What is Meant by Hajj Mabrur?

Hb Ali Jifri 1

 

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) asks: what is meant by the term ‘hajj mabrur’?

All praise is for Allah.

Our Master Muhammad ﷺ said: “The performance of `umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous `umrah; and the reward of hajj mabrur is nothing less than Paradise.”[1]

The Mother of the Believers, Sayyidatuna Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “O Messenger of Allah, us women consider jihad to be the best of actions. Should we not perform jihad?”

He replied: “No. Rather, the best form of jihad is hajj mabrur.”[2]

What is meant by the term hajj mabrur which is the best form of jihad and the reward for which is Paradise?

A variety of answers have been given in response to this question.

In one hadith the Prophet ﷺ said that hajj mabrur is: “Giving food and spreading peace.”

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said it is: “`Ajj and thajj,” meaning raising one’s voice saying ‘labbayk’ and slaughtering the sacrificial animals in order to feed the pilgrims.

Another opinion is that in it the pilgrim does not detract from his hajj by committing any sins.

Other opinions are that it is an accepted hajj or one in which there is no ostentation or reputation-seeking or one in which the person performing it abides by all the rulings.

There is no doubt that all of these definitions are backed up by scriptural evidence and have a linguistic basis. Therefore it is possible to summarise the meaning of hajj mabrur in three points:

 

  1. Sincerity

The bare minimum level of sincerity needed in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that you seek Allah’s pleasure alone in performing it. There must be no ostentation or reputation-seeking in it.

In this regard the Prophet ﷺ said: “Actions are only by intentions. Each person shall only have what he intends.”[3]

You can elevate your intention by intending sincere repentance such that your spiritual state becomes higher after hajj. Up until very recently, people considered hajj to be a means of being elevated from one spiritual state to a higher spiritual state. After hajj you should no longer be neglectful of your obligations nor persistently commit minor sins or any major sins.

The highest level of sincerity during hajj is that nothing other than Allah enters your heart. This is a precious gift and a lofty station which is not easily attained. However, gifts such as these constantly flow forth from the treasure troves of Allah’s bounty. He is the Most Generous and He does not turn away those who place their hopes in Him.

 

  1. Wholesome Provision

The pilgrim should not fund his hajj with money that is not pleasing to Allah. This includes money spent on food, clothing, transport and other expenses incurred during the hajj as well as the maintenance of dependents left behind such as his wife and children.

The bare minimum in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that your money should not be from an unlawful source such as theft, bribery, fraud, usury or that is wrongly taken from others.

In a hadith it is mentioned: “If a man leaves for hajj with money which is pure, places his foot on the stirrup [of his riding animal], and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ [4], a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘labbayk wa sa`dayk.‘[5] Your provision is lawful, your riding animal is lawful and your hajj is mabrur with no sin.’ But if a man leaves his home with filthy provision, places his foot on the stirrup and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘la labbayk wa la sa`dayk.’ [6] Your provision is unlawful, your spending is unlawful and your hajj is not mabrur.’”[7]

If you perform hajj with money which is filthy

Then you have not performed hajj – only your camels have

Beyond this, the pilgrim may reach a high level of scrupulousness such that he stays away from any doubtful sources of wealth and chooses only the best and purest of his wealth with which to perform hajj.

 

  1. Excellent Performance

The pilgrim should perform the rites according to the rulings of the Sacred Law whilst safeguarding his heart and limbs from everything that is not pleasing to Allah. He should busy himself with remembering Allah and not fall into argumentation or foul speech.

The bare minimum in order for the hajj to be mabrur is to perform the integrals and obligatory elements of the hajj as well as to abstain from the things that invalidate it and the things that are prohibited during it. Along with this, the pilgrim should do his utmost to say ‘labbayk’ and generally remember Allah in abundance, to feed people and interact with them in the best way.

The pilgrim can then seek to perfect his hajj by avidly performing its recommended acts, following the example of the one who said ﷺ: “Learn your rites from me directly.”[8] He should abstain from disliked things and perform the rites with the utmost attention to detail. He should not waste his time in superfluous permissible speech but rather should be preoccupied with remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, supplication, pleading with Allah and reflection. His heart should be in a constant state of humility which is then reflected in his appearance and his interaction with others.

It is in this way that the hajj will be mabrur and the reward will be Paradise. The bounty of Allah is vast and unlimited and He is the Most Generous.

O Allah, protect the pilgrims who are coming to Your House and accept their rites for indeed they have come by Your bounty to receive Your bounty. Bless the good amongst them and by their virtue accept those who fall short. Return them to their homelands safely. Give us a great portion of what You pour into their hearts. Do not deprive us of the opportunity of performing hajj and visiting your Prophet, the Beloved, the Chosen One ﷺ.

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Translator’s note: based on the above, the term hajj mabrur could be translated as ‘a complete and accepted hajj.’

 

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[2] Narrated by al-Bukhari

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[4] ‘Here I am, O Allah, here I am.’

[5] ‘Here I am, at your service.’

[6] ‘I am not here and not at your service.’

[7] Narrated by al-Tabarani

[8] Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i

 

Defence Against Tribulation

 

Hb Umar 10

 

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us that our connection to Allah and His Beloved  ﷺ  are a defence against tribulation. He also helps us to understand some of the divisions among the Companions and the concepts of tawassul and service. Summarised from his speech in Dar al-Mustafa at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Dowra, 17th Dhu’l-Qa`dah 1437 / 19th August 2016.

All credit belongs to the Prophet ﷺ, our guide and teacher. The good works of anyone who reached any rank will be recorded in the Prophet’s book – from the Siddiqun and the greatest of them: Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman and `Ali – to the first of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, to the Ahl al-Bayt, the scholars and callers to Allah. Every mosque and institute of knowledge that Allah accepted will be recorded in his book.

The Valley of Hadramawt was blessed by the Companions, the Followers and the scholars that came after them and was then crowned by the arrival of Imam al-Muhajir. From his progeny came forth many shining stars, people of truthfulness and sincerity. This is our source of pride. Neither outward appearances nor empty ceremonies are a source of pride. This path is a path of removing all ceremonies and formalities. The people of this path paid no attention to outward appearances. They paid no attention to things that have no value in Allah’s sight and which are of no benefit in the next life.

Our Prophet ﷺ said: “A sign that a person has perfected his Islam is that he leaves that which does not concern him.” This is the path a person should take in this life, knowing that which concerns him in his religion and worldly life in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. That person then frees himself from the domination of disbelief which has numerous manifestations on the face of the earth. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned that tribulations will be presented to people’s hearts and this is exactly what we see today –in the name of movements or revolution or progress or other things.

When we study the lives of the Companions and the divisions that took place we only accept the narrations which are in accordance with how Allah describes them in the Qur’an. We do not allow anyone to tamper with our history. People tamper with our recent history and much of what is said is false. What the Prophet ﷺ informed us of is sufficient. He saw people having their faces torn with hooks made of fire. He asked who they were and he was told: “A man from your Ummah who lies and his lie then reaches the horizons.” Look at the precision of the Prophet’s description!

Sayyiduna `Ali said after the Battle of the Camel: “I hope that I and Zubayr and Talhah are among those who Allah described: We will remove from their hearts all rancour  – they will be brothers facing one another on couches.”[1] Sayyiduna `Ali made sure that Sayyidatuna `Aishah received the best treatment. He would pass by her tent to check up on her and he would address her as his mother. When she decided to return to al-Madinah he personally bid farewell to her. He arranged for his female relatives to accompany her and he walked not a few paces, but two miles, to see her off.

This is consistent with how Allah describes the Companions in the Qur’an: They are merciful to one another.[2]  This is appropriate for those who were taught by Muhammad. We do not accept other versions presented to us to divide us.

If we receive Allah’s light it cannot be extinguished regardless of the tribulations that come. The greatest tribulation will be the Dajjal, but the people of truthfulness, sincerity and humility and the people who love Muhammad will be safe from it. When Sayyiduna `Isa descends he will inform them of their stations in Paradise. The problem is that we have exposed ourselves to tribulations and we are deluded by what is presented to us.

If you want to be safe, enter the fortress of Muhammad. He brought us the fortress of la ilaha ill’Allah. Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “La ilaha ill’Allah is My fortress. Whoever enters My fortress will be safe from My punishment.” According to the strength of our connection to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, we will be safe from the greatest tribulation, not to mention the tribulations that come before and after it.

It is as Sayyiduna al-`Abbas said: “Tribulations only descend due to sins and they are only lifted by tawbah.” He said this when Sayyiduna `Umar put him forward to seek rain for the people at a time of drought. `Umar said: “O Allah, we used to use Your Prophet as an intermediary and now we are using the uncle of Your Prophet as an intermediary, so bless us with rain!” The whole region was then blessed with rain and Sayyiduna al-`Abbas became known as ‘the one who brought rain to the Haramayn.’ No-one said that this was an innovation or shirk. They knew that al-`Abbas was merely a means for the rain to come.

May Allah bless those who attended this Dowra, especially in the current conditions. Why did they come? Many people suffer hardships and long journeys for the sake of a qualification or a job but what was it that brought these people here? What do they want? “The one whose hijrah was for Allah and His Messenger..” Did they come to enjoy the parks or play games?

We also cannot forget the people involved in service, which is an arena of jihad. They will gain a greater reward than many people involved in jihad in our times and in previous times. Sayyiduna Abu Darda’ said: “If someone thinks that going out to seek knowledge is not jihad then his intellect is deficient.” These people served without expecting any worldly reward. Do you think that this will come to nothing? Allah says: We do not allow the reward of those who perfect their actions to go to waste.[3] Success is in truthfulness with Allah and working together to please Him.

May Allah bless the institutes of knowledge in Yemen and Sham and bring back their strength and vibrancy. May He bless al-Azhar al-Sharif and all the places and people of knowledge in the East and West. May He revive true knowledge among them. May He unite the Ummah and protect it from all harm.

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[1]  Al-Hijr, 15:47

[2] Al-Fath, 48:29

[3] Al-Kahf, 18:30

Reflecting Upon Muhammad ﷺ

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to reflect upon the greatest of Allah’s signs

 

Allah says: Do they not reflect? Their companion is no madman. He is but a clear warner.[1] 

Allah invites us to reflect on the greatest of His signs: Muhammad ﷺ.

Imam al-Busayri says in the Burdah:

He is the greatest sign for those who seek to reflect

And the greatest blessing for those who seek to gain

Reflecting upon Muhammad will lead to knowledge of Allah.

Anyone who looks at his life cannot say that he is mad. Is his immense character, his humility, his truthfulness or his trustworthiness evidence of madness?

Have the statements of any person been recorded more than his? To this day whenever a discovery is made we find that the concept has already been mentioned either in Allah’s revelation or in the statements of Muhammad.

He establishes a principle and centuries pass and that same principle continues to spread while other ideologies come and go. We still find in his words the solution to our problems. Do we find this in anyone else’s words?

Who can be compared to him?

 

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[1] Al-A`raf, 7:184

Words of Wisdom from Imam al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Imam `Abdullah bin `Alawi al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

“Remembrance of Allah is like a magnet – it pulls the heart away from heedlessness and into the unseen realm.”

“Brotherhood for Allah’s sake is like a tree. It is irrigated with the water of mutual visiting and the fruit it bears is working together for the sake of goodness and taqwa. If it is not watered it will wither and if it does not bear any fruit it will be cut down.”

“Words and actions that are in obedience to Allah illuminate the heart; those that are merely permissible harden the heart and those that are in disobedience to Allah darken the heart.”

“As a seeker who wishes to travel the path to complete realisation, you must know that the most important thing is for your heart to be fully focused on the love of Allah and on seeking Him, and for your body to be fully engaged in obeying Him and seeking closeness to Him. Everything depends on this, as the people of tasawwuf have stated.”

On Dealing With False Claims About the Parents of the Prophet ﷺ

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How should we deal with those who claim that the blessed parents of the Prophet are destined for the Fire ﷺ?

The first thing to mention is that we should avoid pointless debate with these types of people. They should be ignored unless it is hoped that they will return to the truth, in which case the correct position should be clarified to them. It is enough to say that the evidence of the Qur’an is given precedence over solitary hadith reports (ahad). The Qur’an clearly says that: We do not punish until We send a messenger.[1] If this is not sufficient proof for such people then there is no hope that they will be guided so they should be left.

We should remind people that verbally abusing a person’s parents hurts their children. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Do not verbally abuse the dead so that you harm those who are alive.”[2] These people should ask themselves: who is the son of the people they are abusing? We should also remember the Prophet’s etiquette when `Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl came to accept Islam. The Prophet told his Companions not to mention anything unpleasant about his father, in spite of the fact that Abu Jahl was the Fir`awn of this nation, a disbeliever destined for the Fire.

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[1] Al-Isra’, 17:15. At the very least, the parents of the Prophet would be considered to be Ahl al-Fatrah, meaning people living in a time and among a people to whom no messenger had been sent.

[2] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and al-Tabarani