HAJJ IS A SACRED JOURNEY TO MAKKAH

Hajj1

Generally pilgrims either follow or precede the hajj, “the greater pilgrimage,” with the umrah, “the minor or the lesser pilgrimage,” which is certified by the Holy Quran and was also performed by the Prophet (PBUH). The Umrah, unlike the hajj, takes place just in Makkah itself and umrah can be performed at any time throughout the year. The ihram, talbiyah and the limitations or restrictions required by the state of sanctification are equally necessary in the umrah, which also shares three other main rituals with the hajj: the tawaaf (circumambulation), saaee and shaving or clipping the head hair. The performance of the umrah by pilgrims and visitors symbolizes ibadah (worship) for the unique sacredness of Makkah.

Before or after going to Holy Makkah, pilgrims avail the opportunity provided by the umrah or the hajj to visit the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid-e-Nabwi) in Madina, the second holiest city in the history of Islam. Here. The visit to city Madina is not mandatory or obligatory, as it is not part of the umrah or hajj, but it is the city, which welcomed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when He migrated there from city Makkah, is rich in visiting memories and historical sites.

In this city, loved by Muslims for many centuries, people yet feel the effect of the Prophet (PBUH) life.  While making their tawaaf or circumambulation pilgrims may touch or kiss the Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone). This stone, first mounted in a silver frame back in the seventh century, has an extraordinary place in the hearts of all Muslims as, but perhaps the single most significant reason for kissing the hajr-e-Aswad is that the it is a Sunnah.

As pilgrims of diverse tongues and races return back to their homes, they carry with them cherished and exquisite memories of Hazrat Ibraheem (AS),Hazrat Ismaeel (AS), Bibi Hajra, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They return with a sense of serenity and awe: awe or fear for their experience at Arafaat, when they felt closest to ALLAH Almighty as they stood on the place where the Prophet (PBUH) delivered his last sermon during his first and final pilgrimage; serenity for having drop their sins on that plain, and being therefore relieved of a heavy burden.

They also return back with a better understanding of the situation of their brothers in the religion of peace, Islam.  Therefore is born a spirit of caring and kindness for others and an understanding of their own rich inheritance that will last all through their lives.

The pilgrims go back happy with joy and hope, for they have fulfilled ALLAH’S earliest injunction to all humanity to undertake the pilgrimage Hajj or umrah.  Above all, they return back to their homes with a prayer on their lips and in hearts.

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HAJJ AND ITS HISTORICAL VIEW

Hajj

The Hajj is based on a pilgrimage that was earliest even in the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the 7th Century. It is believed that Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) was ordered by ALLAH Almighty to leave His wife Bibi Hajra and His infant son Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) alone in the desert. Though he was gone, the infant became thirsty, and Bibi Hajra (AS) ran back and forth about seven times in searching of water for her son Hazrat Ismaeel (AS). The angel Hazrat Jibraeel (AS) digs his foot or the tip of his wing along the ground, and water amazingly sprang out. This source of water is well known as the Well of Zamzam.

The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is the major pilgrimage in the whole world, and is the last and the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious responsibility that should be carried out at least once in a lifetime by each and every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to perform it. The Hajj is an expression of the unity of the Muslim, and their submission to ALLAH Almighty.

The pilgrimage starts from the 8th to 12th day of Zil-Hijjah, the 12th and very last month of the Islamic calendar. Ihram is the name of getting in to the special state that Muslims have to carry while on the pilgrimage.

Prior to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) era, every year tribes from all across the Arabian Peninsula would unite on Makkah, as part of the pilgrimage. The precise imaan (faith) of the tribes was not important at that period, and Christian Arabs were as expected to make the pilgrimage same as the pagans. Muslim historians refer to the period before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as jahiliyyah, the “Days of Ignorance”, in which the Holy Kaaba contained hundreds of idols, totems of every of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, with many idols of pagan gods such as Hubal, al-Lat, Manat, Al-‘Uzzá, and also several representing Mary (Maryam) and Jesus (Isa).

 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was known to often perform the Umrah, even before Prophet (PBUH) began receiving revelations. Traditionally, Muslims would meet at different meeting points in other big cities, and then carry on towards Makkah, in groups that might contain tens of thousands of pilgrims. Two of the most well-known meeting points were in Damascus and Cairo.

 
In 631 CE, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) led his followers from city Medina to Makkah, it was the initial Hajj that is to be performed by Muslims unaccompanied. Prophet (PBUH) cleansed the Holy Kaaba and destroyed all the idols and also re-ordained the structure as the house of ALLAH Almighty. Performing Hajj was a dangerous journey for early pilgrims; Ibn Jubair noted the skeletons of the pilgrims who had died and lost their lives because of thirst during the sacred journey.

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Significance of Umrah in Ramadan Mubarak

Umrah

As other hadiths also exist that clearly mention that performing Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj, it should not the mandatory task for all muslims to perform Hajj as he is able to perform it. This is only to give additional value to the month of Ramadan to perform it.

There are different scholarly opinions on the significance of Umrah in Ramadan. Some scholars state that Umrah is also obligatory and the other scholars indicate that it is not mandatory but to do it is most good.

Verily similar to Hajj you cannot perform Umrah in Ramadan if you neglect your family and social obligations. Though you need to get more blessings in the month of Ramadan however you cannot neglect your families and other obligations of work and kin. You cannot neglect parents or children to go to Umrah in Ramadan.

Another mistake that many parents do is that they do take their children for Umrah but neglect their time and need in Umrah. You cannot neglect their needs at all; you should focus on it also.

We encourage parents to take their kids to Umrah with following certain obligations and activities to be more kind full. To give the Umrah experience to kids is a spectacular and unique trip for them and make a habit for them. Going to the holy place in the holy month is a milestone and a most memorable experience for children and acting in a good way.

Like to share with you some of the amazing stories that I have been able to accumulate over the years of that have finally been able to make that trip to Makkah in Ramadan. Ramadan is one of the most blessed months in the Muslim Calender of the whole year. It holds a special meaning, value and attributes significantly to the overall social and well being of the societies at all.

Ramadan has always been a sharing event among Muslims. Millions around the world take refuge with Allah from the evil and the bad characteristics in this month. Muslims all over the world pray to Allah and ask forgiveness of their sins. In the whole month Muslims fast and say prayers. The objective of all the prayers, worships and the fasting is for Allah. You want to ensure that you spend your time reading the Quran and being good to your kin and family and all the mankind.

Due to the importance of Ramadan, people want to anticipate in the beautiful procession of Umrah in this month. It is just adding or even multiplying your good deeds in the good actions. What a beautiful way to spend Ramadan to act well. Imagine the opportunity to be close to the holiest shrines and places during the holy month of ramadan. It is a rare opportunity and must be availed by people especially muslims across the world. I take pride in the fact that the loved meaning and significance of Umrah has captured by all muslims during Ramadan.

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HAJJ AN ACT TO GATHER MUSLIMS ACCROSS THE NATIONS

Hajj

The pilgrimage to Makkah incorporates in Muslim tradition two pagan rites celebrated by the Arabs, one linked with the circumambulation of the Hajr-e-Aswad Black Stone of the Kaabah in Makkah, and the other the pilgrimage to the mount of ‘Arafāt outside the city. The rites and rituals are performed in the 12th lunar month and now generally include a visit to nearby Madinah. The pilgrimage HAJJ may be described as a restricted obligation; it is incumbent only on Muslims with the essential means and the physical ability to reach Holy Makkah. However, it has remained a very important element in Muslim life all through the centuries and, even in the most complicated and difficult periods of history, attracted many pilgrims. Today, with improved infrastructure, increased travel within the Muslim world, and safety in the pilgrimage area, it has taken on new scope of cultural and even political importance.

Sacred city Makkah has become a meeting place for Muslims from the whole world, and extremely deep impression is made on several pilgrims by the reaffirmation of their imaan (faith) in company with co believers of every colour and nationality. The yearly re-enactment of the ceremonies and occasions, with the pilgrims as active participants and not simple onlookers, gives them a particularly moving character.

The returning pilgrim, who is allowed to add the title HAJI to his name, is the object of congratulations and admiration, but more significant perhaps is the feeling on the part of those who have remained at the home of ALLAH Almighty The Holy Kaaba that he brings with him an atmosphere of religiousness which is shared by all. At all times the societal function of the pilgrimage HAJJ to the sacred places has been to serve as a sacred journey to a common hearth fire from which the pilgrims might carry back the restored and renewed flame of Imaan (faith) to their own communities. In this logic, the pilgrimage HAJJ may be looked on as the complement of the fast (roza), for while the fast (roza) solidifies the bonds that hold together every community by a general sacrifice, the pilgrimage allows the members of the elites of extensively different groups and regions to engage in a religious group which strengthens the strongly ties between the different communities of Islam.

In some Muslim states, though (e.g., Turkey and Tunisia), where the sacred law of shariah has been abolished, the secularist orientation of their patriotism has led the governments to give confidence fast breaking in the interest of general national economic imperatives or to consider it a matter of own conscience.

The state of being financially and physically able of performing the Hajj is known as istita’ah, and a Muslim who fulfils this form is called a mustati. The Hajj is a expression of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to ALLAH Almighty.

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RECITE HOLY QURAN AND GET HELP IN EVERY MATTER OF LIFE

holy quran

The Holy Quran is a Sacred Book of ALLAH Almighty that is revealed on his Last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The believers of this sacred Manuscript are generally well-known as Muslims. Holy Quran not only consists of different stories from the Prophets and past nations, but also has Guidelines and Instructions which are equally applicable to all human beings that are living on the earth.

Apart from common teachings on way of life, Holy Quran also contains countless Ayahs (verses) which serve as enormous source of spiritual healing of soul and heart. Hence, everyone must consult the Holy Quran and also learn the Quran because it reminds a person about its dependence on ALLAH in every matter and aspect of life and that ALLAH is the Only One, Who can make everything right.

Some of the Ayahs (verse) of the Holy Quran that assist us in gaining the way of righteousness are going to share below.

  1. I)  Tranquillity of Mind with Reliance and Remembrance of ALLAH Almighty

Life in this world is not easy as one wishes it to be. Sometimes it offers great moments of joy and makes a person experience from hardships at other times. This is the way of spending life and ups and downs are also part of it. The need is just to remain firm on one’s faith in the Ultimate Power of ALLAH Almighty, and getting Assistance of ALLAH in the moments of adversity.

Verse 9:51 of Holy Quran;

Say, “Never will we be struck except by what ALLAH has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon ALLAH let the believers rely.

The above mentioned Ayah (verse) urges a true believer of Islam to consider every difficulty and complexity as a means of trial from the ALLAH Almighty, and rely on ALLAH all the time for attaining a way out of all sorts of problems. Remembrance of the Most Merciful is also another way of getting peace of mind in all types of bad times.

Verse 13:28 of Holy Quran

Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of ALLAH. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of ALLAH hearts are assured.

  1. ii)  Recompense for Every act done For ALLAH

There come times in life when a person thinks of its religious and other actions done for the sake of ALLAH Almighty as being not rewarded. The Islamic ideology concerning this delicate matter tells one to remain positive about its reward for good actions, as the life on this earth is temporary and a person could get its return in the hereafter. The ALLAH Almighty says in the Holy Quran, verse 76:22

[And it will be said], “Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.”

iii)  Be Grateful for All things that is Given by ALLAH

It is in the nature of human that it always looks at others wealth, possession, and pleasure in different matters of life like relationships, social status etc. and deterioration its own position in front of them. The feeling of ungratefulness is strictly prohibited by ALLAH, Who continuously directs His servants to be grateful for what they have in their lives:

“And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of ALLAH, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” [Holy Quran, 14: 34]

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