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The Inner Dimensions of Hajj

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Post The Inner Dimensions of Hajj   Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:19 pm

The Inner Dimensions of Hajj: excerpts from The Fundamentals of Islam
by Syed Abul Ala Maududi Nature of journey for HajjThe people of the world are usually aware of two kinds of journey.One journey is that which is made to earn livelihood. The second one is that which is undertaken for pleasure and sight-seeing.In
both [of] these journeys, a man is impelled to go abroad by his need
and desire. He leaves home for a purpose of his own, he spends money or
time for his own requirements, therefore, no question of sacrifice
arises in such a journey.But the position of this particular journey which is called Hajj is quite different from that of other journeys.This
journey is not meant to gain any personal end or any desire of Nafs. It
is intended solely for Allah, and for fulfillment of the duty
prescribed by Allah.No person can prepare
himself to undertake this journey until and unless he has love of Allah
in his heart as well as fear of Him, and feels strongly that the Fard
(obligation) ordained by Allah is incumbent on him.Therefore,
whosoever sets out for Hajj parting from his family and relatives for a
long period, allowing his business to suffer, spending money and
bearing the rigors of the travel, he furnishes by his act of devotion a
proof of the fact that there is in his heart fear of God and love for
Him as also a sense of duty.[It also
indicates] that he possesses the strength to leave his home, when
called upon to do so, for the cause of God, and that he can face
hardships and willingly sacrifice his wealth and comfort for the
pleasure of God.Inclination towards virtue and pietyWhen the pilgrim gets ready for the journey with this holy intention, his disposition assumes a different color.His
heart, which is aflame with exuberance of the love of God and which is
pulsating with a longing to visit His House, starts harboring only
virtuous thoughts.He does penance for past
sins, seeks forgiveness from people whom he might have wronged, tries
to render his due to others where necessary so as not to go to God's
court trammeled with the unfulfilled rights of his fellow beings, shuns
vice and develops fondness for virtue.Then,
as he steps out to begin the journey, the more he proceeds toward the
House of God, the more keen he becomes to do good deeds. He is careful
to see that nobody is harmed by him, while he tries to render whatever
service or help he can to others.His own nature desists from abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles and bickerings because he is proceeding on the path of God.A
man may be making [a] journey towards the Divine Haram and yet
indulging in bad habits? How can such a shameless thing be possible
[for] anybody?Thus the entire journey of his constitutes a complete Ibadah.Oppression
and vice can find no place in contrast to all other types of journey.
This is the one which continuously keeps on purifying man's Nafs. It is
like a great reformatory course to be compulsorily gone through by
every Muslim who sets out to perform Hajj.Blessings and effects of HajjFrom
all the details you have heard you can judge that during the period of
two to three months, from the time of deciding and preparing for Hajj
to the time of returning home, what great effects are produced in the
heart and mind of man!The process entails
sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money, sacrifice of comfort, sacrifice
of several worldly relations and sacrifice of many corporeal desires
and pleasures.And all this simply for the sake of Allah, with no selfish end.Then,
together with piety and virtuousness, the incessant remembrance of God
and the longing and love of Him pervading the mind of the pilgrim, all
leave a firm impression on his mind which lasts for years to come.[On]
reaching this sacred land he witnesses at every step the relics of
those who sacrificed everything [of] theirs in servitude and obedience
to Allah.They fought against the pagan
Arabs, suffered tortures, became migrants, suffered unbearable
hardships, but ultimately did raise aloft the Word of God and did not
rest content till they subdued every such false power which wanted man
to become subservient to other entities than Allah.A
lesson in courage and determination, which a devotee of God can draw
from these clear signs and sacred relics, can hardly be available from
any other source.If the attachment
developed with his focal point of Deen (religion) through the
circumambulation of [the] Kaba [and] the rehearsal of a Mujahid's life
[through] the rites (Manasik) of Hajj (such as running about, and
repeated departures and halts) are combined with Salah, fasting and
Zakat, and they are all seen conjointly, you will realize that these
processes constitute a training or some big task which Islam wants
Muslims to execute.For this reason, Hajj
has been made compulsory for those who are solvent enough and are
capable to undertake the journey [to and from the] Kaba so that, as far
as possible, Muslims in the largest possible number remain equipped in
every period after having fully gone through this training.Hajj: a collective Ibadah[You]
will be unable to appreciate fully the benefits of Hajj unless you keep
in view the fact that each and every Muslim does not perform Hajj
individually but that only one single period has been fixed for Hajj
for the Muslims of the whole world, and, therefore, [hundreds of
thousands] of Muslims jointly perform it.What I have stated before has only brought home to you the effect produced by this Ibadah on every Haji individually.Now
I shall explain to you[...] how these benefits have been enhanced
100,000-fold by appointing one single period of Hajj for all the world.The excellence of Islam lies in this very fact that by one stroke it achieves not only two but 1,000 purposes.The
advantages of offering Salah singly are by no means small but by making
it conditional with congregation, enforcing the system of Imamat in
Salah and by enlarging the congregations of the Friday and Eidain [the
two Eid] prayers, its benefits have been increased to a limitless
extent.The observance of fasting
separately by each person is also a very big source of reformation and
training but by appointing only one month of Ramadan for all Muslims,
these benefits have been increased so much that they cannot be counted.Zakat
too has many advantages even if dispensed individually. But with the
establishment of Bait-ul-mal (Public Exchequer of the Islamic State)
its usefulness has been increased to such a great extent that you
cannot estimate it till such time as an Islamic government is formed
and you witness with your eyes how much goodness and plentifulness
result from collecting the Zakat of all Muslims at one place and
distributing it among the deserving persons in organized form.Similar
is the case of Hajj. If every [person] were to perform Hajj singly,
even then it will bring about a big revolution in his life but by
formulating the rules for all the Muslims of the world to perform it
together at one time, its benefits have been increased to a limitless
degree.Growth of piety and virtuousnessWhen
every intending Haji [decides] to perform Hajj and immediately with
this intent the virtues of fear of God, piety, penance, Istighfar
(seeking forgiveness from God) and good morals begin to cast their
influence on him; [when] he starts [saying] farewell [to] his
relatives, friends, professional and other associates; and [when he]
settles all his affairs as if he is no longer the same man as before
(his mind is now pure and clean because of the newly-kindled spark of
love of God), you can imagine the effect of the changed condition of
the Haji on so many people around [him].And
if every year in each of the different parts of the world 100,000 Hajis
at an average get prepared for Hajj in this manner, their influence
will improve the moral state of a vast number of people.Then
the hearts of [a] large number of people [will be] warmed at places
through which the Hajis' caravans pass, by seeing them, meeting them
and by hearing from them the [sound] of Labbaik, Labbaik.There
will be many whose attention will be diverted towards Allah and Allah's
House, and the eagerness for Hajj will create a stir in their
slumbering souls.And when these people,
filled with the thrill of Hajj, return from the Center of their Deen to
their cities and towns spread over all parts of the world and [are] met
by numerous persons, then this [ interchange] and the accounts related
by the former of their Hajj experience enliven religious sentiments
among countless circles.
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