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Hajj Guide 2009

Posted by Admin on October 19, 2009


Posted in Audio Lectures, Dhul Hajj, Dr.Farhat Hashmi, Hajj, Islam, Religion, Video | Leave a Comment »

Back from Hajj?…Back to the old routine?

Posted by Admin on December 12, 2008

By Asma bint Shameem

This is a reminder for all those people who did Hajj….whether you did it this year or many years ago…
And even for those who didn’t…..YET.

SO…. you’re back from Hajj, Alhamdulillaah.
Everything went well and now you’re back. Back to the same old routine, the same old hustle bustle of life, the job, the kids…. Back to the same old you.
Huh?? Wait a second….back to the same old you? No, but that can’t be……

You can’t go back to the same old you. You promised Allaah you will change… you will improve for the better…..you will do all you can to be a better Muslim, to be a stronger believer.

Don’t you remember how you felt when you saw the Magnificent Kaaba for the first time with all its glory and splendor…..you were awed….speechless, tears silently rolling down without you even realizing. You trembled….and you promised….

Don’t you remember how you cried in Arafaat, how you beseeched Allaah, spreading out your hands in utter humility, begging Him and imploring Him to forgive you….to give you just one more chance…

And don’t you remember the strength and resolve with which you threw the pebbles at the Jamaraat, determined to give up all your bad habits, resolute to do all good…staying  firm on the Straight path?

Don’t you remember the beautiful days in Mina, the peaceful night in Muzdalifa….all the Ibadaat, the Tawaafs, the duas, the tears, the Tauba???!!

Surely, you couldn’t have forgotten that??!!!

Then don’t let the pomp and glitter of this Dunya take you away from all that. Don’t let the hustle bustle of every day routine make you forget your promises and resolve.

Remember that out of six billion people Allaah invited you……yes YOU… to His Glorious House and honored YOU and blessed YOU with Hajj.

And it was only because of His Mercy that He enabled you to go. For Wallaahi, if it was not His Will, you would never be able to go.

So why not be a thankful slave of His??
Why not spend the rest of your life in His submission, surrendering to Him, obeying His commandments and staying away from His prohibitions?

So fear Allaah in all that you do and always be mindful of Him.
Don’t let the Shaytaan weaken your resolve.

Say NO to those temptations, turn down chances of all that’s Haraam.
Stay away from all your old bad habits and build on your good ones.
Be upright in your character; resist the urge to cheat, lie and backbite.
Spend in the path of Allaah and continue with the daily recitation of the Qur’aan, pondering over the meanings and use those Words of Allaah to change for the better.
And no matter what you do……do not,  do not let the snooze button keep you away from Salaah.
Hold your head up high, wearing that Hijaab or Jilbaab….or sporting that beard…. proud to be a Muslim, Alhamdulillaah. Remember, it’s the mark of a believer.
Don’t let people or so called ‘friends’ talk you out of it.
And if they object, look them straight in the eye and say, “It’s the command of Allaah.”

Keep in mind that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala gave you another chance….just like you asked Him. You begged for forgiveness and He forgave you and purified you just like the day you were born. So be thankful and make the most of it.

Your life from now is like a blank piece of paper, with nothing written on it. And the pen that you would use to write on it, is in your hands.
So be careful what you write.
Because….you never know…..
You might never have the chance to have your piece of paper blank again…

“Therefore, race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden as wide as heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. Such is the Favor of Allah; He gives it to whom He wills. Allah is the Owner of great favor.” (al-Hadeed: 21)

Posted in Dhul Hajj, Hajj, Islam, Religion | 3 Comments »

Month of Zil-Hajj : Significance and Masnoon Acts & Eid

Posted by Admin on November 20, 2008

Flash Presentation on Ashrae Zul Hajjah, Sacrifice and Eid

Flash Presentation on Ashrae Zul Hajjah, Sacrifice and Eid

Importance of the Month of ZulHajjah

  • Hajj is performed in this month.
  • The first ten days of ZulHajjah are extremely sacred and good deeds are most beloved to Allah in these ten days.
  • The Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhal Hajja).” Then some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad”, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”(Bukhari 15: 86)

  • 9th ZulHajja is a very sacred day. When asked about the fast of 9th ZulHajjah (Yaum e Arafah) Rasool Allah saw said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year” (Muslim 6: 2603)
  • The second Muslim festival Eid ul Adha falls on the 10th of ZulHajjah.
  • An animal sacrifice in memory of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (as) is offered on 10th ZulHajjah.

Importance of Sacrifice:

Sacrifice has not been made obligatory by Allah Tala, however it has the status of being Obligatory Sunnah ( Sunnat e Wjiba). Through this act, pleasure of Allah is obtained and also results in atonement of sins!

Sacrifice has been commanded to the people in all the revealed laws (Shariat) since the time of Prophet Adam (as) to Prophet Muhammad (as).

Allah Tala mentioned this sunnah in beautiful words in Surah Safaat:
And he (Ibrhaim as) said (after his rescue from the fire): “Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!” “My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.” So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allâh), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Inshâ’ Allâh (if Allâh will), you shall find me amongst the patient ones.

Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allâh), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead; And We called out to him: “O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream” Verily! Thus do We reward the Muhsinûn (good-doers). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice and We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. Salâmun (peace) be upon Ibrâhim!”

After seeing the dream, Ibrahim (as) transcended all logic and sacrificed his most beloved possession, his own son, for the sake of Allah.

Wisdom of Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the symbol of full obedience and total submission to Allah

Ibrahim’s (as) obedience, loyalty and sacrifice greatly earned the pleasure of Allah Subhana Watala and he was declared as a Muhsin and Khalil Allah (Friend of Allah) and his name and his sacrifice is remembered till this day. Five times a day, Muslims send their blessings on Ibrahim (as) along with Muhammad (saw)

Allah Tala expects the same obedience and sacrifice from His slaves. In front of the command of Allah, there should be no excuses.

In remembrance of this sacrifice of Ibrahim (as), Muslims all over the world make a commitment that Oh Lord of the Worlds; We are your obedient slaves. Everything we possess belongs to you. If you command us, we will sacrifice our lives for the sake of Islam.

Thus sunnat of Sacrifice offered every year is actually the expression of a salve’s love for his Creator. The word Qurbani is derived from the word “Qurb”- nearness. Sacrifice is thus a form of worship through which love and nearness of Allah can be attained.

Allah Tala says in Surah Anam 162:

“Say (O Prophet Muhammad saw) Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for the sake of Allah”

While sacrificing, if this state and if these feelings of love and total obedience to Allah are not there, then merely shedding the blood of animals and distributing meat are all activities without any spirit.

Allah Tala does not need blood of animals nor meat from animals. All that He requires from His slaves is the Taqwa, obedience and the feelings of self sacrifice for their Lord.

Allah Tala says in Surah Hajj:

“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, but it is piety from you that reaches Him”

Thus the real spirit of sacrifice is that a man should leave his bad habits, stop following his wishes and desires and stop following traditions. Man should leave and sacrifice all those things in this world which stop him from attaining nearness to Allah.

What to do in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?

  • Recite the masnoon dua when sighting the moon of ZulHajjah.
  • Recite the Takbiraat as much as possible from the 1st ZulHajjah to the 13th of ZulHajjah.
  • After sighting the moon of ZulHajjah, do not cut or trim your hair and nails until you have offered the sacrifice. As Rasool Allah saw has ordered:

“When any one of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters in the month (of Dhu’l-Hijja) he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut)” (Muslim 22: 4870)

  • Perform good deeds (Fasting, charity, voluntary prayers, zikr, etc) as much as possible.
  • Observe the fast of 9th ZulHajjah as it leads to expiation of sins of the previous year and the coming year.

What to do on Eid Day?

  • Do not eat anything on Eid ul Adha until after the Eid Prayer and the sacrifice; as this was the sunnah of Rasool Allah saw.
  • While on the way for Eid Prayer, recite the Takbiraat loudly.
  • Rasool Allah saw ordered all Muslim women, young girls and even women in monthly impurity to come out for Eid prayers. If they don’t have a veil, they should borrow it from someone while women in monthly impurity should stay away from the Musallah.(Bukhari 15:96)
  • It is masnoon to offer the sacrifice at the place of Eid Prayer.

Self Analysis for ZulHajjah

  1. Did I recite the Masnoon dua when sighting the moon?
  2. Did I excessively observe fasts in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?
  3. Did I make sure I did not cut my hair and nails in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?
  4. Did I excessively recite the Takbiraat?
  5. Did I observe the fast of 9th ZulHajjah?
  6. Was I well prepared for Eid?
  7. Did I offer the Eid Prayer in congregation?
  8. Did I offer the sacrifice on Eid and remember Ibrahim (as)’s sacrifice?
  9. Did I take care of the poor and the needy?
  10. Did I make sure to keep my neighborhood and surrounding area clean after the sacrifice?
  11. Did I give up any bad habits?
  12. Was I truthful in answering the above questions?

Audio Lectures in Urdu by Dr. Farhat Hashmi on Zil Hajj, Sacrifice and Eid

Month of Zil-Hajj : Part 1 | Part 2 |Part 3

Sacrifice : What is Sacrifice | History of Sacrifice | Importance of Sacrifice

Queries Related to Sacrifice

Eid : How to Celebrate Eid | Strengthen Relationships| Guests & Hosts

Posted in Audio Lectures, Dhul Hajj, Dr.Farhat Hashmi, Hajj, Islam, Religion | 4 Comments »

Lame Excuses People Make for Not Going For Hajj

Posted by Admin on November 15, 2008

by Asma Binte Shameem

Excuse # 1: I am too busy with Work

Some people delay Hajj because they say they can’t find time to take off from work. But don’t they see the very fact that they didn’t take time out for Hajj is the reason why Allaah kept them so busy with work?

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Allah says: ‘Son of Adam: Fill your time with My worship and I will fill your heart with richness, and end off your poverty. But if you don’t, I would make your hands fully busy (i.e. in worldly affairs) and I would not end off your poverty.'” (At-Tirmidhi said that it is a good hadeeth)

And he said:“Verily Allah tests His servant with what He has given him. So whoever is content with whatever he has been assigned, then Allah will bless him in it, and give him more! But whoever is not content (with what he has been given), then he will not be blessed in it.” (Ahmad-saheeh).

If you make your intention sincerely for the sake of Allaah and do your best to take time from work, Allaah will provide it for you.

“And whoever fears Allaah, He will make for him an easy way out and provide for him sustenance from sources he could never imagine. Whoever places his reliance upon Allaah, Allaah will suffice Him. Indeed Allaah is one who can achieve His purpose and He has appointed a measure for everything.” (Talaq:2-3)

Excuse # 2: I am not spiritually ready

Some people say I am not spiritually strong, I am not much of a believer and thus not ready to go or they say I think I should only do Hajj when I have figured out Salah and Zakah and I am practicing Islaam fully…
Don’t you see? That is the whispering of the Shaytaan in your heart. He does not want you to go and earn all the reward and Jannah.
All you got to do is to try hard to improve yourself, putting your trust in Him and surely He will guide you.
“And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good.” [Ankabut:69]

We all know people who weren’t fully practicing Muslims prior to making the Hajj, yet once they came back from Hajj they went under this amazing transformation and Alhamdulillah they are now practicing fully. So don’t think like that, just go.

Excuse # 3: Yeah, insha Allaah next year…..next year…..then next year

Subhaan Allaah, some people have no excuse not to go for Hajj. Yet when you ask them when they are going for hajj, they say “yeah, insha Allaah next year. But somehow that ‘next year’ never comes.
Don’t be like those people. Make your intention to go for Hajj NOW. Don’t even wait till tomorrow. Do it now and prepare for this journey, while you have the ability. For you never know when death will overtake you or some other trial may befall you that will unable you to go. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Take advantage of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you become occupied, and your life before your death.” (Bukhari)

Ali, radhiAllaahu ‘anhu, once stood at the head of a grave and said to his companion, “If he had a chance to return to this life, what do you think he would do?” His companion replied, “He would do nothing but good deeds.” Ali (RA) then said, “If it is not going to be him, then let it be you.”

Excuse # 4: When Allaah wants me to come, Allaah will call me

Sure, guidance is in Allaah’s Hands. Yet you have to work hard to qualify for that guidance. Remember that Allaah will not throw the guidance in your lap from up above. It is YOU who has to make the effort. Just like if you are hungry… Allaah will not throw the food down from the sky. You have to get up and cook that food.
Allaah orders us to make that effort. Allaah says:
“O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful.” [Surah Maidah:35]

Excuse # 5: Its too much hard work

Do you realize how much hard work we do for the dunya? Most of our lives we spend working hard for our studies, our livelihood, our families, our businesses, and we can’t bear to work hard for the Aakhirah? Sure, Hajj is hard work but then, isn’t Jannah worth it? The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“The reward of Hajj Mabrur is nothing but Jannah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

“And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted.” [al-Israa‘:19]

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab is quoted as saying, “I seek Allaah’s protection from the time when the ‘fasiq’ or disobedient will have much energy and enthusiasm and the righteous will be lazy.”

Excuse # 6: It takes too long

Some people use the length of Hajj as an excuse each year for delaying or not going. How long does it take?! Just 2-3 weeks! As if they haven’t taken that much time for vacations?!

To them I want to say, planning is everything. If you plan from now for Hajj next year, you can save up your vacation time and use it for the most important journey of your life. Or you can just choose an express Hajj package (about 10-14 days). And remember that the stay in Medina is not a part of Hajj.

Excuse # 7: Its too hot

A Canadian may say it’s too cold. An African will say it’s too hot. Both are making excuses for not doing good actions. Remember, it was summer in the desert during the time of the Battle of Tabuk, and the Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) was rallying his troops for an exhaustive trip that, back then, would have taken them months. That’s when the hypocrites told the people ‘do not go out in the heat’. Allaah said to tell them, “that the fire of hell is much hotter; if only they understood.” (Tauba:81)

Excuse # 8: I’ll wait until my kids are older/get married

Similarly, Muslims might delay Hajj and give themselves time by saying, “let me wait till my kids are older, or till my daughter gets married (and their daughter may only be 5 years old!)… let me wait till I do this , let me wait till I do that.”

This is also just a way of procrastination and nothing else. Remember that hajj is an obligation in Islaam. It is fardh upon you. If you have the means and you have not yet done your obligatory hajj, the ulama say that it is better for you to do Hajj, rather than delaying it if your kids are young.

The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) said, “Race to good deeds before a time and a fitnah comes, (a test) that will sweep over you like the darkest of the darkest nights.”
Obviously, for the one whose kids are of marriageable age and has just enough money for either Hajj or marriage, the Ulama say:
“If there is a conflict between the father’s Hajj and the son’s getting married, because the father only has enough money for one of them, then he should look to see whether his son’s marriage is essential right now, or can it be delayed? If the son needs to get married and fears that he may do something haraam, then getting him married takes precedence over the father’s doing Hajj.” (www.islamqa.com)

Beware of lame excuses

The Prophet (sal Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ) advised a man:
“Pray your prayer as if it is your last, as if you are seeing Him (Allah), for even if you do not see Him then He sees you. And give up hope (of obtaining) what other’s possess, then you will live a rich life. And beware of anything that you might (later) have to make an excuse for.” (Bukhari in his al-Tarikh, and al-Tabarani-saheeh)

Posted in Dhul Hajj, Hajj, Islam, Muslim Matters, Religion | 2 Comments »

Hajj – A Reminder Of Another Journey

Posted by Admin on November 12, 2008

By Asma bint Shameem

This time the crowds were tremendous…..more, much more than the previous years. One couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the number of people at Hajj this year. And similarly, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer number of lessons that I learnt on this journey – lessons of patience, lessons of compassion, lessons of humility and lessons of thankfulness to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta‘ala.

Every corner I turned, every where I went, every second I spent during my stay in Mina had the potential to mould me for better or for worse.

When I saw the people on the streets , living under a sheet stretched across two bamboo poles, how can I complain about the size of my camp at Mina?

When I saw little kids rummaging through piles of garbage looking for something to eat, how can I be dissatisfied with all the multiple varieties of fruits and juices and foods that I had at my disposal?
How can I even utter the words, “What…. chicken again??!!”

And when I saw old, weak people and people in wheelchairs and people limping and crippled standing at the side of the street hoping to find a ride or walking with their legs so swollen that they were the size of their thighs, how can I even begin to complain about the few hours I was stuck on my air-conditioned bus, not to mention the snacks and cold water that I had readily available to me??

I remember the words of my teacher, Muhammad al-Shareef. He said once,

“Hajj is not a journey of the body such as one may take to a vacation spot or tourist attraction. It is a journey of the soul and heart.”

And how true those words are. It is indeed  a journey of the heart….a journey to work hard…. to get your sins forgiven….to get to Jannah.

‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas narrates, “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said. I said, ‘That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!” – (Sahih Muslim)

When Allaah will forgive all our previous sins……yes, that’s right…..ALL OUR PREVIOUS SINS…….then is a little discomfort or inconvenience not worth it?

In fact, I think a lot of inconvenience is worth it. Actually, anything…..anything in this world is worth it.

“(That Day)No loyal friend will ask another loyal friend, though they are in sight of each other. To ransom himself from the punishment of that Day, the sinner will wish that he might even ransom himself by his sons, his companion (wife), his brother, the kinsmen who gave him shelter, and whatsoever is in the earth, altogether, so that it might save him.” (Surah Ma’aarij:10-14)

And how dare we complain??

Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala chose us from among 6 billion of His slaves, and invited us to His Blessed House to undertake this Blessed Journey…..to perform this Blessed Worship that people only dream about once in their lifetimes and what do we do??

We forget this immense , immense blessing of His on us and instead of falling prostate on our faces, with unstoppable tears of repentance and gratitude…. thanking Him for inviting us there and guiding us to Islaam and giving us the opportunity to have our sins forgiven, we forget the big picture and complain???!!!!
Subhaan Allaah!!

But dear brothers and sisters, who is it that provided us with all the blessings that we enjoy in our lives, all the blessings that we use day in and day out? It is no one but Allaah!
And it is the same Allah that tested us on the plains of Arafah, during our stay in Mina, and during our bus journey to Muzdalifah.

We need to remember that indeed the greatest blessing that Allah has favored us with is Islam, and it alone suffices as favor.

“There is no blame upon you for seeking bounty from your Lord (during Hajj). But when you depart from Arafat, remember Allah at AlMash’ar AlHaram. And remember Him as He has guided you, for indeed you were before that among those who went astray.” (Surah Baqarah: 198)

So thank Allaah for His favors upon you and when that dust blows, instead of complaining….turn to Allah and hit back with patience and a whisper of gratitude to Allah. And ask Him to forgive you.

“Then let them end their untidiness, fulfill their vows, and perform Tawaf around the ancient House.” (Surah Hajj 22:29)

And remember, Hajj is just a reminder of another journey that you and I will eventually have to take…..a journey every soul is traveling, whether they know it or care to just remain heedless…..A journey to the Hereafter, to Paradise or Hell.

“And take sustenance (with you) for the journey; verily the best sustenance is Taqwa (piety and righteousness).“ (Al Baqarah :197)

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