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)


Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Updated 23 September 2016

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an
Brandon Yusuf Toropov gives a vivid account of his personal quest to study the most authentic verses of the Bible — the Q verses — and his coming into the fold of Islam. Thhis is the concluding part of his story.

I WAS interested in the research being done that indicated that the oldest strata of the Gospels reflected an extremely early oral source known as Q (the Q source: Q from German, Quelle, meaning ‘source,’ is a hypothetical written collection of Jesus’s sayings) and that each of the individual sayings of Jesus (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) needed to be evaluated on its own merits, and not as part of the narrative material that surrounded it. This is because that narrative material was added many years later.

Wresting with the doctrine of the Trinity: The more I looked at these sayings, the more impossible it became for me to reconcile the notion of the Trinity with that which seemed most authentic to me in the Gospels. I found myself face-to-face with some very difficult questions. Where in the Gospels did Jesus use the word “Trinity”? If Jesus was God, as the doctrine of the Trinity claims, why did he worship God? And, if Jesus was God, why in the world would he say something like the following? “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark, 10:18) Did he somehow forget that he himself was God when he said this?

The Holy Qur’an: In November of 2002, I began to read a translation of the Qur’an. I had never read an English translation of the entire text of the Qur’an before. I had only read summaries of the Qur’an written by non-Muslims. (And very misleading summaries at that.)
Words do not adequately describe the extraordinary effect that this book had on me. Suffice to say that the very same magnetism that had drawn me to the Gospels at the age of 11 was present in a new and deeply imperative form. This book was telling me, just as I could tell Jesus had been telling me, about matters of ultimate concern. The Qur’an was offering authoritative guidance and compelling responses to the questions I had been asking for years about the Gospels.
“It is not (possible) for any human being to whom God has given the Book and wisdom and prophethood to say to the people: ‘Be my worshippers rather than God’s.’ On the contrary, (he would say): ‘Be devoted worshippers of your Lord, because you are teaching the Book and you are studying it.’ Nor would he order you to take angels and prophets for lords. Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to God’s will?” (Qur’an, 3:79-80)
The Qur’an drew me to its message because it so powerfully confirmed the sayings of Jesus that I felt in my heart had to be authentic. Below, you will find just a few examples of the parallels that made my heart pliant to the worship of God. Each Gospel verse comes from the reconstructed text known as Q, a text that today’s scholars believe represents the earliest surviving strata of the teachings of the Messiah. Note how close this material is to the Qur’anic message.

On monotheism: In Q, Jesus endorses a rigorous monotheism. “Get thee behind me, Satan: For it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’” (Luke, 4:8) Compare: “Children of Adam, did We not command you not to worship Satan? He was your sworn enemy. Did We not command you to worship Me and tell you that this is the straight path?” (Qur’an, 36:60-61)

On Aqaba: Q identifies a right path that is often difficult, a path that unbelievers will choose not to follow. “Enter ye in through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there are who go in there. Narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew, 7:13-14) Compare: “The worldly life is made to seem attractive to the disbelievers who scoff at the faithful, but the pious, in the life Hereafter, will have a position far above them…” (Qur’an, 2:212)

On Taqwa: Q warns us to fear only the judgment of God. “And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear Him, which after He hath killed, hath the power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him!” (Luke, 12:4-5) Compare: “To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. God’s retribution is severe. Should you then have fear of anyone other than God?” (Qur’an, 16:52)

Earthly life: In Q, Jesus warns humanity plainly that earthly advantages and pleasures should not be the goal of our lives: “Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you who are full! You shall be hungry. Woe unto you who laugh now! You shall weep and mourn.” (Luke, 6:24) Compare: “The desire to have increase of worldly gains has preoccupied you so much (that you have neglected the obligation of remembering God) – until you come to your graves! You shall know. You shall certainly know (about the consequences of your deeds.) You will certainly have the knowledge of your deeds beyond all doubt. You will be shown hell, and you will see it with your own eyes. Then, on that day, you shall be questioned about the bounties (of God).” (Qur’an, 102:1-8)

Crucifixion: We are left then with an amazing early Gospel, a Gospel that (non-Muslim) scholars believe is historically closest to Jesus, a Gospel that has the following characteristics: Agreement with the Qur’an’s uncompromising message of God’s Oneness; agreement with the Qur’an’s message of an afterlife of salvation or hellfire ... based on our earthly deeds; agreement with the Qur’an’s warning not to be misled by dunya, the attractions and pleasures of worldly life. A complete absence of any reference to Christ’s death on the cross, resurrection, or sacrifice for humanity! This is the Gospel that today’s most advanced non-Muslim scholars have identified for us ... and this Gospel is pointing us, if only we will listen to it, in precisely the same direction as the Qur’an! I became a Muslim on March 20, 2003. It became obvious to me that I had to share this message with as many thoughtful Christians as I could.
Concluded
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