O Muslims: Allah has made the honoured Ka^bah a destination for millions of Muslims who come every year from far and away to visit this sacred place. They all meet there despite their various backgrounds, nationalities, languages and skin colour. Hajj is an annual Islamic gathering attended by hundreds of thousands of Muslims who come united under the banner of the testification of faith “No one is God except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. They supplicate to Allah, introduce themselves and form close bonds strengthening their brotherhood and sisterhood with one another. Whether you are rich or poor, young or old and Arab or not has no bearing in terms of piety, rather, what does is one’s level of obedience to Allah.
Dear brothers in Islam,
Fulfilling the deeds of Hajj brings many great benefits to the pilgrims and if only Muslims realise the significance of these benefits they would certainly rush to perform Hajj.
The great meanings of brotherhood and equity amongst Muslims appear in its best image, during pilgrimage. After having removed all their decorated and worldly clothes the pilgrims put on the clothes of Ihram which look like the shrouds of the dead. They submit themselves to their creator, Allah and say:
لبيك اللهم لبيك لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك إن الحمد والنعمة لك والملك لا شريك لك
Oh Brothers in Islam, Hajj is an exercise of patience in overcoming hardships.
The call of the pilgrim (talbeyah) serves as a reminder of a time when Angel Israfil on the Day of Judgment blows the horn marking the start of Resurrection Day.
Performing sa^i between Mount As-Safa and Mount Al-Marwah is expressive of one’s thankfulness to Allah for making the city of Makkah a safe place. It is also reminiscent of what Lady Hajar did when searching for water for her dear son Isma^il ^alayhis-Salam, while having a complete reliance on Allah , Her Creator. Allah subhanahu wa-ta^ala relieved her from her worries and struggle in providing her with the pure and blessed water, Zamzam.
There are great meanings in being present in the land of ^Arafat. The pilgrim witnesses the mass amount of people overcrowding the mountain of ^Arafatand hears their loud supplicating voices to Allah subhanahu wa-ta^ala, with absolute humbleness hoping for Allah‘s mercy.
Throwing the three Jamarat is one of the requisites of Hajj and is on the one hand symbolic of the Muslim’s rejection to Satan and on the other hand a fulfillment of God’s orders. Throwing the Jamarat as Prophet Ibrahim did when Satan appeared to him expresses the Muslim’s rejection of Satan’s whisperings as if one is saying to Satan: if you appear to us we will throw pebbles at you to humiliate you the same way Prophet Ibrahim did.
The meaning of Tawaf is to glorify the sacred Ka^bah. It symbolizes the unity among Muslims, and their steadiness in obeying Allah, the only One worthy of worship. People circumambulate the sacred House, the Holy Ka^bah, with ultimate submission to Allah as if saying:
“O Lord, No matter how many times we circumambulate and turn, we have nowhere to go but to seek refuge with You.”
Circumambulating the Ka^bah does not mean that Allah dwells in it. The belief of all Muslims is that Allah doesn’t need the ka^bah, other places, or any of his creations. Allah exists without a place, and doesn’t resemble any of His creations. Allah is not a body or a shape. Whatever one imagines in one’s mind Allah is different from it.
Dear brothers in Islam the real success is in embracing the right belief, the creed of the Prophet peace be upon him and his companions.
May Allah grant us the ability to perform the pilgrimage and ^umrah and the honour of visiting Prophet Muhammad’s grave. Ameen.