Category Archives: Hajj

All things related to Hajj, the journey of hearts.

The Day of Arafah

Arafah: the main day of Hajj. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said in one hadith: “Hajj IS Arafah.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, book 10, #1944] How true that is–if you go to Arafah, but miss everything else, your Hajj is sound; and if you do everything else, but miss Arafah, your Hajj is not valid.

How much more important can you get than that?

Arafah, the day when millions of poeple gather in one place at one time to praise and supplicate to Allah.

So how can you make the best use of the Day of Arafah, while you’re in Arafah? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The best du’a you can make is the du’a on the day of Arafah.” [Malik’s Mutawatta, Book 10, #20.76.255]

So this is it–your chance to change the world insha’Allah, because the du’a you make on Arafah will be accepted, bi idhnillah. And you have a whole day to do it.

And remember–when you make du’a for someone who’s not around, the angels make the same du’a for you! The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “He who makes du’a for his brother behind his back (in his absence), the Angel commissioned (for carrying supplication to his Lord) says: Ameen, and it for you also (something similar).” [Saheeh Muslim, Book 35, #6589]

The best preparation you can make for the Day of Arafah is to write a du’a list. Write it out ahead of time, and make it long–at least twenty pages. What are some of the benefits of doing it ahead of time?

  • You can think of anything you want in this life and the next, and add that; you won’t forget anything.
  • You can plan ahead, see where you want to be in 5, 10, 50 years, in the akhira, and incorporate that in your du’a list.
  • You have time to make du’a for all your brothers and sisters in Islam and your close relatives.
  • You can ask your friends and relatives what they want you to make du’a for, on their behalf. They will be extremely happy if you tell them you’ll make du’a for them on arafah!

And trust me, twenty pages is not enough–if you squeeze every ounce, every second, of your time on Arafah making du’a–as you should–you can easily cover your du’a list a few times. So make it long, as long as possible.

Insha’Allah here are some ideas to help get you started on your du’a list–just some things to think about. Insha’Allah think up your own additional categories and personalize your list more.

  • Your eman
  • Your rank in Jannah (and Al-Firdaus)
  • Your knowledege of Islam
  • Your memorization of the Qur’an
  • Your health
  • Your wealth
  • Your job
  • Your kids–their eman and akhira, health, etc.
  • The ummah at large
  • Those oppressed in Palestine, Chechnya, Somalia, and worldwide
  • People you want to become Muslim–including presidents and world leaders
  • Countries you want to become Muslim–including your current residence
  • Guidance for every human being on the planet
  • Your Islamic work and projects
  • People who you know who aren’t very practicing, to become more practicing
  • People you know who are practicing, to become better and more practicing.
  • Any weakness you have–any sin you commit–to be overcome

This is just a list to get you started. Insha’Alalh work on it, and you’ll find ideas flowing.

Before that day, brush up on and make sure you know the etiquettes of du’a–praise Allah, glorify Him, thank Him, and send salaam and salaawaat on His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Call Him by His great names–including Allah, Al-Hayyu, and Al-Qayyum–then ask what you want.

And does this apply to people who are not on Hajj? Allahu ‘alim.

We ask Allah to accept our Hajj and the Hajj of all the Hujjaaj, and to make Hajj easy for everyone who goes or intends to go (ameen).

For more information on your Hajj Du’a list, check out the video below, courtesy of HajjCoach.com.

References

Prepare a MASSIVE Dua List. Perf. Muhammad Alshareef. 2007. HajjCoach.Com. 21 Nov. 2007 <http://youtube.com/watch?v=znaAS26jkpk>.

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Hajj Black Dots

Take a look at the following picture. What do you see?

Most people will say they see the black dot. Not the whole field of white dots.

That’s people for you! Despite all the white dots around us–our health, wealth, youth, our household, our family, our fine clothing–we only see the black dots. That guy at work who’s always talking on the phone. That punk at school who keeps stealing your cookies. That drip-dripping tap that never stops.

Perhaps this is why Allah says:

وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ

Translation: And few of My slaves are thankful. [Surah Saba, verse 13]

Subhanallah, how true this is! And never truer then on Hajj. Hajj is a time of hardship, no doubt about that. But one of the main ways to increase the quality of your Hajj is to focus on the white dots, not the black dots. Because Allah will test you–guaranteed–in ways you cannot imagine.

Say you’re in Mina, and you suddenly realize you have to use the washroom. So you rush out–only to find over a hundred people lined up across ten stalls! Subhanallah! That’s a big black dot–but what are the white dots?

  • You’re alive–that’s a big blessing in itself.
  • You’re surrounded by your brothers and sisters in Islam–and Hujjaaj, to boot!
  • It’s not a serious medical emergency–like someone dying–just a need to use the washroom.

And this happened to one of the Hujjaj in the group I went in. Subhanallah, they were literally almost jumping up and down, and some kind older person took pity on them and allowed them to jump the line–just in the nick of time!

The best way to prepare for Hajj is to start looking for all the white dots, now! Whether you’re at home, at school, at the mall, at work, at the dentist, think about all the blessings and white dots. And Allah says:

وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

Translation: And He gives you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude. [Surah Ibrahim, verse 34]

Here are some examples to think about. Post the white dots you find in the comments insha’Allah.

  1. Your group leader tells you the bus to Arafah is coming at 3am, so you should get up at 2am to get ready. You wake up at 2am. 8am comes, and the bus is still not here.
  2. You complete your tawaaf and sa’iee for Hajj, and return to your tent, only to find out they’ve already served dinner–because the group’s going later!
  3. You’re sitting on a bus to Mina. You’ve been sitting for 4 hours. The driver turns off the air-conditioning because the engine is overeating. The guy sitting next to you has someone standing next to him, so he jams himself into you to get more space.

These are just a few examples, taken from some real incidents that happened to people while they were on Hajj. What are the white dots in these situations?

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A Complete Duaa

Bismillah

How many times have we heard this duaa in our lives: Rabbana aatina fid-dunya hasanah, wa fil-akhirati hasanah, wa qinaa athaban naar. Have we ever contemplated how complete this duaa is?

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says

فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Translation: And among the people is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share. But among them is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Suratul-Baqarah, verses 200-201]

These ayaat are in the part of Surahtul-Baqarah that addresses Hajj and its rites. In the first part of the ayah (“And among the people is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share.”) Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says that there are people who remember only the dunya in their duaa, even when making duaa during Hajj. Why even at that time? When a person makes duaa, he focuses on what he wants, what is important to him, and what he thinks about the most. For these people–may Allah not make us from them–the dunya is their priority, and they think most about it wherever they are. This is the case whether they are performing tawaf or standing at ‘Arafat–they only think about attaining the dunya.

In the second part of the ayah, Allah explains that such a person will not have a share in the hereafter. Why? Because that is not what he was asking for. In the ayah, the Arabic word “Khalaaq” خَلاَقٍ means a portion or share which is given to someone because of his good character. Therefore, we also learn from this ayah that good character leads and opens doors to doing good deeds.

Then there is the other type of person, the one who says: “our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” What are the blessings he is asking for in this dunya? Rizq, offspring, wealth, a home, family, and good health. We live in this dunya, we have needs, and we are allowed to ask for them–the companions would even ask Allah for help when their shoelaces broke. So these people also ask for “hasanah” (good) in this world.

Then they say, “and good in the hereafter.” What is this good? Jannah, and all the steps that lead to Paradise. They ask for protection from the punishment of the grave. They ask that when the trumpet is blown on the Day of Judgment they are not among those who are terrified[1]. They ask that their book will be given to them in their right hand[2]. They ask that when their deeds are weighed, their good deeds will be heavier then their bad deeds[3]. They ask that when they have to cross the Siraat, they cross it with ease and quickness[4]. They ask to pass the Qantarah without any hardship[5]. And finally, they ask to enter Jannah with ease

When we make this duaa, we should have all of these things in mind inshaAllah. And when will a person ask for these things? Only when he or she knows about them, and knows that they are the steps that we will go through in the akhirah. Knowledge of what we are asking for helps our duaas come from the heart; when a person knows what he is asking for, he is no longer merely repeating the words “hasanah” in the akhirah and “hasanah” in the dunya, he sincerely thinks about what the words include.

In the final part of the ayah, Allah says that these people will then ask for salvation from the hellfire. Why? Because they know what a severe torment and punishment it is.

It was reported from Anas ibn Malik (رضالله عنه) that Rasul Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) this du’aa the most [Saheeh Muslim, Book 35, Hadith 6705]. When Anas ibn Malik (رضالله عنه) would make duaa, he would include this duaa. Therefore, we, too should make this duaa as much as we can, and with the meaning in mind.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) make us among those who will have good in this dunya, good in the hereafter and those saved from the torment of Hellfire. ameen

References

Al-Huda Institute Canada. Ta’leem Al-Qur’an Course for Women. Al-Huda Islamic Centre of Canada. Mississauga, Ontario. October 2007. <www.alhudainstitute.ca>

[1] “Whoever brings a good deed, will have better than its worth, and they will be safe from the terror on that Day. ” [Surah Naml, verse 89]

[2] “Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, He surely will receive an easy reckoning, And will return to his family in joy!” [Surah Al-Inshiqaq, verse 7-9]

[3] “And the weighing on that day (Day of Resurrection) will be the true (weighing). So as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful” [Surah Al-A’raaf, verse 8]

[4] “There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell): this is with your Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished. Then We shall save those who used to fear Allah and were dutiful to Him, And We shall leave the wrong-doers therein (humbled) to their knees (in Hell).” [Surah Maryam, verse 71-72]

[5] Abu Sa’eed al Khudree reports that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “when the believers cross the Hellfire, they will be stopped at a small arched bridge (Qantarah) before entering the paradise and will be given retribution for injustices between them until they become purified. (Then) they will be permitted to enter Jannah. So, by the One in whose hands is my soul, they will know their way to their homes in Jannah, better than they knews their ways to their homes in Dunya. (Saheeh Bukhari)

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Tawaf 101

What is tawaf, how do you do it, and what’s the best way to go about it?

Tawaf, Islamically, means circling around the Ka’bah for Hajj in the way the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) did and told us to do. The requirements of tawaf are simple–be in a state of wudoo.

The mechanics of tawaf are:

  • You walk around the ka’bah, seven times
  • Start at the Black Stone corner (from outside, it has a green light); raise your hand towards the Black Stone and say “Allahu Akbar” (or, if you can reach it, touch the black stone and say Allahu Akbar)
  • For men, if possible, you walk quickly (raml, in Arabic) the first three times
  • Make du’a, recite Qur’an, or make dhikr as you walk.
  • Whenever you reach the Yemeni corner, make the du’a: Rabbana aatiynaa fid-dunya hasanatan, wa fil-akhirati hasanatan, wa kinaa adhaaban-naar (O our Lord! Give us goodness in this life, goodness in the Akhira, and protect us from the Punishment of the Fire.)
  • Don’t push, jab, bite, or hurt anybody.
  • Once you’re done, drink some Zam-Zam, pour a little over your head, and pray two rakahs behind Maqama Ibrahim

Some tips to make your tawaf easier:

  • If you have family with you–your parents, uncles, sons, daughters, your spouse, your brothers, your sisters–hang on to them! Most people back off from trying to pass when they see people holding on to each other.
  • Aim for making tawaf on the second or third floor if there are too many people around.
  • The best time to make tawaf (in Hajj) is around midnight or 1am; the crowd is very sparse around that time. (Don’t even think about doing it right before or after Fajr–it’s tooooo packed.)
  • If someone pushes you from behind, turn and look at them (making sure to make eye contact). If they still persist, step to the side to avoid them. If you can’t, turn and say “Sabr, akhi/ukhti” (patience, o my brother/sister).

And remember, don’t injure anyone! Hajj is supposed to be about patience, and if the crowd isn’t moving, pushing won’t make it go faster!

We ask Allah to make tawaf easy on all our brothers and sisters (ameen ya rabb!)

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Five Hajj Jackpots

Hajj is an amazing act of ibadah–one that requires everything: mind, body, and wealth. People invest so much time, so much energy, and so much money into Hajj–and for what? What do they get out of it?

For a properly-intentioned, well-planned and correctly-executed Hajj–one free of, for example, arguing, pushing, and harming other Muslims, full of patience–there are five jackpots you cash out on when you perform Hajj:

  1. Deeds: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house–the Ka’bah–and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he or she was born,pure and free from sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, 7/3129]
  2. Salaah: When you pray in Masjid al-Harram in Mecca, your salaah is multiplied by 100,000 times [Tabarani]. If you’re there a brief span of two weeks (14 days), and you pray all five prayers in the masjid, that’s equivalent in reward to praying more then 3800 years!
  3. Wealth: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.” [Tirmidhi and Nasa’i] [1] While we may not understand how, surely, the words of the Messenger of Allah are true. And, if you realize that everything you spend for Hajj is multiplied by 700 times, then that means a $5000 package is equivalent in reward to spending $3.5 million in the way of Allah. [Imam Anwar al-Awlaki]
  4. Sabr: In Hajj, the unimaginable happens. Buses show up eight hours late. An eight kilometer ride becomes a twelve-hour imprisonment–stuck in a hot metal cabin with no air-conditioning in the desert. People push you, shove you, jab you with their elbows, steal your shoes, your phone, and your fruit juice. Your fellow Hujjaj will wrong you, the government will wrong you, your Hajj group will wrong you. Nothing teaches sabr like Hajj–and if you carry the lessons back into your life, you can reap the rewards of super sabr for your whole life.
  5. Du’a: Of the biggest jackpots is du’a. Because the Messenger of Allah said: “The best du’a you can make is on the day of Arafaat.” [Tirmidhi] [2] If you plan properly–and bring your 16-page du’a list–you can make du’a for yourself, your family, your friends, your co-workers and fellow students, your community, the Muslim ummah, the planet. The whole course of lives can change. If you remember Allah, He remembers you in a better gathering–and what gathering is better then one of millions of hujjaj? The angels will say “ameen, and for you something similar,” when you make du’a for your brother or sister in their absence. So go for it! You may never get another chance. (On top of that, the du’a of a traveler is also accepted, guaranteed.)

So if you’ve made Hajj, rejoice! You’ve hit not one, not two, but five different and amazing jackpots. And if you’re planning to go for Hajj, plan it properly–prepare your du’a list ahead of time, make the intention to pray in Masjid Al-Harram as much as possible, and above all, be patient–because Hajj takes every drop of patience you have.

May Allah accept all the Hajj of all the Hujjaj, and teach the coming Hujjaj how to best prepare and earn a Hajj Mabroor insha’Allah ameen!

References

[1] “Hajj in Quran and Sunnah.” IslamicFinder. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://www.islamicfinder.org/articles/article.php?id=282>.

[2] “Times When the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah Be Upon Him) Made Du’Aa’ During Hajj and ‘Umrah.” Islam Question and Answer. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=43640&ln=eng>.

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Amazing Hajj Gems

Did you know:

  1. The literal meaning of hajj is ‘desire’?
    1. Hajj is one of the main five pillars and all muslims desire to go for hajj.
    2. We should hasten to do it/plan for it as early as possible. [1]
    3. Hajj is expensive, but ALHAMDULILAH we have been given glad tidings: by the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم), who said, it eliminates poverty and sin! [2]
  2. Those not going for hajj can earn a lot of reward and forgiveness during the hajj days, as they are the best days of the year. [3] We should benefit by:
    1. Fasting these 10 days, especially on the 9th of dhullhijjah. [4]
    2. Sacrificing a lamb/sheep (distribute portion or all of it to needy, family members)
    3. Growing our nail/hair during these 10 days and cut them afterwards. (This also ‘unites’ us with what rest of the hajees are doing in mecca) [5]
    4. Saying Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”), Tahleel (“La ilaha ill-Allaah”) and Tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allaah”) during these days. [6]
  3. This is the only pillar that involves, all aspects of worship: i.e. Money/charity, physical aspects of worship, spiritual aspects of worship, etc.
  4. Freakily enough, a hajjee without good intentions or the one who shows off, may have NO HAJJ.

May Allah forgive us and grant us an accepted hajj and highest level of paradise (Ameen wa ajma’een). Please keep us in dua’s … May Allah forgive us too (Ameen)! Please do read the relevant proofs for them, as referenced below.

Also, here are other amazing articles with good ayats/ahadith on hajj. Please read and benefit: [Articles]


Hadith to the above points:

[1]: Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever wants to go for Hajj, let him hasten to do it, because he may fall ill or some other problems may arise.”

[2]: Also, hajj and umrah actually increases our blessings and wealth. The Messenger of Allaah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Keep on doing Hajj and ‘Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 810; al-Nasaa’i, 2631. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani – may Allaah have mercy on him – in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1200).

[3]: Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).

[4]: “The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawud; classified by al-Albaani as saheeh in Saheeh Abi Dawud, 2/462).

[5]:The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.”

[6]: Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)…” [al-Hajj 22:28]

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Let’s Go Hajj Shopping!

Hajj is coming. Less then two weeks remaining! But what’s the deal with Hajj shopping? Everybody tells you to take different things. Take suitcases. No, don’t take suitcases. Take lots of clothes. No, take a few clothes. Take medicine.

Confusion abounds.

How would you like a sneak peak at the shopping list of someone who attended Hajj several times in the last few years? Someone who changed their focus from attending Hajj to helping others excel at Hajj?

Check out this list of items they suggested (and yes, you should travel light!):

  1. Vaseline: Carry a small travel-size version–because your skin tends to dry and crack and chaff. Almost all men, and some women, get rashes. Keep it in a cool place, you don’t want it melting.
  2. Baby Wipes: Washrooms (especially clean ones) are rare, and you don’t want to waste precious water washing your hands. Keep a small box of them handy.
  3. Two Large, Light Suitcases: People expect gifts–and you expect to give them! Don’t be stuck trying to cram boxes into a small knapsack. Carry two large, empty suitcases with you.
  4. Small Sleeping Bag: Bring the smallest one you can find. No additional comforters or quilts! You’ll need to travel light, and you’ll need something warm for Mina.
  5. Cork Ear Plugs: You will definitely have trouble sleeping in Mina with all that noise around you. Keep some disposable cork ear-plugs. You’ll need your rest!
  6. Eyeshades: Ever try to sleep when the sun is rising, or up? What about when there’s a big, bright light only a few meters over your head? Eyeshades help–you can even catch a quick nap in the airport!
  7. Ihraam Towels (for men): Buy them early from specialty Islamic stores–depending on how you fly in, you may need to have them on on the plane, before you reach your destination.
  8. Gatorade Juice Powder: Keep some and dump it in your drinking water. It provides additional nutrients.
  9. Pocket Mushaf (Qur’an): Delays of four hours, waiting eight hours, and traveling 24 consecutive hours are all common in Hajj. Carry a mushaf with you, and aim to finish the entire thing during Hajj.
  10. Small Pocket Radio: For jumuah, you might be out of hearing range of the khutbah–but they broadcast it on the radio! Bring benefit to yourself and others with a small, handy radio!
  11. Unscented Soap: Because you can’t bring scented stuff. You won’t need the whole thing, so you can cut it up into pieces and share it with your fellow hujjaaj.
  12. Power-Bars: Keep a box or two of those small, usually-granola snack bars, for those times when you need a bite to eat but are in the process of your trip, or unable to reach food. (Don’t buy chocolate ones–the chocolate melts quickly.)

You can find more amazing, expert Hajj advice on all things Hajj-related at HajjCoach.com! (You need to sign up, but it’s free.)

References

Muhammad Alshareef. HajjCoach.com (2007). Session 04 – Let’s Go Shopping! <http://www.hajjcoach.com/site.php/spgs/read/hajjcoach_session_04_-_lets/>

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