Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor


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  • Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor


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    Chapter Five

    The
    Ijtihâd Of The Religious Scholars

    Many people talk to me about the difference of
    Imams in their Ijtihâdât
    [Plural of the Arabic word Ijtihâd,
    which is an attempt to give a reasoned or deduced solution for unprecedented
    legal problems based on the four principles of Islam: the Noble Qur’an, the
    Prophetic Sunnah, the consensus of the scholars and analogy]
    concerning some of the Hajj
    rituals in which no textual Qur’anic rules were stated. Faith dictates complete
    concurrence on explicit textual rules (in the Noble Qur’an), but as for the
    inexplicitly stated rules that Allah has left open before Ijtihâd, we
    have to respect the opinion of the Mujtahid

    [A jurist qualified to exercise Ijtihâd] regarding it. No Imam
    should consider what he arrived at through Ijtihâd as the right
    opinion and that of others as wrong. But we should say as the Mujtahidun
    from amongst the Imams, who said, “What I arrived at is a right
    opinion possible to be wrong, and what others have arrived at is a wrong
    possible to be right.”

    That was proved at the hands of the Messenger of
    Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the legislator whom Allah had
    authorized to legislate what clarifies to people all the religious laws. In
    laws, the Noble Qur’an – the Inimitable Book – brought the basics and Almighty
    Allah entrusted His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to
    bring the details. Therefore, The Truth, praise be to Him, says (what means):

    “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)
    gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” (Al-Hashr,
    59: 7)

     

    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace) taught us to respect in Ijtihâd the different opinions,
    not to find fault with them, but to accept them.

    An illustration is the incident that followed the
    Battle of
    öAl-Ahzâb (The Confederates). After
    the disbelievers retreated and ran away, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) said, “None of you should offer the ‘Asr
    (Afternoon) Prayer except in Banu Quraizhah.”

    Some Muslims who heard the call hurried to Banu
    Quraizhah
    , bent on performing the ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer
    there as ordered by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace), while others saw the sun inclining towards setting and feared to miss
    the ‘Asr Prayer and thus performed it and then continued their
    journey to Banu Quraizhah.

    The two parties appealed to the judgment of the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he approved
    both. Those who performed the ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer before
    sunset in order not to miss the due time of its performance, that is concerning
    the party who considered the time. He also approved of those who did not
    perform the ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer except in Banu Quraizhah.
    That is concerning the party who considered the place. Judging that both
    parties were right.

    We state this to prove that the difference between
    the Four Juristic Schools in the Hajj or other matters should be approvable, by
    analogy to what the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) accepted regarding offering the ‘Asr (Afternoon) in Banu
    Quraizhah
    .

    Prior to visiting Egypt, Imam Al-Shâfi‘ay (may
    Allah be pleased with him) had already established his own Juristic School. But
    when he came to Egypt he found the records of ‘Abdullâh bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Âs
    (may Allah be pleased with him) which included hadiths untold by Abu Hurairah
    (may Allah be pleased with him). That is owed to the fact that ‘Abdullâh bin
    ‘Amr bin Al-‘Âs was known by writing, whereas Abu Hurairah did know
    writing but was a narrator. On reaching Egypt and obtaining what ‘Abduallâh bin
    ‘Amr bin Al-‘Âs had left, which comprised hadiths he had never known
    before, Al-Shâfi‘ay started to change some judgments he already inferred in his
    book entitled Al-Jadîd (The New) and changed others he had previously
    confirmed.

    Similarly in the Hajj, with respect to all the
    religious issues over which the Imams differed: as spending the night in Minâ,
    or standing at Al-Muzdalsifah, or slaughtering and its place of
    execution, besides other matters, when asked about them the judgment that the
    Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) gave was:

    “Do and there is no harm.”

    Those who fast adhere to certain matters in the
    Hajj, observe what the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) did in the Farewell Hajj
    [The first and the last Hajj performed by
    the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace],
    which confirms with the normal,
    because the pursuance of the actions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace) is to act upon the Authentic Sunnah. But we have to
    differentiate between adherence to the Sunnah of Proof and that of Judgment.
    You offer the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer as three rak‘ahs
    [The prayer of
    Muslims consists of Rak‘ât or Rak‘ahs (singular-rak‘ah). Rak‘ah represents a
    unit of the Prayer and consists of one standing, one bowing and two
    prostrations with a sitting in between],
    though no text in the Book of Allah stated that
    the Maghrib Prayer is three rak‘ahs. Also, no Qur’anic
    text stated that the Subh (Morning) Prayer is two rak‘ahs
    or that the Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, the ‘Asr (Afternoon)
    Prayer and the ‘Ishâ’ (Evening) Prayer are four rak‘ahs.

    But the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and
    grant him peace), who is the second legislator by the judgment of the Noble
    Qur’an, taught us thus.

    We come to the word Sunnah that arouses different
    opinions among the religious scholars. Some Jurists say there are enjoined
    acts, obligations and Sunnah; the Sunnah means practices if done you will be
    rewarded, if not you will not be punished, that is called adherence to the
    Sunnah of Judgment. As the two rak‘ahs you offer before the Subh
    Prayer; if you performed them you will be rewarded, if not you will not be
    punished. But as for the three rak‘ahs of the Maghrib Prayer you
    perform them acting upon the Sunnah of Proof not that of Judgment.

    Acting
    upon the more reliable course

    In the Hajj duty some people performed certain acts
    before others, postponed or done earlier. Upon asking the Messenger of Allah
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) he said:

    “Do and there is no harm.”

    Such matters neither belong to the Sunnah of Proof
    nor that of Judgment. Hajj must make way for aspects of difference. But the
    performer of the Obligatory Hajj, in other words the First Hajj, should not
    depend on the easiest but the more reliable way. As for the Voluntary Hajj,
    performed after the Obligatory one, ease in it is broader and adopting the more
    reliable in acts of worship is an obligation, for pilgrimage to be more
    promising of being accepted by Allah. If you are offering prayers and do not
    know whether you offered two or three rak‘ahs we tell you to consider
    that you offered two rak‘ahs in order to adopt that which is more
    reliable.

    For instance, in circumambulating the Ka‘bah
    and Al-Hatîm, which is the arc where Tawâf
    [The devotional
    act of circumambulating (i.e. walking around) the Ka‘bah seven times while
    reciting prayers and supplications. Tawâf should begin and end at the Black
    Stone]
    is performed outside it,
    you should not say that you would perform Tawâf just around the
    construction of the Ka‘bah, because originally its construction ended at
    this arc. At the time the Arab came to reconstruct the Ka‘bah, the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was twenty-five
    years old; they pledged themselves to build it from honest money only. They gathered
    the honest money but found it insufficient except for the current space of the Ka‘bah
    construction. So, they decided to build that which the honest money could
    afford, whereas the rest would have a border built for it only. These borders
    that resemble an arc are part of the Ka‘bah.

    When you perform Tawâf, you not only
    circumambulate the erection of the Ka‘bah but also the additional parts
    outside the arc. If you perform Tawâf at the close circle, your Tawâf
    is valid. And if you perform Tawâf at the wide circle, your Tawâf
    is also valid. But when you perform Tawâf at the close circle, you
    will leave a part from the Ka‘bah. Because, it is definite that the part
    encircled by the arc, having no construction, is from the Ka‘bah.
    Obligatory Prayers are not permissible to be offered in it, because Obligatory
    Prayers are not permissible inside the Ka‘bah but only outside it while
    facing it. Therefore, it is wiser to circumambulate the whole Ka‘bah and
    face the whole of it in your prayers. In every enjoined duty you must
    behave prudently by offering extra, not less.

    Slaughtering
    the sacrificial animal

    Slaughtering has no explicit textual rule;
    therefore, you adopt the easily done judgment.

    Those who judged that slaughtering is only
    permissible in Minâ, considered what Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace) did, whereas the others who judged that slaughtering
    is permissible in Mecca considered the noble Qur’anic verse in which Allah, all
    praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):

    “An offering, brought to the Ka‘bah.”
    (Al-Mâ'idah, 5: 95)

    Another opinion holds that
    all Mecca is a Manhar
    [The place where to slaughter the
    sacrificial animals];
    meaning that
    slaughtering is permissible in whatever place inside it. All this does not denote
    disagreement, because disagreement can be in the pursued path, not the pursued
    end. All of us seek truth, you see it here and I see it there. Nothing can lead
    us both to a judgment based on a definitely established truth except through Ijtihâd.
    This is not a deficiency in the legislation, but a manner of easing the burden
    on people in judgments, why? Because, just as Allah, all praise and glory be to
    Him, created me having no choice in predestined matters and having a free will
    in other matters, where I can choose between alternatives, He made the
    judgments pertaining to the creed compulsory where I have no choice, and other
    judgments He left open to Ijtihâd and reasoning. Otherwise, how would we
    interpret the noble Qur’anic verse in which the Almighty says (what means):

    “Only they had referred it to the Messenger
    or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would
    have understood it from them (directly).” (An-Nisâ’, 4: 83)

    Deduction is to derive judgments
    through a process of reasoning; since you are trying to deduce an issue then it
    is not explicit. To prepare us for offering prayers Allah, all praise and glory
    be to Him, says in His Noble Book (what means):

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    )

    “O you who believe!
    When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your
    hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads,
    and (wash) your feet up to ankles.” (Al-Mâ’idah, 5: 6)

    Before commencing prayers
    we have to do four things: to wash the face and the hands up to the elbows, and
    to rub the head and (wash) the feet. The question is whether the feet are
    included in the act of rubbing or that of washing.

    The answer is that the
    noble Qur’anic verse says (what means),
    ‘Rub (by passing wet hands over) your
    heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles,’
    the
    feet (in the Arabic syntax) are in the accusative case, consequently it is
    coupled with the washed parts, which is the face and hands, not the rubbed
    part, which is the head. Conformity with the ordering here is a condition; you
    perform these acts according to the sequence of their doing. Therefore, Allah,
    all praise and glory be to Him, separated between two washed parts by a rubbed
    one.

    The
    Major and Minor Ending of Ihrâm

    We have to know that there
    is a Major Ending of Ihrâm and a Minor Ending of Ihrâm. After the
    Minor Ending all prohibitions during Ihrâm
    [The sacred state of
    practicing great self-denial into which a Muslim must enter before performing
    Hajj or ‘Umrah, during which certain actions are forbidden (like having
    conjugal relations, shaving, cutting one’s nails, and several other actions)
    nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly. In this sacred state the dress of Muslim
    pilgrims consists of two lengths of white cotton, one wrapped around the loins,
    the other thrown over the left shoulder. Ihrâm clothes for women should fully
    cover the body except the face, hands and feet]
    becomes
    lawful except conjugal relations, which is only permitted after Ifadah Tawâf
    [Pilgrims’
    circumambulation of the Ka‘bah upon their return from Muzdalifah]
    . Ifadah Tawâf is a cornerstone we must care to
    perfectly perform: no more than seven ashwaat
    [One complete circuit
    around the Ka‘bah constitutes a shawt (pl. ashwaat or shawts), and seven
    ashwaat complete one Tawaf],
    because
    it is one of the cornerstones of Hajj.

    In Ifadah Tawâf the
    picture differs because some have already taken off their Ihrâm clothes
    after they stoned Iblis (the devil) at Jamrah Al-‘Aqabah
    [The closest stone
    pillar to Mecca, known as the Large Jamrah or Jamrah of the supreme devil]
    and have put on their usual clothes, whereas others
    have not yet ended their Ihrâm and remained in their Ihrâm clothes.
    We also find that some have covered one shoulder while exposing the other.

    Originally, we do so during
    the first three shawts, same as we pace rapidly during the first three shawts
    in Sa‘y
    [The devotional act of walking seven times between the knolls of As-Safâ
    and Al-Marwah which are located some distance from the Ka‘bah inside
    Al-Masjidul-Haram; starting at As-Safâ and ending at Al-Marwa]
    . During these shawts you have to go at a quick
    pace, an act described as following the way of As-Sahâbah (The
    Companions), which means to imitate what the Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless and grant him peace) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with
    them all) used to do.

    The cause of pacing rapidly
    in the first three shawts has a story behind. The change of climate
    fatigued the Companions of the Messenger (may Allah bless and grant him peace).
    Whereupon, the infidels of the Quraish claimed that the fever of Yathrib
    [The
    old name of Medina
    ] exhausted
    and weakened the Muslims. When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless and
    grant him peace) heard what they said he wanted to prove the falsehood of the
    infidels of the Quraish, so he commanded the Companions to uncover one shoulder
    and quicken their Sa‘y and Ifadah Tawâf during the first three shawts,
    saying to his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all):

    “May Allah mercy the one who shows them
    strength in his self.”

    Quick pace is neither
    demanded in the Arrival Tawâf
    [Pilgrims’ first circumambulation of
    the Ka‘bah upon their arrival at Mecca] nor the Farewell Tawâf [Pilgrims’ last
    circumambulation of the Ka‘bah directly before leaving Mecca].
    In the past, Al-Mas‘â
    [The
    place where pilgrims walk between the two hills of As-Safâ and Al-Marwah
    ] was a
    marketplace affording a place where people could sit and watch the Sa‘y.
    You are only obliged to go at a quick pace if the area in front of you is
    uncrowded. If it is crowded, do not jostle against the others and be gentle to
    the Muslims around you. Going at a quick pace in Sa‘y is done between
    two green marks found in the Mas‘â.

    Generally, the jostlement
    that causes injury is unwanted. For instance, you crowd at the Black Stone to
    touch or kiss it. You are asked to crowd in to perform a rite before which the
    mind pauses meditatively, because it is a proof of your utmost faith and
    staunch abidance by a deed that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless and grant
    him peace) performed. But at the same time you are asked not to harm anyone.
    What exhausts the pilgrims during the performance of the Hajj rituals is the
    behavior of some pilgrims.

    For instance, some prefer
    to perform Tawâf at the narrow side, close to the Ka‘bah, and do
    not want to perform it at the wide side, though if each of us circumambulate
    without trying to outstrip his companion or disturb him or knock against him,
    everything would go peacefully and smoothly.

    A hundred and
    twenty mercies in the Ka‘bah

    The Truth, all praise and
    glory be to Him, intends for us ease, and everyone present in the Meccan
    Sanctuary is to win a reward. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless and grant
    him peace) said:

    “Verily, Allah sends down in the Sanctuary (the Ka‘bah)
    a hundred and twenty mercies…sixty to the performers of Tawâf [The devotional
    act of circumambulating the Ka‘bah while reciting prayers and supplications],
    forty to the prayers and twenty to the watchers.”

    If you just sit looking at
    the Ka‘bah mercy will be sent down upon you. When you see the Ka‘bah and
    gaze at it all your worries fade away and nothing occupy your mind save Allah,
    all praise and glory be to Him. If you sit for hours before the Ka‘bah your
    eyes will not be diverted away from it, and you will be unable to disengage
    yourself as long as you are sitting in front of it. If you seek an
    interpretation, learn that in the human soul are faculties known only to Allah,
    all praise and glory be to Him.

    After finishing the Ifadah
    Tawâf,
    you perform the Major Ending of Ihrâm, after which you
    become relieved of all the prohibitions of Ihrâm. The pilgrim who
    first performs ‘Umrah (Minor Pilgrimage)
    [It consists
    essentially of Ihrâm, Tawâf (i.e. circumambulation) around the Ka‘bah (seven
    times), and Sa‘y (i.e. running) between As-Safâ and Al-Marwah (seven times). It
    is called minor Hajj since it need not be performed at a particular time of the
    year and its performance requires fewer ceremonies than the Hajj proper]
    then ends his state of Ihrâm and remains
    in Mecca until the time of Hajj is due and then reassumes Ihrâm,
    is called Mutamatti‘. The Mutamatti‘ is performing ‘Umrah
    in the months of Hajj, in other words, combining ‘Umrah and Hajj at the
    same time, but not with one Ihrâm. He assumes Ihrâm first
    for making ‘Umrah, where he performs its Tawâf and Sa‘y,
    and then ends his state of Ihrâm to assume it again at the due
    time of Hajj. We say that in such case the Mutamatti‘ must slaughter a Hady
    [A sacrificial
    animal]
    as
    proven by the Qur’anic verse in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says
    (what means):

    “And whosoever performs the 'Umrah in
    the months of Hajj, before (performing) the Hajj, (i.e. Hajj-at-Tamattu'
    and Al-Qirân), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can
    afford.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 196)

      

    Some people say that the
    sacrifice must be slaughtered in Minâ, and others say it should be in
    Mecca. Some people say it must be before the Hajj, and others say it must be
    after it.

    The Qur’anic text based the
    slaughtering of sacrifice on the Tamattu‘ form of Hajj
    [Performing ‘Umrah
    followed by Hajj during the months of Hajj, but it involves ending the state of
    Ihrâm for ‘Umrah and then reassuming it for Hajj].
    It is even said that you have to execute the
    slaughtering in the place where you begin your Tamattu‘, which will be
    the Marwah. For the Mutamatti
    ‘ [A pilgrim who starts with ‘Umrah
    then performs Hajj later during the months of Hajj]
    should slaughter the sacrificial animal in Mecca.

    The religious scholars held
    different opinions regarding ‘Umrah. Some said that it is neither
    obligatory nor an enjoined duty but a Sunnah, whereas others said that it is
    obligatory. In my opinion, the religious scholars must convene to settle these
    matters and reach a unanimous decision.

    Those who said that the ‘Umrah
    is a Sunnah, did not pay heed to the Qur’anic verse in which Allah, all
    praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):

    “And perform properly (i.e. all the
    ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad
    SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah
    (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 196)

    And the Qur’anic verse in
    which The Almighty says (what means):

    “Verily! As-Safâ and Al-Marwah (two
    mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allâh. So it is not a sin on him who
    perform Hajj or 'Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the Ka'bah at
    Makkah) to perform the going (Tawâf) between them (As-Safâ and
    Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allâh is
    All-Recogniser, All-Knower.”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 158)

    Why does Allah always follow
    the Hajj by ‘Umrah
    and what is the
    meaning of Hajj and that of ‘Umrah?

    The word, ‘Hajj’ in Arabic
    literally means ‘a resolve,’ i.e. to resolve to some magnificent duty. Indeed,
    the Shari‘ah
    [Islamic Law]
    knows nothing greater in the entire universe than the House of Allah. The word
    Hajj in the Law of Islam means being bound for the House of Allah, in whose
    regard Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):

    “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to
    the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford
    the expenses (for one's conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever
    disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a
    disbeliever of Allâh], then Allâh stands not in need of any of the 'Alamîn
    (mankind and jinns).” (Âl-‘Imrân, 3: 97)

    Thus, Hajj is a visit paid
    to the House of Allah, and the Hajj is assigned well-known (lunar year) months.
    The Truth, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, says (what means):

    “The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the
    well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the
    first ten days of the 12th month of the Islâmic calendar, i.e. two months and
    ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein by assuming Ihrâm),
    then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor
    dispute unjustly during the Hajj.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 197)

    When we deduce judgments
    from the Book of Allah, we have to bring all the Qur’anic verses that are
    related to the subject in question. We cannot take a judgment from a verse
    while ignoring another. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, stated the ‘Umrah
    in conjunction with the Hajj in the Qur’anic verse in which He says (what
    means),
    ‘So it is not a sin on him who perform Hajj or 'Umrah
    (pilgrimage),’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 158)

    and the Qur’anic verse (that means),
    ‘And perform properly
    (i.e. all the ceremonies according
    to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the
    pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 196)
    .  Therefore,
    ‘Umrah must be an enjoined duty and an obligation. In Surat
    At-Taubah, Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says
    (what means):

    “And a declaration from Allâh and His
    Messenger to mankind on the day of the greater
    Pilgrimage (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah - the 12th month
    of Islâmic calendar) that Allâh is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikûn
    (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger.” (At-Taubah, 9: 3)

    The word greater Hajj lends a feeling that there is another Hajj,
    but not the greater. Consequently, there is a great Hajj, because what comes
    next the greater in status is the great.

    After the great comes the small. Therefore, there is the greater
    Hajj and the great Hajj. The Hajj in which all people witness one standing, the
    Standing at ‘Arafah, is the greater Hajj; because all the pilgrims
    gather in ‘Arafah at one place and time, but
    ‘Umrah has
    no set time.

    The performers of ‘Umrah
    come to perform it throughout the year. They do not gather at one place as
    on the Day of
    ‘Arafah. The Qur’anic verse in which Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty
    and Might, says (what means),
    And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty
    that mankind owes to Allâh,’ (Âl-'Imrân, 3: 97)
    is considered in its general sense to denote the great
    Hajj (i.e., the ‘Umrah) if time is general, and as specifically denoting
    the greater Hajj, if time is specific.  
     

     

    Offering
    Prayers outside Al-Masjidul-Haram

    We have to understand
    certain issues related to Al-Masjidul-Haram (the Sacred Masjid) during
    the Hajj season. The Masjid gets overcrowded with pilgrims and many people
    throng towards the entry and others towards the exit, consequently the comers
    and goers knock against one another. Some also may not find room for praying
    inside the Masjid. The reason is that the majority believes that offering
    prayers within the walls of the Masjid earns a double reward, which is not the
    case outside.

    We correct it by saying, ‘If
    the Masjid got overcrowded and people offered Prayers outside it, where the
    rows were conjoined outside the Masjid, on the thresholds of its gates, in the
    streets and the nearby squares in a way that leaves no gap to pass through, it
    would be like offering Prayers in Al-Masjidul-Haram.’ Even if they
    stretched to Sanaa, provided that the rows are not cut.

    The pilgrims must be
    cautioned that in case the Masjid is humming with the prayers and you offered
    Prayer outside the Masjid you will win the same reward, as long as the rows are
    conjoined. But with end of the prayers ends the Masjid-like aura of the road.

    We have to warn against the
    habit of reserving places inside Al-Masjidul-Haram. Some prayers from
    the people living in Mecca or other parts reserve places in the first rows.
    Such places are not rightful to them, because places in the first row belong to
    the first comers to the Masjid. Generally, the proprieties of the Masjid
    dictate that each sits beside or behind the first to come. When the first row
    is completed follows the second, the third, and then the fourth in a way that
    allows each comer to get the place appropriate for him.

    The Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade reserving places in the Masjid,
    because it is an attempt to be distinctive in the Divine Presence where all are
    even. The only reserved place is that of the Imam, for whom a way is made to be
    able to lead the people in the Congregational Prayers, without crossing over
    the heads or harming others.

    Another thing is the
    adjusted alignment of rows in the Ka‘bah. The area close to the Ka‘bah
    approximates the shape of a sphere; when the rows extend and Prayers are
    offered in the corridors, under the pillars and edifices we find that the
    praying rugs determine the assumed standing position of the prayers. The rugs
    themselves circle the Ka‘bah, but in the corridors and
    passageways we find no rugs.

     

    When the Imam at the Ka‘bah
    says,
    ‘Adjust your rows,’ it does not mean that rows should be straight, even
    if the pillars hid the Ka‘bah. At the Ka‘bah we not only offer
    Prayers while turning to the Ka‘bah but we must see the Ka‘bah
    itself before us. People think that adjusting the rows there means the
    straightness of the rows, which is incorrect, because the Ka‘bah is the
    determining factor of your direction in the way that allows you to see the Ka‘bah.
    Straightness of rows here should be observed at the side borders of the Ka‘bah,
    if you are offering Prayers at the Ka‘bah. But if you are offering
    Prayers without seeing the Ka‘bah, it is enough to just turn to it.

    In Hajj there is what we
    call, ‘Needless adherence to acts unobserved in Hajj,’ so what is that? When we
    recite the Qur’anic verse in which The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him,
    says (what means):

    “And take you (people) the Maqâm (place)
    of Ibrâhim (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrâhim (Abraham) stood while he
    was building the Ka'bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g.
    two Rak'at after the Tawâf of the Ka'bah at Makkah).”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 125)

    We find that these words
    seem to bear a command, whereas the actual purport is the opposite, as they
    convey an allowance. The Qur’anic verse does not mean that solely the Maqâm
    (Station) of Ibrâhîm (Abraham, peace be upon him) [The step-stone used
    by Prophet Ibrâhîm during the original construction of the Ka‘bah. The stone
    carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the
    north side of the Ka‘bah]
    is the
    place of offering Prayers in the Ka‘bah. But the Station of Ibrâhîm came
    between the Ka‘bah and some prayers, who refrained from offering Prayers
    behind the Station of Ibrâhîm because it separated them from the Ka‘bah.

     

    Allah, all praise and glory
    be to Him, removed that difficulty through the Qur’anic verse saying (what
    means),
    “And take you (people) the Maqâm (place) of Ibrâhim
    (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrâhim (Abraham) stood while he was building
    the Ka'bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak'at
    after the Tawâf of the Ka'bah at Makkah).” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 125)
    . Meaning, it is possible to offer Prayers in that
    place and nothing is wrong with having the Station of Ibrâhîm coming between
    you and the Ka‘bah.

    At the end of Tawâf [The devotional
    act of circumambulating (i.e. walking around) the Ka‘bah seven times while
    reciting prayers and supplications]
    people offer the two-rak‘ah prayer of the
    Sunnah
    [Supererogatory
    Prayers: A two or four rak‘ah Prayer to be performed before and after the
    Obligatory Prayers. By their virtue man steps closer to Allah and win a great
    reward. They are among the Prophetic Practices that Muslims follow]
    . Owing to the great multitudes performing Tawâf,
    that place is intensely crowded especially at the Hajj season. In the fifties,
    to avoid such great amassment in that place the authorities wanted to transfer
    the Station of Ibrâhîm from its current place to another far off. The Station
    of Ibrâhîm at that time had around it buildings and pillars, had a roof and
    occupied a large space, which rendered the Tawâf difficult. They did
    start in constructing a new station and it was decided that king Al-Saud (may
    Allah be merciful to him) come to move the Step-stone to the place of the new
    station. But two days before the transfer a very lengthy telegram was sent to
    the people in charge signifying that such work is invalid.

    An order was issued to
    suspend working in the new station until the religious scholars pronounce a
    conclusive decision regarding the content of the telegram. Actually, the
    religious scholars decided the illegality of transferring the Station of
    Ibrâhîm from its current place.

    Thus, it was decided to
    demolish the buildings surrounding the Station and to construct a vitrine as
    large as the stone. It only occupies from the place the space of the footsteps
    of Ibrâhîm, as currently found and seen, for being one of the Signs that must
    be witnessed by all the pilgrims journeying to the Sacred House of Allah.

    We have to bear in mind
    that there is no difference in the earned reward, whether performing Tawâf and
    Sa‘y back and forth the
    As-Safâ
    and Al-Marwah in the first
    floor, the second or the third. Because the atmosphere is that of the Masjid as
    high as the seventh heaven and the earth alike, whatever be the depth reached,
    it is still a Masjid.

    We have to talk about Zamzam
    [The
    name of the water well that sprang beneath the feet of the Prophet Ismâ‘îl
    (Ishmael, peace be upon him) when he was an infant. It is about 150 kilometers
    southeast of the Ka‘bah]
    that
    typifies a vital issue in the Islamic creed. Regardless of being a healing and
    a sustenance that satisfies hunger, it symbolizes the Absolute Power of Allah
    and the total non-reliance on causes. When hajjis drink from it, it reminds
    them of Allah’s Mercy that opens the closed gates when causes no longer avail.

    We have to remind that some
    people underestimate the Hajj rituals, especially in Minâ where many of
    them assign others in throwing the pebbles under the pretext of overcrowding.
    To them we say, ‘Crowd is not accepted as an excuse except if you went to throw
    the pebbles but you could not.’ As aforesaid in the Hajj rituals and in all
    acts of worship we have to adopt the more reliable and never leave a thing
    doubted in its abandonment, for Hajj is not an excursion but an act of worship
    with rites that must be performed or atoned for by a sacrificial animal.

     

    Now that Allah has graced
    you with a pilgrimage to His Sacred House and performing its rituals, you
    prepare yourself to pay a visit to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him
    and grant him peace) in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah [Medina, The
    Lightened City
    ], which we shall discuss with the Help of Allah in the next
    chapter.

     

     

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