Teachings of Hajj and the Muslims’ Failures Part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal   
Sunday, 27 September 2015 16:54

The ineffective rituals

Islam stands on five obligatory rituals; these are called the pillars of Islam. Hajj is known as the 5th pillar. Those who can afford the necessary expanses it is mandatory on them. In the holy Qur’an it is revealed: “And Hajj is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, upon everyone who can afford the expenses; (and) whoever disbelieves then Allah stands not in need of anyone of the worlds.”–(Sura Al-Imran, verse 97). Therefore, whoever believes in Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and has the ability to bear the expenses must perform Hajj. And whoever denies hajj despite his affordability is indeed a disbeliever. Other four obligatory rituals are: standing as witness (shahadah) to oneness of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and declaring allegiance to prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihis salam) as His servant and prophet; offering daily five times salah (prayers); month-long fasting in Ramadan and paying annual zakat.


For becoming a true Muslim, one needs to be fully compliant with all these obligatory rituals. Adherence to these rituals is the marker of his or her faith; any non-compliance makes one a disbeliever (kafir). Rituals are not for the sake of rituals, each of these rituals has specific role to make a human fully Muslim. However, it is impossible to understand the role of these rituals unless one understands the vision of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la, Islam’s mission and the role of a human. It also requires the adequate understanding vis-à-vis the His grand objective in the creation of humans. In absence of such understanding, one may engage in any amount of rituals for any number of years; but such rituals will remain meaningless. Islam is the religion of full submission to Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; therefore, any degree of rebellion against His command makes him kafir. Obligatory rituals are designed only to make people fully submissive to Him and integrated with His Vision. Hence, staying away from the rituals has a disastrous consequence; it takes people away from Islam and drives down to the hellfire.


Every man and woman must know his or her role in life; also must know how to perform that role. It is in fact the most important learning need of a human. No amount of education can give any real success or benefit if it fails to teach that designated role; and if doesn’t show how to accomplish it. Such educational failure leads people only to the hellfire. Such a failure indeed overwhelms all other successes of the human. Man was created only to be His khalifa -the viceroy on earth to fulfil His vision. Before creating Adam (AS), Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la wished the creation of such a khalifa in the assembly of the angels. The role of being the viceroy of the Almighty Creator in fact brings the highest honour to a man or woman amidst all other creations. And a khalifa can’t be a sovereign monarch, ruler or lawmaker. Making law and claiming sovereignty over any land is the exclusive domain of the Sovereign Almighty; claiming such sovereignty by any human or group of humans is indeed a rebellion against the Supreme Authority of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Only a Shaitan or kahlifa of a Shaitan can behave like that. Such a rebellion indeed undermines the objective of Islam and the Vision of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Human’s creation, revelation of the holy Qur’an and rearing up Muslims as Muslim indeed move around that man’s designated role of khilafa (viceroy). If the human denies to work as His khalifa, that damages the Divine project of implementing the Qur’anic roadmap. That pleases only Satan; and expedites the arrival of Divine curse. Can a sensible man take that route of infinite hellfire?


Working as the viceroy of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is in fact the most important agenda of a Muslim’s life. A true Muslim doesn’t possess any other choice. Whoever gets detached from this Divine agenda does a great betrayal against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. The rituals like prayers, fasting or hajj of such traitors are nothing more than rituals of a robotic man; and can’t help at all becoming a true Muslim as envisioned in the holy Qur’an. Such human robots fail to understand the message of those obligatory rituals. Exactly that is happening in the Muslim World. More than a billion Muslims perform salah and fasting; and several millions perform hajj each year, but Qur’anic Islam with sharia, hudud, khilafa, shura and pan-Islamic unity doesn’t survive anywhere.


The promise and the betrayal

Hajj is the most sacred occasion to announce the most solemn promise in human life. No house is sacred than the House of Allah in Makka (Ka’ba). It is the place of blessing and the source of Divine guidance. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la Himself testifies: “Most certainly, the first house ever set up for mankind was indeed the one at Bekkah: rich in blessing and a source of guidance unto all the worlds. –(Al-Imran, verse 96).


Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la gathers the believers from all over the world in His most sacred place. The whole setting is Divinely planned: not only to make some solemn promise, but also to seek His guidance, blessing and forgiveness. In such a milieu of high spiritual fervour, a believer repeatedly declares with his highest emotional and intellectual height: “Labbayek”. The word labbayek literally means: “I am here at Your service O Allah!” He again says, “Allahumma Labbayek”: “O Allah, I am here at Your service!” Labbayek is the key word of hajj; a believer goes on reiterating, “O Allah! I am here at Your service.” A believer travels thousands of miles to declare such readiness for the sake of His Lord in the holiest premise of the World. He keeps on moving around the grand mosque of Ka’aba and goes on repeatedly declaring the same. He also says, “Labbayk, La shareeka laka Labbayek”:“ O Allah, I am here at Your service! No partner You have, I am here at your service.” And he adds, “Innal-hamda wan-n’imata laka wal-mulk”:“Here I am here at Your service. Praise and blessings are indeed Yours. The Kingdom belongs to you!” And he reiterates, “La shareeka lak”: No partner You have.

In hajj, a believer thus gets the opportunity in the most sacred premise on earth to implant deep commitment in the soul for the sake of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Therefore, the spirit of labbayek shouldn’t die at the end of hajj; rather must survive with the same spirit and with the same promptness in every walk of life. The rituals of hajj finishes, but the spirit of labbayek must not end. Wherever he finds a Qur’anic command, a believer must say instantly labbayek. The Qur’anic narrative like “Samey’na wa ata’na” which means “we listen and we obey” should be the mission of a Muslim. In Muslims’ life there is no so scope of non-compliance. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la brings the believers from all over the world to inculcate such instant readiness in believers’ heart. It is the greatest teaching of hajj. In hajj, a Muslim announces the word “labbayek” so many times that it should be the integral part of his habit. He also says, “laka wal mulk”. It has a huge ideological and political implication. It is the declaration that the Kingdom of the world only belongs to Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. And “Allah’s Kingdom” means the sovereignty of Allah Su’hana wa Ta’la as the Supreme King. And “Sovereignty” means possessing the exclusive right of giving law. After making such a clear declaration in the holy premise, how can a believer deny the sharia law –as revealed in the holy Qur’an? Is not an ugly betrayal?


Prophet Ibrahim (AS) on the central stage

Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) is one of the greatest man in human history. He was an upright Muslim; and made remarkable history in the discovery of Divine Truth. He was repeatedly put on trials; and passed every trial with full scores. In fact, the word “Muslim” was firstly coined by him: meaning a believer who fully surrenders to the wishes, laws and commands of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la liked it so much that He reserved the word “Muslim” for all those who believe in Him. Despite his birth in a family of idolaters, prophet Ibrahim (alahis salam) discovered that Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is the only Creator of the whole universe and He has no partner; and only He and none else needs to be worshipped.


Whenever and wherever there was any command from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la, prophet Ibrahim (alahis salam) instantly said labbayek. He told, “O Allah! I am here at Your service.” He is indeed the ideal model of such readiness for any believer in any part of the world. He didn’t have an army of people. He was almost alone. No amount of hardship, torture or fear of death could deter him from standing for the sake of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la.  Nimrod and his army threatened to kill him alive by dropping him in a blazing fire; but still he fearlessly said labbayek. He feared none except the Almighty Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. He perfectly showed how to respond the Qur’anic command: “La takh’shao’hum akh’shaoni” meaning: “Don’t fear them, fear me.” He was asked to leave his wife and the only son in the lifeless and waterless desert of Makka. He still said labbayek. He was asked to migrate from Iraq to Palestine, from Palestine to Egypt. In every stage, he said labbayek. When he was asked to sacrifice his only young son Ismail, he said labbyek.  He wife Hazera and son Ismail also showed the same readiness. Hazera also expressed labbayek when dropped in an empty landscape of Makka. His Ismail also expressed labbayek when prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) told him that he saw a dream that he should be sacrificing him for Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Such an illustrious model and his family are kept in the central stage of hajj; and the house he built with his son is placed the central point. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la took such a great man as His khalil (friend) and kept his teachings alive till the last day.


Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihis salam) himself is a great model for the whole mankind. But Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la asks him and his followers to take prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) as the model. So it gets revealed in the holy Qur’an: “Indeed, (O Muhammad) there has already been an excellent model for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when he said to his people, “We dissociate ourselves from you and from what you worship besides Allah; we reject you, and now a state of enmity and hatred starts between you and us for ever until you believe in Allah alone.”  Ibrahim (alaihis salam) was a steadfast and upright Muslim all the time. He declared war alone against Nimrod and his army. In the way of Allah, Ibrahim (alaihis salam) didn’t wait for others to come with him. He stood for Truth even alone; thus he is a perfect model of the Qur’anic command that says, “Tell (O Muhammad!), I advise you one thing only, rise up for the sake of Allah, whether you are in pair with other or alone..” –(Sura Saba verse 46).


To fulfil such a Divine vision, an ideological war on a global scale is inevitable. In such war, Muslims must work as His committed soldiers –as were the early Muslims. With such a global vision, how a Muslim can restrict his activity limited within his own tribe, community or country? He must come out from his ethnic, linguistic or tribal boundary. He needs to be perfectly global. Hence in Islam, nationalism, tribalism and racism are forbidden. Hajj is in fact a global event to promote such a global vision. In such a context, Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) is the perfect model. Hence in hajj, Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) and his family is kept in the central stage. In those days of difficult communication, Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salam) didn’t keep his mission limited within the boundary of his birth place of Iraq. He moved to Palestine – more than 500 miles away from Iraq. He again moved to Egypt –about 300 miles further down from Palestine. He again moved to Makka – about 900 miles away from Egypt. How a dynamic man he was? To fulfil the mission, he was always on the move. The early Muslims too survived with the same Ibrahim spirit. In hujjat-ul-bida (the last hajj), Porphet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihis salam) asked the Muslims to take the massage to the people whom he couldn’t deliver the massage himself. The early Muslims took the responsibility on their shoulder. They made thousands of miles’ journey and crossed mountains, rivers, deserts and seas to take the message of Islam to the distance part of Asia, Africa and Europe. As a result, very few of these early Muslims could find their burial in their birth place.


The life changing event

Hajj is a life changing event. It is a unique training programme; and the training manual is made by none but Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la Himself. He is the host, and He is the overall In-Charge of the whole event. No one send any invitation letter for this global convention except Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la Himself. Hence, it is greatest and most effective training program on earth. In this regard Islam is unique. No other religion has such universal appeal, nor has such global dimension in their rituals. Prophet Musa (alaihis salam) was sent to the people of his own tribe. Prophet Isa (alaihis salam) was also sent to the people of Israel. So, Christianity and Judaism do not have any obligatory ritual with such a universal dimension. No other religion makes it mandatory to come from all over the world and gather on a single stage at a specific time. Since Qur’an is the final revelation for the whole mankind, it is complete and comprehensive.


Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la –the Most Wise and the Most Merciful has no bias against anyone; and He doesn’t show any favour for a section of people over the other. The Almighty doesn’t like that the people should display their supremacy over others. All items of life and luxury are the gifts of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; hence no one should use such gifts to show pride over others. People exhibit their superiority through wealth, clothes, costumes, robe, hat, shoes and other attire. Even in religious rituals, the Christian pope and bishops, the Jewish rabbi, the Buddhist monks, the Hindu guru, the kings, and the queens appear with their distinctive markers. In Islam, such exhibition of pride is forbidden. Hence in prophet’s mosque the people from the outside used to find it difficult to differentiate the prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) from others on the floor. The Christian people of Jerusalem failed to differentiate Khalifa Omar (RA) from his servant when he entered the city with his servant sitting on the camel and himself walking on foot.


Allah Sub’hana Tala reinforces the same teaching of equality in hajj; hence removes all such means of show-off. In hajj, all men wear only two pieces of unsewn white clothes –the attire of the dead men and women; and no cap, no shoes and no robe is allowed. As if, millions of dead men and women roaming in the premise. No king, president, Prime Minister is allowed to have any protocol in the hajj premise; each of them must walk and stay with the common people. In the field of Muj’dalefa, they need to sleep under the open sky with the fellow brothers and sisters of different colour, race and language. No item is allowed to bring in to enhance their personal extra comfort. In the night in Muj’dalefa, they must go to the nearby field to collect stones on their own to be thrown at the devils; no servant is allowed to do the job. All kings, queens, ministers and dignitaries need to walk several miles on foot from Mina to Jama’rat to stone three devils; there is no exemption. There shouldn’t be any privilege for anyone; they should move around Ka’aba shoulder to shoulder with others; none should be asked to create any space for others. They need to run seven times between Safa and Marwa merging with the common people. In the whole premise of hajj, there must not be any divisive line between people. Only Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la can devise such a non-biased and non-discriminatory code of such a global assembly of millions. Could any other religion, faith or ideology demonstrate such a universal equality even for a single day?


The failed hajj: why?

Hajj initiates a highly value-adding process in believers’ life. Hence whoever performs hajj is expected to achieve new heights in his iman, taqwa, vision, mission, character, behaviour and spirituality. That is only achievable when the spiritual journey in hajj is made with a mind adequately enlightened with Qur’anic understanding. Blind eye can’t see anything; hence his journey even through a beautiful place can’t help him appreciate anything. Ignorance is the blindness of mind; hence the same is true with an ignorant man. It impairs the whole purifying process of hajj. Sugar can’t be made out of stone; it needs sugarcane. Likewise, the value-adding process of hajj can’t work on ignorant men or women; it needs enlightened people with Qur’anic knowledge. Hence hajj was made mandatory only after an adequate nourishment of the Muslims with the Qur’anic knowledge for more than a decade.


Millions of people are performing hajj, but how many of them possess the adequate Qur’anic nourishment? Rather they enter the holy premise with the secularised and de-Islamised heart and soul. Most of them are already the members of parties, armies and governments that committed against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and His revealed sharia. Hence hajj is failing to make expected impact in the Muslim World. After hajj, a believer must attain more taqwa; must get more nearer to Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; and must be more devoted to His mission on earth. If anyone fails to achieve such a new height in his faith, deeds and dedication; it indicates he or she has failed to achieve anything from hajj. It is a proof that hajj has not worked on him. He may earn a decorative title like hajee or may enjoy a fabulous shopping; but he has definitely missed the spiritual purification. Only a fool can believe that such a failed or ineffective haj will be accepted by Allah Sub’hana wa Tala. 27/09/2015 

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