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THE ACCEPTED HAJJ: ITS CONDITIONS AND VIRTUES

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIFTH KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF D. QA’DAH, DATED 6TH D.QA’DAH 1444AH (26TH MAY, 2023CE)

TITLED: THE ACCEPTED HAJJ: ITS CONDITIONS AND VIRTUES

THE FIRST KHUTBAH

All Praises belong to Allah. We praise Him, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our own souls and from the evils of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can mislead, and whoever He lets go astray, there is no one that can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger, may the abundant Blessings and Peace of Allah be upon him and his family and companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment.

Thereafter… Fear Allah (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ) “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Aal-Imraan: 102).

Servants of Allah! Hajj is one of the pillars of Islaam, and one of its great rites. The heart and mind incline towards it, and souls yearn during its months to visit those pure places. Allah Ta’alaay has prescribed Hajj for His servants. Because of the great benefits in it.

The pilgrimage is mandated on all persons who have reached the age of responsibility and who are able to afford it, as evidenced by the Book of Allah – the Mighty and Sublime – in His saying – Glorified He is -: (وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِين) “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” (Aal-Imraan: 97).

And the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) addressed the people and said: “O people! Allah has mandated Hajj on you, so perform the Hajj.” Then a man said: Is it every year, O Messenger of Allah? He remained silent until he had said it three times, then the Messenger of Allah(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If I had said yes, it would have become obligatory for you (to perform it very year), and you would not be able to.” Then he (ﷺ) said, “Do not ask me unnecessarily about the details of the things which I do not mention to you. Verily, the people before you were doomed because they were used to putting many questions to their Prophets and contradicting their Prophets. When I command you to do something then do it to the best of your ability and capacity, and when I prohibit you from something, then leave it” (Muslim).

The acts of worship commanded by Allah Ta’alaa, such as the salaat, fasting, Hajj, zakat, and others, are not followed by their full sensory and moral effects, whether those effects in this world or in the hereafter, unless the person responsible performs them in the manner required by the Sharee’ah, both outwardly and inwardly. Hajj is one of the greatest acts of worship, and it is one of the pillars of Islam. Allah Ta’alaa says: (الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ) “The months of performing the Hajj are well Known; so whoever undertakes to perform the Hajj in them..” (Al-Baqarah 197), and the Prophet (ﷺ) said when he was asked: “Which deed is the best? He said: “Belief in Allah and His Messenger. It was said: Then what? Jihad for the sake of Allah said. It was said then what? He said, “An accepted Hajj.” (Al-Bukhari included it in his Saheeh). It is also soundly narrated in the two books of Saheeh that the prophet (ﷺ) said: “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ‘Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Al-Jannah.” And it is also soundly narrated in the two books of Saheeh that the prophet (ﷺ) said: “He who comes to this house and does not speak obscenely or commit adultery will return as his mother gave birth to him.” So, it becomes clear from these texts that the highest level of Hajj is that it be an accepted Hajj, and that this accepted Hajj is necessary for the forgiveness of all sins and entry into Al-Jannah (Paradise). What then are the characteristics of this accepted Hajj, and what are its signs that the pilgrim Muslim should watch out for and be keen about and strive to achieve?

If we consider the texts of the Sharee’ah in this area, we can derive several descriptions of and accepted Hajj (Hajj Mabruur), which is the Hajj that is acceptable to Allah, and that makes the one who performs it deserves forgiveness of sins and entry into Paradise:

1- Sincerity to Allah Ta’alaa: The meaning of is this is that the pilgrim performs the Hajj as an act of worship to Allah, seeking thereby Allah’s pleasure alone and the home of the Hereafter, fearing Allah’s wrath and His punishment, being careful not to intend by his Hajj something from this world other than the hereafter, such as money, prestige, bragging, praise from people, or obtaining a title such as the title ‘Al-haji’, and not with the intention of just visiting places of antiquities, or other things like that. Desiring the benefits of this world by doing deeds of the Hereafter is a reason for invalidating the work. Allah Ta’alaa says: “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (Huud: 15-16), and the Almighty, the Most-High says: “Whoever wishes for the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, (far away from Allah’s Mercy). And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allah’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded (by Allah)” (Al-Israa: 18) -19), and the Almighty says: “ So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf: 110). And it was narrated in sound hadiths in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allah Ta’alaa said: “I am the most un-needful of partners from polytheism. If anyone does a deed in which he associates anyone else with Me, I shall abandon him to what he associates with Me.” The sincerity of work for Allah Ta’alaa is a condition for its acceptance, as evidenced by many verses and hadiths.

2- The second characteristics and condition if to follow the guidance of the prophet (ﷺ)

Following the guidance of the Prophet (ﷺ) in performing the Hajj, whether he (ﷺ) did it, or authorized it to be done. Allah Ta’alaa says: “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)” (Al-Hashr: 7). And Aah Ta’alaa says: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzaab: 21). The Prophet (ﷺ) said, regarding following him in performing the rituals of Hajj: “Take your rites (of Hajj) from me.” (Muslim).

Therefore, the pilgrim who hopes for his Hajj to be accepted and for forgiveness of his sin must be keen to ensure that his hajj is totally in accordance with what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) legislated and recommended, and that he guides against committing innovations and inventions and permissiveness that contradict his guidance (ﷺ), and then vitiate this great worship with those.

These two characteristics, that is, sincerity to Allah and following the Prophet’s guidance (ﷺ), are the most important things that make up the accepted Hajj, and they are the basis for the acceptance of every act of worship. Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayyaad – may Allah have mercy on him – mentioned this in his words commenting on the saying of Allah Ta’alaa: “..that He may test you which of you is best in deed” (Al-Mulk: 2). He (Fudayl) said: “The most sincerity and most correct”. People said: O Abu Ali, what is the sincerest and most correct? He said: “If the work is sincere (only for Allah) and not correctly done (in accordance with the guidance of the prophet (ﷺ), it will not be accepted, and if it is correct and not sincerely done (for Allah alone), it will still not be accepted, until it is sincerely done for Allah alone and it is correct (in accordance with the guidance of the prophet (ﷺ)). Sincerity means it is for Alah alone. Correctness means it is done according to the sunnah.

3- And the third characteristic of the of the accepted Hajj is that the money be from lawful money. So, the pilgrim must seek good earnings in order to seek help in obedience to Allah and His pleasure, and to free from what is in the hands of people. It is narrated in sound hadiths in the two books of Saheeh that the prophet (ﷺ) “whoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him content, and whoever tries to make due, Allah will suffice him.” Allah, Good earning has a great impact on acceptance of worship, enjoying its sweetness, and enjoying its great effects. It was narrated in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allah Ta’alaa is pure and does not accept anything but the pure. Then he mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!”, while his food is haraam (unlawful), his drink is haraam, his clothing is haraam, and he has been nourished with haraam, so how can [his supplication] be answered ?!”

4- The fourth characteristic of the accepted pilgrimage: is avoiding obscene speech: as related in the texts: Ar-Rafath is said by Ibn Faaris in Maqaayees al-Lughah: “it is every word that is shameful to express opemly. The origin al-rafath is an-nikah (intimate relation) (2:421). Likewise in Tahdheeb al-Lughah by al-Azhari: (Al-Layth said: al-rafath means sexual intercourse, and its origin is foul language. Allah says: (فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ) “There shall be no obscenity (intimate relation), foul language” (Al-baqarah: 197) Az-Zajaaj said: meaning: “There should be no sexual intercourse nor speech leading to sexual intercourse” He said: “Al-rafath is a comprehensive word for everything that a man wants from his wife” (15-77). This is the origin of al-rafath in Lisan al-Arab, which is the interpretation which the scholars of tafsir among the companions and the Tabi’un have used. Ibn Katheer summed it up in his saying: (فَلاَ رَفَثَ) “There there should be no obscenity”. That is: Whoever enters the state of ihram for Hajj or Umrah, let him avoid obscene, which is sexual intercourse, as the Most High said: (أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ) It has been made permissible for you to be intimate with your wives during the nights preceding the fast.  (Al-baqarah:187) Likewise, it is forbidden to engage in its causes such as intimacy, kissing, and the like, as well as speaking of it in the presence of women’ (1-547)

5) The fifth characteristic of the accepted hajj is to avoid immorality, as Allah the Almighty says: (فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ) {There shall be no obscenity (intimate relation), foul language, and arguments during pilgrimage.” (Al-Baqarah : 197) Fusuq (immorality) here is explained in several ways including: all forms of sins; all the prohibitions of Ihram; insults; name-calling; slaughtering to idols. While the agreeable one to a group of commentators, such as Ibn Katheer, is that Fusuq, here refers to all sins, especially what is prohibited during Ihram, such as hunting, taking away hair and perfume … etc. So every sin and every prohibited thing in the state of ihram, if the pilgrim or performer of Umrah performs it deliberately, then it is an act of debauchery that is forbidden, and the pilgrimage is not accepted except by avoiding these sins and prohibitions.

Among the sins that diminish the reward of Hajj and causing not to be accepted is taking intoxicants such as smoking, using or listening to musical instruments, or oppressing pilgrims or harming them with words or actions.

THE SECOND SERMON:

All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. We praise Him, the Exalted, the Most High, for the abundant blessings He bestowed upon us at the last 2023 general elections in Nigeria which we were earlier afraid of but He – the Almighty – made it easy. Allah the Almighty said: (لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ) “If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.” (Ibrahim: 7) Allah also says: (مَا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ شَاكِرًا عَلِيمًا) “Why should Allah punish you if you are grateful and faithful? Allah is ever Appreciative, All-Knowing.” We hereby use this gratitude to supplicate to Him, the Mighty and Sublime, to make Nigeria a safe, secure, prosperous, and generous country, and the rest of the Muslim countries, O Lord of the worlds. (رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ * رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ) ““Our Lord! In You we trust. And to You we ˹always˺ turn. And to You is the final return. Our Lord! Do not subject us to the persecution of the disbelievers. Forgive us, our Lord! You ˹alone˺ are truly the Almighty, All-Wise.”  (Al-Mumtahinah: 4-5).

Dear brothers in faith, we are in dire need to supplicate to Allah, the Almighty for the success of the new administration in Nigeria, from the federal leadership to the state governors throughout our beloved country holding on Monday, May 29, 2023, by Allah’s will. We beseech Allah, the Almighty to protect the country from chaos, turmoil, and crises, and that security, peace, stability, victory, and success prevail in the country. We recommend to individuals and political parties that were not satisfied with the results of the elections and have gone to the court with complaints to be patient and wait for the court’s ruling on their complaints and not to cause strife and crises in the country because crises do not build the country but it rather destroy it, so look at what is happening in some countries such as Sudan, Ukraine, Syria and others and other countries suffering from internal crises or wars.

Finally, it is important to remember our brothers in Turkey in our prayers regarding their run-off elections holding on Sunday, May 28, 2023. May Allah supports our brother President Erdogan and grant him victory, because he is a shining moon that illuminates the Islamic countries and an ideal representative of Islam and Muslims in the Islamic world and is worthy of the prayers of Muslims all over the world. Oh Allah, grant him magnificent victory over all others in the May 28, 2023 run-off elections by the power of Your word- “and that Our forces will certainly prevail.”   “For it is Our duty to help the believers.”

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