The Gifts of Hajj are Available to All

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh al-Habib ‘Umar ibn al-Hafizh (q.s.).

The linguistic meaning of “hajj” is seeking or intending.  Thus the people of Allah (s.w.t.) are constantly performing hajj because they are constantly seeking Allah (s.w.t.).  Just as their whole year is Ramadhan, likewise their whole year is hajj.  Just as those performing hajj respond to the Call of Allah (s.w.t.) by saying “labbayk” they are swift to respond to the Call of Allah (s.w.t.).  They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions.  They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited.  They constantly receive new Blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their ihram.  Day and night they make thawaf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah (s.w.t.).

The Bounty of Allah (s.w.t.) is available at all times of the day and night.  This is why Allah (s.w.t.) Swears by the morning light, dhuha’, and by the night that He has not forsaken His Beloved, nor is He displeased with him.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
By the glorious morning light.  And by the night when it is still ― Thy Guardian Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased. (Surah adh-Dhuha’:1-3)

If the hajj has not been made possible for any of us, join with those making hajj and share in their reward: by spending our wealth for the Sake of Allah (s.w.t.) on our relatives, on the needy, by turning to Allah (s.w.t.) with our whole being.  If we make numerous our footsteps to good places, especially at the time of fajr, and we will receive glad tidings from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.): “Give glad tidings of complete light on the Day of Judgement to those who walk constantly to the mosque in the darkness.”

Those whose light is complete will no doubt be in his company:

… on the day when Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him ... (Surah at-Tahrim:8)

We ask to be present with them, and thank Allah (s.w.t.) for allowing our spirits to be with them.  So many hearts in the far East or the far West receive the Gifts of `Arafat and Mina because of their truthfulness with Allah (s.w.t.).

The following are ‘ibadah, acts of worship, that carry the Reward of a supererogatory hajj.  Nothing, of course, can equal actually performing the hajj and worshipping Allah (s.w.t.) in those Blessed places.  However, since Allah (s.w.t.) Knows that many people long to make hajj every year but are unable to do so, out of His Generosity He Made the Reward for certain actions similar to the Reward of a supererogatory hajj.

The first is remembering Allah (s.w.t.) from fajr until ishraq.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever prays swubh in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rak’ah has the Reward of a complete hajj and ‘umrah.”  He repeated “complete” three times.  This was narrated by Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.).

The second is attending a gathering of knowledge.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the Reward of a complete hajj.”  This was narrated by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.).

The third is going to the mosque for the congregational prayer.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to the Reward of a hajj pilgrim.  Whoever goes out to perform swalah adh-dhuha’ has a reward similar to the Reward of the one performing `umrah.”

The fourth is reciting dzikr after the five daily prayers.  Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that a group of destitute people came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment in high levels in Paradise.  They pray like us and fast as we do, but they have more money by which they perform the hajj, ‘umrah, participate in jihad and give in charity.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Shall I not tell you something upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you?  Nobody would surpass you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same.  Say ‘Subhanallah’, ‘al-Hamdulillah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-three times each after every prayer.’”  This is found in Swahih al-Bukhari.

The fifth is reciting swalawat upon the beloved Prophet (s.a.w.).  The Imam al-Muttaqin (s.a.w.) affirmed, “Perform your fardh hajj.  Undoubtedly, its Reward is greater than participating in twenty ghazwat and reciting one swalawat upon me equals that.”  This is from Firdaws bima’ Swawr al-Khithab.

The sixth is performing i’itikaf for ten days in the month of Ramadhan.  Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) reported on the authority of Husayn (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) has stated, “Whosoever performs i’itikaf for ten days in the month of Ramadhan, it is as though he has performed two ‘umrah and two hajj.”

The seventh is performing the swalah al-juma’ah.  Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib (r.a.) said performing the swalah juma’ah is “more beloved to me than an ‘umrah.”

The eighth is performing the swalat al-‘iyd.  Imam ibn Rajab (r.a.) narrated that Mikhnaf ibn Sulaym (r.a.) said, “The Reward for attending Swalat al-‘Iyd al-Fithr is equal to the Reward of performing ‘umrah and the Reward for attending Swalat al-‘Iyd al-Adhha is equal to that of performing hajj.”

The ninth is fulfilling the needs of our brother or sister.  Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (r.a.) said, “Going to fulfill the need of your brother is better for you than performing hajj after hajj.”

The tenth is being good to our parents.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) commanded one of the swahabah to be good to his mother.  “If you do so,” he said, “You are a hajj pilgrim, a person performing `umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah.”

The eleventh is abandoning sins and prohibitions.  Some of our righteous predecessors said, “Giving up a misdeed that Allah (s.w.t.) Abhors is dearer to me than performing hajj 500 times.”

And finally, the twelfth is performing obligatory actions.  The slave can only draw near to Allah (s.w.t.) by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory.  This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and guarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions.  All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.

Finally, there is no action more Beloved to Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of ‘Iyd than making a sacrifice.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) told his beloved daughter Fathimah az-Zahrah (r.a.) that she would be Forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal.  She asked if this Reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he replied, “For us and for all the Muslims.”


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