Toward an accepted Haj

Toward an accepted Haj
Updated 05 September 2016

Toward an accepted Haj

Toward an accepted Haj

ALLAH has assigned a great reward for Haj Mabrur, as evidenced by the saying of the Messenger (peace be upon him) “There is no reward for Haj Mabrur except Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari)
The meaning of birr (from which the word ‘Mabrur’ is derived) involves the following two: Good behavior toward people, fulfilling one’s duties toward others and giving them their rights. In the Hadith, “Al-Birr is good behavior.” (Muslim) In the Musnad, from Jabir, Marfu narration states, “They said: ‘What makes Haj Mabrur, O Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him)?’ He said, ‘providing food to people and spreading (the greeting of) salam’.” (Fath Al-Bari) The following will help one ensure that his or her Haj will be accepted, inshaAllah.

First: Sincerity
Sincerity to Allah and seeking His reward and pleasure alone. Allah says in the Hadith Qudsi, “Whoever does an action for other than Me, I will leave him and his shirk.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) supplicated, “Allahumma Hajatan La riya’a fiha wa La suma” (O Allah, (enable me to make) Haj with no riya’ (show-off in the sense of desire that others witness one’s good acts) or suma (show-off related to desire that others hear about one’s good acts) in it.” (Ibn Majah, also see Sahih Sunan ibn Majah)

Second: Preparation for Haj
Servant’s preparation for Haj is from the most important matters that helps in performing the pilgrimage in the legislated manner and ensuring that one’s Haj is inshaAllah accepted.

Third: Symbols of sanctities
From the most apparent of goals and wisdoms of Haj is cultivation of the servant upon appreciation, esteem and love of Allah’s symbols and sanctities. Allah says, “That (is so). And whoever honors the symbols (i.e. rites) of Allah — indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” (Qur’an, 22:32)

Fourth: Good characteristics
“Haj is (during) well-known months, so whoever has made Haj obligatory upon himself therein (by entering the state of ihram), there is (to be for him) no Ar-Rafath ...” (Qur’an, 2:197) Ar-Rafath is sexual intercourse or what leads to it from sayings or actions. Suppressing anger, leaving argumentation and disputes. Allah says, “and no (Jidal) disputing during Haj.” (Qur’an, 2:197) Ataa said, Al-Jidal is that you dispute your companion until you anger him and he angers you.

Fifth: Reminder of the Last Day
Haj reminds the servant of the Last Day and its states and conditions in a clear manner.

Sixth: Submission to Allah
Pilgrim is trained upon submission, surrender and complete obedience to Allah Lord of the worlds, as, for example, in the case of actions of Haj, such as abandonment of stitched clothing and adornment, Tawaf, Sayee, standing on Arafat, stoning, lodging and shaving or cutting of one’s hair and other such matters.

Seventh: Feel of brotherhood
Pilgrims, with all their differences in tongues, races and nationalities, gather in one same place at one same time, in one same appearance, pronouncing the same call of Talbiyah, and for the same purpose: Belief in Allah, fulfillment of His order and forsaking sinful acts, all of which develops deep love between them, which, in turn, becomes a motive for them to know each other, to cooperate, exchange thoughts, advice, news and experiences, reinforcing in them uprightness upon this Deen which joined them together, as well as performing acts aiming to reach higher levels.

Eighth: Attachment to past
Actions of Haj remind of the past, from the migration of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) with his wife and infant, to Hijaz, his story when he was ordered to sacrifice his son, his building of the Kaaba and his call to people to make Haj. Likewise, Haj is a reminder of the rising of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his farewell pilgrimage with more than 100,000 companions; when he said to them, “Take from me your rites (of Haj).”

Ninth: Remembrance of Allah
The servant who contemplates during rituals of Haj about Talbiyah, Takbir, Tahlil (saying La ilaha ill Allah), supplication, as well as the two revelations (Qur’an and Sunnah) which speak about them, will find that an increase in remembrance of Allah is from the greatest wisdoms and aims of Haj. From those texts is the saying of Allah, “Remember Allah at Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram (Muzdalifah).” (Qur’an, 2:198) And his saying, “Circumambulating of the house, (going) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah and stoning have only been legislated for establishment of remembrance of Allah on the earth.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Tenth: Discipline
Remember that Haj nullifies what precedes it from sins, and that because of Haj you return in a state like that on the day your mother bore you. So beware of opposing Allah with sins after this blessing. Open a new page in your life and fill it with righteous actions in steadfastness upon His Deen.
The evidence of Haj Mabrur is steadfastness of the servant after Haj, his practice of righteous acts and leaving of the sins. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Al-Haj Al-Mabrur is to return abstinent from this world and desiring the Hereafter. This is witnessed in His saying, “And those who are guided; He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness (Taqwa, fearful awareness of Allah, care to avoid His displeasure). (Qur’an, 47:17)

The beauty of prayer in Islam

The beauty of prayer in Islam
Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

The beauty of prayer in Islam
GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.