Monday, December 18, 2006

Hajj: The Requirement of Discipline.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam that every Muslim is supposed to attend at least once in his or her life. It is an act of obedience that like the school where one disciplines oneself and acquires good traits and noble qualities. Following are some of these characters.

1) Decency and Chastity.

Allah says: “For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no rafth (obscenity)” (Al-Baqarah 2:197). Rafath is sexual intercourse or sayings or actions that lead to it.

2) Suppression of Anger, No Arguments and Disputes.

Allah Most High says: “...and no jidal (disputing) during Hajj” (Al-Baqarah 2:197). `Ataa’ said, “Jidal is that you dispute with your companion until you anger him and he angers you.”

3) Gentleness, Softness and Calmness.

It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) heard strong rebuking, hitting, and shouting at a camel while moving from Muzdalifah, and he said, “O people, you must be calm, for rushing and hurrying are not righteousness.” (Ahmad)

4) Concern for Others.

During Hajj, the servant is concerned not only about himself or herself, but he or she mixes with the pilgrim brothers and sisters and shares with them the recitation of Talbiyah, transportation, and acts.

5) Responsibility for One’s Mistakes.

This becomes evident in the case of obligatory atonement for one who makes an intentional mistake that violates the state of ihram.

6) Humbleness.

This becomes evident in the unity between all pilgrims in rituals and feelings, and in the negation of traces of material differences between them, such as language, nationality, wealth, etc. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said during his last farewell Hajj, “O people! Verily, your Lord is one, and your father (Adam) is one; verily the Arab is not superior to the non-Arab, nor the non-Arab to the Arab, nor the red to the black, nor the black to the red, except by taqwa (piety, fearful awareness of Allah).”

7) Patience.

The servant restrains himself or herself from desires by leaving acts that are prohibited while in the state of ihram, and also by leaving some permissible acts while not in the state of ihram. He or she exposes himself or herself to hardship and fatigue in fulfilling the orders of Allah by performing the rituals so that this is a motive for leaving sins, doing righteous acts, and bearing inconveniences after Hajj.

8) Generosity and Open handedness:

This is clear in the servant’s bearing expenditures for Hajj.

Excerpted with modifications from: “So That Our Hajj May Be Accepted” By Faisal Ibn ‘Ali Al-Ba’dani. []

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