Manners for the pilgrimage, Hajj.

Based on extracts from speeches by Molana Ghulam Raza Roohani at Mehfil e Murtaza Karachi on the topic “Adaab e safar e Hajj ” in 1438/2017.

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim.

The purpose of this effort is to induce passion [شوق,shauq] if not stir it from within for the annual pilgrimage known as Hajj,to mentally prepare for it, therefore technicalities are not included. Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (p.b.u.h.) performed over two dozen pilgrimages but even then they preferred to walk on foot in spite of the animals they had as rides; such was their passion for Hajj.

Hajj is obligatory on those who can afford it financially (and physically). Rule number one is to crush the ego over this God gifted wealth. Bombard the internal feelings of having acquired worldly power before you even begin to stone ‘satan’. Historically ‘Masjid e Haram’ used to be much smaller than it is. One had to cross ‘muhallas’ [streets/neighborhoods] to get to ‘safa’ and ‘marwa’[names of mountains that are a part of the pilgrimage]. Somebody asked descendant of the Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h.p.) Imam Jafar Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) for the logic behind the mount ‘safa’ and ‘marwa’ being a part of the pilgrimage as it made no sense to him. The Holy Imam gave a one line reply, “to shatter the ego of the egotistic.” [مغروروں کے غرور کو توڑنے کے لئے ‘maghrooron ke gharoor ko tornay ke liye’]

Hajj is meant to shatter ego and arrogance [تکبر takabbur], that is why you ask everyone for forgiveness before departure for the pilgrimage; You need them to forgive you before Allah does.

Now that you have successfully thrashed your inner pharoh [فرعونfirawn], the next step is to be aware of your respect [اپنی عزمت کہ پہچانو‘apni azmat ko pehchano’]. The ‘labbaik’ you will utter is to mark that you are here because you were called here, intention in other forms of worship are made silently. But here, unlike other forms of worship, you are answering Allah’s call as a reaction.

Finally, know that you are going there to escape your sins. You are headed to the judge’s house, master of the day of judgment [malik e youm e deen(Surah Fatiha, Quran) ] there won’t be any advocates in his court. Make the most of this trip. Asking for material resources in this life is something Allah likes but try not to limit yourself to it when you can ask to be free from the fire of hell and for lawful provisions [حلال رزقhalal rizq].

Molana Roohani quoted descendant of Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.p.) and son of Imam Hussain (p.b.u.h.) Imam Zain ul Abdein’s (p.b.u.h.) “Treatise on rights”[رسالة الحقوق‘risala e huqooq’(see footnote)] that deals with different rights on one in the light of Islam. The section that was brought to light in said discussion was about Hajj.

Imam Zain ul Abdein says, “The right of ‘Hajj’ on you is that you know what it is for.” You are as a delegate of yourself for Allah.

Molana Roohani gave a simple explanation for this. Imagine the suit or the shoes you would wear to a job interview, or any other worldly commitment that is even remotely important to you. Your choice of attire would be as per your status. Now Imam is saying here that you are going to your true lord [ربrab] but the attire is in most basic of forms.

There is no competition. Just think of a scenario where it was, all present are not deprived of wealth. Shoes, clothes and hair are in the most basic form. Fragrance, oil and mirrors are out of question. In fact, a ‘controversial’ preferred act [مستحبmustahab] is to arrive in a dress free from impurity [پاکیزا لباس pakeeza libas] but once in ‘ehraam’[dress for hajj] complete the entire journey in it. This can be considered relatively easier today but picture it for 8 days on foot covering 400 kilometers (approximately 250 miles).

Your lord does not even want you to worry about clean clothes but why is that so?

Imagine a mother picking an outfit for her child to put on at the airport where they are about to meet after an eternity. Now this child spills coffee on that fabric such that it is not presentable at all. Child would want to delay being face to face but that is precisely what the mother would long for. God does not care for standards of visual perception in your pilgrimage, he wants to see you in that true state for he does not decide based on the visible external state [ظاہرzahir], he takes into account the internal spiritual state [باطنbatin].

May God grant us all a pilgrimage such that it is successful by his standards. Ameen.

Wasi A. Rizvi

Zilhajj 1438 / August 2017

Links to “Treatise on Rights” (Risala e Huqooq) :