Hajj and Love of Allah
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
Worship is a humble expression of total surrender to Allah (SWT). It is also an expression of love. No other worship highlights the devotional love as does Hajj. The journey starts with giving up everything material and worldly to get closer to Him, Who created us. As the lover approaches to the House of Allah, passing through Meequat, he takes a real good shower to purify himself, sheds off the usual dress to replace it with two unsown blank white sheets and applies perfume to this unique attire.
To wear perfume after wearing Ahraam is forbidden. Ibn-e-Umar (RA) relates that once some one asked Prophet (SAW) about the one who performs Hajj. Prophet (SAW) said that he is the one, whose hair is un-combed and who is in untidy condition. It means that the only focus of a devotee and the only preoccupation of a lover is his Beloved. The time to look after dress and physical appearance is over, and the focus of attention is none but Allah (SWT). When asked which Hajj is better, Prophet (SAW) advised that the one in which Talbiyah is loudly pronounced and the sacrificial animal bleeds. "I am present", "I am present", this resounding sound of lover's proclamation is a gesture of loyalty, submission and faithfulness. Prophet (SAW) said that all those who come to perform Hajj are Allah (SWT)'s guests. If they ask something from Allah, He will grant their supplication, if they seek forgiveness, Allah (SW) will forgive them. He (SAW) added that the angels shake hands with those who come riding, and embrace those who come on foot.
Dressed in those two sheets, the devotee enters Makkah and proceeds toward Masjid-e-Haraam, which is around the Baitullah. It is preferable that entrance should be from the Mu'alla as the gate of the Kabah is located there. Evidently when you enter someone's house, you enter through the main door.
One can't see Allah (SWT) in this world, but seeing His House is a great blessing. According to some traditions Hajr-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) is metaphorically called the Hand of Allah, meaning that whoever kisses or touches it, in fact shakes hands with Allah (SWT). [Targheeb]
Abdullah bin Umar (RA) relates that Prophet (SAW) came in front of the Hajr-e-Aswad and put his lips on it and kept crying for some time. He (SAW) saw Abdullah, who also was crying. Prophet (SAW) said that it was the spot where tears are come naturally. [ Targheeb].
Having touched or kissed the Hajr-e-Aswad, the devotee makes Tawaaf around the Kabah. It is a gesture of intimate and devoted love. In each round, the devotee remembers and glorifies Allah, seeks His mercy and forgiveness, and kisses or touches the Hajr-e-Aswad. Abu Hurayrah (RA) relates that Prophet (SAW) said that who ever goes around the Kabah seven times and in each round without talking to some one recites: Subhan Allahi, wal Hamdulillahi, wala Ilaaha Illallahu wallahu Akbar, wala hawla wala
Quwwata Illah Billah. Ten sins from his sheet of deeds are erased, ten good deeds are added, and his status is raised ten times. He (SAW) added that if some one interrupts his Tawaaf with worldly conversation, he is like the one who enters the blessing up to his ankles. It means that the former is totally absorbed with and covered in blessings and the latter gets only part of it. [ Ibn-e-Majah].
The place in between the Kabah and the Hajr-e-Aswad is called " Multazim", which literally means to embrace, or to hug. Abdullah bin Umar (RA) hugged the walls of Multazim with his palms, face, chest and his both arms and said that he (RA) had seen Prophet (SAW) doing such an act. [Abu Dawood, ibn-e-Majah]
Zubair Makki and Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) has quoted Prophet (SAW) to have said that whoever hugs the Multazim and ask Allah (SWT) for some thing, Allah (SWT) will accept his supplication and grant his request. [Baihaqi]. The supplication at Multazim is guaranteed to be accepted and scholars often refer to a tradition of Prophet (SAW) in this regard.
The popular work of traditions of Prophet (SAW) entitled "Musannaf" by scholar Abdul Razzaque mentions that KabatulLah is located right underneath the Bait-ul-Maamoor, which is located on Arsh (Heaven). While angles make Tawaaf of Bait-ul-Maamoor on Arsh, Allah's bondsmen make Tawaaf of Bait-ulLah on earth.
During Hajj, Sa'ee is performed after Tawaaf-e-Qadoom, or Tawaaf-e-Ziyarat. It is also a gesture of devoted and committed love. Sayyidina Ibrahim (AS) lived in Syria. Allah (SWT) commanded him to leave his wife, Haajirah and infant son Isma'eel (AS) in Makkah, which was then a barren place with no habitation. Sayyidina Ibrahimcarried out the command. Hajirah was hungry and thirsty as the little provision she had was all consumed. The mother and son were both thirsty. Helpless, she searched for water. She ran towards mount Safa to find any sign of water, thought of her son and rushed back to look after his safety, saw him thirsty and crying for water, this time she ran towards yet another mount Marwah, didn't find water there either. She rushed back again to see her son. On Allah (SWT)'s command His angle created a water fountain there, which is called ZumZum. Allah liked the gesture of Sayyidina Ibrahim's family so much that he constituted it to be a ritual of Hajj. According to Ibn-e-Abbas Prophet (SAW) said that it is in the footsteps of Haajirah that Hujjaj run in between Safa and Marwah.
The ritual of sacrifice during Hajj is also to commemorate the act of submission of Sayyidian Ibrahim (AS) and total obedience of Sayyidina Isma'eel (AS).
On Allah's command Sayyidina Ibrahim along with Sayyidina Ismail constructed Kabah as mentioned in Aayah 127 or Surah Al-Baqarah: "As Ibrahim and Isma'eel build up the foundation of the House [they prayed], 'Our Lord accept [this] from us. You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing."
When the walls of Kabah were raised a little higher then the stone which is called "Maqaam-e-Ibraheem " was brought. Sayyidina Ibrahim stood on that stone to raise the walls higher.
To say Talbiyah during Hajj, engage in remembrance and glorification of Allah (SWT) during Tawaaf, Sa'ee, at Arafat and Muzdalifah, after Rami-e-Jamaar etc., all these activities turn lover's attention towards the Beloved. Though remembrance of Allah is a life long preoccupation, but during Hajj, the devotees find in it something which is unique and in-explainable.
Hajj teaches us patience, endurance, struggle, and sacrifice at every step. One may find many things during pilgrimage causing discomfort and hardship, but love is a journey in which discomforts and hardships are bound to come, but a devotee endures them all and is rewarded for disregarding them. That is why after putting on Ahraam, the Holy Qur'an advises us in Aayah 197 of Al-Baqarah: "The pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehavior, or quarreling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage – whatever good you do, Allah is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of Allah – always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding."
The journey for Hajj, and the performance of Hajj itself is a unique elixir for a committed and devoted lover. May Allah enable all of us to taste this elixir and understand the real relationship between a lover and the only Beloved. Aamin!