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Muslim Students

By: Sidhra Yakub

Every year between the 8th and the 13th of Zul Hajj, Muslims from all over the world, gather in the holy city of Makkah for Hajj. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is a visit to the Ka‘ba, the house of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). The Ka‘ba is a sacred building that was built by Sayyidina Nabi Adam (‘Alayhissalam). During the battles that took place over time, the Ka‘ba was damaged. Sayyidina Ibrahim (‘Alayhissalam) and his son Sayyidina Ismail (‘Alayhissalam) then rebuilt the Ka‘ba and restored its dignity. The Ka‘ba is the oldest House that was built for the purpose of worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

It is Fard (compulsory) for every Muslim to make at least one journey in their lifetime to Makkah for Hajj if they can afford it. Going on Hajj consists of many memorable events. First, you must do ghusl (bath) and make niyyah (intention) for Hajj. Men wear Ihram clothing which are two pieces of unstitched white clothing, women wear their normal dresses. You then recite the Talbiya which is Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk (I am here O Allah, here I am) and perform the rites of Umrah.

On the 8th of Zul Hijjah you do the Tawaaf of the Ka‘ba in Makkah. Then you go to Mina and pray Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. On the 9th, you pray Fajr in Mina. After Fajr, you go to Arafaat to pray Zuhr and Asr. You make du‘a there. More people are forgiven by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) on the Day of Arafaat than on any other day.

Then you leave for Muzdalifa after sunset. At Muzdalifa, you pray Maghrib and Isha and collect 49 or more pebbles. On the 10th, you pray Fajr at Muzdalifa and leave for Mina and sacrifice a lamb there as it is the day of Eid ul-Adha. Now you stop recitintg the Talbiya and begin to recite the takbiraat of Eid. You then pray Zuhr and throw 7 pebbles at the big pillar (jamarah in Mina) which represents shaitaan. After you have sacrificed an animal, have a haircut or shave your hair, women need to clip only a little of their hair. Now you can come out of Ihram clothing and put on your normal clothes. Then you leave for Makkah and perform Tawaaf there. You then return to Mina. On the 11th after Zuhr Prayer, you have to throw 7 pebbles each at the 3 jamarat (pillars) in Mina. On the 12th, you throw 7 more pebbles each at the jamarat. After that, you return to Makkah and make Tawaaf-ul-Wadaa (farewell Tawaaf). This completes your Hajj.

Then you leave for Madina and stay there for at least eight days to complete the 40 Salah and visit Rawdat-ur-Rasul to recite salawaat and salaams on the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).

Performing Hajj brings us closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). It brings thawaab (heavenely rewards) and is a memorable experience that teaches us many valuable lessons in Islam.

The teachings of Hajj are very significant to a Muslim’s daily life. During Hajj, we pray Salah five times a day and offer many other prayers and stay clean and pure at all times. Praying Salah is mandatory during the period of Hajj as well as throughout one’s life. Praying Salah in the Grand Masjid in Makkah rewards a Muslim 100,000 times the thawaab of praying one Salah at home.

Sacrificing a lamb or goat during Hajj teaches us to share and to give to the poor. It teaches us generosity, kindness, and the ability to share with others less fortunate. In Mina, when we throw pebbles at the three pillars representing shaitaan, we learn that we should be truthful and clean and live a life free of sins. We learn to disobey the shaitaan’s evil ways and stand against him.

Apart from kindness and generosity, Hajj teaches us that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) has blessed us greatly. The water from Zam Zam is a special gift from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) to Muslims till the Day of Judgement. Anyone who drinks the water from Zam Zam will be granted shifa‘a (healing) from all the illnesses and diseases. Making du‘a at Arafaat is also a blessing. All du‘as are answered and all wishes are made true.

This Pilgrimage helps us learn the history of Islam, and to see how it has been held up over the past centuries. We should remember the work of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). We should learn the patience and the sacrifices made by our Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) at this very time and place many centuries ago. The gathering of Muslims all around the world helps us to remember that we are all Muslims and worshippers of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and that we are all brothers and sisters in Islam. We learn about Muslims from different nations. We see that Muslims are not joined together on the basis of color or race. They are joined together on the basis of Islam, the way of Faith and right action. The Pilgrimage brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place, the Ka‘ba. This strengthens the spirit of unity, equality and brotherhood. These are the values on which Islam builds the human society and it will continue this way till the Day of Judgement. Ameen.

Rabi‘ Awwal 1421, July 2000

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