Oh Travelers to the Haram!
Posted: 2 Zul-Qa'dah 1424, 15 December 2004
Originally published in Urdu in Daily
Ummat Karachi on 12 December 2004
Oh guests of the Most Merciful! Oh
fortunate ones! Oh travelers to the Haram! Congratulations on being
invited by the Lord of the worlds! Be glad that He has invited you to
His House! Not only that, but He has given you the provisions for
travel and lodging. And not only that, but He has also filled your
hearts with such love of Him and His House that today you leave your
homes, your cities, your countries and embark on this journey solely
for the pleasure of your Lord. Had this desire not been there then you
would have never planned to undertake this journey.
How many a millionaire are there who
travel throughout Switzerland, England, America, and so on - who spend
their children's vacations over there - but never receive this
invitation: Come, visit Our House! Live in Our city! Act according to
the Sunnats of Our beloved servants! Run between the hills of Safa and
Marwa just as a wife of a prophet and a mother of a prophet did! We
love this running of yours. Hurl rocks against Satan just as Our
Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salam) did! Perform sacrifice just as a loyal
servant of Ours laid his son and ran the knife over his throat because
of Our Command! But we had prohibited the knife from even scratching
the throat. Our servant did as he was told and the knife did as it was
commanded (i.e. it did not cut); both acted under our command. Those
who claim to love Us - We test them to see whether their claim is true.
Hazrat Thanwi Rahmatullahi alayhi has
written that when Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi salam, got tired running the
knife, he said to the knife: Why don't you cut? The knife responded:
You have been commanded to cut, and I have been ordered not to cut; do
your job, I am doing mine. Then a ram was sent from the heavens and the
test was complete.
We were pleased with this act of Our
friend - now you also imitate him. We have provided you with
animals - otherwise where would you have wandered in search for
We have also provided their food - otherwise where would you find food
for them in this dry, arid land? Now the animals are there, the knife
is ready, just run the knife and your work is done! Then, We will do
Our work: We will accept this sacrifice just as We accepted the
sacrifice of Our friend and We will endow you with such rewards as
never could even occur to you in your thoughts.
This is Our city and Our House. Come
here as a devotee; if you are not a devotee, then take on the
appearance of a devotee! Be content in whatever condition We keep you
in. Here there are crowds of devotees. You will be pushed and shoved;
your hair will fill with dirt and dust, and your feet will tire from
walking. Be it pushing or shoving, dirt and dust, or difficulties in
Our alleys - Our devotees are proud of such difficulties and consider
them as the treasures of their lives.
Whoever thinks of these hardships and
pains as calamities should not come. He should stay at his home. But
those who come as devotees - We will wipe out their sins and return
to their homes as if they were just born today. This is a bathing of
bodies and souls rotten and spoiled due to sins - washing these sins
require rubbing. Without rubbing how is cleanliness obtained?
Oh travelers to the Haram! Hajj is no
small blessing. This is a great act of worship - very different from
the other forms of worship. All sorts of outward and inward worships
are combined in this. Money is spent in the path of Allah and great
effort is exerted; it is a purification of the soul of the highest
degree; it contains spiritual exercises; there is patience and
gratitude, love and ma'rifah.
It is a witnessing of the favors of the Almighty and of the acceptance
of duas. There is both outward and inward closeness. In a hadith,
addressed those performing Hajj and Umrah - and today you are his
Hurairah Radi-Allahu anhu narrates that Rasoolullah said: (translation) The travelers of Hajj
and Umrah are Allah's special guests; if they supplicate to Allah, He
accepts their supplications and if they seek forgiveness, He forgives
them. (Hisn-e-Hasin, Ibn Majah and Nasai)
Oh travelers to the Haram! Years of
spiritual exercise and training may not yield the benefits that can be
obtained from this, if only we understand them and have a will to seek
them. Oh guests of Allah! I will not discuss with you the merits of
Hajj, because if you did not know its merits than you would have never
made this blessed intention (to go to Hajj). Neither will I mention its
rites and rulings, because you can get all of this from books and
training sessions for Hajj. Rather I want to point out something else.
You are going to the great Court of the
King of kings. When a person is a guest of a king then he learns the
manners of the court long before he goes there. Then when he reaches
there, he monitors every deed of his making sure that it does not
result in disrespect.
Oh travelers to the Haram! I wish to
share with you an extremely beneficial recipe-one that you will neither
find in books nor in lectures. I know that pilgrims are subject to
numerous difficulties and hardships. In this journey, there are many
trying moments, no, rather many trying hours and days. Sometimes there
is the immigration obstacle. There are the difficulties in finding
lodging and in getting to the Haram. There are the hardships
encountered in Tawaf and Sa'ee. But, my brothers! To achieve any big
goal, you must undertake hardships. Those who are mentally prepared for
this are the successful ones.
The recipe that I am presenting is
called "tafweed", which means entrusting your matters, i.e. entrusting
your intentions and desires to Allah. The opposite of this is "tajweez"
which means relying on your own plans and actions.
is the root of all of our worries in our normal course of
affairs and especially during the journey to Hajj. On the other hand, tafweed results in complete
contentment. The person who in his difficulties leaves matters into the
hands of Allah finds that Allah shows him ways out of his difficulties.
When you reach the court of the King, then entrust your matters to the
King. If he makes you sleep on the floor, then sleep happily on the
floor. And if he makes you sit on the throne then sit on the throne
remembering that you are in the court of the King. He has invited you
here to honor you.
Never lose sight
of the true Beloved for even a blink of the eye
Lest the king
glance at you with mercy and you be unaware.
Many people return from Hajj and tell
stories about the unmannerly behavior of the people there and magnify
the difficulties they encountered there. One time I received a letter
from an old man who said that: while you give people good tidings of
Jannah, I went to Hajj but found no trace of the fear of God in the
people therein. Then the man mentioned his difficulties in such words
and talked about other pilgrims and the Saudi people in such a way that
I felt sorrow over the way he mentioned this.
We are not going there to have a
picnic. When millions of people gather in a city of three or four
hundred thousand, then due to the crowd there will be pushing and
shoving. The paths will be narrow and difficult. So undertake this
journey as an ardent devotee. Whoever is ardent in the love of someone
finds enjoyment in the difficulties he encounters on the way and
contentment in these worries.
One time I went with my respected
father Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Rahmatullah alayhi for Umrah in
Ramadan. We were sitting in the Haram in front of the Rukn Yamani. The
crowd was immense. People were jumping our shoulders. One Sudanese man
jumped my shoulder and his leg hurt my neck. It slipped from my mouth,
how rude these people are! I turned and saw that my father's face had
changed color and there were signs of anger. He stayed silent for a
while and then said: Would you rather that these shoves strike another
person who is sitting somewhere else desperately wishing to be here and
enduring them, but could not get here? This was around 1974. This
statement of my father changed my world completely. Now I wished to
encounter more of these shoves.
Now some useful advice that Insha-Allah
will be of benefit:
- There are two types of actions during Hajj: wajibaat, obligatory
duties, which must be performed and Mustahibbat, virtuous actions that
are not required by Shariah. If you can do the Mustahibbat without
incurring sin then that is a favor of Allah, otherwise you do not need
to worry about them. For example, kissing the Black Stone has great
blessings. But if in order to get this blessing you must push and shove
and fight or mix with women then this blessing is of no use. If you sin
in order to obtain that blessing than you have actually incurred a loss.
- Women coming into the rows of men disrupt both their salats and
the salat of their neighbors. Women should come early enough to the
Haram to pray in the women's sections. Otherwise, it is better for them
to pray in their residence.
- Praying forty salats with congregation in the two Harams is a
very virtuous act, but it is not obligatory. Those who are far from the
Haram or are sick or weak should not tire themselves hoping to achieve
- If a king commands someone in his court to ask him for something,
asking him for lowly things is disrespectful. So, ask Him for
forgiveness and His pleasure. Along with that also ask Him for your
worldly needs, because that is too His command; had it not been His
command, it would have been disrespectful.
- It is not obligatory on those who are residing far from the Haram
to offer every salat with congregation in the Haram. Rather, they
should pray in a mosque close to their place of residence and plan
according to their convenience.
- Abstain to the utmost from hurting other servants of Allah. Doing
so is a greater act of worship.
- While living in Makkah, the most meritorious act of worship is
Tawaf, so do as many Tawafs as possible.
May you enjoy being the guests of Allah
and return to your homes with His pleasure and forgiveness. Amin. If
you can remember then please do a favor by making dua for the
forgiveness of this helpless servant.
Translated from Urdu by Muneeb Baig.