Preparation for Hajj

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

BEING THE FOURTH KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHAWWAL 22/SHAWWAL/ 1439AH (5/JULY/2018CE)

PREPARATION FOR HAJJ.

Praise be unto Allah who decreed fasting on believers making it guard from sins and fire. Allah says

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.)” {2: 197).  We praise and thank Him, seek His help and guidance, forgiveness and repentance. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. Whoever Allah guides is guided and whoever He misled none will mislead Him. I bear witness there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger who says: “The acceptable hajj has no other reward except paradise” (Agreed upon). May Allah bless him and his families and all his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense.

Thereafter,

I admonish you and myself on the fear of Allah because that is the main objective for establishing the rites of hajj and all worships in Islam. Allah says:

وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

{And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. Then whoever hastens [his departure] in two days – there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays [until the third] – there is no sin upon him – for him who fears Allah. And fear Allah and know that unto Him you will be gathered.} (2:203).

Dear faithful, this is the fourth sermon in Shawwaal- the first of the month of hajj. We have begun discussion on issues connected to the pilgrimage, such as; History of the pilgrimage and the construction of the Ka’bah. Today we shall focus on the Preparation for the Hajj.

Are you prepared for the Hajj?

Dear Muslims, millions of Muslims aspire to witness the holy sites annually, even those that are have excuse of inability, this is because Allah instills special love of the sacred sanctuary in the hearts and made it a place of return for people as mentioned by the Exalted lord thus: (وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً)  “And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security.” (2: 125)

That means: A place of return to which they will not be tired from. Obviously this is one of the signs of Allah, that every person that professes the word of Tawheed would long towards, irrespective of the level of his sins even where it would reach the extent of the skies. Furthermore, looking at the significant sign in the great love a Muslim has towards this holy site, it is worthwhile for him to make adequate preparation for complementing the extent of his love for this divine symbol. This preparation covers the following areas:

1- Spiritual preparation: This is to purify the intention of hajj for Allah alone without the quest for show off and fame. Ibn Taimiyah says in his definition of Ikhlas thus: The pious great scholars do refer to resoluteness of monotheism and achieving sincerity of the religion to mean a situation whereby the slave would not turn or pay attention to other than Allah, not in love, or in fear, nor having hope in such. Rather the heart is detached from the entire creatures, he views them in the light of Allah, he hears and sees by the truth, and he walks by the truth …”

He meditate and reflect on every position he sees and witness, without doubt, it is a majestic positions which should not be overlooked. Using the beautiful statement of the Muslim German ambassador- Murad Hoffman in the first pilgrimage he performed , he was influenced by magnificence of the old house, where he says in p. 15 of his book  “The road to Makkah”: “We began after that we performed the tawaf round the Kaaba .. which is faced by billions of people in their daily prayers, and I did not escape my mind throughout the tawaf that we face towards Allah in the act, I remembered that this house was filled with idols during the youthful years of Mohammed (peace be upon him)… until he said: The book of “Ahmad Denver” helped me to link the rituals of Hajj outwardly and inwardly, materially and spiritually. In Islam, the journey to Allah is not restricted to the soul or the body only … it is either it is all present or not … and this is the product of Tawheed, Isn’t it possible for us to say the Ihram points to death, and that tawaaf surrenders one to Allah? Is the Zamzam water not the life? and the day of Arafah not making us expect the resurrection? The Muzdalifah is the darkness that precedes the new day? And Minaa represents the fulfillment through the sacrifice of the animals of udhiyah? And the taking off of the Ihram clothes at Mina .. Doesn’t it mean the new life .. The throwing of pebbles symbolize the struggle for life against all evil, but the unification of Allah is the center of life … “ We call on our beloved to read of some of the Hajj affairs of the Salaf and those after them, so that they get enlightened and sharpen their resolve.

2 – Knowledge preparedness: This refers to the knowledge of the rulings of Hajj before the commencement of the season at appreciable interval enough to enable the pilgrim perform the hajj rites as required. The Muslim countries, especially the Gulf States and Arab countries do establish specialized courses in this regard. And for whoever is unable to attend those courses, he could make do with linking up with his brothers across the internet, or listening to tapes, reading useful booklets or attending seminars for this occasion.

 3 – Material preparedness: Such that he provides the appropriate amounts that will enable him to complete the hajj without lack. How many number of people to whom at the occurrence of some event made them deficient in some obligations or pillars of the hajj due to the deficit in their budget for the pilgrimage. The majority of those who embarked on the hajj individually without joining the hajj operators or agencies from their countries. Among material readiness is to arrange and ensure availability of reservations and passports and ensure necessary provision of food and drink and additional exigency needs where the pilgrim stays in Ihram for three to four days, he may be compelled to change his ihram cloth for a cleaner one at any circumstance. Precaution is necessary at Muzdalifah, it might cold at night and their nothing that prevents from covering oneself with blanket provided it does not cover his head .

4 – Psychological preparation: It is a psychological preparation by acquaintance with the atmosphere of Hajj, that it involves hardship, congestion and fatigue. H could be hurt by some of his brothers because of stampede or perceive of bad smells emanating from some of them or the delay of the agency for some circumstance … or sees harsh treatment from some or such things, he has to bear it with patience, perseverance and smile without retaliation but with good manners, he has to control his tongue from indecency and abuse, this is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) calls us to: “Whoever performed Hajj and did not commit immoral act and disobedience, returns (home purified of sins as) as the day his mother bore him,” (Bukhari, and Muslim). Narrated by al-Bukhaari.

5 – Health preparation: This is taking the necessary vaccinations and medicines (first aid kit), especially when the sun is hot or stomach upsets, or cases of severe exhaustion. These conditions should be directed to the specialists, likewise adequate caution must on regarding eating doubtful foods and ensure to eat clean well covered. It should be noted that the children need special care, the pilgrim should provide gives them that special protection, he is responsible for them and no laxity in this regard will be condoned.

6 – Religious preparedness: This is to distance from all manifestations of shirk and innovations that undermine the Hajj, such as stroking the curtain of the Kaaba for healing and blessing or the station of Ibrahim or entering the crowd to the degree of beating in the effort to kiss the black stone, or women entering among them and sticking with men as it’s been witnessed! Sheikh Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) have mentioned in his book “Innovations of pilgrimage and visitation of Madinah and Jerusalem.” P. 105.

7 – Time management readiness: It is to prepare himself to exploit all his time for his benefit and others and not spend his time with the much talk, such as backbiting, jest making, gossips, and excessive sleep and spending most of his time in sleep or food, such that he will be busy most time with different types of foods and drinks, especially in those expensive agencies and camps. It is not right to waste time, but to strive to fill it with useful things including dhikr, read the Qur’an, attending lectures organized by the hajj agencies and organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, may Allah guide them to good and assist them to perform their hajj rites rightly to be acceptable before Allah.  … Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

The Second Sermon

All praises are due to Allah Who says: Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy. (24: 55- 56) We praise and thank Him. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. I bear witness there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger. May Allah bless him and his families and all his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense.

Dear faithful, we hereby encourage all Muslims in Nigeria to get their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) in preparation for the General Elections in 2019, because politics is an important religious obligation for the betterment of life and hereafter which must not be neglected. The Christians have declared in their churches that compelling their congregations to collect their PVCs. Then what is holding us back? If we really want a true change we must wake up from our slumber. If we ponder over the two verses above, we understand that Allah had promised us successor on earth and exemplified the condition which is steadfastness. Scholars titled the two verses as: “Attributes of Successor on Earth.”. Dear brothers in faith, be aware that the firmness of the disbelievers on earth will be used for spreading evil on earth, no other reason. Never expect any restructuring or reformation from the disbelievers, however, the establishment of the believers on earth firmly is truly for reformation. Allah says: “[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” (22:41). Therefore, Muslims must participate in the politics of this country accordingly. “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”

– Secondly, the killings in some states in Nigeria, including Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara and other places is a painful and agonizing. The Federal government must stand up to ensure security and stability to these places and bring those culpable in the crime to book without delay. However, such crime must be condemned by everyone, political, ethnic or religious divide must not becloud our vision to the level of allowing this inhuman and ungodly act in our nation. One of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Sharia is the protection of lives.

– Thirdly we turn to the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of Tayyip Erdogan who has just won a decisive victory in the last 24 June 2018 election (originally due on 3 November 2019) with about 53% of the of vote. In his 12-year policy: (model of good government lead by a contemporary Muslim): Here are some of his achievements:
A – Erdogan freed Turkey from the restrictions of IMF, paid all the country’s debts to the World Bank, and the West are pleased with this.
B – He increased the number of schools from 65,000 to 1.2 million, and included Islamic studies into the curriculum which was hitherto to his assumption to governance a forbidden fruit.
C – He increased the number of qualified Imams and preachers by the establishment of schools saddled with the responsibility of producing Imams and preacher. He- Erdogan- is a graduate of this school.
D. He established more universities in the main cities of Turkey increasing the number from 98 to 190 universities.

E – He built comfortable and of moderate prices dormitories for students, and close to these universities, which are managed by the government.
F- Provision of free and accessible health care for all citizens.
G – Prior to the era of Erdogan 6,200 km of roads connected to 7 cities however, from 2002 to 2018, 25,000km roads now connected to 81 cities, with 247 underground tunnels even mountainous topography.
H- Under Erdogan, Turkey had joined the so-called G20 countries, these are countries with developed economy.
I- Soon, Turkey will be working on the largest airport in the world, inshaa Allah … and so on. Rightly Allah say:
[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” (22:41).

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