever habituate dhikr in his life reaches the highest level and station of spirituality as expressly stated in various verses and hadiths specifically on hajj: { فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا}(200) سورة البقرة And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance. (2:200) {وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَات} (البقرة203) And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. (2: 203) { لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَات}(الحج28) That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days (22: 28) The Prophet said: “Circumambulation of the Ka’bah, the sa’y between Safaa and Marwah and throwing the pebbles were established for the remembrance of Allah” (Abu Dawud) And truly, many prayers were answered, many difficulties were made easy, and mistakes forgiven on the sacred land and during the hajj rites. 7- Directing the hearts to Allah: All what the Pilgrim devotes his mind towards in hajj including directing hearts to Allah, increasing in dhikr, chanting of the talbiyah etc, ensures sincerity and reverence to Allah. it makes one hasten to whatever draws one closer to Allah and desist from whatever leads to His wrath. This is the meaning of the Testimony of Faith in Isam- there is no god except Allah and prophet Muhammad is His messenger- ideologically, verbally and practically. Testimony of Faith has two parts; the first part reserves the exclusive right of worship in all its classifications including desire, apprehension, fear, hope, prayer, seeking help, for Allah (swt). While the second part reserves the absolute right of compliance for the messenger of Allah (pbuh), loving him, accepting his information, obedience to his command, desist from his warnings, and not to engage in any act of worship except with the recommended approach. The fulfillment of Testimony of Faith is manifested in the performing of the hajj rites and other acts of worship carried out. This without doubt is one of the greatest benefits a servant derives from hajj, worshipping God alone without joining partners with Him and abiding by the prophetic footsteps, the prophet said: “ that you should learn your hajj rites from me” (Muslim) It is therefore mandatory for a pilgrim to protect and not invalidate his covenant with his Lord after hajj, he should be cautious of shirk- associating partner with Allah, innovations, superstitions, so that he will backslide having tasted tawheed- monotheism, sincerity for Allah and compliance with the prophet (pbuh). 8- Reminder of the last day: Hajj reminds us of the last day; the standing before Allah on the day of judgement. The pilgrims stand with one feeling and aspiration, adorning a single kind of costume with bare heads, stripped of the worldly dresses and enjoyment, people of various races bonded by one emotion, gathered in one place, responding to the call of Allah. The illustration above is similar to the reality of the day of judgement, where people are gathered in a place, fearful, frightened and passionate, responding to Allah’s call from their graves for the day of accountability. This feeling injects the fear and consciousness of Allah and sincerity in the mind of the Pilgrim, in all his actions and as preparation for the day of return to God. It also assists in belittling of this worldly life, and being cautious of falling into its deceptions. Then, after the hajj, he assumes a better condition than he was, and he discharges his effort to work for the hereafter for the rest of his life. May Allah bless us all with the Qur’an and profit us all with the messages therein, having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving. THE SECOND SERMON Praise be to Allah alone. May peace and blessings be upon he that no other prophet succeeds, and his families and companions. Thereafter, O Servants of Allah, fear Allah and keep away from atrocious words and misleading temptations; seek Allah’s help with your actions and words in times of trials, you shall surely reach the peak of tranquility. O people, part of the darkest oppression is the killing of soul which Allah has forbidden except by right. When Islam came, it brought together the minds of the Arabs after series of aggression; it united their ranks after detestable segregation. Hence, the Islamic Arab society became peaceful; foes became friends and battles rested. This approach served as shield against bloodshed of the innocent souls. But suddenly, the Jews became alerted over this newly found unity and brotherhood initiated by Islam. They viewed it as a threat to their political and economic franchise. Hence, they lit the fire of disunity and hostility, in order to return Arabs in Madinah to their former state of disbelieve, where they killed one another. Let us refer to the Quranic lessons and historical records of this event: Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari reported from Zaid bn Aslam: Shas bn Qais (who was an aged man during the pre-islamic era, with great disbelief and vehement envy and hatred against Muslims) passed by a gathering of the companions comprising of the Aws and the Khazraj who were discussing together. He was greatly displeased with what he saw of harmony and sound relationship between them, in contrast to the hitherto situation of enmity in the pre-islamic era. He then said: “The people of the tribe of Qailah are united in this land! By Allah! We (Jews) will have no stability when they (Muslims) are united”. Then he instructed a Jewish youth who was with him saying: “Go after them, sit with them, remind them of the events of the day (of bu’aath) and the realities before that, rehearse to them some poetry used then in their argument ”… thereafter the jewish youth implemented the crafty assignment, and he was able to ignite the fire of tribalism, then the people argued and boasted of personal cum tribal pride, and they said to one another: “If you wish, by Allah, we respond with strength and might”. They both called for battle and weapons at a place known as Al-Harrah. The news reached the prophet, and he reached the battle field before them. The Prophet (pbuh) stood saying: “O Muslims! Allah! Allah! Do you now use the claim of the days of ignorance while I am present among you? After Allah had guided you to Islam, and honoured you with it. He also, through Islam, severed every link to ignorance, He saved you from disbelief through it (Islam), He joined your hearts by it (Islam), and do you want to return to the earlier state as disbelievers? Then, the people realized their act was satanic incitement, and the plots of their enemies. Consequently, they threw down the weapons, they wept, and embrace one another, and they left with the prophet, with absolute obedience. There was never a day like that which started ugly but ended beautiful. This verse was revealed on that event: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِنْ تُطِيعُوا فَرِيقًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ* وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ آَيَاتُ اللَّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ وَمَنْ يَعْتَصِمْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِيَ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ * يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ * وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آَيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُون} (آل عمران: 100- 103) “O you who have believed, if you obey a party of those who were given the Scripture, they would turn you back, after your belief, [to being] unbelievers.* And how could you disbelieve while to you are being recited the verses of Allah and among you is His Messenger? And whoever holds firmly to Allah has [indeed] been guided to a straight path.* O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].* And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” (3: 100- 103) Oh Allah descend peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations. O Allah accept the worship of the pilgrims of hajj and Umrah, and grant us all Your pleasure, And the last of our call will be, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!" O Allah deal accordingly with the coupists who spilled our blood, killed our brothers and sisters, inflicted difficulty our brothers in their nation. O Allah deal with the betrayers who betrayed the trust, the way You dealt with the People of ‘Aad and Thamud. O Allah deal with the traitors who murdered those praying while bowing and prostrating. O Allah, deal with the mischief makers who permitted the spilling of the blood of the peaceful innocent ones, O Allah rain on them Your punishment which is inevitable for the criminals and evil doers.,

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