Golden recommendations for the pilgrims of the Sacred House of Allah
All praise be to Allah who singled Himself with the qualities of perfection and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad, his Companions, and his family. Dear pilgrim, these are some recommendations which I loved to offer you, asking Allah to grant you and us success.
Sincerity! Sincerity! Beware of hypocrisy!
Dear pilgrim, you are about to do a great work and a blessed rite. If Allah granted you success to perform it, you shall have a great reward.
My Muslim brother, have you recalled the intention when you visited that blessed House?
Let it be known that recalling the intention is a necessary act because a person is given reward according to his intention. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The (reward of) deeds depend on intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he intends. So, whoever migrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his migration will be for Allah and His Messenger, and whoever migrated for worldly benefits or for marrying a woman, then his migration will be for what he migrated for." [Reported by Al Bukhari].
Dear pilgrim, be keen to have a sincere intention because you have suffered fatigue and troubles, so do not waste you effort. "And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât, and that is the right religion." [Surat Al Bayyinah: 5].
"Verily, We have sent down the Book to you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) in truth: So worship Allâh (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allâh's sake only." [Surat Az-Zumar: 2]. Ibn Al `Araby said: The Ayah is a proof to the obligation of recalling intention in every work.
Dear pilgrim, fighting one's desires to have sincerity and to reject hypocrisy is a heavy matter, but it is easy for those whom Allah facilitated the matter for them. Whoever suppresses the desires of himself shall enjoy the acts of worship and shall find their blessing in his life.
Sahl ibn `Abdullah was asked: Which thing is heavier on oneself? He said: (Sincerity because it has no share of that).
Sufyan Ath-Thawry said: (I have never dealt with something heavier on me than my intention because it changes from time to time).
Dear pilgrim, you are proceeding to the most sacred spot on earth as a guest of the King of the kings, the Almighty of heavens and earth (Glory be to Him), so devote your intention to Him and do not seek the pleasure of anyone else. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: "Allah (may He be Exalted) says: I am the One Who is most free from want of partners. He who does a thing for the sake of someone else beside Me, I discard him and his polytheism." [Reported by Muslim].
Dear Muslim, do not be of those who went to Hajj out of hypocrisy and ostentation so as to be said: He has gone to visit the House of Allah and people would call him a pilgrim; such a person shall only have fatigue and trouble from his Hajj. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him)." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
Dear Muslim, beware of hypocrisy because it is the polytheism against which the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned: "The thing which I fear for you the most is minor Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah). They said: O Messenger of Allah, what is the minor Shirk? He said: hypocrisy." [Reported by Ahmad].
Sincerity! Sincerity my brother because ostentation render work rejected.
Dear Muslim, shall I guide you to a cure of minor and major polytheism? The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) taught us an invocation which if it is said, Allah will turn away minor and major polytheism. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Polytheism leaks to you as an ant which walks on you. I shall guide you to something if you do, it will keep away minor and major sins. You should say: My Lord, I seek refuge with You that I associate with You in worship something while I know and ask for Your Forgiveness for things which I do not know." [Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir].
Here is a precious recommendation from Al Farouq `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: (Whoever devotes his intention to Allah in the truth even if it is against himself Allah will be sufficient for him in matters between him and the people. On the other hand, whoever claims something which he does not have Allah will make him wretched).
The days of Hajj are the days of answering invocations, so benefit from them.
Dear pilgrim, would not you be glad if your needs are met?
Would not you be glad if you and the one about whom you supplicate would be cured of sickness?
Would not you be glad if Allah makes you firm on His True Religion?
Would not you be glad that Allah guides you to the truth in controversial issues?
Would not you be glad if Allah forgives your previous and delayed sins?
Would not you be glad if Allah provides you a good end in worldly life?
Would not you be glad if you meet Allah while He is satisfied with you?
Would not you be glad when Allah turns your face away from Fire?
Would not you be glad that you enter heaven and enjoy with the righteous?
Sure, it will please you that Allah will make your wishes come true, and how great these wishes are!
My brother, while having these feelings, do not forget to invoke Allah and take part of this booty, otherwise what is the need of you Hajj if you do not open your heart before your lord in that spot?
How precious this goodness is and how low the people who waste this opportunity are!
Dear pilgrim, scholars divided invocation into two types: Invocation of the acts of worship and invocation of the need. Look at the speech of scholar `Abdur-Rahman As-Sa`dy who said: All commands of invocation and prohibitions against invoking other than Allah, which are mentioned in the Qur'an, speak about both types of invocations and this is a useful rule. Most people think that the word invocation is meant only for the invocation of the need and this is a mistake that drove them to a bigger evil because the texts of Ayahs contain both types of invocations.
Scholar `Abdul-`Aziz ibn Baz (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: (Verily, both types of invocations are inseparable because Allah is invoked to bring about benefit and to push away harm (invocation of the need) as He is invoked because He is feared and hoped for benefits (invocation of worship). Thus, we come to know that both types are inseparable, for every invocation of worship needs an invocation of need and vice-versa).
Dear pilgrim, keep to invocation and do not forget that invocation is an act of worship. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "invocation is worship" [Reported by At-Tirmidhy, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah in Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir: 3407].
Dear Muslim brother, do not be of those who do not invoke Allah because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The weakest of people is the one who does not invoke Allah and the stingiest is the one who does not salute others." [Reported by Ibn Hibban in Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir: 1044].
Dear pilgrim, the greatest thing in these blessed days is the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah). That day which righteous people await after they had prepared their needs, so they ask their lord (may He be Exalted) for the good of this world and for the good of the Hereafter. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "The best invocation is the invocation on the Day of `Arafah." [Reported by At-Tirmidhy and Malik in Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir].
Dear pilgrim, where is your position that day? Will you be among those who invoke Allah or among the heedless who forget about the greatness of that day?
Imam An-Nawawy said about the Day of `Arafah: A person should repeat asking for forgiveness and repenting all sins and guilt along with feeling regret by heart. Moreover, a person should cry frequently along with mentioning Allah and invocation because in that spot tears should flow, invocations should be done, and needs are met. It is a great gathering in which the righteous people of Allah, the pious, and the loyal gather. It is the greatest assembly in the whole world and it was said: "If the Day of `Arafah comes on Friday, the sins of all the people in that gathering are forgiven."
Dear pilgrim, beware of invocation while being heedless and invoke Allah as the faithful do. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "And know that Allah does not respond the invocations come out from a distracted heart." [Reported by At-Tirmidhy, Al Hakim, and At-Tabarany in Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir: 245].
Dear pilgrim, while you are standing in these sacred spots, you should remember some proprieties of invocation perhaps Allah (may He be Exalted) would show mercy to your weakness in those situations.
Dear pilgrim, you have to do the following:
First, you should invoke Allah in humbleness, reverence, and fear:"Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us." [Surat Al Anbiya': 90].
Second, facing the Qiblah.
Third, which should be done before your invocation, glorifying and praising Allah (may He be Exalted) with the best praise, then sending peace and blessings on the Prophet (peace be upon him) then you begin invocation.
Fourth, admitting one's guilt and sins.
Fifth, invoking Allah thrice.
Sixth, lifting the hands as a proof to humbleness. Salman Al Farisy (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Your Lord is munificent and generous, and is shy to turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him (without fulfilling his needs)." [Reported by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhy, and Ibn Majah in Sahih Al Jami` As-Saghir: 2070].
Importunities in invocation
Dear pilgrim, invoke Allah (may He be Exalted) on that day and do not invoke anyone else; may Allah make you and me of those whose invocations are answered on that Day.
It is the season of good deeds
Dear pilgrim, have you searched in your heart while leaving why do you feel that joy?
No doubt, if every pilgrim —who left homeland or even those who live in KSA— search in their hearts, they will find that joy which they feel in themselves while intending to visit these sacred spots. "O our Lord! 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 Lord, that they may perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât). So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allâh) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks." [Surat Ibrahim: 37].
How many souls yearn to visit these sacred sites.
Dear Muslim brother, no doubt, these are the days of good deeds and the season of pious acts where all people repeat one motto: "Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayk La Sharika Laka Labbayk. Inna Al Hamda Wan-Ni`mata Laka Wal Mulk. La Sharika Laka Labbayk." (O Allah, here I am responding to Your Call. Here I am responding to Your Call, there is no associate to You in worship. Indeed, all praise and favor are for You as well as dominion. You have no associate in worship, here I am responding to Your Call).
It was reported in the Hadith of Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) when the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the Farewell Hajj, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) offered four Rak`at of Zhuhr prayer at Medina and we were in his company, and two Rak`at of the hAsr prayer at Dhul-Hulaifah and then passed the night there till it was dawn; then he rode, and when he reached Al Bayda', he praised and glorified Allah and said Takbir (i.e. Alhamdu-lillah and Subhanallah and Allahu-Akbar). Then he and the people along with him recited Talbiyah with the intention of performing Hajj and `Umrah. When we reached (Mecca) he ordered us to finish the lhram (after performing the `Umrah) (only those who had no Hadi (animal for sacrifice) with them were asked to do so) till the day of Tarwiyah that is 8th. Dhul-Hijjah when they assumed Ihram for Hajj. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sacrificed many camels (slaughtering them) with his own hands while standing. While Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was in Medina he sacrificed two horned rams black and white in color in the Name of Allah." [Reported by Al Bukhari, Muslim, and An-Nasa'y].
Dear pilgrim, thus the Prophet (peace be upon him) started his Hajj by praising Allah, glorifying Him, and pronouncing Takbir (Allah-u-Akbar). "Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) did not stop pronouncing Talbiyah till he threw pebbles at Jamrat Al `Aqabah." [Reported by Al Bukhari from the Hadith of Al Fadl ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him)].
My brother, have you felt the meaning of Talbiyah? Have you believed in it while repeating it?
When you say (at You service), you are responding to the call of your Lord who commanded you of visiting His House.
Dear pilgrim, while you are in these sites, how can you spend these days in something other than the acts of obedience?! Because of the virtue of these days and acts of obedience done in them, Satan feels angry and is afflicted by humiliation. Talhah ibn `Ubaydullah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Shaytan is not considered more abased or more cast out or more contemptible or more angry on any day than on the Day of `Arafah. That is only because it sees the descent of the Mercy and Allah's disregard for major sins. That is except from what he was shown on the Day of Badr (the Battle of Badr)." [Reported by Imam Malik: Al Muwatta'].
Dear pilgrim, these are the days of forgiveness, so do not waste them. `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of 'Arafa. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?" [Reported by Muslim, An-Nasa'y, and Ibn Majah].
My brother, keep to the acts of worship, keep to the acts of worship, and Allah will not mislead a person asks for His Pleasure. May Allah help you and me to obtain piety.
And take provisions because piety is the best provision.
Dear pilgrim, people used to prepare themselves when they intend to go for Hajj with provision, expenses, and so on because they are about to have a long journey which is a beautiful matter.
However, there is a provision you should take with you and without it your Hajj shall be null and void; do you know what provision I mean? It is piety.
The Hajj of a person whose Hajj is mixed with sins is null and void because they are the days of acts of worship and the markets for piety, so the one who disobeys Allah is the loser sooner or later. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islâmic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihrâm), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allâh knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!" [Surat Al Baqarah: 197].
Dear pilgrim, let your profitable trade be piety until you come back with an accepted Hajj (pilgrimage) because Allah prohibited you in the previous Ayah to commit Rafath, Fusuq, and Jidal.
(Rafath) is the name of sexual intercourse, speaking about it, or obscenity in speech. Imam Ibn Hajar said: "Rafath is more general as was mentioned in the Hadith: "If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation."
(Fisq) means "rebelling against," and it is called for those who rebel against obedience.
Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, `Ata', Al Hasan, and a group of the Companions said: (Fisq or Fusuq) means committing the sins which Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) prohibited during the state of Ihram (ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah).
(Jidal) Al Qurtuby said: There should be no dispute either in the time of Hajj or in the sacred places.
Dear pilgrim, be keen to be among those who are included in the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor 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.'' [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. Ibn Hajar said: The apparent meaning of the Hadith is remitting minor and major sins.
My brother, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the Hajj which is accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise." [Reported by Muslim].
Al Hasan of Al Basry said: The meaning of Hajj Mabrur is that a person returns while he is desiring the Hereafter and not seeking worldly life.
Al Qurtuby said: Jurists said: The meaning of Hajj Mabrur is the Hajj during which a person did not commit any sin. So, my brother, be one of those winners and in the Hereafter you shall be happy.
Do not harm your Muslim brother.
Dear pilgrim, no doubt, you came to the Sacred House of Allah to win the reward and obtain the pleasure of Allah (may He be Exalted) and you shall not be pleased if people say to you: You come to harm Muslims either by your speech or tongue. How many people who do not love prefer their Muslim brothers to themselves?!
My brother, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught the people the rites of Hajj and did not leave something without explaining it. When the people came down from `Arafat (mountain near Makkah) and he had held the bridle of his camel well in order not to walk fast, he was indicating with his right hand saying: "O people, walk slowly, walk slowly." [Reported by Muslim].
This is part of his mercy with the people so as not to harm the weak.
Dear pilgrim, many pilgrims gather around the Black Stone and all the people want to kiss it even if they harm one another. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) what to do at the Black Stone.
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Tawaf of the Ka`bah while riding a camel, and whenever he came in front of the Corner, he pointed towards it (with something)." [Reported by Al Bukhari].
Muslim added: "And then kissing the stick (which he was holding)." Imam Ibn Hajar said: Probably that happened when he could touch the Black Stone when there is no harm to the people and when he indicated to it, there was something that would have harmed the people.
Dear Muslim brother, the Prophet (peace be upon him) command Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) to do Tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka`bah) behind the people. Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that she was sick. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Perform the Tawaf while riding behind the people." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
My brother, do not harm the people while you are persistent to kiss the Black Stone because the majority of scholars said: Whoever is unable to touch the Black Stone, it is enough for him to pointed at it. Al Fakihy reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) the undesirability of pushing people in the crowd and said: A person should not harm another nor to be harmed.
Dear pilgrim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded you not to do something beyond your capabilities. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
Dear pilgrim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his nation how to throw the pebbles which should be small, not very small and not big. This is also the view of the majority of scholars among the Predecessors and the Successors.
Dear pilgrim, do not throw more pebbles because that harms your Muslim brothers. No matter how keen we are to do good, we will not be more pious to Allah than the Prophet (peace be upon him) who forbade us to exceed the proper limits in religion.
Dear Muslim brothers, be as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it." [Reported by Al Bukhari].
Dear brother, be lenient and easy with your Muslim brothers. Have not you seen how did Allah praise the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) by saying: "And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves." [Surat Al Fath: 29].
Finally, may Allah guide you and me to good deeds.