Imam Hasan, son of Imam al-Haddad, and the Effect of Hajj

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.” Continue reading Imam Hasan, son of Imam al-Haddad, and the Effect of Hajj

The Best Prayer is the Prayer of Arafah

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best prayer is the prayer of the Day of Arafah. The best thing which I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيُي و يُمِيت وَ هُوَ حَيٌّ لا يَموتُ  بِيَدِهِ الخَيْرُ و هَو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِير

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu yuhi wa yumit wa huwa hayyun la yamut bi yadihi’-khayr wa `ala kulli shayin qadir Continue reading The Best Prayer is the Prayer of Arafah

Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness After Hajj

hb-after-hajj

 

One of the first things Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) did when he returned to Tarim after performing hajj was to seek Allah’s forgiveness. The Prophet said ﷺ : “O Allah, forgive the one who has made hajj and the one for whom he seeks forgiveness.” This is the prayer he made:

O Allah, as Your Prophet ﷺ taught us, we seek Your forgiveness for ourselves and those present and our families and our children and those in our homes and our neighbours and our companions and our students and all Muslims and believers male and female.

We ask You, by the secret of Your Beloved’s seeking forgiveness and his request that You forgive the person who performs hajj and whoever he seeks forgiveness for.. we ask You by what You said in Your Book: If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and sought Allah’s forgiveness and the Messenger sought forgiveness for them they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.. we ask You for complete and all-encompassing forgiveness which leaves behind no wrongdoings or acts of disobedience. Replace all our bad deeds with good deeds and fulfil the rights that are due to others on our behalf.

O Allah, bless those who have performed hajj and visited Your Prophet ﷺ with complete acceptance and allow Your Prophet to intercede for us. Allow us to receive the gifts and secrets that were bestowed upon those who made tawaf and stood at Arafat and performed hajj and umrah. May this be a cause for us to increase in determination to honour our covenant with You so that we attain Your true love and remain firm upon the path which is pleasing to You in our words, deeds, intentions and all our states.

We ask that through Your acceptance of those that have performed hajj You relieve the sufferings of the Muslims and unite the Muslims. We ask for Your complete enabling grace and to be in the best company in the next life. We recite the Fatihah and donate the reward to the Chosen One and his Household and Companions and those that he loves and all of Allah’s pious slaves.

What is Meant by Hajj Mabrur?

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.

——————————

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

 

On Preparing for Hajj

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

How do I prepare for hajj?

You prepare for Hajj by purifying your heart, making sincere tawbah and giving people the rights that are due to them. You need to learn the rulings of Hajj and Umrah and etiquettes of Ziyarah. You must have veneration for Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and the Sacred House. Also read about how the pious performed Hajj and visited the Prophet ﷺ .

Advice for Visitors to Makkah and Madinah

Advice given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) to a group from Dar al-Mustafa traveling to perform `Umrah and Ziyarah, 25th of Jumada al-Akhirah 1435 / 25th of April 2014.

Allah says: If someone venerates the sacred things of Allah, this is truly a sign of piety in the heart.1 The five most sacred things are the Prophet ﷺ, the Ka`bah, the Qur’an, the five prayers and Ramadan. The Prophet is the most sacred of these things. Thus nothing is more pleasing to Allah than for us to go to him, since he is the most beloved of Allah’s creation to Him. However great the Ka`bah or the Throne is in Allah’s sight, nothing can compare to the greatness of the Prophet ﷺ.

If someone told Habib `Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur that they were going to perform Ḥajj, he would correct them saying: “Say I’m going to visit the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Had it not been for him we would not know what the Ḥajj was.”

The Prophet ﷺ is the greatest means to reach Allah. Habib `Alawi bin Shihab would always say that he wanted someone to present his case and the case of the Ummah in person to the Beloved ﷺ. So remember the Ummah in that place.

Imam al-Haddad says:

Visiting him is a cause of success and profit for the people of sincere and pure hearts

By it you will attain everything you wish for in your religious and worldly affairs and all fear and harm will be removed

You will be unable to repay your Prophet, my son, even if you came to him walking on your eyes

When you visit him, renew your covenant to serve him, his sunnah and his Ummah.

If someone is going to visit Allah and His Messenger ﷺ , it is only fitting that their actions, words and intentions be pure (tayyib). The Prophet is tayyib and Allah is tayyib and only accepts that which is tayyib. You should thus be concerned with showing correct etiquette (adab), having good character, serving those who you are travelling with and spending your time in remembrance and reflection. You should lower your gaze and also keep your inner sight focused so that you are not distracted by anything.

Do not object to anyone’s behaviour with your tongue or your heart in either of the Two Sanctuaries. Maintain a good opinion of everyone, because there are many people of Allah in both Makkah and al-Madinah and most of them are concealed.

The son of one of the pious was about to go to perform Hajj. The parting advice of his father to him was not to find fault with anyone that he saw during his Hajj. As soon as he entered Makkah, he saw an old man performing wudu incorrectly. He began to point out the man’s mistake to him but the man turned to him and said: “Have you already forgotten your father’s advice?”

Allah has put certain people in positions of authority over the Two Sanctuaries for a limited period of time. If they tell you to do something, then obey them without objection. Behave at all times with tranquillity and dignity.

When the area close to the Prophet’s grave was crowded, Habib `Attas al-Habashi would sit at a distance, in a place where there is now a door called Bab al-Baqi`. He would say that true proximity is not physical, but rather it is the proximity of the soul.2 It was in this area that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ received revelation.

There are a number of historic places in both Makkah and al-Madinah. Many of these blessed places have been destroyed but their light has not been extinguished.

Some of these places have been incorporated into the two great mosques. The grave of the Prophet’s father, Sayyiduna `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Muttalib, and the well Bayruha’3, for example, now lie within the Prophet’s Mosque.

Inside the enclosure in which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is buried there lies a space in which Sayyiduna `Isa will be buried. The Prophet informed us that Sayyiduna `Isa will come and give greetings of salam to him in his grave and he will return those greetings.

The house of Sayyiduna `Ali and Sayyidatuna Fatimah is inside that same enclosure. Behind the enclosure is Mihrab al-Tahajjud, where the Prophet ﷺ would pray the night vigil prayer. It is now screened by shelves containing copies of the Qur’an.

Behind that is a raised area which was where the Suffah or ‘Bench’ was. This was where the ‘People of the Bench’ stayed.

If someone stood in the Rawdah and swore an oath that they were in Paradise they would not break their oath.

We can remember the grave of Imam `Ali al-`Uraydi4 and the mosque and ribat (school) next to it. The authorities later destroyed everything and turned the area into a wasteland.

The resting place of Sayyidatuna Khadija is in al-Ma`la in Makkah. Her grave is opposite the last window but one on the left. Next to her is her son, al-Qasim, and nearby is the place that the Prophet ﷺ pitched his tent when he returned to Makkah. In the same area is the grave of Habib Muhammad bin `Alawi al-Saqqaf, one of the spiritual guides of Imam al-Haddad.

If you face the Ka`bah between the two Yemeni corners, you will also be facing the Prophet’s Mosque and al-Masjid al-Aqsa, because they are all in one straight line.

You should return infused with a new light. Only your body should return from your trip. Your heart and soul should remain forever in those blessed places.

 

***

1 Al-Hajj, 22:32

2 Thus if you cannot get physically close to the most blessed places, then attempt to be spiritually close to those places

3 A well belonging to Abu Talhah which the Prophet used to drink from. Abu Talhah then gave it away for the sake of Allah, which greatly pleased the Prophet.

4 Son of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq and direct ancestor of Habib `Umar

Imam al-Haddad’s Counsels on Hajj and `Umrah

COUNSELS ON TRAVELLING

You must hold fast to all the acts of devotion which you perform regularly when you are not travelling. Do not make light of leaving any of them. You should make up any acts of devotion which you are unable to perform due to travelling when you are able to do so, if they are of the sort which can be made up. If it is not possible to make them up, then remember that Allah has made things easy for people travelling. The hadith states: “If a believer travels or becomes sick, Allah orders His angels to record for him the same actions that he would perform when he was not travelling and was in good health.”1 This is a blessing, a mercy and ease from Allah. All praise be to Allah – He is so merciful and kind to His slaves! Continue reading Imam al-Haddad’s Counsels on Hajj and `Umrah

Advice for Those Not on Hajj

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

What can we do at this time if we are unable to go on Hajj?

  • We should focus on the objectives of Hajj and seek to realise them. For example, we should seek to attain humility before Allah and servitude to Him.
  • On Hajj we leave behind some of the things which we are accustomed to. Those who are not performing Hajj should try to do the same by, for example, performing different types of worship.
  • We should try to strengthen love and brotherhood between ourselves.
  • We should try to assist the poor and perform the sacrifice (udhiyah/qurbani).
  • We should take advantage of the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah by fasting as many days as we can and by standing in prayer during its nights. We should encourage our family members to do the same.
  • We should try to assist and support those going on Hajj and their families who are left behind. The Prophet ﷺ said that the one who assists someone going out for the sake of Allah has the same reward as that person.
  • We should pray for those performing Hajj and thereby receive a portion of the reward which they are receiving.
  • We should try to gather together when everyone is gathered together at Arafat to pray to Allah and seek to receive the mercy which is descending there. We should gather together on that day even if it is not the Day of Arafat (9th Dhu’l-Hijjah) where we are.

On Delaying Hajj

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

 

What is the ruling on spending money on other things if someone has enough money to perform Hajj?

It is permissible to spend money on anything that is permissible. However, if someone has the financial means to perform Hajj in a given year but does not do so, then this person is negligent, even though many of the scholars say that if someone anticipates being able to perform Hajj in future years the obligation is not immediate. There is no harm in spending money on those in dire need or spending it on travelling to seek obligatory knowledge (instead of spending it on performing Hajj).