The Real Meaning of The Pilgrimage
Month of Hajj
Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice
is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. It concludes the
Pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid al-Adha is a re-enactment of the
traditions of the holy Prophet Abraham demonstrating his love for Allah
by fulfilling a vision from God. The vision being that he should
sacrifice his only son, Ishmael from his wife Hagar. The Merciful
and Beloved Allah tests all of those who claim His Love and Supremacy
in their lives by the dearest thing we cherish- life!
The Doors of Divine Mercy and Love were flung open by the willingness
of the holy Prophet Abraham and the obedience of the holy Prophet Ishmael,
at a tender young age, to fulfill the Divine vision. The Beloved Allah
changed the course of humanity forever -in that moment Abraham became
the friend of Allah and Ishmael became one of the greatest prophets,
and his descendents, so honoured, that the last and final Prophet and
Messenger for all creation, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah,
was from their offspring.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad
said I am the supplications of my father, Abraham.
And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the
Ka'bah, [they prayed:]
"O our Sustainer! Accept Thou this from us: for verily, Thou alone
art all-hearing, all-knowing!
"O our Sustainer! Make us surrender ourselves unto Thee, and make
out of our offspring* a community that shall surrender itself unto Thee,
and show us our ways of worship, and accept our repentance: for verily,
Thou alone art the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace!
""O our Sustainer! Raise up from the midst of our offspring
an apostle from among themselves, who shall convey unto them Thy messages,
and impart unto them revelation as well as wisdom, and cause them to
grow in purity: for, verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise!"
And who, unless he be weak of mind, would want to abandon Abraham's
creed, seeing that We have indeed raised him high in this world, and
that, verily, in the life to come he shall be among the righteous?
Qur'an 2: 127- 130
*The expression 'our
offspring" indicates Abraham's progeny
through his first-born son, Ishmael, and is an indirect reference to
the Prophet Muhammad
who descended from the latter.
The Beloved Allah wants us to live for
His sake NOT die for His sake.
The animal sacrifice that is required
is our animal self- our ego self, ignorant self, prejudiced self, stupid
self- so that we may be free and Real love may fill our lives, inward
and outward. That is the Real sacrifice- DIE BEFORE YOU DIE.
Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Have a blessed celebration if you are free from the domination of your
ego self and your heart is FULL of the love of Allah.
The Virtues of Hajj
Sheikh Shibli interviews one of his murids who has just returned from
following dialogue, a seeker (murid) under the guidance of Sheikh Shibli
has just returned from the sacred pilgrimage (Hajj) to the ancient House
of God in Mecca (Ka'aba).
is one of the five duties of all Muslims, and is obligatory, once, for
all who are physically and financially able to complete it.
The Sheikh, who is the seeker's Spiritual Guide is asking the seeker
some questions which, on the surface, relate to the seeker's conduct
in Mecca, but which in reality also refer to the pilgrimage to that
other House of God, the human heart.
The Sheikh's teaching provides an insight into what each of us can expect
to experience as we go on this, the most important journey we can undertake
in our earthly lifetime.
takes up the story:
'The Sheikh asked me: "Did you make a determined Declaration of
Intention (niyya) for the pilgrimage?" I replied, "Yes, I
made a firm intention to perform the pilgrimage". Then he said,
'Together with having made a firm intention to perform the pilgrimage,
did you also have a firm intention of forever giving up doing all those
things you did since you were born that are opposed to the spirit of
the pilgrimage? I replied, "No, I did not. The Sheikh said: "In
that case, you had no intention to perform the Pilgrimage".
then asked: "At the time of consecrating yourself and putting on
the pilgrim's attire (ihraam), did you remove your clothing?" I
replied, "Yes, I did". Then he said, "At that time, did
you pledge to remove from you everything except Allah?" I replied,
"No, I did not". The Sheikh then said: "In that case,
you did not remove your clothing".
The Sheikh then asked: "Did you cleanse yourself with the greater
and lesser cleansing rituals of ghusl and wudhu?' "Yes", I
replied, I did cleanse myself in that manner". Then he said, "At
that time, did you also become cleansed of all evil and faults?"
"No", I replied, "that I cannot say". The Sheikh
said: 1n that case, you did not cleanse yourself'.
then asked: "Did you recite the labbaik formula to Allah 'Here
I am Lord, at Your service?' I replied, "Yes, I did". Then
he said, "Did you at that time hear an answering labbaik response
to you from Allah?" "No, I received no reply", I said.
"In that case," said the Sheikh, "what kind of Labbaik
did you recite?"
asked me: "Did you enter the prohibited (haram) area around Mecca?"
"Yes, I did", I replied. "Did you at that time pledge
to leave aside every prohibited (haram) act for ever?" he asked.
"No, I did not," I replied. "Then," he said, "you
did not enter the area of the Noble Sanctuary (Haram Sharif) at all".
(The Noble Sanctuary is the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to whom all lovers
of Allah turn for protection).
"Did you visit Mecca?' he then asked. "Yes, I did," I
replied. "When you did," he asked, "did you see the Hereafter?'
"No", I replied, "I did not see anything". Then
you did not see Mecca," he replied. (Mecca is a symbol of the innermost
presence of Allah).
then asked me: "Did you enter the Holy Mosque (Masjid)?' "Yes,
I did," I replied. "Did you then, on entering, feel the nearness
of Allah?' "No, I did not" I replied. "Then you never
actually entered the Masjid."
The Sheikh next asked me: "Were you present at the House of God
(Ka'aba)?" "Yes," I replied, I was". "Did you
then see that entity because of which the House of God is visited?"
"No," I replied, I saw nothing". "Then," he
said, "you never saw the House of God".
then asked me: "Did you perform the running action (ramal) at the
time of walking around (tawaf) the House of God". "Yes,"
I replied, "I did". "Did you," he asked, "at
that time flee from this world in such a manner that you felt you were
completely out of this world?" "No", I replied. "In
that case," he said, "you did not perform the running action".
asked me: "Did you place your hands on the black stone and kiss
it?" "Yes, I did," I replied. The Sheikh then became
very pale and greatly frightened, so much so that a cry escaped from
him, and he said: "Woe unto you: the Holy Prophet said:
"Whoever places his hands on the black stone is like him who actually
shakes hands with Allah; and whoever shakes the hand of Allah shall
in every way remain safe from all things. Did you feel anything of that
security?" he asked. "No, I did not," I replied. "Then,"
he said, "you did not touch the black stone".
"Did you perform two cycles of prayer at the Station of Abraham"
he then asked me. "Yes, I did," I replied. He said to me:
"You were at that particular time placed on a high rank by Allah.
Did you carry out what is due for that high rank, for which you stood
there?" "No," I replied, "I did nothing". In
that case," he said, "you did not perform prayer at the Station
asked me: "Did you perform running between the hills of Safaa and
Marwah? "Yes," I said. "And at the time you were running,"
he asked, "did you feel yourself running away from everything else
apart from Allah, and reaching Him?' (The question is a reference to
the verse in the Qur'an, in Surah Shu'ra: "And I fled from You
when I feared You". Allah also says in another place: "And
flee towards Allah"). "No." I replied. "Then you
never ran," he said.
you ascend Marwah?' "Yes," I said. "And what did you
do there?" he asked. "I recited 'God is great' three times,"
I said, "and prayed to Allah to accept my pilgrimage," I replied.
"Did the angels also recite the takbir (Allahu Akbar) with you?"
he asked. "And did you have any knowledge of the significance of
you own recitation?' he asked. "No," I replied. "Then
you did not actually recite 'Allahu Akbar'," he replied."While
you were on Marwa, did you acquire a great inner calmness and peace,
that descended on you?" "No', I answered. "Then you never
ascended Marwa," he said.
you ascend Safaa?' he asked me. "Yes," I replied. "When
you descended," he asked, "did you feel all evil and every
weakness departing from you, and inner cleanliness entering you?"
"No," I replied. "Then you never ascended Safaa,"
Then the Sheikh said to me: "Tell me, did you proceed to Mina?'
"Yes," I replied, "I did". "While you were
there," he asked, "did you attain such hopes in Allah that
have nothing to do with evil?" "No," I replied. "Then
you never went to Mina," he said.
you visit Masjid ul-Khawf? (the Mosque of Fear)" he asked. "Yes,"
I replied. "And did you then experience such a fear of Allah that
you had never ever experienced before?' he asked. "No," I
replied. "Then you never entered Masjid ul-Khaif," he said.
then asked me: "Did you reach the plain of Arafaat?' "Yes,"
I replied. "And on the plain of Arafaat, did you recognise the
cause of your coming into this world, what you are doing here, and where
you will go afterwards? And did you recognise the thing that points
towards these things?" "No," I said. "Then you never
visited Arafaat," he said.
you visit Muzdalifah?" he then asked me. "Yes," I said.
"And did you remember Allah there, so much so that everything else
was forgotten, as Allah had mentioned?" (The Sheikh is referring
to the verse in the Qur'an: "And remember Allah at the Mash'arul
Haraam plain of Muzdalifah"). "No," I replied. in that
case," he said, "you never reached Muzdalifah".
He then asked me: "Did you perform a sacrifice at Mina?' "Yes,"
I replied. "Did you then sacrifice your own self" he asked.
"No," I replied. "Then you performed no sacrifice,"
"Did you perform the ceremony of pelting the Shaytaan with stones
(rami)?" he asked. "Yes," I replied. "With every
stone you threw, did you feel yourself shaking off you every form of
ignorance and feel your knowledge increasing?" "No,"
I replied. "Then you did not actually perform rami," said
Then he asked me: "Did you perform the circumambulation of visitation
of the House of God?' "Yes," I replied. "Did you experience
any spiritual enlightenment at that time? And did honour and respect
descend on you from Allah? For the Holy Prophet
said: 'Anyone who performs the greater pilgrimage (hajj) or anyone who
performs the lesser pilgrimage (umra) is Allah's guest, and when anyone
visits someone, it is only right that they should be honoured. I replied:
"No, I experienced nothing". "Then," said the Sheikh,
"you never actually performed the circumambulation of visitation.
"Did you then release yourself from the state of consecration (ihram)?"
"Yes," I replied. "Did you at that time promise to adhere
strictly to ritually pure earnings at all times?" "No,"
I replied. "In that case," he replied, "you did not become
halaal (pure)" (released from ihraam).
Then finally he asked: "Did you perform the farewell circumambulation?"
"Yes," I replied. "Did you then say a complete farewell
to your whole self, your desires and your passions?" "No,"
I replied. "Then you did not perform the farewell circumambulation,"
back and perform the pilgrimage again. And this time perform it in the
manner I have described to you".'
The seeker then concludes with the observation: "I have related
this lengthy conversation to illustrate what type of hajj the saintly
ones perform. May Allah in His infinite grace and mercy grant us all
this type of hajj. Ameen."