الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي فرض الحج على من استطاع إليه الطريق، وأمرهم بالسعي والقيام في عرفات والطواف حول البيت العتيق، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع

الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر. قال الله سبحانه وتعالى في كتابه الكريم: وَأَذِّنْ فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَى كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ

 

Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Announce the Hajj to mankind. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road so that they can be present at what will profit them and invoke Allah’s name on particular days over livestock He has provided for them.”

Muslims, the moussem of the Hajj is almost upon us. Muslims from every part of the globe will shortly be making their way to Makka, and many have already left, going to fulfil the most important pilgrimage known to man, a pilgrimage attended by millions of Muslims each year, the one and only truly global pattern of human activity. In honour of this, the greatest journey any human being will ever or can ever undertake, and as a service to those who will be going, we will mention some of the rulings relating to the Hajj as well as the considerable benefits and rewards it brings.

The first thing that must be stated is that hajj is not some optional extra, something that you can take or leave. It is just as essential a part of the deen as the prayer. It is a pillar, one of the foundations of the house of Islam. The Prophet said,

 

بني الإسلام على خمس: شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمداً رسول الله، وإقام الصلاة، وإيتاء الزكاة، وصوم رمضان، وحج بيت الله الحرام

 

“Islam is built upon five things: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, paying the zakat, fasting Ramadan, and making the Hajj pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah.”

This obligation relates to every Muslim man and woman, but only, of course, if they have the ability to do so. Allah says,

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حَجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا

 

the translation of which is, “Hajj to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all mankind – those who can find a way to do it.” What does this mean, “Those who can find a way to do it”? What constitutes ability to go? The necessary physical health and strength to make the journey as well as the financial means to afford it without getting yourself into debt or leaving those who financially depend  upon you, such as your wife, parents or children, with insufficient funds to live. That is the universally agreed position with regard to men. As for women, the Saudis have added the condition that they must travel with a mahram, a close male relative, and they seem to be quite strict about that as is shown by recent events. For in the last few days, they have deported hundreds of Nigerian women who arrived at Jedda without mahrams. This goes against the position of Imam Malik, for he permitted women to go on hajj so long as they travelled in a group large enough to provide safety. Malik said in the Muwatta,

 

إنها إن لم يكن لها ذو محرم يخرج معها، أو كان لها فلم يستطع أن يخرج معها، إنها لا تترك فريضة الله عليها في الحج ولتخرج مع جماعة من النساء

 

“If she has no mahram to go with her, or has a mahram but he is unable to go, then she should not leave the Hajj pilgrimage Allah has made obligatory but should instead set off in a group of women.” Imam Malik based his position that they could go without a mahram on the example of the Companions, for Umar ibn al-Khattab gave permission to the wives of the Prophet to go on hajj under the protection of Uthman ibn Affan and Abdurrahman ibn Awf and without mahrams, and no one objected. And he also based it on the words the Messenger of Allah said to Adi ibn Hatim by way of a boast as to how strong and widespread the deen would become,

 

فإن طالت بك الحياة لترين الظعينة لا زوج معها ترتحل من الحيرة حتى تطوف بالكعبة لا تخاف إلا الله

 

“If you live long enough, you will see women travelling in their howdahs without their husbands, coming all the way from al-Hira in Iraq to do tawaf of the Kaba, fearing nothing but Allah.” In other words, women will be able to travel to hajj unaccompanied because of how safe the roads will become because of the spread of Islam. And Adi narrated that that indeed came to pass in the course of his lifetime, and he himself saw women travelling to hajj thus, indicating that it was accepted as being permitted. So this position of the Saudis is unfair and divisory and prevents a large portion of the Muslim umma from going on hajj. When someone made a similar ruling in the presence of Aisha, she rejected it out of hand, saying,

ما كلهن من ذوات محرم

 

“Not all women have a mahram!” In other words, no one should be prevented from fulfilling one of the great pillars of the deen because of the lack of a certain type of relative.

If you have been granted the capacity, then seize the moment and do not keep delaying your hajj to another year, for you may never again have that capacity.  This is the position of the great alim of Madina, Imam Malik, who considered hajj to be wajib ‘ala l-fawr, ’obligatory immediately as soon as its conditions are fulfilled. And that was the advice the Messenger of Allah gave his Companions, for he said,

 

تَعَجَّلُوا إِلَى الْحَجِّ يَعْنِي الْفَرِيضَةَ فَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَا يَدْرِي مَا يَعْرِضُ لَهُ

 

“Hurry to do your Hajj (when you have the means), for you never know what will happen to you (i.e. to prevent you going in the future).” This is an opportunity granted to you by Allah to fulfil one of the pillars of his deen. And by spurning such opportunities, you are opening yourself up to kufr and the wrath of Allah. For Abu Umamah narrated the Prophet said,

 

من لم يمنعه عن الحج حاجة ظاهرة او سلطان جائر أو مرض حابس فمات ولم يحج فليمت إن شاء يهودياً شاء نصرانياً

 

“If anyone not prevented by illness, or obvious need, or a tyrannical ruler, fails to perform hajj, he might as well die a Jew or a Christian.” This is quite a warning, so do not let the petty concerns of this world stand in your way when the time comes.

This obligation of the hajj applies only to adults. So, children, while permitted to go, will not have fulfilled their obligation, and will be required to go once again after reaching puberty.

The hajj itself has four pillars, the absence of any one of which makes it invalid. The first of those is ihram, namely making your intention to go into a state of ihram and putting on its clothing. This should be done as soon as you reach the edge of the wider haram, which varies depending upon the direction from which you are coming. Most of us will be on the plane as we pass over the outside of this zone, so we should change into the clothing at Dubai airport and then make the intention when they announce we are above the zone.

Being in a state of ihram prevents men from wearing any clothing that is stitched or goes right around the body apart from sandals and a money belt, provided that the belt is next to the skin and not over the ihram clothing. And it is also forbidden for him to cover his head, As for women, they are forbidden from covering their hands and faces. And the other essential part of ihram is to do talbiyya, i.e saying Allahumma labayk, when going into it and throughout the time you are in it.

The best intention you can make when going into ihram is to intend to make hajj ifrad. In other words, to intend to only do a hajj with that ihram and remain in it until your hajj is complete. This does mean remaining in ihram for the duration of your stay in Makka, but it is the best form of hajj according to Imam Malik and Imam ash-Shafi’i for it is the only form of hajj that does not require you to make a sacrifice (and sacrifices are only made to make up for some deficiency in the hajj), and was the form of hajj practised by the Messenger of Allah, as is confirmed in a well-known hadith from Aisha, and the form of hajj practised by the first two rightly guided khalifas, Abu Bakr and Umar.

The second pillar is the sa’y between safa and Marwa, going backwards and forwards between them seven times. This pillar recreates Hajar, the wife of Ibrahim‘s search for water for her and her son Ismail, and its obligatory nature is confirmed by both the Quran and the Sunna, for the Messenger of Allah said, “is’aw fa-inna-llaha kataba ‘alaykumu’s’sa’ya.”

The third pillar is standing on ‘Arafa. Every Hajji must be present on Arafa for at least a portion of the night preceding the day of Sacrifice, the 10th of Dhul-Hija, and must make the intention of standing there. Then and only then will his Hajj be considered valid. In many ways, this pillar may be considered the most significant, for it is the only thing that distinguishes hajj from ’umra. And for that reason, the Messenger of Allah said, al-hajj arafaat.

And the fourth and final pillar of hajj is the tawaf al-ifada. This is the tawaf that follows the standing on ‘Arafat and is one of three tawafs that a Hajji makes but is the only one that is absolutely essential and without which there can be no Hajj. It is to this that Allah refers when He says, wal-’yattawwafu bi-l-bayti-l-’atiq. We ask Allah to enable all of us who go on hajj this year to fulfil its pillars and to accept our pilgrimage to His House. And that He give all of those who are unable to go this year, the strength and capacity to do it next year and in the years that follow.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.

 

The hajj is a truly awesome, miraculous and unparalleled phenomenon, for nothing else like it exists on the earth or in human experience. There is nothing else that on a yearly basis brings the human race together in all its myriad shapes, colours and races, and gathers them together all in one spot with one single voice and one single purpose. Nothing, anywhere.

And there never has been, for the hajj is unique in its universality. And it has been so since the very dawn of creation, for the House of Allah was one of the first things to be established on the earth. Allah says,

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “The first House established for mankind was that at Bakka, a place of blessing and a guidance for all beings.” Mujahid said,

 

خلق الله موضع هذا البيتِ قبل أن يخلق شيئاً من الأرض بألفي سنة

 

“Allah created the place where this House is two thousand years before He created anything else on this earth.” And from that moment, it has been a place of pilgrimage. In the tafsir of Imam al-Qurtubi, Ali ibn abi Talib is narrated as having said,

 

أمر الله تعالى الملائكة ببناء بيت في الأرض وأن يطوفوا به؛ وكان هذا قبل خلق آدم، ثم إن آدم بنى منه ما بنى وطاف به، ثم الأنبياء بعده، ثم ٱستتم بناءه إبراهيم عليه السلام

 

“Allah commanded the angels to build a house upon the earth and to walk around it. That happened before Adam was even created. Then Adam built what he built there and made circuits around it, as did the Prophets who came after him. Then Ibrahim completed its building.” Thus, everyone who participates in the Hajj is carrying on an unbroken tradition that stretches back to the very first footsteps our forefather Adam took upon the earth and beyond. And even the form in which we do it is truly ancient, for we carry out the very rites put in place by Ibrahim more than six thousand years ago. Such pilgrimages have been made at various times to other spots upon the earth, but none in such a constant, universal and uninterrupted manner.

We have mentioned that the Hajj is an obligation, but like all the other obligations of the deen, it should never be viewed as an imposition. Allah only makes things obligatory on us because they are in our best interest and befit the way and the form in which we have been created. These obligations are the acts most pleasing to our Lord and those which take most swiftly to Him and for which He rewards us the most. And the Hajj is no different.

No matter how hard it may seem, no matter how much of your money it might cost, no matter how sick you might get in the course of it, there is nothing but good in it. In one sense, it is the culmination of your life and its pinnacle, when you arrive as a Muslim and become complete and when those missing pieces click into place. It is no accident that it was on the farewell hajj of the Messenger of Allah that Allah revealed the aya,

 

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى

 

the translation of which is, “Today I have perfected your deen for you and completed My blessing upon you.” But, in another sense, it is the beginning of your life, for through it you are born anew and return to your former life transformed with a fresh slate. For no one can do hajj sincerely except that he be altered and reinvigorated by it. No one can do hajj sincerely except that they return from it with their senses heightened and their life imbued with a new strength and sense of purpose. The Prophet said,

 

من حج البيت فلم يرفث ولم يفسق خرج من ذنوبه كيوم ولدته أمه

 

“If anyone performs Hajj and keeps away from sexual intercourse and wrong action during it, then all his wrong actions will be washed away so he will be like the day his mother gave birth to him.” Hajj is the very best thing that any Muslim can do while on this world. The Prophet said,

حجةٌ مبرورة خيرٌ من الدنيا وما فيها وحجةٌ مبرورة ليس لها جزاءٌ إلا الجنة

 

“An accepted hajj is better than the entire world and everything in it. An accepted hajj brings no less a reward than the Garden.”

We ask Allah to accept the Hajj of all those who go this year, and safeguard them throughout their journey. And bring them back from it refreshed and revitalised, ready to do all that is necessary to put His deen back in place. We ask Him to reunite the hearts of the Muslims through this Hajj and heal the divisions that have formed. We ask Him to make whole what has been broken and restore this Muslim umma to its former glory.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعن خديجة وعائشةَ وسائر أزواج النبي، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمَتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ

 

In the days leading up to the great moussem of the Hajj, Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi will hold his own annual moussem, a gathering of dhikr and fikr for the greater Qadiriyya community. This will be held this coming weekend in this mosque, starting with the Jumua next Friday, the 5th October, and then continuing on to the Saturday and the Sunday, the day of the moussem itself. Many great shuyukh will be attending from around the world. Everyone here is invited, although no children, no one below the age of puberty will be permitted to attend.