TAWAKUL: WHEN THE CALL COMES
Despite great technological strides and our ability to do many things virtually, still no one can ever replace or replicate the Hajj.
To announce one's self in unison with millions of fellow Hujjaj (pilgrims) with cries of "Labaik Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am, O Allah, here I am)”, to greet the Prophet ﷺ, to don the Ihraam, to drink Zamzam (at source), to perform the Sa'i and Tawaaf, to beseech Allah's forgiveness in Arafah, to pelt the Jamarat, all these and other rituals associated with the Hajj must be an experience like non-other.
The "canceling" of Hajj this year due to health concerns is a reminder that we will only be able to perform the Hajj when our "call" comes.
In preparation for your "call" inshaAllah, Tawakul is pleased to bring you a 12 part illustrative series on the *rituals of Hajj* starting tomorrow.
We hope that it inspires you to prepare for and actively seek Allah's permission to visit His Sacred House.
We thank Ml Abdurrahman Laily for preparing this guide and @blak.design for the illustrations.
For most of those who eventually get to perform the Hajj, the sacrifices they make commences years before they actually depart from their home countries. Arriving in the “holy lands” is only the second part of the journey and that too presents its own challenges and rewards.
Many jokingly say that you must carry a bag of patience along with your clothing and money when undertaking the Hajj. While this life changing journey requires fulfilling all the rites and obligations ordained by Allah, there is also an element of exertion in Ibaadah, beyond what is normally expected of a Muslim. Prepare yourself mentally to spend long hours in the Haram, engaging in Dhikr, making Du’aa and reading the Qur’aan. Certainly, these acts carry extra rewards and blessings.
Although visiting the City of the Prophet ﷺ, Madeenatul Munawwarah, and his Raudah Mubaarak is not a requirement for the completion of Hajj, however, who would want pass-up the opportunity of earning additional rewards?
Hujjaaj opt to either precede their Hajj with a visit to the “Illuminated City” or undertake such upon completion of their Hajj and before returning to their home countries.
The City of the Prophet ﷺ has many historical sites where watershed events in the history of Islam transpired. Visit these sites, if possible, and trace the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ and his Sahaabah to build an even stronger attachment to the Deen.
Today serves as the ‘last Jumu’ah before Hajj. This usually has significance for those one Hajj; as it is a factor in more recent times that has a bearing on the last day for entry into Saudi Arabia for those intending Hajj. It marks changes in the management of roads and other public spaces and is a sure indication that something ‘big’ is about to happen soon.
For the individual on Hajj, it marks the closest gauge of what the actual crowds on Hajj would be: it would arguably be the largest Jumu’ah congregation most would attend in their lives. This year it serves as the day on which all of the pre-selected Hujjaaj would exit from a week-long quarantine.
The announcement made by Nabi Ibraheem AS continues to be answered as Hujjaaj descend upon the valley of Makkatul Mukarramah. They will stop at one of five locations enroute to the ‘Mother of Cities’ that is home to the Ka’bah. Each of these is known as a Meeqaat.
Each Meeqaat was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ for those traveling from the North, North East, North West, East and South. Hujjaaj would have passed through these locations in days gone by. Here Hujjaaj make their final preparation for entry into the Noble Sanctuary by making Ghusl and donning Ihraam.
Prior to proceeding to the Noble Sanctuary from the Meeqaat, Hujjaaj will enter the state of Ihraam. More than donning the simplest of clothing that strips one of being able to be identified by combinations of tribal, cultural and national dress, Hujjaaj are also prohibited from altering anything to other than the natural state in which such exists.
Henceforth, Hujjaaj in their most plain garb will appear very much the same as each other and have to embrace a mindset of equality with the common humanity.
Hujjaaj then travel this final leg of their journey reciting the Talbiyyah as their hearts and minds undergo their final conditioning before arriving at the Ancient House; the Ka’bah.
On arrival in Makkatul Mukarramah, Hujjaaj clad in their Ihraam proceed to the Grand Mosque soonest possible. The Hujjaaj of 1441/2020 would complete their 1st Tawaaf; the ‘Tawaaf of meeting the Ka’bah’ or the ‘Tawaaf of Arrival’ by today. They will then remain in isolation till the 8th of Dhul Hijjah when Hajj commences.
Tawaaf is a unique act of worship exclusive to the location of the Ka’bah where visitors to the Grand Mosque circumambulate the Ka’bah 7 times thus completing a single Tawaaf.
This is then followed by observing 2 units of prayer behind the Station of Ibraheem, the ‘scaffolding’ provided by The Almighty for Prophets Ibraheem AS and Ismaa’eel AS to build the Ka’bah on its original foundations.
Generally Hujjaaj would follow their Tawaaf almost immediately with Sa’ee. This year however Hujjaaj will only complete Sa’ee on the days of Hajj; most likely the 10th or 11th Dhul Hijjah as they are all executing a type of Hajj known as Ifraad (normally exclusive to residents within the Noble Sanctuary).
Sa’ee is the emulation of an act of sacrifice and motherly concern as originally conducted by Haajar AS where she ran between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa. The result of her exertion in search of sustenance for her infant son Ismaa’eel AS is how humanity came to be blessed with the ever- flowing well of ZamZam.
Sa’ee requires one conducting either ‘Umrah or Hajj to move as swiftly as possible between the mounts of Safa and Marwa a total of 7 times.
South Africans would say: Ke Nako! or It’s our time! The moment has finally arrived!
Hujjaaj will set off, clad in their Ihraam, for the tent city of Mina as their 1st station from amongst the places of Hajj.
Today is a day of rest (normally for those who would have arrived only a few hours prior), recollection and introspection in this makeshift city that is a ghost town out of the season of Hajj.
Mina serves one purpose today; as outlined above and a slightly different one towards the latter days of Hajj when Hujjaaj will take up residence here for either 2 or 3 days. As a norm on this day Hujjaaj will continue arriving in the hundreds of thousands at a time till nightfall; this year is slightly different with only 50 busses each bearing 20 Hujjaaj due to arrive in Mina.
9 Dhul- Hijjah
Every eye on Hajj follows the movement of the sun this day; from the morning as it rises, Hujjaaj will leave Mina for ‘Arafah. When it reaches its zenith, Hujjaaj will up the ante of their supplications to Allaah.
Describe this in words you say?
Are you able to recall the feeling after a good cry known to only you and The Most High?
Now sum up the cumulative fulfillment of every such experience in your life, then multiply this exponentially!
This is the ‘lightness’ that liberates every soul fortunate enough to experience this day on the plains of ‘Arafah as the burdens of life and each person’s shortcomings are cast off.
The above being one from a multitude of reasons why Our Exemplar ﷺ said: The Hajj is ‘Arafah!
10 Dhul- Hijjah
Hajj has yet so much more to offer with today being a rather busy day packed with lots to execute that most Hujjaaj may not realise it’s the day of ‘Eid.
Having overnighted in Muzdalifah, Hujjaaj will stone the Jamaraat; symbolic of warding off the whisperings of Shaytaan, then ensure their sacrificial slaughter has been completed before advancing to the Ka’bah to complete the Tawaaf of Hajj.
Those not on Hajj are encouraged to show a semblance of unity with Hujjaaj throughout Hajj by enacting various acts of worship prescribed for them from the Prophetic traditions. These are often slightly different to those being undertaken by the Hujjaaj.
Today is wondrous; as those not on Hajj are directed to do exactly as Hujjaaj do: slaughter in His Name in emulation of the sacrifice undertaken by the Patriarch of Monotheism; Ibraheem AS.
11 Dhul- Hijjah
We often say ‘Eid is 3 days... More than the experiences of happiness and joy, ‘Eid is the encouragement to slaughter as much as possible in the name of the Most High over this same period.
Hujjaaj balance slaughter with the ritual that informs the origins of slaughter; the pelting of all 3 Jamaraat over the next 2 or if they prefer 3 days.
The Jamaraat are situated at the locations where Ibraheem AS warded off the whisperings of Shaytaan. Shaytaan was set on detracting Ibraheem AS from following through as he had been instructed in his dream. In lieu of the above, Hujjaaj are reminded to henceforth always keep Shaytaan more than an “arm’s length” away.
Beyond pelting and slaughter, Hujjaaj maximise their time in Du’aa to do as our Nabi ﷺ did.
12 Dhul- Hijjah
Some days ago the Hajj adventure commenced. The physical component of the journey draws to a close.
From one perspective it feels as if it was rather short and went by way too quick, from another it is the culmination of incremental effort over months, if not years.
Hujjaaj will complete the parting rite of the Ancient House when they perform Tawaaful Wadaa’ and say farewell.
Each will return home with Zam Zam, dates and a lifetime’s supply of positive experiences that serve as inspiration in unraveling every mystery of their lives going forward, until all return to their Maker in the Afterlife.
We hope that you benefitted from this short series, and we pray that your "call" comes soon. AMEEN!