From the lessons of pilgrimage

                                                                                          

By Sheikh Hussein Bin Abdel Aziz Al-Sheikh

Prophet's Mosque

6/12/1423

 

First sermon

Assemblies of Muslims! Allah, Glorified and Exalted He be, legislated acts of worship for great maxims, sublime purposes and considerable secrets, including that which creation knows and that which it does not realize.

From that system, the duty of pilgrimage which has become great in its rituals, mighty in its manifestations, sublime in its fruits, of great benefits and effects. It included such benefits and interests that accountants cannot take an account of and counters cannot number. It embodied out of purposes the sublime ones, from maxims the highest and out of benefits the greatest and purest. Purposes revolving around the correction of belief and worship, the call for the regularization of the reunion of the Muslims and the unity of their word, reformative education for the individual and the society, behavioral purification of the souls, the hearts, the spirits and the bodies.

In one word, there are in pilgrimage endless benefits and unrivalled interests such that are covered by the general meaning of the saying of the Almighty Lord: That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice)[Al-Hajj: 28]. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said in the interpretation of this verse: (the benefits of this world and the Hereafter; as to the benefits of the Hereafter they are the pleasure of Almighty Allah, while the benefits of this world are the bodily benefits they reap, the sacrificial animals and the commerce) End of quotation [1].

There are therein benefits which the Islamic nation, individuals and communities, rulers and subjects, must be aware of and perceive their reality, and to achieve them in their lives as practical conduct and realistic example. The day the nation becomes inspired by reason with regard to those goals and objectives, it would then attain pride and honor, goodness and glory. It has been said: "Islam will continue to be a mighty rock upon which the ships of missionary work shatter as long as Islam has these pillars: the Quran; the Friday congregation and the gathering of pilgrimage." How in need is the nation today, while they are going through surging trials, varied evils and multiple inflictions. How in need are they to draw from the ordinances of Islam morals, instructions and lessons redressing their lives, their conduct, their activities and their orientations! How worthy it is of the Muslims to guide their lives from the perspectives of their religion, to manage their affairs from the realities of their Quran and to address their problems and remedies in the light of what their Creator destines them to and their prophet guides them to.

Servants of Allah, in the lessons of pilgrimage a reminder to the nation that the major thing it should take care of, preserve and instill in the hearts, propagate in all of the activities and acts, is to fulfill the Oneness to Almighty Allah, to achieve the ultimate goal in subordination and humbleness to Him, whose Mighty in Standing, in approach and will, intent and deed. This answering of the call is a token of pilgrimage and its key, with which the master of creation and the leader of the Prophets started, when he inaugurated his pilgrimage with the affirmation of Oneness (of Allah), as Jaabir says: He started with the affirmation of Oneness (of Allah): ((Here I am at Your service, O Allah! Here I am at Your service. You have no partner. Here I am at Your service. Verily, all the praise and the grace belong to you, and the sovereignty. You have no partner)) [2].

An acclamation containing the words of answering the call; that great meaning and precise significance, which is the spirit of the religion, its basis and essence, and is the affirmation of Oneness of Almighty Allah and the rejection of false worship in its various forms and shapes.

It is incumbent on the members of the entire nation to remember what this word indicates as meaning, and know what it contains as significance, and that the Muslim should be greatly aware of this meaning in his entire life, maintaining it at all time and place, considering it in every aspect. He should ask none but Allah, seek deliverance from none but Allah, trust none but Allah, seek help and support from none except Allah, being convinced that all goodness is in Allah's hands, the settlement of matters is in his hand and their consideration revert back to him. None can withhold what he gives and none can give what he prevents. Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, says: "The words of answering the call (of Allah) included mighty principles and significant benefits... until he said in the context of enumerating its benefits: the fact that answering the call (of Allah) includes commitment to permanence of subservience, and thus it has been said: it is from holding to, ie: I am carrying on in your obedience, the fact that it includes submission and humility and the fact that it includes devotion to Almighty Allah" End of quotation [3].

The outstanding Muslim ought to pay attention to all those meanings, and to fulfill them in his life in all their aspects. And if it so with regard to individuals, the whole nation ought to draw from pilgrimage those lessons and morals, and to learn that the solid precept for the stability of its life and the secure abode, which they resort to is to fulfill the affirmation of Oneness to Almighty Allah in every single matter, in all aspects of life, and to fulfill absolute surrender to Allah and finite humility to Him, in consolidation for the correct doctrine in the reality of life and its rooting in the hearts, otherwise without that, whims will snatch it like birds of prey do, and delusions will toss it like winds do.

So, let the nation instill all its life and activities with the rule of the true doctrine and absolute monotheism. Let it not take a step forward nor make a move but while it is looking through the prism of the Quran, the mirror the Sunnah and the pleasure of the Lord, Exalted in Highness. Allah Almighty says: It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong - that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance [Al An’am: 82].

Servants of Allah, among the lessons of pilgrimage is that the nation should know and recall, feel and ascertain that there is no happiness or success in this life and the Hereafter, nor success and rectitude except through following the prophet, following his lead and the serene path upon his guidance in belief and actions, in judgment and referrals, in ethics and behavior; and in this context, our Master and Prophet says at each of the rituals of pilgrimage: ((Take from me your rituals)) [4].

Consider, O servant (of Allah), how the Companions have fulfilled this objective when Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, says: (Conduct pilgrimage according to the manner of the Prophet, and do not say: this is a Tradition and this is an obligation) End of quotation.

The greatest goals of pilgrimage are to remember the guidance of the Chosen one and to stick to his way in this life, with neither exaggeration or negligence, nor excess or staleness ((whoever makes a deed, not carrying our order, is rejected)) [5].

Beloved congregation, from the major lessons in pilgrimage is the importance of moderation and mediation in all matters, and avoidance of extravagance and staleness or excessiveness and negligence. It has been narrated by Ahmad and others according to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that he said: "The Messenger of Allah told me in the early morning of the Aqaba (a stone pillar in Mena): ((gather pebbles for me)), he said: I gathered pebbles for him from the gravel, he began to shake them in the palm of his hand and say: ((with the likes of these do stone)), and then said: ((O you people! Beware of extravagance in religion, for what doomed those before you was the extravagance in religion)) [6].

Moderation in all matters, mediation in them, and keeping away from extravagance and staleness is the correct approach and straight path, which all the believers should pursue, and that is not according to whims, but through applying the confines of the Quran and the Sunnah and what they contain as guidance and clarifications.

Let there be such a great occasion, in which Muslims gather to perform a major worship that is from the features of the religion. Let it be a lesson for the Muslims to reassess themselves, and ponder upon their condition. Let them hold it according to the right approach and straight path, from his pure source and fresh unadulterated spring, the book of Allah, Exalted in Might, and the Tradition of the master of the Prophets, our master, Prophet and Messenger Mohammed.

Servants of Allah! Pilgrimage is a universal conference for the entire Muslims, and is their conference and greatest meeting. A conference in which they find their deep-rooted origin, which extends to the depths of time since the leader of true faith, our father Abraham, peace be upon him, they find their hub which pulls them all to it. This direction they all face and over which they all meet, and find also their banner to which they come back to; the banner of the one doctrine in whose shadow differences of races, colors and nations disappear, and they find their strength which they may forget sometimes; the power of assembly and unity, which includes the millions without end on sight, when they come back to their single banner, which has no plurality.

It is necessary for the Muslims today, as the waves of temptations toss them about, and the forces of tyranny and aggression challenge them, it is necessary for them to take from such a season a conference to get acquainted, to consult and coordinate plans, to join forces and share benefits, knowledge and experiences. The whole world does not find, however their efforts attempted and coordinated, and however great and varied their plans may be, a season like pilgrimage organized for a single fully integrated Islamic world once every year, in the shadow of Allah, near the house of Allah, in the shades of acts of worship near and far, and the memories present and absent, in the most appropriate place and appropriate atmosphere, and the most appropriate time.

The nation must be aware of, according to its various responsibilities, that they have despite their different inclinations and diverse forms, no association binding them together except that of Oneness (of Allah), nor a fixed parentage except that of the religion. Its nature must be the prevalent one, which must accompany total dissociation from the heat and cant of ignorance and pride. This is why Allah, Glorified and Exalted He be, says in the context of the verses of pilgrimage: Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do [Al-Baqarah: 199].

It is incumbent on the nation to exploit such a great season as an opportunity for general useful instructions and the consideration of its important issues.

Brothers in Islam! Pilgrimage is a conference with political purposes for all humanity. A conference that educates humanity on the foundations of peace, security and good life, and invites them to consider sacred the sacred rites (of Allah), the property, the human souls and esteemed belongings. Our Lord, Glorified and Exalted, says: Such (is the Pilgrimage): whoever honours the sacred rites of Allah, for him it is good in the Sight of his Lord [Al-Hajj: 30].

The conference of pilgrimage is a conference that instills in the hearts a life in which the sacred rites of Allah are taken into account, so that a life on earth in which people feel safe from oppression and transgression is established; a life in which they find a place of security, an umbrella of peace and a precinct of tranquility. This is the master of humanity and the leader of the true faith, our Master and Prophet Mohammed, announcing it clearly and casting it explicitly in his farewell address, so he says: ((Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this town of yours and in this month of yours)) [7].

O Allah! Bless us in the Quran, and benefit us from what is therein as signs and clear statements. I say what came to pass, and I seek forgiveness from Allah for myself, for you and for all the Muslims from every sin, so seek forgiveness from Him and repent to Him. He is Oft-Forgiving, Oft-Merciful.

 

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[1] Narrated by Ibn Abu Haatim in his interpretation as in Ad-Durr Al-Manthoor (6/37).

[2] Narrated by Muslim in Pilgrimage (1218).

[3] Footnote on Sunan Abu Dawood (5/178).

[4] Narrated by Muslim in Pilgrimage (1297) from the statement of Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, with the wording: ((Do take your rituals, for I do not know whether I might or not perform pilgrimage after this occasion)).

[5] Narrated by Muslim in Judicial Decisions (1718), from the statement of Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, which is with a different wording with Bukhari.

[6] Narrated by Ahmad (1/215, 347), and An-Nisa’i in Al-Manaasik(3057, 3059), and Ibn Majah in Al-Manaasik (3029), and classed as authentic by Ibn Al-Jaarood (473), Ibn Khuzaymah (2867, 2868), Ibn Hibbaan (3871), Al-Haakim (1711), and is in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah (2455).

 [7] Narrated by Bukhari in Knowledge (67) and Muslim in Oaths (1679) from the statement of Abu Bakarah, may Allah be pleased with him. It was issued from the statement of Ibn Abbas, Jaabir and Ibn Omar, may Allah be pleased with them.

 

 

The Second Sermon

Praise be to Allah for His beneficence, and thanks are due to Him for granting us success and gratitude. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, alone without partner, in glorification of His status, and I bear witness that our Master and Prophet Mohammed is His servant and Messenger, the caller to His pleasure. O Allah! Send your prayers, peace and blessings upon him, his family, his Companions and his brethren.

In what is to follow: O you Muslims! I advise you and myself to fear Allah the Almighty, for it is the binding testament of Allah to those of old and those of later times.

Servants of Allah, the Islamic nation is living days of great virtue and considerable magnitude; they are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Allah swore by them in reference to their virtue and pointing out to their great reward. The Almighty and Exalted Allah says: By the break of Day. By the ten Nights [Al Fajr: 1, 2], and our Prophet says: ((No good deeds done on other days are more beloved to Allah than those done on these days)). He means the first ten days. They (the companions) said: O Messenger of Allah! Not even jihad in the way of Allah? He said: ((Not even jihad in the way of Allah, except for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger [for Allah's sake] and returns with neither of them)) Narrated by Bukhari [1].

Deeds of righteousness, O servants of Allah! include all goodness, charitable work, kindness and righteousness in words, deeds and behavior. And the greatest of all is to enquire after the     condition of the Muslims everywhere, to pay attention to their concerns, to alleviate their anguish, to fill their needs, to destine adequate prayers for them to redress the conditions, to divulge inflictions and to gain victory over the enemies.

It is recommended for the pilgrim and others to increase in remembrance of Allah Almighty during these ten days, and Allah Almighty says: And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice) [Al-Hajj: 27, 28], and the appointed days according to the majority of scholars are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Allah, the Almighty and Exalted, had commanded to remember Him much during the days of pilgrimage, as indicated by the verses of the chapters of Al Baqarah and Al Hajj.

The command of remembrance includes the non-pilgrim, as he said: ((There are no days greater in the sight of Allah or more beloved to Allah [from deeds] than during the ten days, so increase during them glorifications, acclamations, magnifications and praises)) Narrated by Ahmad, with a good chain of narration [2].

Bukhari mentioned in his Saheeh, according to Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with them, that they used to go out to the market place; they magnify (Allah) and people reciprocate after them [3], and the jurists of the followers say during the appointed ten days: Allah is Great, Allah is Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Great, Allah is Great and Praise is due to Allah. It is desirable for men to raise the voice during this remembrance in markets places, homes, streets and mosques.

Then know, O servants of Allah, that whoever wanted to sacrifice, let him not take off anything from his hair, nails or skin, when the ten days come, until he had sacrificed. In the Saheeh of Muslim, that the Prophet said: ((When you see the crescent of Dhul-Hijjah, and any of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him refrain from doing his hair and nails until he had sacrificed)), and in another narration: ((he should not touch of his hair and skin anything)) [4]. This prohibition is specific to the one who sacrifices, while the one on whose behalf his household sacrifice, is not included in this prohibition, even if they [partake] with the householder in his sacrifice.

So fear Allah Almighty, and venerate His sacred rites, you will succeed and prosper in this world and the Hereafter.

Then know that Allah Almighty and Exalted had commanded us with a great order, namely to send peace and blessings upon the noble Prophet.

O Allah! Send your blessings, salutations and peace upon our Master and Prophet Mohammed, and be pleased, O Allah, with the righteous Companions.

 

[1] Narrated by Bukhari in the Friday (969) from the statement of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, with similar wording, and so is the wording of At-Tirmidhi  in Fasting (757).

[2] Narrated by Ahmad (2/131), Abd bin Hameed (807), Al-Bayhaqi in the Branches (3750) from the statement of Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them. Ahmed Shaakir said in his commentary on the Musnad (5446): "its chain of narration is authentic" and Al Albani classed it as weak in Dha’eef-ut-Targheeb (733).

[3] Classed as Mu’allaq by Bukhari in the Book of the two Eids, the chapter pertaining to the virtue of working during the days of Tashreeq, and ranked as Mawsul by Abu Bakr Abdul Aziz bin Jaafar in Ash-Shaafy, Judge Abu Bakr Al-Marwazi in the Two Eids, as in Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (9/8).

[4] Narrated by Muslim in Sacrifices (1977) from the statement of Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her.

 

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