Reaping the fruits of Zilhajj

From a lecture attended at Zaynab Academy. The workshop was named Miles away from Makkah.

Disclaimer

Any mistakes are apologized for in advance. Readers are asked to confirm the authenticity.

Introduction

Once a person said that Allah gives chances of forgiveness. Which can be rightly put in Urdu as;

Karni thi magfirat tou bahanay bana diye

Jannat mein mominon ke tikhanay bana diye

Just a few months ago it was Ramzan, and we all know that Ramzan brings with itself ample opportunities of forgiveness. And now we are days away from Zilhajj.

We human beings are prone to make mistakes. It comes in Hadees Shareef:

“Bani adam banaya hee gaya hai k woh khata (mistake) karay”

Which means that human beings have been designed so that they make mistakes now and again. But the Hadees continues as;

“And the best of Bani Adam is the one who repents”

Nothing is designed to break. For example, the car Jaguar is not designed to break three months down the road.

Take the example of boxing ring. When the boxer falls, coach does not get upset but tries to bring him back with 1, 2, 3. The coach only gets upset when the boxer doesn’t stand up again. Similarly, it is wrong for human beings not to repent their sins.

If you think about it, we all have our unique ways of sinning. And it’s not like we have this one sin to be forgiven. We can’t and don’t say that Allah I have done this one thing wrong and please forgive me for this. We bring in mountains of sins. And Allah has made this deen so that there are various opportunities of magfirat. Deen bhi aisa banaya gaya hai ke Allah magfirat karein.

Islam has been designed so that sins are forgiven from;

One jamat to the next jamat

One wuzu to the the next wuzu

One Friday to the next Friday

One Umra to the next Umra

One Hajj to the the next Hajj

Allah says that He forgives in a way that the person comes out like a new born baby.

Nowhere else can we find this. For e.g., if you get in a minor accident and your car gets some dents, you can go the mechanic and it will look like new after a few days. But if you get in a big accident and your car gets completely ruined, the mechanic will tell you that there is no point in fixing this car, it will be so expensive that it will be better for you to buy a new car instead.

But Allah tends to forgive all sins and the person is like a new born child, the person has a clean slate.

People who are going to hajj are indeed fortunate people. We, who will be staying back, are not so fortunate. How do we reap the benefits of hajj?

Do you know the way the entire country gets when Pakistan is playing a cricket match? We don’t go out in the field and play cricket and represent our country. But even from our drawing rooms, it’s like we are there with our team. We hang on to every ball. We shout out on every wicket of the opponent team. We celebrate every sixer. We paint the Pakistani flag on our faces. On that day, we are all Pakistanis.

Similar is with Hajj. Allah has created ways so that we can also benefit from this month.

When Allah’s blessings pour down, they don’t just pour down on one area or one country. They can pour down everywhere. We are not restricted by time and space. Even if we are not going for hajj, we can still benefit from this month.

Following are some ways:

1. Meet the people who are going to Hajj…

With respect and love (ihtram aur ikram). Try to be of service to them. And ask them to pray for you, make dua for you. As Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (Peace be upon him) prayed to Allah that,

“Aye Allah, us shaks kee duaein qubool karye ga jo hajj pe jaye, aur jin logon ke liye who dua karay woh duaein bhi qubool karye ga.”

And sitting here, pray to Allah that the people who are going to Hajj remember to pray for you. 🙂

2. Allah rotates the earth around the sun in a way that the month ZilHajj comes on the whole earth

It’s not just one country experiencing Zil Hajj, it’s the whole world. Where ever we are, we can experience this month of rehmat.

Try to keep up to date with the proceedings of Hajj and do the following:

  1. Fast throughout the day.
  2. Pray throughout the night.

In our religion, every event occurs with some indications before the actual event. For e.g. before Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (Peace be upon him) got first revelation (wahi), he (Peace be upon him) started experiencing certain dreams and the stones bowed to him (Peace be upon him).

Before the first roza of Ramadan, we stand for taraveh.

Similar is the case with Zil Hajj. The 9th of Zil Hajj is indeed an important day, full of blessings. But the days before 9th of Zil Hajj are also full of blessings.

Hadees:

“Every single fast from the 1st of Zil Hajj to the 9th of Zil Hajj will give reward of keeping fast for 1 whole year.”

This is a good deal, and we all look out for good shopping deals. So why not take up this deal?

Hajis themselves do not fast. But we can, in order to reap the benefits of Zil Hajj.

It comes in hades that when we fast on 9th of Zil Hajj, one year’s sins are forgiven.

It also comes in hades that one night’s prayer is like praying on Lailat-ul-qadar.

3. Qurbani

There is this strange concept amongst people that instead of doing qurbani, I should give charity. We forget that every ibadat has a meaning.

Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) on Allah’s instruction left Hazrat Hajra (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS). When he was leaving, Hazrat Hajra (AS) asked him (AS);

“Aap humein akaila chore ke ja rahay hain?” (Are you leaving us alone?)

Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) did not answer.

Hazrat Hajra (AS) again asked;

“Aap humein akaila chore ke ja rahay hain?” (Are you leaving us alone?)

Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) did not answer.

Then Hazrat Hajra (AS) asked;

“Are you carrying out Allah’s orders?”

To this, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) replied, “Yes”.

You may ask, on what mission Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was going on when he left Hazrat Hajra (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS). It was not a mission, it was a test.

[If you think about it, when our brothers or fathers or husbands leave us somewhere in our own cars, they make sure that all doors are locked and they try to come back as hurriedly as possible. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to leave behind his wife and son?

Now imagine, how it must feel to be left behind? Being a 21st century women, we might just start screaming on top of our voices if someone was leaving us alone in a deserted place.]

When Hazrat Ismail (AS) started crying for water, Hazrat Hajra (AS) ran between safa and marwa to look for water. Mimicking this we Muslims do sai (running between safa and marwa). Even during Umra, it is essential to do sai.

When we do qurbani, we mimick Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), by sacrificing.

Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) on Allah’s orders was ready to sacrifice Hazrat Ismail (AS). And Hazrat Ismail (AS) knowing that it was Allah’s order was ready to be sacrificed. And it was just when Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was about to sacrifice Hazrat Ismail (AS), did Allah replace Hazrat Ismail (AS) with a sheep.

Just imagine, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was ready to sacrifice his own son, one he loved dearly. And Hazrat Ismail (AS) never tried to stop him; he too was ready to be sacrificed.

Mimicking this, we perform the act of qurbani on 10th/11th/12th of Zil Hajj. It is important that we do it consciously.

Moreover, as it is a religious duty it can only be done willingly. If a husband is doing sacrifice on behalf of his wife, it is his responsibility to ask her permission.

We have even been told about the distribution of meat as well.

1/3rd for our own selves

2/3rd for our relatives, family and friends

3/3rd for poor.

A person intending to do qurbani should not clip his nails or hairs from the 1st of Zil Hajj to the time of qurbani.

4. Takbeerat

So much in our deen is about making connection, making nisbat. Pray to Allah that

“Allah my thoughts are there.”

Show Allah the longing, the willingness, the yearning for Hajj.

Allah kee azmat o kibrayai bayan karein.

From the Fajar of 9th of Zil Hajj till the Asar of 13th of Zil Hajj, after every farz prayer recite takbeerat. This is mandatory for all of us. Even people who are not performing Hajj.

takbeer-e-tashreek_islamic-posters

What is the point?

We are making a connection with Hajis.

This is to show to Allah that,

“You will look at little ole me in Pakistan, trying to act like Hajis, because I so yearn to go for Hajj like them.”

Remember that if Allah’s rehmat is raining heavily at one place it can drizzle somewhere else too.

References

Short talk given by Sophia Agha in a workshop on Zilhajj [Zaynab Academy, 20th September 2014]