The First: This is a journey that was taken by Prophets and Messengers before you. Those who take the path of the Prophets magnify Allah’s tawhid and His House. However, there are some who come to perform hajj while their hearts are attached to other than Allah. They invoke the dead and the righteous, whether they are present or absent. This is in opposition to tawhid, and it is shirk, irrespective of what they may call it, since this is setting up rivals with Allah. Therefore, a person must free his intention from any type of devotion to anything other than Allah. A person should repent and come with a sincere heart, submitting himself to Allah, and to keep within his mind that which was said by Ibrahim and his son Isma’il when they were raising the foundations of the Ka’bah, Allah’s House,
“Our Lord, make us submissive to You, and make from our offspring a nation submissive to You. Show us our rites and accept our repentance, for You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Q, 2:128)
The Second: A person is partaking upon this journey and he does not know if they will return home from. Therefore, he should make sure that he performs this journey to Allah’s House in the manner that is required and wanted by Allah. He should allow his mind to become engulfed in the final journey, which will surely come and is very near, which will lead him to his inevitable meeting with Allah. This will cause him to ponder and question himself: What is it that I have prepared for that Day? Have I been following the commands of Allah? Am I from amongst those who are following the sunnah of Muhammad? Do I truly have knowledge concerning Allah? Am I a believer of Allah being above the seven heavens, over his Throne, as He has related in His Book and asserted to by His Messengers? Am I a believer who believes Allah has a Face that suits His Majesty, as He has affirmed in the Qur’an and in the Sunnnah of His Prophet Muhammad? Am I a believer in all of Allah’s names, attributes, and actions which He has affirmed in His Book and by His Messengers? Or do I just take and accept by my doubts, rejecting or distorting the meanings of Allah’s attributes and actions? Allah says,
“Do not call along with Allah another god, there is no God but He. Everything will perish except His Face. To Him belongs the judgment, and to Him you will return.” (Q, 28:88)
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The Third: Know, may Allah have mercy upon you, that when you reach the miqat, there is another miqat that is still to come, which is appointed meeting on the Day of Resurrection. Allah says,
“Say, ‘Truly, the former and the latter, will all be gathered together for the appointment of a known Day.’” (Q, 56:49-50)
The Fourth: When you begin to utter the talbiyah, then remember the command of Allah to His Prophet Ibrahim,
“Proclaim the hajj (pilgrimage) to the people; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every deep and distant mountain highway.” (Q, 22:27)
The talbiyah you make is in response to Prophet Ibrahim’s proclamation to visit Allah’s House of worship. Certainly, Allah is Most Great.
The Fifth: Upon entering Makkah remember that you are in the Sacred Sanctuary. Allah says,
“Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary, to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves? But most of them do not know.” (Q, 28:57)
A person should commit himself to seeking repentance, thinking of only good toward Allah, and having hoping that Allah will grant him safety from His punishment.
The Sixth: You will enter through one of the gates of Masjid al-Haram, so know that you will then in the magnificent House of Allah, the Ka’bah. You will now see that which you longed for, a longing that you had for such a long time. Therefore, express your gratitude to Allah for making this possible for you, and hope in Him that He will grant you the greatest reward of seeing His Majestic Face on the Day of Resurrection. This gratitude is not merely uttered through a phrase, such as saying alhamdulillaah (all praise be to Allah), but it must also be evident through your obedience to Allah while on your journey of hajj and for the rest of your life.
The Seventh: You should begin your tawaf by knowing that this is a great time to glorify and magnifying Allah. Call upon Him by His names, attributes, and actions. Additionally, while performing tawaf try to reflect upon the time when Prophet Muhammad was prevented from doing that which you are able to do today. Also ponder over his actions of removing all the idols and symbols from that area which were used to worship others besides Allah. How he had all the idols destroyed. Also, busy yourself with extensive supplications. Ask Allah to cause you to firmly hold onto the correct belief and path of the salaf, and to cause you to die upon that and to meet Him upon it. Also ask Allah to keep you safe and secure from all forms of shirk and innovations.
The Eight: While in sa’y, ponder over what Hajar, the mother of Isma’il, asked her husband Ibrahim when he left her alone in the dessert with an infant. When she said to him, “Is it Allah who has commanded you to do this?” He said, “Yes.” To which her amazing response was, “Then He will not forsake us!” Ponder over this great reliance upon Allah when you are performing sa’y, traversing upon the same path that Hajar took in search for water and for means of life around the mounts of Safa and Marwah. Ponder about her endurance, perseverance, and trust in Allah. The sa’y exemplifies the strong belief that we are in need of One who sustains and provides, which is only Allah.
Additionally, ponder over Ibrahim’s supplication when he left his family behind in the dessert. He supplicated,
“Our Lord, I have made some of my offspring dwell in an uncultivated valley, close to Your Sacred House, so that, our Lord, they may establish the prayer. So make the people’s hearts turn to them, and provide them with fruits, so that they may be grateful.” (Q, 14:37)
People and food came to Makkah from many different places. Ibrahim would return to visit, and he would eventually share with his son, Isma’il, the noble task of raising the foundations of the Ka’bah.
The Ninth: While you stand on ‘Arafat during the hajj, you should be reminded of the Day of Ressurrection when you look upon all the people that are around you there. This should cause you to humble yourself before Allah, to manifest your servitude to Him alone, and make supplications with sincere intention and strong determination in order to free yourself from the sins of the past and to build up a commitment to rush toward to the forefront in the performance of righteous deeds. Think about how you will become a better person when you return, and to rid yourself of having any false pride and from ostentatiousness, since this will only bring about ruin for what you may gained on this day.
The Tenth: When you gather the pebbles and are about to embark on the journey to stone the Jamarat, then remember that this is an act of obedience and remembrance of Allah. The Prophet said,
“The pebbles that you cast [at the Jamarat] will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bazzar)
The Eleventh: When conducting the sacrifice, remember the words of Allah,
It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (Q, 22:37)
The Twelfth: When you have completed your hajj, then do not think that the remembrance of Allah has also completed. Ponder over what Allah says,
“When you have fulfilled your rites, remember Allah as much as you remember your own fathers or with an even greater remembrance.” (Q, 2:200)
If you do go to Madinah after the completion of the hajj, then the objective of your visit should be according to the sunnah and not any innovation. Your intention should be to set upon this journey to visit the Prophet’s mosque and not his grave. When you reach the Mosque, then offer two units of prayer upon entering it. After completing these units, then you may to the grave and say, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet.” The same greeting is can also be given when you pass by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.
However, the following innovations must be avoided when visiting the Prophet’s Mosque:
- Visiting the grave of the Prophet before praying in the mosque.
- Making supplications while facing the grave.
- Seeking nearness to Allah by means of the Prophet. This is a prohibited form of tawassul (seeking nearness to Allah).
- Seeking intercession from the Prophet.
- Placing the hands upon the grills around the room containing the Prophet’s grave to seek blessings.
- As well as any other innovations that have not been legislated by the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Also, remember the words of the Prophet,
“Do not take my grave as a place of celebration.” (Abu Dawud)
He also said,
“May Allah’s curse be upon the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” (Bukhari)
As well as his words,
“Those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take the graves as places of worship, for I certainly you from doing so.” (Muslim)
The Thirteenth: The journey should not be undertaken with the intention to gain some material rewards; rather, it should be a selfless sacrifice that is done solely for Allah. It demands true love and fear of Him, and it should be performed with full consciousness of one’s heart and with full humility and submission to Allah. It should not be thought of as a tourist excursion or be performed as mere physical rites. It should develop sincerity, piety, humility, self-control, sacrifice, and true knowledge of the meaning of submission and obedience to Allah within the person. It aids the pilgrim in becoming a better person who is devoted to Allah in every aspect of his life.