Benefitting from the Days of Hajj
Alhamdulillah, we are now nearing the end of Dhul Qa’dah, which is the eleventh month of the Islamic calendar and the first of the al-Ash-hurul hurum, or the four sanctified months in which war was prohibited during the time of Rasulullah (saws).
During Dhul Hijjah, most of the individuals planning to perform Hajj [hujjāj] make their final preparations for the big journey. Of course, Hajj is something that should be prepared for weeks, months, or even years in advance. However, here are a few things that the hujjāj are advised to make sure they have done before they embark upon their journey:
- Seek forgiveness. There are two types of rights [huqūq] that are upon us: rights of Allah [huqūqullah] and rights of other servants [huqūq-ul-‘ibād]. When we make deficiencies in worshipping and obeying Allah (swt), we must seek forgiveness from Allah (swt), who is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful and who loves the servant who repents to Him. Sometime before the journey, you should aim to pray two rak’āt salāt-ul-tawbah and seek Allah’s (swt) forgiveness for all our past sins.
However, when we make deficiencies in fulfilling huqūq-ul-‘ibād, then in order to be forgiven by Allah (swt), we must also seek forgiveness from the person we wronged. Therefore, the person intending to perform Hajj should try their best to seek the forgiveness of every person they have wronged in the slightest way. Better yet, just to be on the safe side, you can try to make a list of all the people you have interacted with from birth onwards and seek out the forgiveness of all those people, just in case you wronged someone and do not even remember that you did.
- Make a will. Although Hajj is a relatively safe journey, whenever and wherever death is destined for us, we will expire. It is therefore wise to learn the proper method of making a will from an authentic scholar, to ensure that you have that covered in case you do not return.
- Study. You should make sure you are familiar with the fiqh of Hajj and that you are mentally prepared for what to expect by reading books, attending seminars, listening to lectures, buying a map, discussing the topic of Hajj with others, etc.
- Prepare yourself spiritually. Spend some time in the remembrance of Allah (swt) [dhikr], recitation of the Qur’an, and worshipping Allah (swt). Hajj is a beautiful journey of love. It is important to spend some more time remembering your Beloved (swt) before the journey so that you will be able to remember Him even more when you’re at His blessed Haram.
- Make sure you have what you need. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your bags, make copies of your passport, etc. Do it as soon as possible to eliminate stress during the journey. Shaytan takes advantage of us when we’re stressed out! We need to try to be as prepared as possible so that we can remain calm during the journey, which will consequently help us in trying to spend every moment remembering Allah (swt).
- Pray two rak’āt before you leave. It is sunnah to pray two rak’āt before embarking on a journey, so it is highly recommended for the person leaving for Hajj to pray two rak’āt before s/he leaves. Pray these two rak’āt in extreme gratefulness—for you are only going on this journey because Allah (swt) has permitted you to do so, out of His infinite grace and generosity—and beg Allah (swt) to allow you to perform an accepted Hajj. No good deed we perform can ever be worthy of being presented to Allah Almighty. Also remember that when Allah (swt) invites you to His House for Hajj, it is more or less a hint that Allah (swt) is inviting you to be forgiven.
The following are three things that should NOT be done during the journey:
- Impatience. No matter how long it takes for you to get your food, no matter how many people are losing their temper, and no matter how hot it gets, you absolutely must remember to be patient! Living in the 21st century, we’re used to instant everything. However, the Hajj itself is actually one big trial of waiting, and we have to remember that.
- Ungratefulness. How can we dare complain when Allah (swt) has allowed us to be His guests?
- Sins. The journey is accepted if no disobedience is done.
Make as much du’ā as you can throughout the entire journey. Pour your heart out to Allah (swt). Ask Him for all your heart’s desires. Ask for both religious and worldly needs. Such golden opportunities are very rare, and when Allah (swt) bestows us with them, we should really try to take advantage of them.
This was just some extremely brief advice for the people intending to perform Hajj. So what about the people who are not performing Hajj this year?
Hajj has many themes that we can learn from—but a major theme of the Hajj is that it is a time for forgiveness. Just like the hujjāj come to ‘Arafah with their mistakes, we all have our own mistakes. The days of Hajj are a time to think about how we’ve spent our lives, to reflect on our sins, to seek Allah’s (swt) forgiveness for those sins, to try to rectify some of our mistakes, to beg Allah (swt) for protection from future sins, to spend time in the dhikr of Allah (swt), and to then enjoy our Eid the way we have been told to celebrate it.
We should try to make the same intense du’ās and the same pledges we would have made if we had gone for Hajj. For Allah’s (swt) mercy is not just limited to one area during these days; that special mercy spreads all across the earth.
May Allah (swt) allow all the hujjāj to perform their journey with ease, may He accept it from them, and may He allow us all to partake from the blessings of the days of Hajj. Ameen. We at Nawal Academy request that you (both hujjāj and non- hujjāj) remember us in your du’as and we hope you have a wonderful Eid, Insha’Allah!
To learn more about the blessed month of Dhul Hijjah, Eid-ul-Adha, and the rulings associated with these days, please click here.
- “Learning from the Days of Hajj” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar (db) (http://www.sacredlearning.org/general-talks/)
- “Preparing for Hajj” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar (db) (http://www.sacredlearning.org/hajj-and-umrah/)
- “Living the Spirit of Hajj” by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) (http://www.islamicspirituality.org/lectures/general/weekly)