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Shedding Light on the Obligatory Pilgrimage

Friday Speech in Arabic text: أضواء على فريضة الحج
Speaker: Dr. Ali Ghazzawi

When: Friday July 1, 2022 / Dhul-Hijjah 2, 1443 H
Language: English
Where: Masjid Omar, Upper Darby, PA

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله. وبعدُ عبادَ الله اتقوا اللهَ القائلَ:

﴿وَأَذِّن فِي ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالٗا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٖ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٖ ٢٧ لِّيَشۡهَدُواْ مَنَٰفِعَ لَهُمۡ وَيَذۡكُرُواْ ٱسۡمَ ٱللَّهِ فِيٓ أَيَّامٖ مَّعۡلُومَٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِۖ فَكُلُواْ مِنۡهَا وَأَطۡعِمُواْ ٱلۡبَآئِسَ ٱلۡفَقِيرَ ٢٨ ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ وَلۡيُوفُواْ نُذُورَهُمۡ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ ٢٩

Fellow Muslims, it is Hajj (Pilgrimage) season; and it is known Hajj has its own rules that make it valid and acceptable by Allah. Since it takes longer time than this speech to go over them, we would like to draw your attention to three matters, pertaining to Hajj:

  1. You may see many people planning to perform Hajj have prepared food, drinks, clothes, medicine, hotel reservations, etc. and they may talk at length about these issues to the extent you may think they are traveling on vacation and not to perform an obligation. Then if you ask them about their preparation of what is more important than that, they may reply while surprised: “What is left to prepare?”. So, you tell them “The religious knowledge, in order to do this worship in a valid way. Otherwise, the money, travel, and effort expended may be wasted. The one who engages in the acts without knowledge does not have a guarantee that what he is doing is valid. The ignorant person ruins even though he wants to fix.” Such a person who did not learn may tell you: “I will go there and see what others are doing and I will do like them”; or he may say: “There is no need to learn as long as you have a good intention.”.

Our Islamic scholars said that no one should enter into a matter unless one learns first what is lawful and unlawful to do in regards to that matter. Allah ordered us with things, and we need to do these things the way Allah ordered. This means that if one wants to do a specific worship or engage in a transaction such as buying and selling, then one must learn how to do them correctly before engaging in them, otherwise one would be sinful. And usually in this case, one may invalidate one’s deed unknowingly. One’s ignorance is not an excuse. Hence, one must learn the rules pertaining to prayer, Zakah, Hajj, other worships, and dealing transactions before engaging in any of them. Al-Bayhaqiyy related from the route of Anas that the Prophet ﷺ said: طَلَبُ العلمِ فريضةٌ على كلِّ مسلم.“ رواه البيهقىّ”

Thus, it is clear that taking care of learning the religious knowledge is more important than other preparations that people do prior to traveling to perform Hajj. One may do without some of these things one prepared, but one may not be successful without learning the religious knowledge one needs. While seeking the reward and acceptance of Allah, remember the Prophet’s hadith:

رُبَّ صائمٍ ليس له من صيامِه إلا الجوعُ والعطشُ، ورُبَّ قائمٍ ليس له من قيامه إلا السهرُ.“ رواه ابن ماجَهْ

It means: “How many people fast but they only reap hunger and thirst, and how many people pray but they only reap staying up.” Consequently, their fasting and prayer are not accepted.

  1. Hajj has a special merit that other worships do not have, namely, that all the minor and major sins of the pilgrim are forgiven, as the Prophet ﷺ said: مَنْ حَجَّ فَلَم يَرْفُثْ ولم يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَيَومَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ.“ رواه البخارى

However, for one’s sins to be forgiven, there are conditions that need to be met:

  1. Sincerity, that is one is performing this worship for the sake of Allah only, not for the sake of a worldly gain.
  2. The money that is used to perform Hajj should be a lawful money. Hence, if one used money that was earned through an unlawful way, such as riba (usurious gain) then one will not have that merit.
  3. While performing Hajj, one avoids committing enormous sins and sexual intercourse.

Let it be known, however, that if one was unjust to others, by taking their money unlawfully for example, then such a person must return what he took or must seek the forgiveness of those people. Performing Hajj will not relieve the person from this obligation. Likewise, if the sin of the person was leaving out an obligation such as a prayer, then one must still make up that prayer even if one went to Hajj, as the Prophet said: مَن نَسِىَ صلاةً فليصلِّ إذا ذَكَرَها لا كفارةَ لها إلَّا ذلك.“ رواه البخارى”

  1. Few years ago, one Wahhabiyy, who falsely claims to be a follower of our Salaf, suggested that the path between Safa and Marwah (المسعى) be widened. Sadly, his suggestion was accepted and that path was widened. Many scholars, may God reward them, warned the Muslims against that which the self-claimed salafiyys did.

It is really strange that those Wahhabiyys claim that they are against innovation, and they claim that every innovation after the time of the Prophet is misguidance, then they innovated this matter which no one among the legitimate Muslim scholars accepted. Allah said:

﴿وَمَآ ءَاتَىٰكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَىٰكُمۡ عَنۡهُ فَٱنتَهُواْۚ ٧ الحشر

Furthermore, the Prophet ﷺ ordered the people to do the actions of Hajj as he did them:

لِتَأخُذوا عنِّى مَناسكَكُم، فإنى لا أدرِى لَعَلِّى لا أحجُّ بعد حَجَّتِى هذه.“ رواه مسلم

Scholars from the four different Jurisprudential Schools (Fiqh madh-habs) all agreed that those who perform Sa^y outside the path boundaries designated by the Prophet, render their Sa^y invalid.

You should know that every person who claims that it is valid to perform Sa^y in the new pathway is misguiding millions of Muslims, and those who listened to them and followed them blindly performing Sa^y in the new pathway, their Sa^y is not valid and they will remain in the state of Ihram until their death.

So, fear Allah and obey Him and perform Sa^y in the original pathway in both directions between Safa and Marwah (the path they now designated for return from Marwah to Safa). Also, one may do it in the lower level.

May Allah forgive my sins and yours. أقول قولىَ هذا وأستغفر الله لى ولكم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله. وبعدُ عبادَ الله اتقوا اللهَ.

سئل رسول الله ﷺ عن صوم يوم عرفة قال: "يُكَفِّرُ السنةَ الماضيةَ والباقيةَ." رواه مسلم

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about fasting ^Arafah Day. He replied:

It erases the sins of the preceding and the following years.” (Muslim). اللهم اغفر للمؤمنين والمؤمنات

Masjid Omar, Upper Darby, PA USA Fri July 1, 2022 / Dhul-Hijjah 2, 1443 H

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