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Title : You Are With Those Whom You Love

Date/Location: July 2007  – Talk delivered in Rochdale, Jamia Chistia

Speaker:  Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Yahya Al Ninowy

NoteTaker: Anonymous (itb075@hotmail.com)

The shaykh talked about the very famous Ayah in the quran:

“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline: or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His punishment: and Allah does not guide the fasiqeen.” [Surah At-Tauba Verse 24]

If we are to summarise this religion of Islam, then we can say that it is a religion of  love.

Allah (subhanahu wa’tala) encourages us through the Quran to love our parents and informs us not to even say ‘uff’ to them [Surah Al Israa].

The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) informs us about love of the family, where he says “The best amongst you is he who is best to his family and I am best to my family”.   He (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) also teaches us about loving our daughters, when he says “Fatima is part of me”, showing his deep love and affection for her. He also expresses his love for Imam Hassan and Husayn (Radiallahu Anhum) ,when they are on his shoulders and he is kissing them and a man comes and says , “Do you love them? I have 10 sons, I don’t kiss any of them.” The Prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) replied “What can I do if Allah has taken away mercy from your heart?”.

He also teaches us love for our neighbours, where he says “Gibreel keeps coming to me and keeps saying neighbours, neighbours, as though he is inheriting from the neighbours”.

Allah (subhanahu wa’tala)  orders us Ihsaan (be good) towards our society by saying in the Quran… “Allah orders you to be just and  to do Ihsaan …” We should be positive contributors to society, because our beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) came as a mercy to the entire worlds, therefore we should be an extension of his mercy to the entire creation of Allah.


The more you learn about his beautiful qualities (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), the more hostage you become to his love and his beautiful qualities…

Furthermore, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)  also taught us about love of his companions. Loving the family of Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)  is also talked about in the Quran where Allah says “Tell them , I am not asking of you any reward in return, expect that you are kind to my offspring”.  This is the wasiyah of the beloved, so don’t neglect it. There are Hadith that also emphasize this.

The Quran also teaches us to love the mothers of the believers… One should love their mother. The Quran also teaches of love of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta Alaa)  and his Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) . This is all contrary to the saying of those who say that Islam is a religion of violence and hatred, but in reality, it’s a religion of love and forgiveness.

Note that the verse which is the theme of the talk says “That if you do not love Allah and his Prophet more than your family, your parents etc…” you shall await the punishment of Allah. This is actually waajib and fard upon you. Allah finishes the ayah by saying “Allah does not love the Fasiqeen”. Fisq from a Fiqh point of view is a “major sin” not a minor sin…

We need to ask ourselves the question “What number on the list of your priorities is the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)?” If he is not number one , then make him number one!

If you have hardships in life, in your marriage, in your work, in your rizk, then take a look at where the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) is in your list of priorities..


Allah says in the Quran “whoever avoids my Dhikr , then we will fill their life with difficulties… and in the akhira they will be assembled blind…” The person shall ask “I had my vision in the duniya? “. Allah will say, “Our ayahs came to you , you forgot them, so today you shall be forgotten”.

Dhikr is amongst the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) as Allah says in the Quran “Zikran Rasoolan”…

Allah also puts his own name with the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), in the same verse that we are talking about, therefore, Allah is glorifying the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). If you put the love of the Prophet second, that’s not good enough, because in a race, the one that comes number two, is the first looser followed by many others.

There is usually a sign for everything, similarly, there is a sign for his love. One of the signs for his love is “Shauk (yearning) ”  which we will focus on today….

When you hear his name (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), your heart moves, you think about him, you dream about him, he is in your heart, your mind, your thoughts all the time….

A poet says “If you are far away in distances to me, you are in my heart, present and with me. Your image is in my head, your dhikr is always on my tongue, your dhikr is in my heart, where will you go?” We need to check our hearts to see if we have the yearning for the beloved (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).

The Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said “By the one who has the Nafs of Muhammad, there will be a time when one of you will not see me, then one of you will wish that you will give your whole family and everything you own , just to see me” [Sahih Muslim]

Lets look at some examples of Shauk, so that we can see the love of the Companions (Radiallahu Anhum) towards the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam).

In one of the battle, a woman was waiting, a man came to her and told her “Your husband was next to me in the battle, and he was martyred”… She asks about the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) instead  and asked “How is he?”
Another man came and said to her  “I was next to your son and husband, both are marytred”… She asked “How is Rasoolullah?
Another man walked by and told her that her brother is also martyred. She just marched on and looked for the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), and when she saw him eventually, she said “Every calamity happening to other than you is insignificant”.

When Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) was on his death bed and his family was next to him crying saying “how sad will we be when you are gone”. Bilal (Radiallahu Anhu) said “I have been waiting for this day for a long time, tomorrow I will be with Muhammad and his companions”.

A man from the Shawk of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) every night before he went to bed, he repeated all the names of the Sahaba and then said the name of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam). He then said “Those are my origin, oh Allah my heart falls for them, do not make me leave without seeing them .”


Abdullah Bin Zain (Radiallahu Anhu) was told that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) passed away and he then made Sujood to Allah and said, “The last thing i saw was your Prophet, take my vision away, so i don’t see anyone other than him”… and Allah accepted his dua…

If there is no Shawk, then the heart does not move when you hear the name of the beloved sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam, then it’s time for resuscitation of the heart, otherwise it’s a sign of Fisq..

Why should we love him ?

1) You should love him because he loves you as Allah mentions in the Quran.

2) He guided us to the path of success, without him we would be perished. He did not leave a good single thing, but showed us how to do it and he did not leave a single bad thing, but showed us how to avoid it.

3) The Prophet recited the verses that Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) recited and he cried “Oh my lord, my ummah , my ummah”… Allah sent Gibreel to ask him why he was crying after sending his Salams… Allah informed Gibreel “Go and tell Muhammad, that we will give you until you are pleased (Surah Ad-Duhaa) ” . Ask and you will be granted, interceed and you will be granted…

4) Love him because he would have loved to be with you, he would have loved to meet you… He said  “I loved to meet my brothers who believed in me, yet who did not see me”… Allah says in the Quran that he is caring about you more than you care about yourself. He use to say , “If any of the believers who die, and they owed people, tell them to come to me and I will pay them back on their behalf”.

5) Loving him in the world has a special effect on the believers. There is a Hadith where a companion asks him about how much time he should spend on making Salah and Salam on him, he said, “Then you will be sufficed from all your hardships in the duniya”.

6) He will benefit you on the day of judgement, his love will help you in the Akhira. As he said “those of you who have the closes seats to me on the day of judgement, will be the one who sends the most Salah and Salam on me”.

 Anas (Radiallahu Anhu) said “Allah is my witness that I love Abu Bakr, Umar, the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)

All the companions present said we have never been so happy about a Hadith,  if you do your Faraid and you love the Prophet, you will be with him. We should check our heart and see who we love.

 
7) A Bedouin came and asked the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) when the day of judgement is, he replied “What have you prepared for it?”. This is an important point and should give us the realisation that we should not waste our time on secondary non important issues and focus on preparing for the Akhira. Our priority list is confused, we are giving other things high priority, we indulge in secondary issues, indulging for the sake of argument. Your Qiyamah is when you die… The Bedouin replied, “Nothing, except I love Allah and his Prophet”. The Prophet then replied “You will be with those whom you love” and I pray that Allah assembles me with them..”

Ibn Ata’Allah said “The heart is either filled with Haqq or Batil, not both, the love of Quran and love of Shaytaan can not be in the same heart.”
 

The Quran will come as a witness for some, the Masjid will come as a witness for some on the day of judgement. It is natural to feel comfortable at your own house, regardless of where you are, the Awliya of Allah feel most comfortable in the house of Allah, the Masjid..

The lecture should enable us to understand the high status of the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam), so that we can remember him day and night, so that his image is in front of us all the time, so his Dhikr is on your tongues and in your hearts all the time…..  

N.B If you have any questions regarding these notes, please contact the note taker on the e-mail address provided above. All credit and du’as should go to the note taker- I’ve just posted them on this blog in order for people to benefit from them.  

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This slave remains indeed amazed,
While begging for Your mercy too,
Estranged within this world, half-dazed,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

Some only seek reward it’s true,
This slave seeks you and only You,
It’s idol worship that they do,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

And paradise I don’t pursue,
Although its beauty’s always true,
I seek its Owner, yes I do,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

In paradise without Your face,
The houris would be saddened too,
Your face illuminates that place,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

Allah, this slave does suffer too,
His heart it only grieves for You,
A prey of this wolf he is too,
Allah, my heart calls out to You.

The love of this Your slave is meek,
Yet I complain only to You,
Upon my face I fall, I’m weak,
Allah, my heart calls out to you.

This slave remains indeed amazed,
While begging for Your mercy too,
Estranged within this world, half-dazed,
Allah, my heart calls out to You!

~ By Shaykh Fattaah

hajj-blogExactly one year ago, I arrived back home after my experience of a lifetime: the Hajj. Not a day goes past where I don’t think about the Hajj; what it felt like, and what we did on the day of Arafat; the night we spent in Muzdalifah; staying at Mina; pelting the Satan and so on. As each day goes past, the yearning to go back increases.

I sorely miss sitting near and gazing at the Kaaba; circumblating the Kaaba; visiting the Rawda of our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam and conveying salams; sitting outside the dome of felicity in the middle of the night, feeling the soothing breeze of Madinah and sending salawats upon our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam.

I still haven’t quite figured out where I’ve left my heart; whether it’s at the Kaaba, or at the Rawda, or perhaps it’s somewhere in the dust of Madinah- I just don’t know, but I don’t really care, as long as it remains somewhere in the blessed sanctuaries. The yearning will take us all back there sometime soon inshaAllah ta’ala. In the meantime, I guess we just have to keep our experiences alive in our hearts.

When I returned from Hajj last year, I was advised that the best way to keep the spirit of Hajj and experience alive in the heart was to share as many stories of the Hajj experience as possible (not the really personal ones of course!). Therefore I wrote a short journal of my experience. Alas, I didn’t have a blog then, but our beloved aunty Noor very kindly posted it on her amazing blog back at the time.

In spirit and remembrance of the Hajj again, I thought I’d post it here. I pray we all are invited to the blessed lands soon and often!

Amin ya Rabbil ‘alameen!


The Hajj Experience (2007)


The journey begins from home


The much anticipated day arrived, the day we were leaving everything behind to depart to the blessed lands to perform Hajj- the journey of a lifetime. The thought of being chosen and invited by the Almighty Allah to perform the pilgrimage at such a young age was quite overwhelming. By the grace of Allah Ta’ala, I was fortunate enough to attend the Deen Intensive Rihla in Madinah and Makkah last year, where I also had the opportunity to perform my first Umrah, therefore I was confident that I would still be familiar with the Umrah rituals, and surrounding areas in Madinah and Makkah. However, I decided to erase my Rihla and Umrah experience from my mind temporarily, as I knew Hajj was going to be a totally different experience. I wanted to embark on my journey with no expectations whatsoever, and to avoid making comparisons between both experiences.


Although I didn’t have much time to prepare for my Hajj trip, I managed to study the Hajj course on SunniPath with Shaykh Sohail Hanif. The course did prepare me to a certain extent of what Hajj will involve, and the rituals that we must perform in order to fulfil the obligations of Hajj. However, I knew I wasn’t going to fully know what Hajj is all about until I practically experienced it myself.

My heart was feeling really heavy for some reason and I couldn’t decipher why. I embraced my mother and father tightly, and was really sad to leave them, because I knew that they were going through a very tough time. We (my brother, his wife and I) then met up with the rest of the group at Aylesbury Mosque, and we all made our way to Heathrow Airport.

The waiting around at Heathrow airport enabled us to bond with fellow pilgrims. Although I knew some of the people from our group like Mas’ud bhai & family, some fellow companions I met for the first time in my life, which resulted in interesting introductions! By this time, my excitement for Hajj was increasing, I just could not wait to get on board and start my pilgrimage! Furthermore, I was really looking forward to seeing and meeting our beloved Aunty Noor in Madinah again.

We had a rather long routed flight: Heathrow, Cairo, Sanaa (Yemen), Jeddah and then Madinah.  The view from the aeroplane when we were flying into Sanaa airport was quite interesting; all we could see were high mountains, which were very dry. We stayed at Sanaa airport for approximately 3 hours. I remember saying to Mas’ud bhai that it would be brilliant if we see any of the Haba’ib Shayukh at the airport. We knew they would be going on Hajj as well, so there could have been a possibility. But sadly, the dream didn’t come true.

When we got to Jeddah airport, we had prepared ourselves mentally to be stuck at immigration for a few hours at least, but by the grace of Allah Ta’ala, we all cleared within an hour. However, there was a change of plan; we were initially supposed to fly from Jeddah to Madinah but due to some complications, we had to go via bus.


Madinah

So after nearly three days of travelling, we reached Madinah, the city of our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Alhumdulilah, we felt like true pilgrims. I reflected on how in the olden days, people would set off for Hajj weeks and months in advance, and the trials they had to face during their travels. Despite the exhaustion, I was really eager to see the green dome of felicity, pray inside the mosque, and visit the Rawdah of our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, I didn’t want to meet our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, looking really tired and messy! I felt it was really bad adab to go in such a state, so thought it was necessary to look afresh and tidy. I also arranged to meet aunty Noor shortly after; I just couldn’t wait any longer!

As I walked through the courtyard of our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s mosque, my heart was dancing with joy and I still couldn’t believe where I had finally arrived. The place was overcrowded with people from all different nations and cultures. The view was quite extraordinary; I had never in my life seen so many different people, different in their physique and attire, but the fact that we all worshipped the same God, we are visiting the same Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the fact that we are all the same in the eyes of the Almighty Allah, it was a powerful thought and feeling indeed.

I felt really emotional as soon as I stepped inside the mosque, but prayed my 2 rakats and then engaged in Du’a. I really wanted to visit the Rawdah of our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but it wasn’t open for the women at the time. Soon after I met up with aunty Noor and we spent hours together. The Rawdah was normally open for women after Isha prayers, so aunty Noor agreed to take me to the Rawdah the same evening after 9pm. When we got to the Rawdah, it was just congested with women, and in order to get inside, we had to go with a group. The groups were allocated according to the country you came from, or language you spoke. There was a lot of pushing going on, and we decided not to proceed further, as we didn’t want to dishonour our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, by pushing and hurting fellow Muslims. Aunty Noor and I went and sat outside the Green Dome of Felicity instead, and made Du’as for everyone. It was really beautiful sitting there; feeling the breeze of Madinah, and knowing how physically close you are to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s, grave, it was all quite overwhelming.

I was unsuccessful in getting into the Rawdah on a couple of occasions, mainly because it was flooded with women, and I did not want to be pushed, or push any one. On one occasion, the female guards refused to let me go with the Pakistani group! They insisted on me to go with the Iraqi group, and would not listen to me when I affirmed I’m Pakistani! I even tried conversing in Urdu with them so they would believe I was Pakistani, but still they were convinced I was of Iraqi origin! I didn’t want to cause any further argumentation, so went to the back of the queue, and sat there. I started conveying my Salams to our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from where I was sat. I thought that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is already aware of who is here and who is not, who is at the Rawdah, and who cannot get inside the Rawdah, no doubt he sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will hear my Salams.  Shortly after, they allowed the Pakistani group of women to enter the Rawdah. I thought to myself that there is no harm in trying again; the worst that will happen is that they will refuse to let me go in, but I was prepared for that. By the grace of Allah, and the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s, invitation, I somehow managed to walk pass the security guards without being questioned or stopped! As soon as I got onto the green carpet, I started praying my 2 rakats, but I was pushed from women behind me, and from both sides. They continued to do this until I was right at the front! Alhumdulilah I thought, but equally I was sad to have had to broken my prayer because of being pushed. I started reading my two rakats again, without being pushed this time. We were given about 15-20 minutes inside the Rawdah, all of the guards were telling women off for making supplications and saying how it was a ‘bida’ to say Salams to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but everyone ignored their pleas! Tears were flowing everywhere, the women were conveying their Salams, and showing their love to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Leaving the Rawdah was heart-breaking, I just wanted to spend more time there talking to our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and making lots of Du’as.

We were in Madinah for only 5 days, we begged our Hajj tour operator to extend our stay in Madinah, but due to logistical reasons, they were unable to. Everyone was quite emotional to leave Madinah, but equally grateful to have visited the Beloved sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, before performing Hajj.

Now it was time to move onto the next stage in our journey: Makkah to perform Umrah and then Hajj after a few days.

Makkah

We got to Makkah slightly before Fajir, but were faced with some unexpected inconveniences which outraged everyone in the group. I was as equally disappointed and annoyed with the situation, but felt that nothing was going to be resolved any time soon, so decided to go and perform my Umrah in the interim.

I managed to perform the Umrah with ease, although I decided to do Tawaf on the 2nd floor to avoid the crowds, and concentrate on my supplications. When I saw the Kaaba for the first time on this trip, my feelings and emotions were somewhat different than seeing the Kaaba the very first time in my previous trip. In fact, there was a different feeling each time I laid my eyes on the Kaaba, something which is beyond words; a very deep and personal connection which I simply cannot express and share. Its intensity is something which an individual has to experience themselves in order to really know what it feels like, but the feeling should most definitely be treasured.

We had 6 days in Makkah before we were to depart to Mina for the actual days of Hajj. During the 6 days, we were advised to do as many Tawafs as we can around the Kaaba, but at the same time try not to over do it, as we needed a lot of energy and strength during the actual days of Hajj. I found doing Tawaf round the Kaaba downstairs really difficult because it was just overcrowded with people. Also I felt that I couldn’t actually concentrate on my supplications because I would constantly be in fear of being pushed and squashed by people. This got worse as the days of Hajj drew closer; crowds were getting larger and larger, day by day.  In order to avoid the crowds, I did most of my Tawafs on the 3rd floor, the roof of Masjid Haram. Initially I thought it would take me twice as long, but in effect it’s the same distance as doing Tawaf on the second floor. I felt doing the Tawaf on the 3rd floor more beautiful because it was less crowded, and the view was just spectacular. I was able to see pilgrims from the top performing Tawaf round the Kaaba downstairs, and at times I couldn’t even spot an empty space! SubhanAllah, you could really feel the intensity of being at such a place.

Just like in Madinah, there were people from all different nations and cultures in Makkah as well. The Malaysians and Indonesians looked really cute as they all dressed the same, according to their respective groups, but no matter what happened, they would not let go of each others hands! This proved to be quite dangerous for the poor souls who were actually trying to get through, but I guess it’s the way they had been trained. I also noticed how they were really calm in their conduct towards others, and displayed good adab, along with the Turkish people. If they accidentally stepped on you, they would come back and kiss your hand (I’m talking about the women kissing hands of other women!). I found this gesture really beautiful, and it showed their compassion for other fellow Muslims. On the other hand, I would bump into people who were really rude and aggressive in their conduct, and I witnessed a lot of selfishness, which was really sad. But then I realised that this is the true state of our Ummah; in the real world, it’s all about me, me and me! Getting through these crowds required a lot of patience. We were taught that no matter what happens, we must not retaliate or show any aggression. This for me was a great lesson in enduring patience, and improving ones character and relations towards others.

I also witnessed people who were not in a good form physically, but I was moved to see their struggle, determination and commitment to Almighty Allah. They were all working as hard as they could, despite not being physically fit/well, just to please the Almighty Allah. It really did make me realise of the blessings Allah subhanahu wa’ tala has bestowed upon me, and how I realised that there is more to life than just the outward form. I know our Shayukh have always taught us this, but to accept it was quite difficult, especially since the culture and society we come from, pays so much attention to the necessity of the outward form being beautiful/attractive.

I was happy to have met up with one of my really close friends, “F” in the Kaaba. She lives miles away from me, and I never get to see her so it was a great blessing from Allah Ta’ala that we happened to be on Hajj the same year and in Makkah at the same time.

I was really disturbed to see all those sky scrapers just outside the Kaaba. I had read articles in the past regarding them, but wasn’t really sure what people were debating about until I witnessed it all myself. For some reason, I was really missing Madinah even in Makkah. The only thing I loved in Makkah was the Kaaba itself. I felt at peace when I was inside Masjid Haram and around the Kaaba. It was really sad to see such commercialism just outside the blessed sanctuary; it kind of makes you lose that spiritual connection you build yourself up to feeling.

Mina

On the 8th Dhul Hijjah, all pilgrims proceeded towards Mina. Half of our group went to Mina the night before on the bus as they had children with them, or were physically unable to walk. I decided to walk with the other half of our group. We left after Fajir, and it took us 2 hours to reach Mina by foot. I really did feel like a pilgrim walking to Mina, whilst reciting the Talbiyya! I reflected on how our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, walked to Mina, and it’s an honour for us to even be following his footsteps.

We prayed 5 Salats in our tents in Mina, before proceeding to Arafat the following day. We then returned to Mina on the 10th Dhul Hijjah and stayed in the tents until the 12th. Although I got along with everyone in our Hajj group, I had spent little time with them as I wanted to do my rituals and Ibadah alone; i.e I would go to the Kaaba or Masjid Nabi by myself, where as other women in the group would go in small groups together. Therefore, in Mina I had the opportunity to spend time and bond with the women from our Hajj group. Everyone got on really well, Alhumdulilah and there were no arguments or fights! Mas’ud bhai’s little daughter and I bonded really well. Masha’Allah she had been a brave and patient little soul throughout the journey, but was missing her brothers a lot. She would often sing songs saying their names. Whenever she would spot me, she would come and sit on my lap and play with me, however she couldn’t say my name so decided to name me Maryam! 🙂 And what a beautiful name she chose indeed, Alhumdulilah!

Arafat
The actual day of Hajj finally arrived. It was manic trying to get onto the bus and get to Arafat, but Alhumdulilah we managed to get there before midday. We went straight into our respective tents as soon as we got to Arafat. A lot of people wanted to go to Jabal Rahma, but we were advised not to go there because it was going to be too crowded, and could prove to be dangerous. The weather was quite hot on the day of Arafat, but nonetheless, we were not going to waste a minute complaining, as it was the most important day. Our Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that “Hajj is Arafat”.

I remember Shaykh Sohail Hanif advising us to find a quiet spot and just engage in making Du’a. I found myself a nice spot underneath a tree just outside our tent, and spent the day supplicating to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala; it was just me and my Lord, and I was supplication to Him. I made my supplications with convictions that they will be answered. It was the most beautiful and special day. Everyone was just immersed in making Du’as, and seeking forgiveness.

Just before Magrib, we had a short speech by an Imam and then he made a Du’a, which really moved us. The Imam then congratulated everyone on becoming “Hajjis”, and asked everyone to embrace and congratulate their fellow pilgrims. Everyone was really emotional, and it was a very touching moment I think in every pilgrim life.

We then moved onto the next stage: spending the night at Muzdalifah.

Muzdalifah

It took us about 20 minutes to get to Muzdalifah from Arafat. Since our group left Arafat quite late, the view as we entered Muzdalifah was quite amazing. You could just see the flow of pilgrims, where the majority were dressed in white. As soon as we got to our spot in Muzdalifah, we prayed Magrib and Isha in Jamaat with our group Imam, and then the search for pebbles to hit the Satan with began. Collecting the pebbles is a form of Ibadah, as taught by our teachers so it’s something which I did enjoy. After collecting 70 pebbles (you only need 49, but to be on the safe side, it’s better to have extra) we slept underneath the stars. It was a very humbling experience, but the best sleep I ever had, even though I only slept for 2 hours.

Some groups left before Fajir, but I was grateful to be at Muzdalifah after Fajir because I remembered Shaykh Sohail teaching us that we must make a special supplication to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala after Fajir and before Sunrise. The supplication was to ask Allah subhanahu wa’ tala to take care of the rights that we owe to fellow men. It is said that Allah subhanahu wa’ tala will not forgive us until the people we have hurt or offended have forgiven us, but Shaykh Sohail said that, on Hajj at Muzdalifah after Fajir and before sunrise, it is the only time that Allah subhanahu wa’ tala will accept this supplication and forgive you. Allahu ta’ala Alim.

After sunrise, half of our group decided to walk to the Jamarat, where as the other half decided to wait for the bus to come.

Jamarat, Sacrifice, and Day of Eid.

There were 15 of us walking together from Muzdalifah to the Jamarat, and it was quite a long walk indeed. It took us 2 hours to walk to the Jamarat, where as it took the other half of our group, 2 hours to get on the bus and back to Mina. Walking to the Jamarat was the first time in Hajj I saw and felt the intensity of the crowd, and the fact that I was amongst 3 million people! I knew how many people were on Hajj, but didn’t witness the crowds until the Jamarat because everyone was in their respective tents in Mina and Arafat.

The Jamarat was the only thing on Hajj I had some apprehension in my heart for. The Jamarat is notorious for being the place where so many people meet their death, although dying on Hajj would have been such an honourable death*, but the thought still did scare me. As we were walking up the Jamarat, my heartbeat was getting faster and faster. We walked passed the small Jamarat, then the middle one, and then we approached the big Jamarat, which was the only one we had to stone the first day. By the grace of Allah subhanahu wa’ tala, I managed to get to the front with ease and stone the Jamarat. As soon as I finished, I just wanted to get out. The stoning was quite an experience, but what I was really shocked to see was people throwing the stones from such a distance where they were not even hitting the wall, rather hitting the pilgrims.

After the stoning, we decided to treat ourselves to some lovely Al-Baik chicken, which out of convenience was located right opposite the Jamarat. After indulging on yummy chicken, and having regained our energy from all the walking and stoning, we proceeded back to our hotel in Makkah. Once our sacrifices were done, we exited out of Ihram and went to perform the Fard Tawaf.  Some people had to do the Saee (walk between Safa and Marwa) as well after the Tawaf. I managed to do my Saee the night before departing for Mina so I would avoid the crowds of people.

It was also the day of Eid for the majority of Muslims around the world, but for the pilgrims it honestly did not feel like Eid at all because we were just so busy trying to complete all the Hajj rituals.

After everyone had performed their Tawaf and Saee, we all made our way back to Mina, which ended up being quite an expedition indeed!

Most of the Hajj rituals were completed by now for most pilgrims. The only thing left was the Jamarat on 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah. On these two days, we had to stone all three pillars which proved to be really testing, especially on the third day when it was terribly overcrowded with pilgrims. In order to stone all three pillars, you really have to be quick and fast. It’s like playing tennis but your speed has to be 5 times faster! I was amazed to see how the old and disabled people managed to do it; my heart really did go out to them and their struggle, but Allah subhanahu wa’ tala is the one who gives courage and makes it easy. There was an occasion where I felt people would fall on top of each other and I will trip and die with them! Seriously, that’s how intense and difficult it was.

After the stoning was finished, I was really relieved, Alhumdulilah. I was so grateful that Allah subhanahu wa’ tala gave me the opportunity to perform Hajj, especially the Jamarat when they had made the stoning really easy for pilgrims. I really did wonder, and commend the people who did it when the Jamarat didn’t have the one way traffic system.

By the 12th of Dhul Hijjah, everyone was exhausted, and the walk back to Makkah proved to be quite taxing. Fortunately the Saudi authorities have made one way systems for all pedestrian, so in essence it was safe to walk, where as in the past there used to be so many deaths due to the walking traffic coming from both sides.

Farewell Tawaf
Since we were leaving Makkah to come back home two days after Hajj was over, it was important for us to get our Farewell Tawaf done as soon as possible. The Farewell Tawaf was quite poignant for me because the realisation of having completed Hajj, and actually going back home really struck me then. I prayed Allah subhanahu wa’ tala accepted mine and all the Hujjaj’s Hajj as Hajj Mabroor- A righteous Hajj, and that we would be blessed and honoured to visit the holy sanctuaries again and again.

Masud bhai, Bhabhi (Mas’ud bhai’s wife), their daughter and I were invited for dinner by our friends Cheikhna and Habeeba in Jeddah, where we were also blessed to meet and give Salams to Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah. It was wonderful to see Shaykh, and he was looking really well despite his accident a few months ago. (May Allah Ta’ala preserve and protect him). So it was a perfect ending to a very fascinating Hajj trip. All praise is due to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala.

The journey back home

The journey back home was slightly easier than the journey there, well I think it was. Then again, I just remember dozing off as soon as the aircraft lifted off in Jeddah, and I woke up a little while before it landed in Heathrow!

Overall, the Hajj is a journey of a lifetime and I pray everyone gets invited, especially when they are young and have their health. Throughout the days leading up to and during Hajj, I was unable to think and reflect on my experience. Everything is just so busy out there and you seriously do not get the time to reflect deeply on what you have accomplished. However, I was told by friends who had performed Hajj that the true realisations and lessons you pick up from Hajj do not actually strike you until you are back home, and have recovered from your tiredness. Allahu Ta’ala Alim.

I personally think everyone is at different stages in their lives and in their faith when they set off to perform Hajj, therefore the realisation and after effects of Hajj is different for everyone. Some managed to determine what directions to take in life whilst they were out there, where as some needed to come back, settle into the daily routines of life before realising the changes Hajj had made for them, and what else they wanted to achieve.

I just pray that the Hajj experience brings good changes within us, and we maintain the spirit of our Ibadah that we had during Hajj in our lives over here as well. May Allah subhanahu wa’ tala continue to invite us all again and again to the blessed lands, and may all the Hujjaj’s Hajj, Du’as, Ibadah be accepted. May we all be united in Paradise without reckoning, where we will be granted the company of our Beloved Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Awliya, the Righteous, all our loved ones, and with closeness to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala.
Amin ya Rabbil ‘alameen!

(2nd January 2008)


A wonderful friend narrated the following to me; a beautiful, consoling and refreshing reminder.

“ Our bodies are on a lonely path, yet our souls are connected beyond the end. That is why your dhikr is your companion in this life and the next; treat it with familiarity and closeness, and it shall return the favour”dhikr


The Intimate Prayer of Ibrahim Ibn Adam

I have left men utterly, out of love for you,

And orphaned my children, that I might behold You

Though, You dismemebered me for love’s sake limb by limb,

Yet would my heart yearn for none besides You

Overlook the faults of a weakling who is come to You

If he has disobeyed You, O Vigilant Master,

Yet he has never bowed down to another besides You,

O Lord, Your ill-obeying slave has come to you,

Admitting his sins, though he has prayed to You

Should You forgive, it well befits You,

And if You reject, who should show mercy besides You?

prayer2

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