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Performing Actions Equal to Hajj in Reward | Shaykh Waleed Basyouni

There are so many like myself could not go to Hajj this year.

But even when we are physically far away from Makkah, our hearts with the Hujjaj (pilgrims), thinking about what they are doing, praying for them and hoping to be like them soon. One of the things that I thought could help us to catch up with them is to do the actions that equal to Hajj in reward! Yes, equal to Hajj as our prophet Mohammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) informed us.

In many ahadith, our beloved ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave us tips as to how to catch up in reward in the following traditions:

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Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The poor came to the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said:

“Oh, Messenger of Allah, the wealthy have gone with the highest ranks and lasting bliss. They offer Salat (prayer) as we offer it; they observe fast as we do; and as they are wealthy, they perform Hajj and ‘Umrah, and go for Jihad, and they spend in charity.”

The Messenger of Allah said,

“Shall I not teach you something with which you may overtake those who surpassed you and with which you will surpass those who will come after you? None will excel you unless he who does which you do. You should recite: Tasbeeh (Allah is free from imperfection – Subhan Allah), Takbeer (Allah is Greatest – Allahu Akbar), Tahmeed (Praise be to Allah – AlHamdu lillah) thirty-three times after each Salat.” [Al-Bukhari]

Abu Dharr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that a group of the Companions came to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), and said,

“O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money, which they give in charity.”

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), replied:

“Has Allah not rendered for you the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to ‘Umrah?” [Muslim]

Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,

“Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays two units of prayer, has a complete reward of Hajj and ‘Umrah. (The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) repeated ‘complete’ three times for emphasis.) [Tirmidhi]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Whoever walks to [perform] an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj [in terms of rewards], and whoever walks to [perform] a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary ‘Umrah [in terms of rewards].” [Hasan hadith narrated by Tabarani, Abu Dawud, Ahmad]

Abu Umamah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Whoever goes to the mosque not desiring except to learn or teach what is good has the reward of a pilgrim who completed his Hajj.” [Tabarani]

Ibn Rajab raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) narrated that the Companion Mikhnaf ibn Sulaym raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said,

“The reward for attending ‘Id Al-Fitr prayer is equal to the reward of performing ‘Umrah and the reward for attending ‘Id Al-Adha Prayer is equal to that of performing Hajj.” [Lata’if al-Ma’arif]

My brothers and sisters, if you missed standing before Allah in Arafah, stand for his religion wherever you are! If you are far from the House, be close to the Lord of the House! And if you aren’t at Mina, don’t be a sinner!

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is Vice President of AlMaghrib Institute and Director of Clear Lake Islamic Center (CLIC). He is a frequent guest speaker at Universities, Conventions, Radio Talk Shows, Television, Interfaith meetings, and community centers nationally and internationally. He is also a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee, Director of Texas Dawah Convention, and Advisor to numerous Islamic Societies/Organizations around the US.Shaykh Waleed Basyouni graduated with a Bachelors in Islamic Sciences from Al-Imam Muhammad University, KSA; did his Masters in Islamic Theology, World Religions and Modern Religious Sects from Al-Imam Muhammad University; and acquired a Doctorate in Theology. He is also an instructor at the American Open University in Alexandria, VA, USA, and serves as, the Imam of Clear Lake Islamic Center, Houston, TX, USA. Shaykh Waleed has Ijaazahs in reciting the Holy Quran and in several books of Hadeeth, awarded by various scholars. He studied with great scholars time such as Shaykh Ibn Baz, Abdul-Razzaq Afify and others.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ahsan arshad

    October 15, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    salaam alaykum,
    jazakallahu khairan for such blessed reminders.

  2. Avatar

    mohammad

    October 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    awrb jzk, just a quick question though, is it possible to get the checking of classical scholars of some of those narrations as I’m sure I’ve seen some as being as mentioned as week from muhaditheen of the past, I just cannot recall where.

  3. Avatar

    powerandprivilege

    October 16, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    “Isha’ prayer in congregation…” The word Isha comes from the Sanskrit root that means God/Divine. The Muslim pilgrims to holy Mecca probably do not realize that they practice ancient Vedic customs: shaving their heads, taking a dip in ‘holy water,’ wearing white robes [called dhoti in Sanskrit], and circum-ambulate around the Kaaba. Islam forbids idolatry. So, what is the significance of circum-ambulation about? If Allah/God/Divine is everywhere, has the original purpose of the rituals in Mecca been lost or suppressed through history? Perhaps the Imaams ought to give this some thought and seek what binds us all on this small planet – a common ancestry.

    • Avatar

      O H

      October 16, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      With regards to the Kabah circumambulation, this is what a Saudi scholar (Shaykh Salih al munajjid) has to say:

      http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/hajj/178282.html

      Maybe someone else can address your other questions.

    • Avatar

      Brother

      October 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      A lot of your points are actually incorrect…

      – “Isha'” is a pure Arabic word which means ‘nightfall’
      – Muslims don’t “dip in holy water” (they drink from the well of Zamzam)… and it’s actually not a condition of performing the Hajj, though it’s good to drink
      – Circling around the Kaaba is not an act of worship directed to the Kaaba. It’s worshiping God by following the Hajj rituals, as taught by the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), just like any other act of worship (like praying, for example).
      – Muslims don’t believe God is everywhere… though He has knowledge of everything.

      *I agree with you that we are all united, but in something more significant than ancestry- purpose. We all have the same purpose for existing, and Islam suggests that the best way to confirm what this purpose is and how to fulfill it is by seeking it from the most authentic source (which is the final divine revelation- the Quran- and the teachings of the final messenger of God- Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him).

    • Avatar

      Basmah

      October 20, 2013 at 4:09 AM

      You may have read one of those books or heard speeches how everything traces back to Sanskrit and Hinduism .
      Well brother/sister,those people give no proof as to how a word was derived from a root in another language. They just invent things that they think is the possible truth.

      But it’s not always true brother/sister.

      Someone said Ramadan came from Rama + dhyan ( rememberance of hindu god Rama ). :) interesting but totally false . Ramadan comes from ramadh ( summertime when the earth becomes really hot from the scorching heat)

      My advice to you would be to ‘investigate’ islam firsthand fromauthentic islamic sources . And then , if u like , u may read criticism from islamophobic websites . Hopefully , you will able to differentiate truth from falsehood .

      God bless you.

      • Avatar

        Basmah

        October 20, 2013 at 4:20 AM

        And btw, islam is the oldest religion starting with the first man and prophet Adam . It’s possible that other religions and cults copied some islamic practises .

        There have been several prophets and messengers from God. It’s possible Vedic dharm was initially taught by a prophet of God , and the people changed its nature over the years .its very much possible.

        After all , the Vedas are monotheistic .

    • Avatar

      gunal

      October 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Well said: “It’s possible Vedic dharm was initially taught by a prophet of God, and the people changed its nature over the years.”

      From the history you can see how, some people cannot manage the truth. Some try to find the easiest ways to worship. (Most people feel the need to show ‘PHYSICALLY’ their commitment to their God, without realising they end up getting attached to those physical things as associating them with true God.. which then leads them to kufur). The biggest example of this, for me, is; when Moses left his brother Aron in charge (only for a little time). Some people were already struggling with the idea of invisible God. Hence, some of them made a golden calf.

      This idea that ‘God is in everything/everywhere’ is today’s biggest example. Nature is created by God+we love nature(=) therefore if we say God is everywhere (in everything and everyone, including in ourselves) and love nature (everything, everyone and ourselves) as part of God we are the true believers.. Believing in ‘God is everywhere notion’, in some people is translated as just that! Which is far from the truth therefore should not be encouraged.

      Perhaps even bigger example can be given; when people cannot associate with the invisible God notion they start associating with God’s messengers (or, saints/dervishes/people regarded as (or with) holy spirits). This may be why and how some of Adam’s sons were later on worshipped as Gods… This may also be the reason why today Jesus is worshipped as a God (one of the Gods even though Jesus himself said there is only one God and resides in heaven). My view is; because these people were physically on this earth therefore we can associate with them easier. We like to ‘ENTRUST’ our difficult obligation of having to believe and pray to invisible One and only God, to those people. We feel we can pray and worship God through those people. I don’t know if we can but my main problem with the idea is that our generations (once we are gone) get confused. For today’s intelligence capacity (and the bounds of examples of the past under out fingertips) I don’t think any of us should struggle with the idea of an invisible God who created everything and everyone.

      When it comes to powerandprivilege’s comment above; Yes, I aggree. Our imams have to be careful! Making sure everyone knows that whatever traditions we adopt or create in order to make our obligations/worship easier to practice, we do not endanger it completely. Taking lessons from the past and promoting an awareness of how and why it can go wrong (not so much for us; for our next generations to come).

  4. Abez

    Abez

    October 20, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    AssalamuAlaikum Sh. Basyouni! I’ve heard it said that greeting your parents with a smiling face (or something to that effect) has reward equivalent to Hajj, but then I have also heard that hadith may not be correct.

    I notice it was not included here, may I ask if that was because of it’s lack of authenticity? Or just an omission? Is that hadith valid?

    JazakAllahuKheiran!

  5. Avatar

    gunal

    October 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    If you haven’t visited your parents and/or they grieve that they don’t get to see you enough… They may need your support..yet you ignore them.. Prophet might have said it would be better for such person to visit his/her parents and worship/praise God (during Eid) WITH those people whom are yours (belong to you and you are responsible even for their spiritual wellbeing).

    The problem for such hadis- some people may take it for granted or misinterpret it. “Paradise is under the feet of mothers” . This is been a religious guidance for my elders from my childhood. And I am aware of some parents thinking this gives them the need for disciplining their child by kicking the child with their feet (because the paradise is meant to be under their feet!). Can you see how evil can twist certain things and lead you away from the truth.

  6. Avatar

    jannat

    October 22, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Most of the rewards here are for men who can pray in masjid.women do not always have the option of going to the mosque. So are there are any other points which even a woman can do to earn the rewards equal to hajj

  7. Avatar

    Faizan

    October 23, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    Mash Allah Wonder Full your post. Thanks for sharing……………..

  8. Avatar

    salmirah

    February 9, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Brother Waleed, we girls don’t pray in congregation, then will it be as rewarding as we pray Fajr at home and sit remembering Allah till sunrise?

    *Comment edited to remove SPAM Links. Please be warned, SPAM is not welcome here and may cause legitimate comments content to be deleted as well*

  9. Avatar

    nav

    August 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    The hadith mentioning the reward of doing zikr after salah can be earned by women as well.

    With regard to Salaah in the masjid, it is mentioned that it would be better for women to perform their prayer at home. Maybe you can check the hadith. So it might be a reward equal to men going to the masjid. I dont have the evidence for this but i know Islam is a fair religion.

  10. Avatar

    Sadiq Syed

    September 13, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    “The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), replied: “Has Allah not rendered for you the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to ‘Umrah?” [Muslim]

    I was unable to trace this hadeeth and it is absolutely not there in Saheeh Muslim. Please clarify.
    Jazaakumullah.

  11. Avatar

    Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena

    September 16, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    SUBHANALLAH.! ALLAAHU AKBAR.! AL HAMDULILLAAH. May ALLAAH Shower More Blessings upon You. WasSalaam.
    Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena.
    Sri Lanka.

  12. Avatar

    juwayriyah

    September 18, 2015 at 3:52 AM

    asalam o alaikum.Alot of the narrations suggest praying in congregation and the reward of that being equal to hajj.Does this include the sisters?

    • Avatar

      Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena

      September 18, 2015 at 6:14 AM

      Humbly suggest to ask ALLAAH in secret to help You with an answer please. May ALLAAH Shower More Wisdom upon You.
      Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena.
      Sri Lanka.

    • Avatar

      Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena

      September 18, 2015 at 6:28 AM

      Islam is very simple my dear sister. If anything is not good for sisters You will find it very easily. And, the very beautiful part of it is that ALLAAH is there to teach, and clarify Your queries. May ALLAAH Shower More Courage upon You.
      Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena.
      Sri Lanka.

  13. Avatar

    wazeershaik

    December 16, 2019 at 2:11 AM

    thankyou for sharing this article and hadith this will help the reader and this can be an increased knowledge of hajj and I was reading a similar blog about hajj in sithajj.co.uk

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#Islam

Help! I Can’t Make Dua For More Than 30 Seconds On The Day Of ‘Arafah

Much emphasis has been given on the importance of fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, but don’t forget, this was a day the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) “made du’a from the time of Dhur til the time of Maghrib on the day of ‘Arafah while STANDING.” (Sahih Muslim)

He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said, “The best du’a is that which is made on the day of ‘Arafah.” (Sahih Muslim)

If we can develop the capacity to binge watch on Netflix 5-6 for hours a day, we can develop the capacity to make du’a longer than 30 SECONDS on the day of ‘Arafah.

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I used to be a person who couldn’t make du’a longer than 2 minutes.

3 things changed

1. I started writing my personalized du’as on a mini-notebook

2. I started reading du’as using Hisnul Muslim (The Fortress of the Muslim)

3. I started following the etiquettes of making du’a.

As an Imam, I have numerous meetings with members of my community. Sometimes, at the end of my meetings, I asked the community member to end our meeting with a du’a. It is surprising that many of them do not know the etiquettes of making du’a. By following the above etiquettes of making du’a, you can make du’a longer than 2 minutes inshAllah!

Here are 16 etiquettes of making du’a from the Qur’an and Sunnah

1) Have 100% conviction that Allah will answer you

2) Find a way to praise Allah before making your request

3) Use the proper names of Allah

4) Send salutations upon Muhammad (upon him be peace)

5) Raise your hand like a beggar

6) Face the qibla

7) Be in a state of wudu

8) Cry

9) Be a lone wolf (Be alone)

10) Ensuring that your food is pure

11) Acknowledge your sins (Privately)

12) Repeat the du’a 3 times

13) Start the du’a by praying for yourself

14) Expand your heart, pray for everyone (in particular those Muslims in China who wish they could fast on the day of ‘Arafah, but they are prohibited from doing so.)

15) Say Amin after making du’a.

16) Make du’a during the “prime-times” (From Dhur till Maghrib on the day of Arafah is primetime!)

Bonus tip: If you’re like me, you may get stuck when making du’a. An excellent tip given by our master Muhammad (upon him be peace) is to use the “filler du’a”. This “filler du’a” was actually what Muhammad (upon him be peace) and all of the Prophets made on the day of Arafat!

He said, “The best invocation is that of the Day of Arafat, and the best that anyone can say is what I and the Prophets before me have said:

Lā ‘ilāha ‘illallāhu

wahdahu lā shareeka lahu,

lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu

wa Huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadeer.

Translation:

None has the right to be worshipped but Allah

Alone, Who has no partner.

His is the dominion and His is the praise,

and He is Able to do all things. (Al-Tirmidhi)

To recap, here are 5 action items you and your family can perform on the day of Arafah.

1. Go over the following hadith with your family members.

“Allah frees far more people from Hellfire on the Day of Arafah than on any other day, and Allah comes closer this day and proudly says to the angels, ‘What do these people want and seek?’” (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

2. Say to your family members or whoever you have influence over,

“The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) made du’a on the day of Arafah from Dhur till Maghreb. How long do you think we can make du’a for on this day?”

3. Go over the 16 etiquettes mentioned in this post.

4. Challenge your family members to make a 10 minute du’a.

     Materials needed

  • Whiteboard
  • Markers
  • A Creative mind
  • Brainstorm with your family members what du’a you want to make and then write them on a whiteboard.

5. Whenever you get stuck and you can’t don’t know what du’a you want to make, make the “filler du’a” the Prophet (upon him be peace) made on the day of ‘Arafah.

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#Islam

The Inner Dimensions of the Udhiyah

Apart from Ḥajj, the greatest action a Muslim can do in the blessed days of Dhū al-ijjah is to offer the udḥiyah (qurbāni/sacrifice).

‘Āisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reports that Rasūlullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “A human does no action from the actions of the Day of Naḥr [slaughtering; refers to the day of Eid al-Adḥā] more beloved to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) than sacrificing the animal. On the Day of Judgement, it will appear with its horns, and hair, and hooves, and indeed the blood will be accepted by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) before it even falls upon the ground, so let your heart delight in it.” [Tirmidhī]

Although we all know that this is an action that is traditionally performed on Eid al-Adā, a lack of understanding of its reality has led some to question the importance of doing it in the first place. In past years, and increasingly during the current pandemic, many have been asking, “Can I give ṣadaqah (charity) instead?”

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To answer this, it is necessary to understand the following.1 Everything in this world is comprised of an outer form – an appearance and a desired outcome – a “soul.” These two are intertwined in such a way that separating them is impossible. One cannot survive without the other. The clearest example of this reality is in ourselves.

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ ۗ

“Soon we will show them Our Signs in the horizons [external] and in themselves [internal] until it becomes clear to them that it is the Truth.” [Surah Fussilat; 53]

We are made of a body, which is comprised of several parts, and a soul, which fills the entire body and allows each part to fulfill its unique function. Without a body, our soul cannot survive, and without a soul, our body cannot survive. Additionally, if any part is missing, the whole person will be considered to have some deficiency. Likewise, the same principle applies to our n. Our n has an outer form, which is comprised of the actions that we perform, and a soul as well. The fact of the matter is that our goal in life is to achieve a complete connection with Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The Quran identifies this quality with the word taqwā. The soul that permeates our entire n and therefore, all our individual actions is taqwā. All these actions display a different aspect of taqwā and together form complete n in a person. If anything is missing, a person’s n will be deficient.

For example, the soul of ṣalāh is the portion of taqwā that relates to expressing humility in front of Allāh. The soul of fasting is the portion of taqwā that relates to suppressing one’s desires for Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The soul of is adaqah is the portion of taqwā that relates to curing one’s love for wealth by donating in the path of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Each of these things is necessary, and although they are all types of taqwā, they are not interchangeable. To expand on this, imagine that a person had $100 in cash, $100 worth of food, and $100 worth of furniture.2 The values of all three would be the same, but the functions they perform are different. None is more important than the other but all are necessary.

Similarly, a person cannot discard the outer form (different forms of ibādāt) and say that the only thing that matters is the soul (taqwā). If this were the case, our entire religion could be discarded. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ ۚ

“Neither their flesh reaches Allāh nor their blood (the udḥiyah animal); it is your taqwā that reaches Him.” [Al Hajj; 37]

There goes udḥiyah. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“Oh you who have believed, fasting has been prescribed on you as it has been prescribed upon those before you so that you may become people of taqwā.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 183]

There goes fasting.

 إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ

“Verily ṣalāh prevents indecency and sin” (in essence, taqwā) [Surah al-‘Ankabut; 45]

Ṣalāh can also be put to the side.

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

“Virtue is that one sincerely believes in Allāh, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets and, out of His love, spend of one’s choice wealth for relatives and orphans, for the needy and the wayfarer, for beggars and for the ransom of slaves, and establish ṣalāh and give zakāh. And the virtuous are those who keep their pledges when they make them and show fortitude in hardships and adversity and in the struggle between the Truth and falsehood; such are the truthful people, and such are the people of taqwā.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 77]

There goes our entire dīn.

The soul of udḥiyah is that portion of taqwā that expresses our total submission to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). “O Allāh, my life is in your Hands. Do with it whatever you wish!” The actual command was to sacrifice the thing that is most dear to you – a life. And in Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) case, the life of his only child. The life of the child who for decades, he prayed and hoped for. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commanded Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in a dream to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismā’īl 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) said, “My beloved son, I have seen that I was sacrificing you in dream. What do you think?” Without hesitation, Ismā’īl 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) responded, “O my beloved father, do as you have been commanded. Inshā Allāh, you will find me among the patient.” When Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) tried to push the knife on his son’s neck, it became dull and “We called on to him, O Ibrahīm! You have surely fulfilled your dream. This is how we reward those of excellence. Indeed, this was a clear test. We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.” [As-Saffat; 100-107]. From that day until the end of time, Muslims have and will continue emulate this sacrifice of Ibrahīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) as a reminder of what true submission is.

When standing before Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), we will need to present all types of taqwā. If we were to have a surplus of one type, for example, ṣadaqah, we would be rewarded for it, but that would not change the fact that something else is missing. If we were to tell our child to make sure that their room is clean for Eid and, instead of doing that, they cooked a delicious meal, we would thank them for their gesture, but then say that there is a time and place for everything and this time is for cleaning your room.

The purpose of ṣadaqah is to cleanse our hearts from the love of wealth by giving it to the poor. Although it is recommended to give a portion of the sacrifice to the poor, it is not the purpose, nor is it a requirement for its validity. The purpose of udḥiyah is to follow the command of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), in the way that He commanded it. In the past, and even now in some agrarian societies, the most beloved belonging to many people was their animals. This is because unlike other wealth, animals serve many purposes. They are a means of milk and clothing, a status symbol, a means of breeding, and also can be sold or eaten. To sacrifice an animal was truly a great sacrifice.

However, times have changed. Yet due to this very reason, udḥiyah is still a sacrifice, especially in America. We are used to the comforts of our home and would much rather donate money than take a day off from work and spend time, money, and energy in going to a farm and performing the udḥiyah. This is our sacrifice. We cannot abandon this great act.3,4

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) preserve our pristine religion in the manner it was practiced by Rasūlullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Surely my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allāh alone, the Sustainer of Universe. He has no partner. This is what I have been ordered, and I am the first to submit.” [Al-An’am; 162]

و ما توفيقي إلا باالله عليه توكلت و إليه أنيب

[1] The concept of actions having an outer form and inner soul were expanded upon in the Khutbāt of Hakīm al-Ummah Mawlāna Ashraf Alī Thanvī (throughout volume 16 – Barakāt e Ramaḍān) and Hakīm al-Islām Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib رحمهما الله تعالى رحمةً واسعةً . Qāri Ṭayyib specifically spoke about this concept in relation to the udḥiyah (Sunnat e Khalīl ‘Alayh al-Salām, volume 3, page 211). I benefited from these works immensely in the course of writing this article and hope the readers appreciate the depth and foresight of our pious predecessors’ foresight.

[2] This general idea – actions of being of the same value but different types – is proposed by ‘Allāma Ibn Taymiyyah and mentioned by Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludhiyanvi رحمهما الله تعالى رحمةً واسعةً  in Aḥsan al-Fatāwā in relation to another topic, but the concept fits here as well.

[3] This article is not meant to say that having someone else perform your sacrifice by sending it overseas is invalid. Its purpose is to explain that the sacrifice itself is an important part of our dīn, and its full benefit will be realized when we perform the sacrifice by ourselves. It should also be noted that perhaps the reason that there is confusion over why the sacrifice cannot be substituted with ṣadaqah and thus, the distinction between the two is not clear.

[4] This article was started before the current pandemic. In a situation like this, if someone does not feel comfortable from a health perspective to perform the sacrifice on their own, they can appoint someone else to perform it for them, whether here or overseas. However, the current situation does not allow for ṣadaqah to be given in place of the sacrifice. Many ahadith (Bukhārī, Ahadith 968, 984, 985; ‘Ilā al-Sunan 17:212-217) indicate that the sacrifice is wājib. A wājib act cannot be substituted based simply on our thoughts or opinions. For more details on the obligation of the sacrifice, please read Muftī Abdullah Nana’s upcoming article about the fiqh of the udḥiyah.

* Two more points should be kept in mind. First, despite the pandemic, people have not stopped eating meat. In the current climate, if one is not able to perform the sacrifice by themselves, having it done in another country will also be a means of helping others. In fact, for many, Eid al-Adhā is the only time of the year that they able to eat meat. Second, we must broaden our thinking about charity. Our charity should not be restricted to only those things that are obligated upon us by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) such as zakāh and udḥiyah. If Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has blessed us with the means,  we should strive to give ṣadaqah above and beyond these obligated act.

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 17: Hajar and her Sa’i

Now that we have learnt about the best of you, let’s now talk about Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and her sa’i.

Question: Can anyone tell me the common steps we have to take when we perform the Umrah or Hajj in Mecca? 

Yes! We have to make tawaaf around the Ka’bah, and walk/jog between the hills of Marwa and Safa, drink zam zam, and then shave or cut our hair. 

Question: Do you know who we’re emulating when we walk/jog between Marwa and Safa?

Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)was a noble woman, who was also the wife of Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the mother of Prophet Isma’il 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). One day, Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was instructed by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to leave his wife and baby in the barren desert. There were no people there, no water, no animals; it was completely deserted. Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) asked Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him): “Did Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) command you to do this?”

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Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) replied “Yes,” to which she said: “Then certainly, He will not abandon us.”

After a while, Hajar’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) milk started to run out and so did her food. Baby Ismai’l 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was crying and crying out of thirst and hunger. Out of desperation, Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) then starts running between the hills of Marwa and Safa, climbing to the very top of each hill and looking to see if anyone is there to help her and her baby.

After Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) runss between the two hills seven times, the angel Jibril  appears and strikes the ground where baby Ismai’l 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) is crying, and out gushes zam zam water that is still quenching the thirst of and healing Muslims until today! 

Question: Do you know the Arabic word for what Hajar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was doing? 

It’s called sa’i (to pursue, endeavor, to strive). When we are putting in our utmost effort, sometimes, we won’t see the fruits of our labor directly. Hajar  raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) did not see the zam zam gush out on the hilltop. Rather, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told Angel Jibril to strike the ground near Prophet Ismail’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) body. However, Hajar’s raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) effort is not lost with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). She had firm faith that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) would not abandon them, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) rewarded and protected them. They were now in charge of the zam zam water; birds soon came to drink from it, and people soon followed. This once barren desert is now where millions of people go to perform Hajj and Umrah every single year. 

Question: I want you all to think of what your sa’i for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) looks like. Do you feel like you are striving to please Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)? When we look back at our family’s sa’i, will we be proud of it? 

Sometimes, we find ourselves only focusing on getting the zam zam, but we don’t want to put in the hard work that it takes to get there. So, every time you are struggling with a new idea, or doing a chore you don’t really want to do, or getting into the habit of learning how to read Qur’an and pray those extra prayers, remember that this is all a part of your sa’i and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will actually thank you for it.  Can you believe it?

 

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