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  1. Have you ever been fascinated by something? I mean truly fascinated-- wherein you find yourself pondering, daydreaming, and even neglecting your hobbies to research the topic in question? I attended three separate high schools from 1421-1425 (2000-2004 CE), so one might think that Islam would have been very topical during this period. I'll be the first to admit that my high school didn't cover Islam at all. We had no units on Islam or Muslims in World History nor did we speak of Islam in any sort of current events units in social studies (my schools didn't even offer World Religions as an elective). Although we had Muslim students, the only information we ever received on Islam was from an Evangelical Christian Language Arts teacher that I will refer to as Mrs. B. Mrs. B did not take a very favorable view of Islam at all & would semi-regularly sneak in mean-spirited verbal barbs about the faith itself. These usually were ignored by everyone or written off as “Oh, there Mrs. B goes again!” while we pondered whether what her proclamations regarding her specific flavor of Christianity somehow violated the prohibition on public school employees promoting their religious views. We also knew nothing of Islam except what the American media (usually through right-wing pundits) was trying to pound into our heads. That is, until an incredibly well spoken and gifted classmate came along: Massomeh. Massomeh's came from a Muslim family and they had moved to the US from Tehran a few years prior to our sophomore year. She was a straight-A student who played on the girl's soccer team, never was so much as “shushed” by a teacher, and did her best to fit in socially while maintaining a level of integrity in her faith that not even the Southern Baptist students (who would act up outside of school), as vocal and virtue-signaling as they were, could hope to maintain during this period of American history, when the moral sentiments of previous generations began to “circle the drain”. Massey (how she preferred to be addressed by classmates) was the student that a lot of us wished we could be... until Mrs. B and a few other teachers began making their broad generalizations and giving false information about Islam, Iran, and Muslims in the wake of the attacks on New York City. As the idiom goes: “Sista don't play dat”, and we watched in awe as this peer of ours respectfully and concisely refuted, contradicted, and dismantled every claim that these faculty members made about Islam & Muslims (and occasionally Iran). She ended up becoming so popular with the students after these statements that she was voted as the head of our Student government (and also because her skill at persuading adults got us the few concessions in the cafeteria that we had wanted from the day the brand new high school opened its doors). Massey's mini-lectures on Islam had a major impact on me. I was already well into almost an obsessive interest in religions by that point, and it was refreshing to be able to hear one of my peers deliver expertise on something aside from school gossip, gangster rap, or football. I heard her elaborate on what Islam was, what Islam taught (remember that she was not an Islamic scholar), and subjects like the Hajj & what it entailed. When she inevitably gave a presentation on Islam during a current events segment of social studies, she had prepared a PowerPoint presentation complete with graphics; and that's where I saw a picture of a structure that would come to dominate my imagination and interest to this very day: a large black cube in the middle of the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Kaaba. The “House of God”. After the presentation in which she explained to the puzzled students that this grand, black cube structure was built by the patriarch Abraham (the root from which monotheism was reestablished) & it was believed to be the first house of worship ever constructed; I began to search out whatever pictures and information about this fascinating structure that I could. Of course, I was (nominally) Christian, so it made no sense to me why I was so enamored with this ancient structure when my own (nominal) religion had sacred sites and holy places of its own. My family didn't understand, and my teachers were uneasy with this fascination for whatever reason (likely politically motivated, as this was during the first presidential term of George W. Bush). I didn't look into Islam as a religion at this time, all I knew was that there was something about this large, black granite cube that captured my attention. Whether it was the shape, the Masjid al-Haram that surrounded it, or the ritual of the Hajj itself has been forgotten to me over the years; but I began daydreaming about its significance and even put a photo of it as the wallpaper on my 1998 IBM Aptiva PC (which troubled my mom and got me in a bit of trouble, as I was clearly “only doing this to rebel & get attention”). I had even printed a picture of It and glued it to the inside of my creative writing binder. This made no sense to anyone, least of all me: After all, I was the video-gaming, Magic: the Gathering-playing, anti-authoritarian punk rocker teen who was bored in school & had no plans on going to university or college after I escaped what amounted to little more than a government funded indoctrination daycamp. Why was I so star struck by this sacred structure, particularly as I was going through a period of doubting the existence of God and a general belief that “all religions have gotten it wrong”? Fast forward to the present day (1441). As my life changes in so many ways, I am more fascinated than ever before with this amazing, beautiful geometric house of God. However, I still cannot give a good explanation of exactly what it is that piques my interest to the point where I dream of and draw pictures of this monument, I tear through the internet for any articles, scholarly or otherwise, that I can find (and access) that will reveal the history, purpose, and significance of the Kaaba to me. The argument will likely be made that this is another case of the “white man fetishizing a non-white culture”, but such a limited hand-wave of my interest in the Kaaba betrays a painfully ignorant view of Islam and Muslims that is almost ironic in its naivety, as Islam is a religion and a way of life (deen) for all people of earth, regardless of their native language, skin color, or national origin. After all, it was upon making the pilgrimage to this most sacred place that one of my heroes, Malcolm X, repented of his Black Supremacist views and left the Nation of Islam (which is “Islamic” in the way that White Supremacist hate groups in America claim they are “Christian”). Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad ((عليه السلام).) repudiated the idea of race in his farewell sermon: “O people, your Lord is One, and your father is one: all of you are from Adam, and Adam was from the ground. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the most godfearing: Arab has no merit over non-Arab other than godfearingness.” (from the report of Al-Jahiz (translated), forgive me if I have made an error) I wonder if the Kaaba and my obsessive interest in it was what drew me into pursuing Islam, or more appropriately (and truthfully), if this was the “introduction” to the Islamic way of life that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) used to begin to undo my ignorance in regard to the perfect path that he has ordained for ALL mankind through His final prophet & messenger Muhammad ((عليه السلام).), to draw me away from the imperfect, tainted “cultural Christianity” that I was born into & subsequently was my sole religious exposure until that fateful day in class. Since this period of my life began, I have moved closer and closer to Islam like a comet being drawn toward the sun. I do not know what the future holds for me, nor can I pretend to & doing so would be both absurd & presumptuous on my part; but what I DO know is that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has created me for both his pleasure and to fulfill a specific destiny, no matter how insignificant it may seem to me & the world I occupy. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is THE BEST of planners & Inshallah, I will eventually be able to live a proper and functional Muslim life. It's just a matter of arriving at that point.
  2. Salam, Dear siblings we all know that making series and movies is a preparation and recognizing the taste and reaction of society and viewers and challenging their mindset to get more prepared for action against them. So much violence in series and movies that when we see daesh doing it; and posting we are not sad in days or shocked greatly; why because we seen worst in movies like the good guy in the movie kills someone with a carrot in on of the eyes and leaves coldly. All sorts of killings already imagined and realized in media and in turn an intro to the real world where its masadiq is being realized. In this series with english speakers we see a so called 'english man' wants to do a bio attack at the time of haj with support of england! Why should they be allowed to do such series that 2nd season is also coming. Why playing with the feelings of One and a Half Billion Muslims! ARE THEY NOT HUMANS! DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT WE HAVE FEELINGS AND OUR HATRED TOWARDS THEM GROW GREATLY! CURSE UPON THEM. Most of hollywood directors and writers and financers are zion; it should be clear as day light for all. ITS NOT JUST ONLY FOR MONEY THERE IS OTHER PURPOSES; IF THEY WANT MONEY THEY CAN USE THEIR God GIVEN IMAGINATION AND DOES NOT NEED TO MAKE THESE DAMNED S'ITS. SO THEIR ENMITY IS VERY CLEAR AND WITH PURPOSE. THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD SCRIPTS AND WRITERS AND DIRECTORS THEY DON'T FINANCE. Dear ones if our imagination has an actor playing the main role and we dream in the head it is as psychologists say harmful behaviour now imagine this becomes movie and series we consume daily than its more harmful and can affect us more negative either we want it or not because we put us in its radar. The same way we avoid imagination more serious is to avoid the productions of hollywood. Hope I do not need more the inception am trying to realize in minds to get to the point. Example: let me make an easy example the issue is the same... in Islam we do not think on sin because its possible it becomes our acts as per Imam Ali Peace Upon Him words. Now in reality we avoid wine gathering and also do not think on wine drinking but we see alot wine on movies and series. Seeing it somehow it has been more realized in reality compared to our mind state if we thought about it. So being in actual situation with a background in your mind you may sit around the table if not use it and even feel your hopeless and can not resist to go away. It sure has no ugliness for you and not qabih-قبح because your heroes or stars sit around a table in various hues and you have unconsiously loved them. So all the people in america and world are not Muslims [if we say all Muslims are smart and can avoid this dajjal] to being able to avoid this epidemic.. So thinking over it, is actually inferior than actually seeing it. So if thinking can affect us of maybe going towards it and should not imagine it and seek Allah help; how can seeing it not affect us. Or oh my body is 18+ plus it can not affect me while my soul is baby.
  3. Unity between Muslims is considered as a crucial matter in Islam. Thus, the Qur'an compares discordance and disunity among Muslims to “a pit of the Fire”: "And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided...And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it." (3:103). Looking at the former nations, we find them honored and glorious when they were united, but disgraced and vulnerable when they fell apart [3]. Hajj, as one of the obligatory rituals in Islam, is one of the ways which encourages unity among Muslim nations. Let’s see how. Every Muslim is Welcomed to Hajj, No Exception! There is no other ritual, social, or political program in Islam greater than Hajj, where every Muslim from any corner of the world finds the chance to approach others and communicate with them freely. Besides, it provides the opportunity to strengthen the emotional, social, and religious bonds with other Muslims. Hajj is a social kind of worship that represents the glorious Islamic unity through its numerous participants of various nationalities, skin colors, languages, and sects who are like brothers (49:10). They have left behind the religious conflicts, and follow the same intention, perform the same actions, and wear the same outfit. Hajj Brings Muslims Power In Surah Ma’idah, it is stated that coming together around Ka’aba makes Muslims powerful (5:97). In other words, the aim of Hajj for Muslims is not just performing some physical actions. It is to bring Muslims of different races and origins together to get acquainted, communicate with each other, initiate political, economic and cultural relations, and find themselves closer to each other despite their many differences. Besides, Islam calls “every” Muslim to Hajj, which means that everyone, regardless of origin and skin color, is invited to the land of Allah. It reminds us of what the Qur'an says; that there is no superiority except rightfulness and the most righteous, is the noblest in the sight of Allah (49:13). This is an important message, especially for the less powerful Islamic nations, causing them to feel more confident and encouraging them to communicate with other Muslims, which ultimately results in a more united Muslim society. Muslims Are Like the Hands which Help Each other In a discourse that Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) has given during one of his Hajj pilgrimages, he described Muslims as brothers, and like a single hand (a united community) when facing the enemies [2]. Emphasizing brotherhood among Muslims during Hajj shows that this ritual was a good representation of unity. Thus, Muslims are expected to support each other and be close to each other as they are during Hajj. Two Axes of Solidarity in Hajj During Hajj, Muslims learn and practice solidarity in two main areas: 1. Ideology and Principles During Hajj, Muslims can exchange ideas with Muslims of other sects. In the early years of Islam when non-Muslims also went to Mecca for their religious rituals, Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)&HP) took this opportunity to introduce Islam to them and exchange ideas with them to spread his message and find followers in other cities, too. In Hajj, many misunderstandings and ideological conflicts can be discussed among Muslims, and the real beliefs of different sects about the others can be clarified. Hence, the wrong prejudgments and hostilities can be rectified. According to Imam Sadiq (عليه السلام), Hajj is a means to gather all Muslims from east to west to let them get acquainted with each other and achieve consensus [3]. 2. Social and Political Matters Through the communications that Muslims have during Hajj, they find out the social achievements and national advances in other Muslim nations and might decide to follow their path. They also learn about the social problems and deficiencies of others and might find solutions by further cooperation. Moreover, they become aware of the real political situations of other Muslim countries, especially the difficulties that sometimes other countries impose on them. For instance, one of the goals of Hajj is to announce the support of Muslims for Palestinians and those oppressed in the world. This helps Muslims to become more united against common enemies of Islam. To summarize, Hajj is a time that a Muslim finds him/herself in the accompaniment of millions of others who wear as simple as him/her and who repeat the same words as him/her as they move around Ka’aba. This is where “one” is transformed into the totality of ‘people’, establishing the universality of the Islamic community with the goal of approaching Allah. References:
  4. Salam, if one has performed umrah, and then in Mekkah he wishes to perform umrah again, can he put on the ihram in the hotel room or does he have to leave the city once again? also how is umrah performed.
  5. Hi there, I am a 15 year old living in England. I had a very strange but magical dream two days ago. I was flying around the Kaaba with I think my mother. It was the most beautiful sight ever. The Kaaba was so close to me and I was flying around I think prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Shrine/Roza was opposite but Kind of the the left side of the Kaaba. The Kaaba was as follows: It was the Kaaba and it looked like how it looks and there were three places of standing. The first was a circle and it was full of people the the outside layer was that of Imam Hussain's Roza because it was only a Rectangle standing area and that too was full of people. Then the opposite side (just like how Imam Hussain and Hazrat Abbas a.s Roza's are structured) was what I believe Prophet Muhammad's shrine. Subhanallah. As I was flying around with my mother she said to me "Mecca is the brightest place of Earth" and I was amazed, then Allah took me to outer space and i was going at a speed which was exceptionally fast that my mind was scared even though I was asleep. It is hard to explain. I was in pitch blackness but I turned to the right direction in the pitch darkness where I could see nothing, and I flyed over somehow I chose the right direction (in pitch blackness I could have gone to wrong way and away from the earth but I went the direction of the earth) and I was going at speeds which are unexplainable. Then I saw the Beautiful Eartb to the left and the Sun to the right. They were not that far away from each other. In earth there it was dark from space but only one area there was a beautiful yellow light shining which i could see from space. The sun was a yellow ball and the earth was dark with only one area where light was shining. Going in very fast speed, I aimed for the bright spot but I was scared even in my dream of crashing and of Jinns in space but I carried on going for earth and as I got closer I realised that the spot where there was yellow light beaming out of was the KAABA, MECCA. My mothers words had come true. I kept flying towards earth until I was so afraid of crashing/dying that I woke myself up. I could feel my conscious self trying to wake myself up if that makes sense? Please can I have your thoughts on this dream? It is by far the most beautiful dream I have ever heard, it is a shame that worldly fears were present even when I was flying around the Kaaba and even when Allah took my soul of this world to prove my mothers statement that Kaaba is the most lit up place on earth. Subhanallah. I told my mother this dream when I woke up and she said it was beautiful and the reason I was scared was because I am a sinner and the worldly fears. She said she was worried I went to pitch blackness as that I generally a bad sign, but she was glad I found the way around to planet earth and kaaba even I didn't make it all the way because I woke myself up due to fear of Jinns and Crashing. What do you guys think? I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
  6. All descendants of Sayyid Muhammad Al-Makki/Mahmud Al-Makki who came from Mashhad to Sindh in the seventh century, please contact me at hasalnaqawi@gmail.com. This is because we are conducting a study and collecting family trees. Thank you very much and a special thanks to the admins of this website for allowing this thread.
  7. So, i want to perform a social experiment. I want to gather as much ridiculous Wahabi Fatwas as possible that we see online. And trust me i have seen some really out of this world and totally just crazy, crazy fatwas by these Wahabi Thugs. The only condition is that they have to be in video format and if possible with English translations for all of us to enjoy the monkey show. #5291 - Saudi Cleric Ali Al-Malki: West Tampers with Burgers, Whiskey to Induce Birth of Girls among Muslims (Archival) http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/5291.htm - This idiot read an article in China, never mentions the articles name, no source, who wrote it, who translated it, what exactly was mentioned in article but is willing to testify in front of God on day of judgement that since he read it in an article it must be true. I mean i am lost with words to be able to describe the shallowness of the intellect of this man and these are men who declare us Kafir and pray for us in the mosques to die and rot in hell.
  8. 8TH SHAWWAL -1345 AH / April 21, 1925 - DESTRUCTION OF THE GRAVES IN JANNATUL BAQI MEDINA AND JANNATUL MUALLAH MAKKAH On 8th Shawwal, Wednesday, in the year 1345 AH (April 21, 1925), mausoleums in Jannatul al-Baqi (Madina) were demolished by King Ibn Saud. JANNAT UL BAQI AFTER DEMOLITION ORIGINAL JANNAT UL BAQI In the same year (1925), he also demolished the tombs of holy personages at Jannat al-Mualla (Makkah) where the Holy Prophet (s)'s mother, wife, grandfather and other ancestors are buried. JANNAT UL MUALLA AFTER DESTRUCTION JANNAT UL MUALLAH BEFORE 1925 Destruction of sacred sites in Hijaz by the Saudi Wahhabis continues even today. According to some scholars what is happening in Hijaz is actually a conspiracy plotted by the Jews against Islam, under the guise of Tawheed. The idea is to eradicate the Islamic legacy and heritage and to systematically remove all its vestiges so that in the days to come, Muslims will have no affiliation with their religious history CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
  9. Here are some rare pictures of Mecca. http://imhussain.com/eng/index.php/reports/371-rare-pictures-of-mecca Note: We are the International Media Unit in the holy shrine of Imam Hussain. Our main aim is to spread the message of Ahlul-Bayt worldwide. Please join/follow our social network pages Facebook Group at شعبة الاعلام الدولي Twitter account @ImamHusainMedia Instagram @imamhussainmedia Thank you, may Allah and the Ahlul-Bayt bless you.
  10. Top notch article! http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-photos-saudi-arabia-doesnt-want-seen--and-proof-islams-most-holy-relics-are-being-demolished-in-mecca-8536968.html
  11. Enjoy the best live stream quality with Makkah live 24/7 - free Islamic app! Be closer to your religion by watching live broadcast Mecca Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and a site of the composition of the Quran. Watch Madina Live 24/7, the City of the Prophet Muhammad and the second holiest city in Islam after Mecca.
  12. A Sunni Facebook "friend" posted this supposed statement of Imam Khomeini. My searches online have turned up Sunni websites only. What do you all know about this supposed statement? I did find one thread on Shia Chat, but it was very short and did not really provide any useful information "The Islamic and non-Islamic powers of the world will not admit our power till such time that we establish our hold over Makkah and Madinah because these are the centers and citadels of Islam. Hence our domination over these places Is an essential requirement ... when as a conqueror I will enter Makkah and Madinah, the first thing to be done at that time by me would be to dig out two idols (Abu Bakr and Umar) lying by the side of the Prophet's grave."
  13. Hello everybody, I would like to inform you about Mecca Hajj Live Wallpapers for Android phone. I was involved in this project and I would be glad if you tell me your impressions about it. It is free so you don't have to worry about it. Please let me know if you like it. Thanx in advance :) Mecca Hajj Live Wallpaper https://lh3.ggpht.com/b6gMMNpNbjKJhTHt9VO6drAFkbSTSHGfX_1-YWIR2AkDApQTLsdAr3vg10pJynJ0goI=h230 If you prefer static you can check Makkah Wallpapers https://lh6.ggpht.com/jAQZwitXOzO-2H8uS08C_mZBzFKplgcCAn6ZhdLHixELrZCiMQOSTKTwdYuIO7Wj2iA=h230 May Allah be with you!
  14. (salam) I wanted to ask whether someone knows Hajj for Persian speaking people to go on Hajj with a group? Some of my family members want to go this year. Can someone give me different persons and if possible with price and at least telephone number. Departure from either Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or otherwise France. Including food and hotel would be best. Thanks in advance, wassalam :)
  15. Assalam alaykom! I am trying to gather some information regarding Umrah logistics when travelling from the USA. I have already gone for Hajj, alHamdolillah and am trying to arrange for a short trip to Makkah only for Umrah. For Hajj, of course, you have to go in a group so all logistics are arranged through them. But for Umrah, I would like to go individually (meaning, not with a caravan / group) and stay at a hotel that is right in front of the haram. (My parents recently stayed at Al Safwah - Royal Orchid? and it was super convenient for them.) Does anyone here have any experience travelling for Umrah on their own and can give any advice? I am a frequent traveller within the US, and so booking hotels, airfare etc is a piece of cake for me. It's the out of country part that has me a bit scared. :) Specifically, I am looking for the following information: 1) I know I have to get Umrah visa through a traveler agent. I went for hajj with Mohajerin, but cannot find any contact info (a U.S. phone #) to ask about their Umrah visa services. Any recommendations for a reliable agent who can get me visas? 2) How much should I expect to pay for processing fees for the Umrah visa (which is free) and what should I expect the travel agent to include in their services assuming I purchase airfare and book my own hotels? (P.S. Will be flying into Jeddah from Dubai to go to Makkah.) 3) What website or other method do you recommend I use to book hotel accomodations? My stay will be for 4-5 days in Mecca only, after which I will fly out of Saudi Arabia from Jeddah. I am thinking of staying at either Hilton Towers or Safwah Royal Orchid (sp?) as they are both really, really, really close to the Haram, but please feel free to recommend another hotel. The hotel must be within 0-3 minutes of walking distance (lol). 4) I am slightly confused about the Meqat situation: Flying in from Jeddah, is my Meqat Masjid Johfa even for Umrah? (My Marja is Ayatollah Sistani.) If Johfa is not my Meqat, then what is? (I am travelling from the US to Jeddah via Dubai) 5) What is the best way to reach the Meqat and then to Makkah and how much should I expect to pay for the fare? Please keep in mind I will be travelling with a disabled adult, so I'm looking for medium-fast to fastest route while not hurting my bank account TOO much. If you've read through this entire post, may Allah bless you and if you're posting a reply to me with helpful information or even with contact info of someone whom I can talk to, may Allah bless you 100x more!!!
  16. There are four dimensions associated with this great act of worship - each one more deep-rooted and beneficial than the other. 1. The Ethical Dimension The most important philosophy of hajj is the ethical transformation which it induces within man. The ritual of ‘ihraam’ entirely removes man from material ostentations, external distinctions, extravagant apparels and ornamentations, and by prohibiting pleasures and engaging him in self-rectification - one of the duties of a ‘muhrim’ 1 , it distances him from the material world and engrosses him in a world of light, purity and spirituality, consequently causing those, who, in ordinary circumstances, find themselves to be weighed down by the burden of make-believe distinctions, ranks and honours, to suddenly feel light, easy and relaxed. Subsequently, the performance of the other rituals of hajj, one after the other, continually brings man closer to his Lord, strengthens his spiritual connection with Him, distances him from his gloomy and sinful past, and guides him towards a bright, luminous and pure future. In view of the fact that every step of the hajj-rituals is reminiscent of the events associated with Ibrahim, Ismaai’l and his mother Haajar, and personifies before man their self-sacrifice, altruism and struggle (in the path of God), and also given that the city of Mecca - in general - and the Masjid al-Haraam, the Ka’bah and the place of circumambulation - in particular - bring to mind the memories of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), the holy Imams (peace be upon them) and the struggle of the Muslims during the period of early Islam, this ethical transformation tends to be deeper and more profound such that in every corner of Masjid al-Haraam and the city of Mecca, man visualizes the faces of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), Ali (peace be upon him) and the other holy Imams (peace be upon them), and hears the enthusiastic slogans of their mission. Indeed, all these together pave the way for an ethical revolution within hearts that are receptive and in a manner that is indescribable, and causes man to turn over a new leaf and opens up a new chapter in his life. And it is not without reason that we read in our traditions that one, who performs hajj, completely and perfectly… (Becomes free of sins just as he was on the day when his mother gave him birth)2. Truly, hajj is a second birth for the Muslims - a birth which is the beginning of a new human life. It is needless to mention that these effects and benefits, and those that we shall mention later, are neither for those who only content themselves with its exterior leaving aside its core, nor for those, who only view it as a means for recreation, tourism, pretension, dissemblance and acquiring personal material items - never acquainting themselves with its spirit and essence. Their share would only be that, which they had set out to achieve! 2. The Political Dimension: As has been stated by one of the renowned Islamic jurisprudents, the hajj rituals, apart from putting on display the most sincere and profound acts of worship, are also the most effective means for advancing the political objectives of Islam. The essence of worship is attention towards God, while the essence of politics is attention towards the ‘creation of God’ - and these two aspects are observed to be as closely intertwined in hajj as the yarns in a fabric! hajj is an effective factor in establishing unity amongst the ranks of the Muslims. hajj is an instrument to combat nationalistic and racial fanaticism, and oppose confinement (of the Muslims) within their geographical boundaries. hajj is a means for eliminating the shackles of censorship and breaking the stranglehold of the oppressive leaderships prevalent in the Islamic nations. hajj is a tool for transferring news of political affairs of the Islamic nations from one corner of the globe to another, and finally, it is an effective means for breaking the fetters of captivity and colonialism, and liberating the Muslims. And it is for this reason that, during the period when oppressive tyrants like those belonging to the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties ruled over the Islamic regions and kept every kind of interaction between the various segments of the Muslims under close scrutiny in order to crush any kind of liberty-seeking uprising, the advent of the season of hajj was an opening towards freedom, interaction between various segments of the great Islamic society and discussion of various political issues. And it is on this basis that Amirul Mu"mineen (peace be upon him), expounding the philosophy that lay behind every act of worship, in connection with hajj states: (Allah has ordained (the rituals of) hajj for the purpose of strengthening the religion)3. Again, it is not without reason that an eminent non-Muslim statesman has stated: Woe unto the Muslims if they do not perceive the meaning (and significance) of hajj and woe unto their enemies if they (the Muslims) ever happen to perceive it. Even in the Islamic traditions hajj has been regarded as the jihad of the feeble ones – one, in which even the old and weak men and women can join in and have a contribution in exhibiting the greatness and grandeur of the Islamic ummah and, by standing in circles around the holy Ka’bah and attesting to God’s unity and greatness, cause the hearts of the enemies of Islam to palpitate in trepidation. 3. The Cultural Dimension The interaction between the various segments of the Islamic society during the season of hajj can turn out to be the most effective factor for cultural exchanges and transfer of thoughts and ideas. This is especially so in view of the fact that the grand gathering of hajj is in reality, a true and natural representation of all the segments of the Muslims of the world (since there is no forced, forged or artificial factor involved in the selection of those proceeding for hajj, the Pilgrims are individuals that come from all segments, races and languages associated with the Muslims all over the world, who have gathered under one roof). And this is why we read in the traditions: One of the benefits of hajj is the spread of the traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) throughout the entire Islamic world. Hishaam Ibn Hakam, one of the learned companions of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says: I questioned the Imam (peace be upon him) about the philosophy that lay behind the performance of hajj and the circumambulation of the Ka’bah whereupon he (peace be upon him) replied: “God created the servants … and for the welfare of their worldly and religious affairs, He sent down His commandments for them - one of them being the congregation of the people from the East and the West (for the hajj rituals). This, in order that the Muslims become acquainted with one another, become aware of the states of each other, and (so that) every group transfers its business investments from one city to another … and in order that the memories and traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) become known, and the people bring them to mind and do not forget them.”4 And it was on this basis that the Muslims, during the suffocating eras in which the tyrannical caliphs and rulers had prohibited them from spreading these rulings, made use of this opportunity (of hajj) to interact with the Imams (peace be upon them) and eminent religious scholars for solving their problems, understanding the rulings of Islam and comprehending the traditions and customs of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). On the other hand, hajj possesses the ability to be transformed into a gigantic cultural assembly in which scholars and intellectuals of the Islamic world, coming together for a few days in Mecca, propound their thoughts and exhibit their creativity before the others. Essentially, one of the great catastrophes is that the boundaries between the Islamic nations become reason for them to become separate from each other, culturally. As a consequence, Muslims of each nation only reflect upon their own selves and their own state of affairs, and this is something that effectively works towards dismembering and dissecting the single Islamic society; indeed, hajj has the ability to stem this evil outcome. And how beautifully has Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) stated in that tradition of Hishaam Ibn Hakam when he said: If all the people were to be concerned only about their respective countries and the problems existing therein, all of them would suffer destruction, their countries would face ruination, their benefits and welfare would be lost, and realities would become obscured and concealed. 4. The Financial Dimension Contrary to what some people imagine, utilizing the great assembly of hajj for strengthening the financial foundations of the Islamic nations is not only not inconsistent with the spirit of hajj but, according to the Islamic traditions, constitutes one of the philosophies for it, instead. What is the harm if the Muslims, in that great gathering, were to lay the foundations of a common and associated Islamic market, and pave the way for commercial transactions amongst themselves in a manner such that neither do their profits enter the pockets of their enemies nor does their economy become dependent upon the others; and if such is the case, not only is this not ‘craving for the world’ but rather, an act of worship and jihad (in the way of God). And it is for this reason that in that tradition of Hishaam Ibn Hakam from Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him), an express reference has been made towards this aspect that one of the objectives of hajj is strengthening the commerce of the Muslims and facilitating economic association and cooperation amongst them. In another tradition, Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him), interpreting the verse... (There is no blame on you in seeking bounty from your Lord)5 says: The meaning of this verse is ‘seeking livelihood’. (And when a person comes out of his ihraam and completes the hajj, he should conduct business transactions during the season of hajj (for not only it is not a sin but on the contrary it carries rewards.))6 This meaning is also witnessed in a tradition 7 from Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Ridha (peace be upon him) which explicitly enumerates the philosophies and objectives underlying the rites of hajj; in the tradition, the Imam (peace be upon him) recites the following verse of the holy Qur"an: (That they may witness advantages for them)8, a reference to the fact that the verse alludes to the spiritual benefits as well as the material ones - although both of them, from one perspective, can be looked upon as being spiritual in nature. In short, if this great worship were to be utilized correctly and perfectly, and the Pilgrims of the House of God, at a time when they are active and their hearts are emotionally ready in that holy land, were to make use of this great opportunity for solving the various problems that plague the Islamic society by establishing various political, cultural and mercantile assemblies, it would surely serve to untie the knots and solve the problems; and perhaps this is why Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: (The religion shall continue to stand for so long as the Ka’bah continues to do so)9 Imam Ali (peace be upon him) too has said: (Fear Allah in the matter of His House (Ka’bah)! Do not desert it for if it is deserted, divine reprieve shall be taken away from you)10 And it is due to the immense significance of the above issue that in the Islamic sources of traditions a separate chapter has been devoted to it that if it were to ever happen that in a particular year the Muslims decide to refrain from going for hajj, it would become obligatory upon the Islamic government to send them to Mecca by means of force!11, 12 1.One, who has worn the ihraam. (Translator’s comments). 2.Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 99, pg. 26 3.Nahjul Balaghah, sayings 252. 4.Wasaail al-Shia’h, vol. 8, pg. 9. 5. Holy Qur’an, ch. Al-Baqarah (2), vs. 198. 6.Tafseer A’yyaashi, as stated by Tafseer al-Mizaan, vol. 2, pg. 86. 7.Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 99, pg. 32 8.Holy Qur"an, ch. Al-hajj (22), vs, 28. (Translator’s comments) 9.Wasaail al-Shia’h, vol. 8, pg. 14 10.Nahjul Balaghah, letter 47. 11.Wasaail al-Shia"h, vol. 8, pg. 15 (The Chapter of ‘Obligation Upon The Governor To Compel The People For hajj’) 12.Tafseer-e-Namunah, vol. 14, pg. 76. There are four dimensions associated with this great act of worship - each one more deep-rooted and beneficial than the other. 1. The Ethical Dimension The most important philosophy of hajj is the ethical transformation which it induces within man. The ritual of ‘ihraam’ entirely removes man from material ostentations, external distinctions, extravagant apparels and ornamentations, and by prohibiting pleasures and engaging him in self-rectification - one of the duties of a ‘muhrim’ 1 , it distances him from the material world and engrosses him in a world of light, purity and spirituality, consequently causing those, who, in ordinary circumstances, find themselves to be weighed down by the burden of make-believe distinctions, ranks and honours, to suddenly feel light, easy and relaxed. Subsequently, the performance of the other rituals of hajj, one after the other, continually brings man closer to his Lord, strengthens his spiritual connection with Him, distances him from his gloomy and sinful past, and guides him towards a bright, luminous and pure future. In view of the fact that every step of the hajj-rituals is reminiscent of the events associated with Ibrahim, Ismaai’l and his mother Haajar, and personifies before man their self-sacrifice, altruism and struggle (in the path of God), and also given that the city of Mecca - in general - and the Masjid al-Haraam, the Ka’bah and the place of circumambulation - in particular - bring to mind the memories of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), the holy Imams (peace be upon them) and the struggle of the Muslims during the period of early Islam, this ethical transformation tends to be deeper and more profound such that in every corner of Masjid al-Haraam and the city of Mecca, man visualizes the faces of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny), Ali (peace be upon him) and the other holy Imams (peace be upon them), and hears the enthusiastic slogans of their mission. Indeed, all these together pave the way for an ethical revolution within hearts that are receptive and in a manner that is indescribable, and causes man to turn over a new leaf and opens up a new chapter in his life. And it is not without reason that we read in our traditions that one, who performs hajj, completely and perfectly… (Becomes free of sins just as he was on the day when his mother gave him birth)2. Truly, hajj is a second birth for the Muslims - a birth which is the beginning of a new human life. It is needless to mention that these effects and benefits, and those that we shall mention later, are neither for those who only content themselves with its exterior leaving aside its core, nor for those, who only view it as a means for recreation, tourism, pretension, dissemblance and acquiring personal material items - never acquainting themselves with its spirit and essence. Their share would only be that, which they had set out to achieve! 2. The Political Dimension: As has been stated by one of the renowned Islamic jurisprudents, the hajj rituals, apart from putting on display the most sincere and profound acts of worship, are also the most effective means for advancing the political objectives of Islam. The essence of worship is attention towards God, while the essence of politics is attention towards the ‘creation of God’ - and these two aspects are observed to be as closely intertwined in hajj as the yarns in a fabric! hajj is an effective factor in establishing unity amongst the ranks of the Muslims. hajj is an instrument to combat nationalistic and racial fanaticism, and oppose confinement (of the Muslims) within their geographical boundaries. hajj is a means for eliminating the shackles of censorship and breaking the stranglehold of the oppressive leaderships prevalent in the Islamic nations. hajj is a tool for transferring news of political affairs of the Islamic nations from one corner of the globe to another, and finally, it is an effective means for breaking the fetters of captivity and colonialism, and liberating the Muslims. And it is for this reason that, during the period when oppressive tyrants like those belonging to the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties ruled over the Islamic regions and kept every kind of interaction between the various segments of the Muslims under close scrutiny in order to crush any kind of liberty-seeking uprising, the advent of the season of hajj was an opening towards freedom, interaction between various segments of the great Islamic society and discussion of various political issues. And it is on this basis that Amirul Mu"mineen (peace be upon him), expounding the philosophy that lay behind every act of worship, in connection with hajj states: (Allah has ordained (the rituals of) hajj for the purpose of strengthening the religion)3. Again, it is not without reason that an eminent non-Muslim statesman has stated: Woe unto the Muslims if they do not perceive the meaning (and significance) of hajj and woe unto their enemies if they (the Muslims) ever happen to perceive it. Even in the Islamic traditions hajj has been regarded as the jihad of the feeble ones – one, in which even the old and weak men and women can join in and have a contribution in exhibiting the greatness and grandeur of the Islamic ummah and, by standing in circles around the holy Ka’bah and attesting to God’s unity and greatness, cause the hearts of the enemies of Islam to palpitate in trepidation. 3. The Cultural Dimension The interaction between the various segments of the Islamic society during the season of hajj can turn out to be the most effective factor for cultural exchanges and transfer of thoughts and ideas. This is especially so in view of the fact that the grand gathering of hajj is in reality, a true and natural representation of all the segments of the Muslims of the world (since there is no forced, forged or artificial factor involved in the selection of those proceeding for hajj, the Pilgrims are individuals that come from all segments, races and languages associated with the Muslims all over the world, who have gathered under one roof). And this is why we read in the traditions: One of the benefits of hajj is the spread of the traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) throughout the entire Islamic world. Hishaam Ibn Hakam, one of the learned companions of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says: I questioned the Imam (peace be upon him) about the philosophy that lay behind the performance of hajj and the circumambulation of the Ka’bah whereupon he (peace be upon him) replied: “God created the servants … and for the welfare of their worldly and religious affairs, He sent down His commandments for them - one of them being the congregation of the people from the East and the West (for the hajj rituals). This, in order that the Muslims become acquainted with one another, become aware of the states of each other, and (so that) every group transfers its business investments from one city to another … and in order that the memories and traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) become known, and the people bring them to mind and do not forget them.”4 And it was on this basis that the Muslims, during the suffocating eras in which the tyrannical caliphs and rulers had prohibited them from spreading these rulings, made use of this opportunity (of hajj) to interact with the Imams (peace be upon them) and eminent religious scholars for solving their problems, understanding the rulings of Islam and comprehending the traditions and customs of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). On the other hand, hajj possesses the ability to be transformed into a gigantic cultural assembly in which scholars and intellectuals of the Islamic world, coming together for a few days in Mecca, propound their thoughts and exhibit their creativity before the others. Essentially, one of the great catastrophes is that the boundaries between the Islamic nations become reason for them to become separate from each other, culturally. As a consequence, Muslims of each nation only reflect upon their own selves and their own state of affairs, and this is something that effectively works towards dismembering and dissecting the single Islamic society; indeed, hajj has the ability to stem this evil outcome. And how beautifully has Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) stated in that tradition of Hishaam Ibn Hakam when he said: If all the people were to be concerned only about their respective countries and the problems existing therein, all of them would suffer destruction, their countries would face ruination, their benefits and welfare would be lost, and realities would become obscured and concealed. 4. The Financial Dimension Contrary to what some people imagine, utilizing the great assembly of hajj for strengthening the financial foundations of the Islamic nations is not only not inconsistent with the spirit of hajj but, according to the Islamic traditions, constitutes one of the philosophies for it, instead. What is the harm if the Muslims, in that great gathering, were to lay the foundations of a common and associated Islamic market, and pave the way for commercial transactions amongst themselves in a manner such that neither do their profits enter the pockets of their enemies nor does their economy become dependent upon the others; and if such is the case, not only is this not ‘craving for the world’ but rather, an act of worship and jihad (in the way of God). And it is for this reason that in that tradition of Hishaam Ibn Hakam from Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him), an express reference has been made towards this aspect that one of the objectives of hajj is strengthening the commerce of the Muslims and facilitating economic association and cooperation amongst them. In another tradition, Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him), interpreting the verse... (There is no blame on you in seeking bounty from your Lord)5 says: The meaning of this verse is ‘seeking livelihood’. (And when a person comes out of his ihraam and completes the hajj, he should conduct business transactions during the season of hajj (for not only it is not a sin but on the contrary it carries rewards.))6 This meaning is also witnessed in a tradition 7 from Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Ridha (peace be upon him) which explicitly enumerates the philosophies and objectives underlying the rites of hajj; in the tradition, the Imam (peace be upon him) recites the following verse of the holy Qur"an: (That they may witness advantages for them)8, a reference to the fact that the verse alludes to the spiritual benefits as well as the material ones - although both of them, from one perspective, can be looked upon as being spiritual in nature. In short, if this great worship were to be utilized correctly and perfectly, and the Pilgrims of the House of God, at a time when they are active and their hearts are emotionally ready in that holy land, were to make use of this great opportunity for solving the various problems that plague the Islamic society by establishing various political, cultural and mercantile assemblies, it would surely serve to untie the knots and solve the problems; and perhaps this is why Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: (The religion shall continue to stand for so long as the Ka’bah continues to do so)9 Imam Ali (peace be upon him) too has said: (Fear Allah in the matter of His House (Ka’bah)! Do not desert it for if it is deserted, divine reprieve shall be taken away from you)10 And it is due to the immense significance of the above issue that in the Islamic sources of traditions a separate chapter has been devoted to it that if it were to ever happen that in a particular year the Muslims decide to refrain from going for hajj, it would become obligatory upon the Islamic government to send them to Mecca by means of force!11, 12 1.One, who has worn the ihraam. (Translator’s comments). 2.Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 99, pg. 26 3.Nahjul Balaghah, sayings 252. 4.Wasaail al-Shia’h, vol. 8, pg. 9. 5. Holy Qur’an, ch. Al-Baqarah (2), vs. 198. 6.Tafseer A’yyaashi, as stated by Tafseer al-Mizaan, vol. 2, pg. 86. 7.Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 99, pg. 32 8.Holy Qur"an, ch. Al-hajj (22), vs, 28. (Translator’s comments) 9.Wasaail al-Shia’h, vol. 8, pg. 14 10.Nahjul Balaghah, letter 47. 11.Wasaail al-Shia"h, vol. 8, pg. 15 (The Chapter of ‘Obligation Upon The Governor To Compel The People For hajj’) 12.Tafseer-e-Namunah, vol. 14, pg. 76.
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